Posts Categorized: Giving

Mount Hermon Annual Fund & The Difference

Posted by & filed under Associates, General, Giving, Kindling.

aim-jr-1200x800

Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different.
C.S. Lewis.

No truer words than these describe Mount Hermon and the impact Mount Hermon Associates have had over the last twenty-plus years.

God has grown Mount Hermon’s reach in amazing ways. When I arrived in 1998, we ministered to less than 50,000 people per year; today it exceeds 70,000.  Our year-round staff of 123 in 1998 has grown to 295 today.  In 1995 we launched our Outdoor Science School, which now ministers to over 4,000 children each year, and includes a strategic ministry partnership in mainland China.  In 2003 and 2004 the Lord gave us Whisper Canyon and Kidder Creek Camps.

In 2006 our McAfee Fieldhouse opened, which changed everything in terms of year-round ministry options.  In a similar way, our reach and program options grew exponentially in 2008 when the Redwood Canopy Tour and Sequoia Adventure Course opened.  We had sixty cabins in 1996 and today the Lord has blessed us with eighty cabins.

In 2012 we purchased the Felton Meadow.  As we wait on God’s timing regarding the development of this new property, we’re creating unique new programs for this zone that will minister to tens of thousands more in the years to come!

aim-audience-1200x800

In 1998 our young Associates program had 98 members.  Today (as of 2015) Mount Hermon Associates number over 900—PTL!  Our Associates are not only part of our culture they’re woven into the fabric of our lives.  God has blessed this ministry in unimaginable ways and we can’t imagine life without you, our faithful, loving and supportive Associates—THANK YOU!

Yet, through it all, the Associates program has remained the same while everything else dramatically changed: staff growth, facility growth, program growth and the constantly increasing expenses to operate this ministry with excellence.  Twenty years ago, a dozen eggs could be purchased for around a dollar; today it’s not unusual to pay four.  Today a gallon of milk pushes five dollars, while twenty years ago it cost around three.  This one really impacts us:  the minimum wage was four dollars and change twenty years ago; today its ten dollars per hour, and soon it will increase to fifteen, which will have enormous financial impact.

So after much prayer and processing, along with input from many of you encouraging us to reconsider the financial threshold for Associates, we are announcing an update.  With the approval or our Board of Directors, the financial threshold for NEW Associates will now be $1,000 per year.  We want to provide plenty of lead time, so this change will not take effect until January 2017.

Praise The Lord that today over half of our Associates are already giving $1,000 or more each year.  We’re also aware that many others give quite sacrificially to reach the $500 level.  Please know that we are deeply grateful for every dollar given!  Nothing is changing for you unless you want it to.  Only NEW Associates will be tied to the $1,000/year giving threshold. Associates as of December 31, 2016 will remain at the current $500 per year.

Each and every Associate is a blessing!  We literally could not operate Mount Hermon without you—Thank You!  As we all move towards the future reaching even more people with the Good News of Jesus Christ, we want you to be crystal clear regarding this change.  Please don’t hesitate to contact Kerry Phibbs or me if you have any questions.

Reporting Back Dishwasher Appeal

Posted by & filed under Associates, General, Giving, Kindling, Stories of Ministry.

dishwasher-1200x800

If you’ve ever eaten in the dining hall, you know it is a special place at Mount Hermon. Not only a place where we enjoy delicious meals, but also rich conversation, experience heart felt laughter, create wonderful memories and just share life.

At Mount Hermon we take the act of service and guest care seriously, so we thank you for being part of a very important mission—replacing a well-used, well-worn dishwasher!

Last spring many of you watched a video in which JR implored you, “Please help us, help Mike not have to wash dishes.” Well, we asked and you responded—in fact, over 200 generous friends stepped up to make this very significant project a reality.

dishwasher-guy-1200x800The response to helping us meet our goal for the dishwasher was remarkable. Truthfully, we were just amazed at how many of you responded with such generosity. As a result of the abundant provision given, we are well on our way to meeting the goal of the $189,000 needed to complete the entire project.

We trust the Lord’s provision for the remaining funds so we can begin the project early this fall. If all goes well, we will have the entire project completed prior to the holidays.

So remember, each time you eat off of a clean plate, drink out of a sparkling glass or stir your beverage with a shiny spoon, you’ll know you had a hand in making that happen!

