For seven decades Edgewood Camp and Conference Centre carried out a much-loved ministry in Southwestern Ontario. Even though it is no longer financially viable for the synod to continue to provide outdoor ministry in this location, it is both reassuring and exciting to know that through its legacy, Edgewood’s long history of ministering to children, youth and young adults will continue in future years.
As Rev. Joel Crouse, the synod’s Ministry Director of Property Transformation, reported in the July/August, 2018 issue of The Eastern Synod Lutheran, Edgewood’s property was sold in the early summer realizing net proceeds of approximately $775,000. An additional $115,000 remained in cash assets at the time of Edgewood’s closure. Various suggestions for allocating these assets were made by the membership of Edgewood’s incorporated body at its final annual meeting (May, 2017) as well as by rostered and lay delegates to Assembly 2018 (June, 2018).
After reviewing these and other suggestions the synod’s Youth and Young Adult (YAYA) Ministries Committee, a group comprised of six young adults, made a series of recommendations to the Synod Council. These recommendations were subsequently approved by Synod Council at its meeting in early November and included the following actions: returning $90,000 of unused Edgewood redevelopment funds to the synod; repaying the synod for a $21,000 loan that was previously made to Edgewood; providing $10,000 to each of Camp Lutherlyn and Camp Mush-a-Mush to help cover future emergency situations; making a $25,000 donation to the Restoration of Identity (ROI) Indian Residential School Survivors (IRSS) Legacy Project; placing $25,000 in a fund for future use by the YAYA Ministries Committee for Indigenous projects; establishing two new funds (approximately $178,000 each), one for each of Camp Lutherlyn and Camp Mush-a-Mush to help fund future capital projects; and adding approximately $330,000 to the YAYA Endowment Fund (income earned by this fund will be used to help fund YAYA ministries in future years). The remaining $23,000 will be distributed after further investigation is completed, thus ensuring that original donor intentions and regulatory requirements are honoured. These actions ensure that Edgewood’s legacy will continue to serve future generations of children, youth and young adults, helping them to grow in their faith. YAYA Ministry Director, Rev. Christie Morrow-Wolfe, referring to the recommendations made by the YAYA Committee, commented: “I am super proud of this group of young people. They do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). They live it.”
In its final recommendation, the Youth and Young Adult Ministries Committee challenged Synod Council to match YAYA’s $25,000 allocation for future Indigenous projects, a challenge that Synod Council eagerly accepted in recognition that we are walking together with our Indigenous neighbours down a path of reconciliation.
As required in the sale agreement, the new owners of Edgewood’s former property intend to donate a large portion of the land to a conservation authority, making it accessible to the general public. Along with the funding allocations identified above, this land donation, a reminder of God’s creation, is yet another way in which Edgewood’s legacy will continue to serve our wider community for years to come.
Eastern Synod Treasurer