By Russell Klinner
Executive director, Shocco Springs
I have had many in our Baptist family ask me questions directly in the past few days, and I want to take a minute and provide you an update on Shocco Springs.
As you can imagine, we have been hugely impacted by the recent pandemic in our nation. Life here on campus has been quite different. To put it bluntly, we miss you!
We miss the ministry. We miss seeing the hands-on discipleship and networking that occurs all over our campus. From youth to seniors to WMU and on and on, we miss seeing you.
Since mid-March, campus has been eerily silent and we anticipate this continuing for at least a few more weeks.
Camps for summer are not going to be the same for sure. Obviously, everything surrounding COVID-19 is continually evolving, but for now, our first camps for summer will start in late June and continue to build from there.
Social distancing measures will be taken as suggested by the Alabama Department of Public Health and other government officials. While we don’t know definitive answers yet, I am sure spacing in conference rooms will change, the dining room will be adjusted, hand sanitizer will be available and masks may possibly be required.
We will work to make it as safe as possible to ensure that ministry can continue to happen on our campus as soon as possible. It will just look a little different.
Although we have experienced no layoffs or job cuts, the financial losses sustained over the last few months have necessitated us putting some capital projects on hold until a future date.
Primarily these projects revolve around renovations and the addition of a new chapel. We had planned to start construction of the chapel in August, but will now need to delay until funds can be restored.
The journey over the last few months has taught me so much. God’s plans are always good. The resources we have been setting aside for so long in preparation for construction can now be used to sustain us throughout this year. I thank God for His provision for us.
What I had seen as resources for a new chapel were actually resources to keep our doors open. As always, looking through the rearview, I can see His hand guiding and providing for us at every step.
Value of gathering
While I can’t speak for everyone, personally, I miss my Christian community. My prayer is that through all this, God teaches each of us the value of gathering together as the body of Christ.
Ephesians 4 reminds me that the individual parts of a body must be joined together. While Zoom and all the other online meeting options are good, nothing can replace the face to face, natural environment that God uniquely provides here at Shocco. We are a Christ-centered gathering place. As part of the body, we exist to provide that unique resource for you — a place where you can gather as a body for discipleship and worship and ultimately to glorify Christ in all things.
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