Greenwood Ministries Update

Dear Friends,

God continues to provide for Camp Greenwood!  The Leadership Team of the Presbytery of Lake Michigan is recommending that a Covenant Agreement be established between the presbytery and Greenwood Ministries Association for the purposes of offering summer camping as well as a variety of other educational and ministerial programs at the Camp Greenwood property.  God is good!

We have also raised over $102,500 in pledges from 86 pledging units to support Greenwood Ministries Association in a remarkably short period of time.  God is amazingly good!

But there are many hurdles yet to cross.  We write to you today so that you will be fully informed about what’s coming … what’s at stake … and what we need from you.

What’s coming?:

– Four recommendations from the Presbytery Leadership Team have been released.  These will be voted on by the Presbytery at its December 6 meeting in Grand Rapids and are available for public viewing now.  The first pertains to the Covenant Agreement with GMA; the other three provide additional terms and stipulations.  Please read the Presbytery recommendations. These recommendations may be modified before the December meeting or may be changed on the floor of Presbytery.

– Four informational meetings, sponsored by the Presbytery, will be held to discuss the four recommendations prior to December 6.  These are open to the public.  They will be held on November 16 at First Presbyterian of Paw Paw, November 17 at First Presbyterian of Lansing, November 29 at North Park Presbyterian in Grand Rapids, and December 1 at First Presbyterian of Albion, all from 7:00 to 8:30pm.  These are opportunities to learn more about the issues and the four recommendations as well as to ask lots of questions in person.

-Attend the Tuesday, December 6 Presbytery meeting at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids, starting at 9:30 am.   That is when the four recommendations become motions that will be voted on by the Presbytery; this is the critical meeting where the ultimate fate of Camp Greenwood will be decided.  It is possible that the conversation could become difficult.  Who gets to speak and vote at the meeting?  All the Pastors in the Presbytery, including those who are retired, and Elder Commissioners from each church.  Each church in the Presbytery has one Elder Commissioner; larger churches have more than one elder commissioner.

– A prayer service on December 7 at Camp Greenwood, at 5:30pm, regardless of the outcome of the meeting on December 6.  We will rejoice, or we will weep.  Either way, all friends of Camp Greenwood are welcome.  If you have a bead necklace, bring it with you.

– Assuming a favorable outcome on December 6, we will began the process of nominating people for the new Greenwood Ministries Association board on December 7th.  Per the GMA by-laws, that vote will occur in January with both an on line and an in person voting process. YOU are invited to be a member of the GMA and vote in the GMA election as well as to serve on the GMA board. ( If you have pledged funds, we are counting you as a member already.)  If you haven’t pledged, but want to be a member or on the GMA board, just let us know of your interest.

– Then, with a future wide open, we will launch an energized and invigorated camping season for 2017, (yes we have already drafted a camp schedule and plans) and in January we will start a strategic planning process and continue to pray for God to reveal more opportunities!

What’s at stake:

– Camp Greenwood’s fate remains undetermined.  While the Leadership Team has given its endorsement to Greenwood Ministries Association, it is possible the recommendations could be defeated at the Presbytery meeting on December 6. There are some who feel the camp property should be sold and the assets used for other needs in the Presbytery.  Camp Greenwood is a higher priority for some, and a lower priority for others.

– If we can successfully get a positive vote at the December 6 meeting, and if we can successfully negotiate and work with with the Administrative Commission during the proposed two-year transition period, and if we can establish and maintain solid financial footing, then GMA will be able to carry on meaningful Christian camping ministry at Camp Greenwood for many generations to come.  (Let’s say it together: “Camp Greenwood forever!!!”)

What we need from you:

Visit the GMA website. Explore the site; read the documents; learn about what we are doing, where we’re going and how we intend to get there.

– Attend one or more of the four regional meetings in November.  Educate yourself as fully as possible about the issues.  Listen and learn, but also share your views about why this ministry matters.

– If you belong to a Presbyterian church in the Presbytery of Lake Michigan, find out who will be the Elder Commissioner from your church at the December 6 presbytery meeting.  (Your Pastor or Clerk of Session should be able to tell you.)  Make your feelings known to your Pastor(s) and Elder Commissioner(s).  If your church does not have an Elder Commissioner, and you are an ordained Elder, you could offer to serve.  Your church’s Session would need to approve that, so move quickly!  If you are not an elder and are available to come to the meeting on December 6th to demonstrate your support with your presence and prayers during the process we would welcome you!

– If you want a GMA representative to visit your church to talk with people, we will happily do that.  Barb Tornholm, GMA President, is already traveling to many churches and will happily visit more.  Contact her at 517-676-5598 or  Or, simply contact her to ask questions, or just to offer an encouraging word!

– Additional pledges of any size are welcome.  The more money and pledges that we have by December 6th, the more we can demonstrate to the Presbytery that we have people who are not just nostalgic about Camp Greenwood, but folks who are willing to support the GMA in every way!  Also, the more money we have, the better able we’ll be to create high-quality camping, expand the on-site offerings and improve the Greenwood facilities.  (By the way, new mattresses are one of the things on the “stuff needed” list. )

– Above all, pray.  Pray for the Presbytery.  Pray for the Pastors and Elders who will be voting.  Pray for Greenwood Ministries Association that we all continue to seek God’s will and follow Christ’s call.  We are all here to serve God together.  May we do so faithfully!

In faith, hope, and love,

The Greenwood Ministries Association

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