Dear UCCI Family,
By now most of you know that I grew up going to camp. I’m an Eagle Scout that camped every summer and several weekends. My father served the United Church Camps, Inc. (UCCI) Board, so we went to most every work camp at both Moon Beach and Pilgrim Center. I’m a 54-year-old man and I’ve been to Family Camp for 52 years … missing once for the birth of my son and once when I was little, and my mother just didn’t have the energy for me! My job as Executive Director has felt more like an extension of my very being … more like a passion and a call … than a job.
It’s in that spirit that I tell you my heart is heavy as we announce that due to the Covid-19 pandemic and out of love for ALL others, UCCI is postponing all events through at least Labor Day 2020. This is not a lightly made decision, rather one done with the full support of the UCCI Board, supported by the Wisconsin Conference UCC (WCUCC), based on science and safety.
Rev. Kerri Parker, the Executive Director of the WI Council of Churches, summed it well when she relayed … “You have permission to open, it may or may not be prudent under strict standards and modifications, but it really would not be pastoral.” From my perspective, being pastoral is caring for the health and safety of our guests … both internal and external. Being pastoral is doing the right thing regardless of personal agenda. Being pastoral is consulting God through prayer.
Being pastoral also is recognizing the blessings in the darkness. We are blessed to be postponing NOT closing for good. We are blessed to continue employment to many through the SBA Payroll Protection Plan. Blessed to have the backing of Rev. Franz Rigert and the WCUCC. We are blessed with an opportunity to tackle necessary, and several new, projects so that when we reopen, our guests feel a significant positive difference!
UCCI has been around in one version or another since 1902. We will be around when this pandemic lifts. We simply want each of you and our staff to be around when that happens. To do this, we will consider opening when we can ensure we’ve met the markers of the Badger Bounce Back plan. Information pertaining to this will be made available through our website (www.ucci.org), our social media pages, and the “Outdoor Ministry Matters” Newsletter.
Persons registered for postponed events have three options:
- Supporting UCCI’s future by converting paid fees to a donation.
- Applying your deposit to a future UCCI event.
- Receiving a full refund.
There is an unsettling financial reality that is tied to your response. We live every essence of our “non-profit” status and we need your help. Gifts to the UCCI Fund in any amount are both welcomed and necessary.
Thankfully UCCI has a multitude of loyal followers that believe in our ministry. Many have already offered prayers, financial support, and love. There is opportunity for EVERYONE to do the same and we NEED you! We may be postponing our 2020 summer events, but we are not giving up the UCCI Community. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we can connect in new and different ways. We will be reaching out virtually to keep you connected to Moon Beach, Pilgrim Center, and Cedar Valley. In turn, please reach out to us. Please direct any questions to me at [email protected].
Your family at UCCI loves you, misses you, and cannot wait to celebrate in face-to-face community again. Until we meet again … May God bless you and keep you, may God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you, may God’s face turn toward you, and give you peace.
Yours in Christ,
Glenn Svetnicka – Executive Director UCCI