Thanks a million, or at least $189,000!

dininghall-1200x446

 

Volunteers Help Make Camp Happen!

Posted by & filed under Giving, Kidder Creek, Stories of Ministry, Volunteer.

KC-volunteers-600x400

As summer approaches, there is much to be done to prepare for the arrival of summer staff and campers. Our site requires hours of cleanup from the harsh fall and winter weather and each year we focus on several large facility projects to continue maintaining and improving our structures and site.

Our facilities manager, Tim Lloyd, does an incredible job coordinating these projects and ensuring that the camp looks better than ever on day one of the summer. We are tremendously grateful for the groups of volunteers who come and give hundreds of hours to help us prepare for the summer.

Recently, we have had volunteers from Rolling Hills Covenant Church in Southern California, Servants on Wheels Ever Ready (SOWERs), and the Mobile Missionary Assistance Program (MMAP) helping with projects ranging from slash clearing to window and siding installation. As we get closer to summer, Heavenly wheels from Redding, Calvary Bible Church from Grass Valley, and Flood Student Ministry from Colorado will come to volunteer their time and talent to make Kidder Creek better than ever.

In addition to these groups, a number of faithful volunteers from the Scott Valley help with site maintenance throughout the year. We are beyond grateful to them all!


If you would like to know more about ways you could get involved in supporting the ministry of Kidder Creek as a donor or volunteer please contact us at office@kiddercreek.org.

We Planned For the Future, But…

Posted by & filed under General, Giving, LOG, Stories of Ministry.

LisaOlsonFamily1000In The LOG we always like good Redwood Society stories – about people so touched by God at Mount Hermon that they’ve chosen to extend their legacy here with an estate gift. It is humbling to discover how some bequests arrive at an “appointed” time and in the exact amount needed for a crucial ministry opportunity. God delights in making this happen.

My own journey with my will and estate offers a word of warning. My husband, Mark, and I created a simple will when our first daughter was born. (Young parents, be sure you do that! Select a guardian yourself, not a court-assigned judge.) We also purchased ‘income replacement’ life insurance policies, with face values of ten times our salaries. By investing the proceeds at current interest rates the survivor could replace the income of the one who’d died. We were advised that would sufficiently sustain our lifestyle.

Then as many young couples do, we filed it, and never thought about it again … until. Twelve years later Mark was diagnosed with acute leukemia that took his life after a fierce nine-month battle. When serious illness is diagnosed, it is too late to revise your plan; you have to live – and sometimes die – with it.

Mark and I were both sobered to realize that, now as a ministry leader, his income had more than doubled in those twelve years. Also, we’d underestimated our income when we purchased our life insurance, as more than a third of our compensation was in tax-free housing, utilities and perks. Our premiums were low, but so would be the proceeds.

Plus, our family had grown! We now had four children, ages 6, 8, 10 and 12, one with autism, one with epilepsy. I worked part-time to help with speech therapy and medical expenses, and was consumed with being a mom.

There was nothing we could change, so we focused on fighting the cancer. It weighed heavily on Mark that I would immediately need to work full-time, since our meager life insurance proceeds would not begin to cover his income portion.

And that’s what I did. Within two weeks of Mark’s home-going I was working full-time so we could keep our medical benefits, and I cut our budget to fit within my salary alone. God has faithfully enabled me to provide for my kids, and the insurance was enough for a down payment on a house. In that way, Mark was able to provide that first home for us, for which I have been extremely grateful.

Even with few assets, our will still had a charitable clause: if our entire family suffered a catastrophic event, our estate would pass a substantial portion to our ministry as secondary beneficiaries of our life insurance policies. That would have represented a significant gift, marking our legacy there for generations to come.

Though we had an ‘estate plan’ – a will and life insurance – we did not review it annually as our family grew and needs changed. If you are without an estate plan that covers current needs, please address that today. Many free online tools can help you prepare a simple plan. Then revisit it annually! And don’t forget to include Mount Hermon in your will or as a beneficiary to an insurance policy, HSA or retirement plan, leaving a legacy for those who will follow you here in the redwoods.

Getting to Know the Mount Hermon Annual Fund

Posted by & filed under Associates, Giving, Kindling, Stories of Ministry.

  jr-loofbourrowIn Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 the Lord has given us a beautiful, poetic narrative about the seasons and cycles of our lives. I know you are familiar with it… “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven”(3:1).

