Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs to the Kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14 ESV).
I’m so thankful to announce that our Acts 2 Enterprise (A2E) Summer Camps/VBS programs are returning this year. Following two consecutive years of postponements due to the pandemic, these vital camps will be returning in three urban locations during the months of June and July.
God has again allowed us to be able to provide these wonderful opportunities for the children who will be attending, as each will not only learn several new skills through the sports components or activities of the camps, but they will also have time each day to learn about Jesus.
As these camps have taken place over the years, beginning with the very first one started by Pastor Christopher Bodley on Detroit’s east side, the number of attending children from multiple urban locations in Michigan has easily surpassed one thousand children. It’s impossible to know the exact number because it literally changes each day of the camps. Children who come on Monday invite new friends to the camp on Tuesday. Then, these new children bring their friends later in the week. One of the joys of the camps is watching the numbers grow throughout the week.
Why does this happen? Because the children who come leave the camps each day with an excitement they want to share with their friends. They are excited about having opportunities to participate in 5-6 different sports/activities throughout the week; about making new friends, getting a new t-shirt, and having good food, snacks, and refreshments; but most importantly, they are excited about learning that Jesus loves them, and He will be with them through every step of their lives.
In some cases, the excitement of the children carries over to their families who get involved by coming to the camps or even going to church with their children after the camps conclude. It is for these reasons that there have been eight A2E Summer Camps/VBS programs over the years.
Camps will be held in Detroit (east side) from June 20–24 under the leadership of Pastor Bodley of Bethany, Detroit. During this same week, another camp will take place on the west side of the state. This camp will be hosted by The Vine Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, under the leadership of Pastor James Richter.* The third and final camp scheduled for this summer will take place July 18–22 at St. Paul Community Lutheran Church in Pontiac, under the leadership of Pastor Christopher Jung.
Before the 2-year hiatus caused by the pandemic, the A2E Camps have always received substantial financial gifts from hundreds of supporters who wanted to see children in our urban areas attend a camp such as the ones we provide. Donors have aways provided sufficient funding to allow every attending child (ages 5–17) to attend a camp at absolutely no cost to them. This is extremely important as most attending children’s families do not have the funds needed to pay their cost to attend. Our prayer is we will again be able to fund the attendance of every child at zero cost to them.
The cost to sponsor one child is $55. Two children is $110. $550 sponsors ten children; and $1,100 sponsors twenty. This sponsorship level has remained the same every year the Summer Camps/VBS programs have taken place.
Please prayerfully consider sponsoring as many children as you are able, and in doing so, help the pastors I mentioned earlier make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children this summer, and in some cases, an eternal difference for them and their families.
Please kindly respond soon and generously by mailing in a remittance form found below or online here.
Thank you again for your prayerful consideration and generous response as you help to make our 2022 camp programs a reality for many children. Please know you are a wonderful blessing to those who will attend a camp because you care. Thank you for helping to make the words of Mark 10:14 ring true in the lives of many children this summer.
In shared service and love for those who are the least among us,
Rev. Dr. David P. E. Maier, President
Michigan District, LCMS
As Summer Camp/VBS gifts are received, if the A2E ministry is blessed to receive more sponsorships than needed to sponsor every child, any funds exceeding that need will go toward the general support of the A2E urban ministries.
*The Vine Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids will provide a new and creative version of our A2E Summer Camps. They are planning a unique experience for their campers by using outreach tools from “Kid Min Science.” This program teaches the Gospel through captivating experiments and helps students grow in their understanding of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. Their camp will kick-off with “The Amazing Chemistry Show,” a one-hour show that tells the Gospel story.
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Photos by Elisa Schulz/Michigan District, LCMS