November Trout Lake Recap

“Alright boys & girls, ladies & gentlemen and ladles & jelly spoons, lend me your ears! We’re about to load up and head on out for camp. But first we’ll go through the check list, pray and everyone head for the little cowboy & cowgirl rooms!” 😊

There’s a lot of rich tradition and history, and benefit, in our youth program at Central Baptist Church. Camps. Retreats. Overnighters & All Niters. Service opportunities, like FMSC, Operation Christmas Child, Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army, and more. Clubs. Wednesday Night Programs. Basketball. Trips from Canada’s borders & the BWCA to Mexico doing ministry with our missionaries. So, to have the opportunity to finally have students back in our building for Wednesday nights & to travel to northern Minnesota for our Trout Lake Camps Crossings Retreat 3, after so long a shutdown because of the pandemic, has been a wonderful treat & opportunity.

It’s true, we’re still running at a “smidget” of what our program is normally, and we are exploring our new location down in the 1962 & 1975 buildings properly spaced & masked up, but we are experiencing a bit of normalcy—community, study of God’s word, and fun.

Already we are into our SIXTH Wednesday Night program. We are studying the book of James in small groups of 10 or less, built on a platform of community building games & sound study. We aren’t a group of 50 like we would normally be on a Wednesday night, but we are having regular attendance of kids and a volunteer team committed to the success of the program. We meet every Wednesday in our new digs at our new time, 6:00-7:30 p.m. It’s not the high energy, wild and crazy times of yester-year but we’re moving forward and having a great time.

This past Sunday, we returned from a weekend away at Trout Lake Camp. It was our combined Junior High/Senior High Crossings Retreat.

Trout Lake Camps has figured it out. Having an incredible track record of a whole summer of 100’s of youth at camp, and now finishing up the fall as well of several retreats, Trout has proven by God’s grace to have effective & safe events for children, teens, adults & families. Running at half capacity, staying socially distant, wearing masks when indoors or unable to be socially distant, washing or sanitizing of hands and working in cabin/pod groups, has helped insure the safety and health of individuals attending, volunteering & working at TLC. It continues to be “A meeting place with God.”

Likewise, Central Baptist Church has stepped up its measures & programs to be a safe & healthy place, a place of ministry & worship. If attending Sunday morning worship or any of our Bible studies, you will readily see the changes and adaptations we have made to accommodate our church being a good place for people to come. Our Board & Staff are working hard to push forward with ministry, while being smart about how we do that.

Recently our youth program received permission to use of our vehicles again, requiring social distance, seat barriers and other protocol to make their use safe for youth pick ups/drop offs, and taking 23 individuals to camp. Barriers have been put in place between all seats, including the driver & passenger, allowing one child per seat (or a sibling group), operating at about 50% capacity and allowing for luggage to accompany each individual in their seat. We had a great time.

Operating as cabin groups/pods of 8 or less, working, playing, worshiping & studying together only in close proximity to our own group, we had a great time this past weekend at TLC. Our speaker was Jim Johnson, and between him, the band & the TLC Staff, we had wonderful times of worship & study.

Our theme for the weekend being LIGHT RUNNERS, based on Matthew 5:14-16. Not only was it age appropriate, but solid material that our students could sink their teeth in, practical & applicable, and comprehensible for all youth ages.

Having in common times like this that we can refer back to strengthens our youth group--like times like this strengthen the great church. Times like this lessen the differences, soften the tensions & stresses, draw us closer to one another and to our Heavenly Father.

We may not be able to have last year’s program but we can move forward together this year being God’s church, His youth group, for ministry & outreach, for worship & service.

Thank you for the resources that allow us a powerful youth ministry. Thank you for prayer warriors that uplift our ministry and youth whether here on a Wednesday night or out and about on the roads of Minnesota and at camp. We praise God for His Spirit of Truth & His love that prevails in our youth’s lives.

I look forward to reporting again up ahead the progress of our ministry & church. In the meantime, trust, pray, worship, and serve.

Blessings! Pastor Chuck

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)