Excited guests gathered in the newly completed McKanna-Sandrock Retreat Center, sipping coffee from cheerful blue mugs bearing the Lutheranch logo on one side and this verse on the other, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24. Indeed the long-awaited day had finally arrived. Lutheranch Camp and Retreat Center was gearing up for its Service of Dedication on Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 11:00 am.
The day before, volunteers and board members arrived in preparation for the big event. The Board of Trustees conducted its regular meeting, along with the Planning and Review and Finance Committees. On Friday evening, the Board hosted a dinner for 50 volunteers who accomplished many vitally important projects to prepare Lutheranch to serve guests. Projects included building the Group Interaction Course, the entrance sign and archway and the St. Timothy Outdoor Chapel.
On Saturday, nearly 500 friends from eight states came together to celebrate this new chapter of the Lutheranch story. The spectacular McKanna-Sandrock Retreat Center, featuring 31 double-occupancy guest rooms for adults and 10 rooms with bunk beds for youth, is now complete and hosting groups. The center boasts three meeting rooms, three lounges and a great room to serve up to 125 guests for meals and three groups simultaneously.
John Schuerholz (pictured), former Atlanta Braves General Manager and President, who served as honorary chair for two capital campaigns for Lutheranch said it best, “One week ago I was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and it was a great honor, but this ranks right up there! When I walked into the McKanna-Sandrock Retreat Center tears came to my eyes and I’m privileged to have played a small part in this endeavor!”
The Saturday service, led by Bishops H. Julian Gordy and Tim Smith of the Southeastern and North Carolina Synod Synods, opened with a welcome from Larry Moeller, President of the NovusWay Board of Trustees followed by Executive Director Keith Johnson who introduced key people who helped bring the camp and retreat center to fruition. The crowd enjoyed singing from the Trinity Lutheran Church Children’s Choir from Lilburn, GA. The service was followed by a BBQ lunch on the grounds, site tours and fellowship.
Saturday evening, over 90 major donors shared in a fantastic dinner and enjoyed a program featuring harpist LeAndre Douds of Douglasville, GA. Sophia Larson from Carrollton, GA, shared about her experience as a camper during the first summer camp week at Lutheranch. Bishop Tim Smith was keynote speaker. The dedication weekend came to a perfect close with a worship service Sunday morning led by Bishop Gordy at the St. Timothy Outdoor Chapel.
The first official retreat in the McKanna-Sandrock Retreat Center was the McKanna and Sandrock family reunion with people from across the country. Seventeen other groups are already scheduled to retreat this fall and winter.
The August 4-6 weekend culminated 10 years of planning and preparation to make expanded ministry at Lutheranch a reality. There is still much to be done as the ministry and service of Lutheranch grow into the future, but the launching weekend could not have been more successful.
President Larry Moeller’s word best express the spirit of this important event: “With a mission of providing places set apart to inspire and empower all in Christ’s love, the ministries of NovusWay have hit a grand slam with Lutheranch! The talent and treasure of innumerable volunteers and selfless donors will touch and shape lives for generations. God’s love reflected in community and creation is a joy to behold. Thanks be to God.”
NOTE: We hope you have had an opportunity to visit the McKanna-Sandrock Retreat Center at Lutheranch. The St. Timothy Great Room houses the Wall of Honor recognition plaque. The Development Office has worked hard to accurately list each Lutheranch campaign donor of $15,000 or more. If we have missed you, please contact Margo Rabon at email@example.com as soon as possible.