Had the pandemic not occurred, I’d be writing to you from the middle of our Abundant Life program.  Approximately 40 adults with developmental disabilities attend Abundant Life each year, filling our hearts with their smiles and joy.  While providing Abundant Life takes a great deal of effort on the part of our staff, we receive far more from our Abundant Life campers than we could ever give in return.  For me, our Abundant Life program is a powerful example of what it means to live into our mission at Living Water Ministries that calls us to serve “all of God’s children.”

Abundant Life is also known on our schedule as “Week 3,” and it’s by Week 3 that we have typically find our rhythm each summer.  With the cancellation of our 2020 summer season, this sense of rhythm to which we are accustomed has been drastically interrupted.  My guess is that you’ve experienced a significant disruption to the rhythm of things in your life as well.  These times continue to provide significant challenges not only for Living Water Ministries, but also for so many other individuals and organizations.  For so many, how we navigate through this time feels terrifying.  When will this pandemic end?  What will be the lasting effects once it’s over?  How do we plan and prepare for things six months to a year away with an ever-changing landscape of uncertainty shifting beneath us daily?  Many of us long for answers, and answers seem to be rather elusive.

While our rhythm has been interrupted, the year-round staff at Living Water Ministries is working tirelessly to learn a new beat.  We’re trying to take advantage of this pandemic to work on projects that are forward thinking or stabilizing for our ministry.  Our Donor Relations Cultivator has been busy on-boarding a new donor management system that will strengthen our fundraising capacity and streamline how our donors interact with us.  Our Administrator & Registrar is busy researching camp management systems to simplify and enhance our registration processes for a time when we will be able to again provide hotel-based and summer camp programs.  Our Program Innovator is spending time putting together a faith formation curriculum we hope to market on a national level beginning in the spring that leans into how we live our lives in pursuit of inclusivity and justice as an expression of our faith in Jesus Christ.  Amidst all of these projects, we’ve also brought on a Social Media Manager for a contracted term to help us tell the story of Living Water Ministries through Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, our website, and future marketing efforts related to our 2021 camp season.

As it has always been, it’s an exciting time to be a part of what God is doing at Living Water Ministries.  While our programs have been paused by this pandemic; while our work has drastically shifted; our call to form faith, practice service, equip leaders, and bring together communities has never been more relevant and needed.  2020 is providing us an opportunity to celebrate where we’ve been and be all the more intentional about where we are going.  Even though the road has become harder to navigate in this journey as a result of COVID-19, it most certainly still leads directly to the cross of Jesus Christ.  No matter how challenging things have been or will be, no matter how awkward it feels to learn a new rhythm, my heart is filled with joy because it is through the cross of Christ that death becomes abundant life.

Peace be with you,
C.J. Clark
Executive Director
Living Water Ministries