Safety of campers prompts Crossings to cancel July, but offer new opportunities

By Rusty Ellison

Published: July 1, 2020

On Saturday morning, May 23, our Crossings leadership team and board determined that we should cancel our Crossings Students and Kids Camps at Cedarmore and Jonathan Creek for July.

Rusty Ellison

This was a painful decision — one that was given hundreds of hours of consideration and prayer by our team and our board. Our president, Lance Howerton, personally communicated with churches across our state and camp ministries across our nation for input before we made the final call to cancel. Our leadership was in touch with our board on at least a weekly basis through May.

On that Saturday morning when our board voted, I know I felt a sadness that was difficult to express. I knew our board had sought God's will and wisdom. The safety of our campers was the overarching factor in our conclusion. And yet, when our meeting was over, there was the reality that we wouldn't get to minister to the thousands of students and kids that we had registered for July experiences.

For all of us at Crossings and our outstanding board, we feel the pain of our decision. We understand the disap- pointment of our campers and kids and student ministers.

We also want to express our sincere gratitude for the encouragement many have given us throughout this entire process of deciding what to do about summer. We truly value our partnership with the local churches that continue to support and participate in our ministry.

The theme of this edition of the Recorder is "Equipping the Saints." Paul writes of this equipping in Ephesians 4. Our ministry seeks to partner with church leaders and the local church body in assisting in such equipping.

Now that we know that our summer plans are canceled, we immediately turn our attention to what we can do to further equip the saints and pursue our mission to provide experiences to proclaim the gospel. Many of the details for the remainder of the summer are in flux at the time this edition goes to press.

We're very excited about plans that continue to develop for fall. For all of us, churches and ministries like Crossings, there's much we do not know. But here's just some of what we do know:

We know we have two outstanding new initiatives for fall.

1. Weekend student retreats at our properties, with the theme of We have five of these events scheduled, with more information on our website: gocrossings.org.

2. Also, we will run weekend kids camps at four host church sites in Paducah, Bowling Green, Louisville and Independence (northern Kentucky). These weekend kids' celebrations will have the same RENEW theme and begin on Friday night, usually running through Sunday For more information, go to gocrossings.org.

We also know that we serve a God of grace who understands the uncertainty that comes during a time such as this. And we know that this God of grace goes with us every step of our way as we continue to press on in our efforts to clearly and loudly proclaim the gospel.


Rusty Ellison is vice president of development for Crossings. He can be reached at rellison@gocrossings.org.