God created a mosaic of support to form the NovusWay of today! A marvelous mosaic can only be created from the combined effort and effect of individual pieces. The beautiful multi-faceted stained-glass window in Luther Spring’s newly completed Atonement Chapel, taken from the original Atonement Lutheran Church in Orlando, is a beautiful reminder of God’s many-faceted abundant grace for NovusWay Ministries in a global pandemic. Abundant grace is sustaining this ministry by producing a multi-faceted outpouring of support to our Light the Fire for Summer Camp 2021 Appeal.
In a normal year, 75% of our annual income is produced by the many facets of our faith formation ministry, camps, programs, and rentals. Gifts and contributions normally provide the final 25% of the funding needed. This pandemic year is like no other year this ministry has experienced. Gifts and contributions aren’t simply supplying the balance of our annual budget, they supply most of the operating income. To date, we have received over $1.5 million toward a projected need of $1.8 million to prepare for Summer Camp 2021. So here we are in late March, in faith and trust, planning spring programs for adults and summer camp for kids. We’re recruiting summer staff, purchasing supplies, and signing contracts with outdoor adventure partners. The ministry is emerging from a pandemic year, reflective of an outpouring of contributions that enable us to envision the future God intends post-pandemic.
Individual gifts from long-time and first-time donors, benevolent gifts from congregations and congregational endowments, supported by limited income from rentals and other sources, in God’s hands, shape the exciting ministry that exists today. We are grateful for every contribution, large and small, recurring, or one-time.
And we are truly grateful for what has been unprecedented support from congregations and congregational endowments. In a year when we had no faith formation opportunities to offer people of all ages, congregations (closed for in-person gatherings everywhere by Covid-19) sent benevolent gifts and endowment grants to sustain these outdoor ministries we all share. Congregational benevolent giving from each of the four synods and seven states we serve, through February 2021, totals $207,243. NovusWay has never had that level of congregational support. And it continues as we struggle together to emerge from the pandemic. In addition to congregational benevolent giving, 14 congregations: St. Matthews, Charleston, SC; Augsburg, Winston-Salem, NC; Redeemer, Charleston, SC; Joy, Palm Bay, FL; St. Luke, Summerville, SC; Wittenberg, Leesville, SC; First Lutheran, Norfolk, VA; Macedonia, Burlington, NC; Incarnation, Columbia, SC; Nativity, Arden, NC; Good Shepherd, Columbia, SC; Trinity, Greenville, SC; Grace, Rock Hill, SC; Holy Trinity, Raleigh, NC, responded to endowment proposals with grants totaling $67,256. One more is presently being considered.
Why this unprecedented support from congregations? Judy Keyes, Holy Trinity, Raleigh’s Endowment Chair, said “Because the camp ministries in NC have been so meaningful to our youth from elementary age through college age, and also to the adults in our congregation, we selected NovusWay Ministries to receive this award.” Pastor Andrew Isenhower of Good Shepherd, Columbia wrote, “I was delighted to see that our Board granted your request at the maximum amount. Although perhaps a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme, I trust this along with many other grants will indeed help sustain NovusWay until a less lean time is upon us.”
How grateful we are for every gift that God has brought to form this marvelous mosaic of support that is lived out in ministry at NovusWay’s four sites, Lutheridge, Lutherock, Luther Springs, and Lutheranch. With you as valuable partners, our faith formation opportunities will flourish, as we continue together toward our May 31, 2021 goal of $1.8 million! Thank you all for being sparks for the ministry.