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Annual Year-end Giving Letter
Posted on December 29, 2021
Thank you for your ongoing support of Bay Shore Camp and Family Ministries! The gifts of your prayers, presence, resources, and service are vital to changing lives for Christ. And lives are being changed!
2021 has been a year filled with uncertainty AND excitement. The uncertainty of COVID made it difficult to budget, plan and prepare. We were pleased that nearly 900 kids attended camp at Bay Shore this summer. That’s more than the 500 kids that attended in 2020, but still short of pre-pandemic levels of 1100 or more. Regardless, that’s nearly 900 children and youth who heard the saving message of Jesus Christ. For some of the 900, this was their first opportunity to commit and begin their lifelong journey with Christ. And many others renewed their commitment as followers of Christ.
We were really excited about the launch of a new ministry, Bay Shore’s “Day Camp on the Road (OTR)” a traveling day camp ministry. We’ve been planning and preparing for this new ministry for several years. This unique partnership with local churches helps them reach their community while offering a Bay Shore Camp experience at their location. We were excited that Bay Shore served 224 kids at six different church locations in Michigan. We’re planning to expand this traveling day camp ministry in 2022.
As I visited some of these Day Camp locations, I was inspired by the dedication of the “on the Road” staff to be in the “mission field” sharing the love of Jesus in fun, engaging ways. And inspired by church folks who were embracing new ways to reach out to the families in their communities.
Your gifts and donations make these life-changing events possible!
And what about Family Camp? Gathering again under the big tent, worshiping and praising God, and growing in faith, nightly attendance exceeded 500 people with the highest total attendance since 2016. The greatest growth in attendance was among young families, with the children often outnumbering the adults.
It’s exciting to be part of a team-leading a ministry that was unwavering in its commitment to our mission of “providing an invitation for all people to experience Jesus Christ and to nurture them in their relationship with Him.” That mission now extends beyond the Sebewaing property lines.
The Bay Shore ministry is so much more than summer camp. Adults are being nurtured in their faith at our quilters’, crafters’, men’s, and women’s retreats. Youth are being challenged to grow in their faith at Snow Camp in the winter. Families are being strengthened in their faith at Family Camp. And the greater community is being introduced to the Christian way through our Family Fun Days and Living Nativity. And soon, with the recent gift of a second “campus” less than 20 minutes from the main camp, we’ll be envisioning new ways to reach people for Jesus!
When I began preparing to write this letter, I wondered, “why do people choose to support a particular ministry?” There were lots of opinions on this, but I found three reasons that seemed to recur in various articles. 1. They believe in the vision/mission. 2. They trust the leadership. 3. There is a need.
I hope you believe in our mission, “to provide an invitation for all people to experience Jesus Christ and to nurture them in their relationship with Him.”
And, I hope you can embrace the ways we do that, through summer camps, adult retreats, family camp, gospel music, community outreach, traveling day camps, partnering with local churches and, new ways in new places we haven’t even developed yet.
I hope you trust my leadership and the leadership of all the staff at Bay Shore to be faithful stewards of your gifts and donations, and this property that God set apart 110 years ago so that people might grow nearer to Him.
Know this, while we still are managing our way through this pandemic by managing expenses, leveraging economic support in the form of grants, there is still a need. All that we do is not self-sustaining without your support. Even now, our gifts and donations are about $75,000 short of our expected need.
Your gifts make this ministry possible. Your gifts make new ministries possible. Your gifts make life-changing moments possible.
As this year comes to a close, we’d be honored to have you support this ministry one more time, in the way that works best for you:
- Give a cash gift: Give a one-time gift or consider a recurring, monthly gift by returning the enclosed card with your check or online at the website.
- Go to our website, bayshorecamp.org/get-involved/ for other options, including legacy gifts, giving from your IRA, or a gift of stock.
Your gift, no matter how large or small, makes this ministry possible. And, at a time when this world really needs a Savior, Bay Shore is making a way for Him.
Peace and Blessings,
Jeff Parsons, Executive Director