We live the cycles and rhythms of life almost without thinking. Birthdays and anniversaries of things joyous and sad come every year. Holidays and Holy Days allow us to celebrate romance, patriotism, the Incarnation and Resurrection. Annual physicals, dues, performance reviews and taxes come as sure as the winter rains. The author of Ecclesiastes writes: “What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again” (3:15).

Mount Hermon is a seasonal ministry in many ways. Annually we see the return of summer when family camps and youth camps gear up to full–tilt, and thousands of people fill the air with laughter, the auditorium with songs of praise, and campfire circles with testimonies of God’s goodness. Fall brings church partners returning to Mount Hermon for a retreat in the redwoods. Christmas brings concerts, spring brings summer staff recruiting and students to Outdoor Science School. What is happening now has happened before and will happen again, and again.

Ecclesiastes acknowledges that the seasons bring their share of hard work, and the burdens of life on this earth as well. It’s no different at Mount Hermon. It shouldn’t surprise us that every year brings needs that must be met to keep this one–hundred–year–old facility ready to receive guests. Every year vehicles are retired and replaced. Every year computers run their course and are upgraded. Every year roofs leak, carpets become threadbare, pipes rust, potholes form, trails erode, harnesses and saddles wear out and even the curtains and bedspreads fade from sunlight.

sunet

And every year there are opportunities! Families going through a rough patch due to unemployment or an unexpected health crisis need a little extra help paying for camp. Veterans come back from deployment in harm’s way seeking a haven where they can reconnect with their spouse or family. Kids growing up in unspeakable conditions marked by violence and abuse have a once–in–a lifetime opportunity to come be enveloped in the love of Christ for one whole week. Girls rescued from Human Trafficking get to rediscover worth and strength on an adventure course.

These annual needs and opportunities are generously covered by the gifts faithfully bestowed by Mount Hermon Associates. Over the last five years their contributions to the Mount Hermon Annual Fund have averaged over $2,000,000! While some might see these annual needs as non–glamorous or routine, they are the stuff of life for this ministry. The Annual Fund is what allows Mount Hermon to provide sacred spaces and experiences for God’s children.

The author says that God “… has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end” (3:11). Mount Hermon exists to water, nurture, and coax that seed to take hold in our hearts and bring forth new life in Him. If you want to play a part in this work of God, this season, consider a gift to the Mount Hermon Annual Fund. If you are already a beloved Associate, this is the time we say “thanks.” 

Read More About Giving

Even Small Donors Make a Difference

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, Giving, Kindling, Stories of Ministry.

Rachel-and-Evan-Griffith

It’s an indisputable truth that Redwood Camp is and has been one of the happiest places on earth for so many. For a century now thousands of lives have been impacted as they have realized the love of Christ under the Redwoods. Uncountable decisions to follow Jesus have been made by the tender, vulnerable hearts of Redwood campers

I had the joy of opening a letter the other day from two of our littlest donors. It brought such joy to my heart and all those who read it that I simply had to share it with you.

Most of you know we are revealing a much anticipated feature at Redwood Camp this summer, the Samuelson Pavilion. We’re not the only ones excited about this wonderful new ministry arena; so are Evan and Rachel.

I asked their mom Stephanie how this all happened. She said…

Twin's-letter

“Redwood Camp is a very special place for our family. As a camper I made a commitment to Christ at Redwood Camp. My husband and I met as counselors at Redwood Camp. Now our children will be going to Redwood Camp for their 5th and final summer, before making the jump to Ponderosa. At last year’s Associates in Ministry Celebration we decided to help financially support the new Pavilion in the small way we could.

This decision got our children thinking. On their own they decided to save their allowance and find small ways to raise money for the Redwood Camp Pavilion. Redwood Camp is their favorite week of the summer (and maybe even their favorite week of the whole year!). To them it was a no–brainer to donate their money to such a special place.”

Years from now Rachel and Evan will look at the pavilion and know they were a part of that historic event in the life of Redwood Camp and all the lives that have been transformed there. The beautiful legacy of Redwood Camp and Mount Hermon flows from generation to generation, family to family. Thank you for being a part of Mount Hermon’s story.

Invest in Mount Hermon

28 to 28 Associate Profile

Posted by & filed under Alumni, Associates, Giving, Kindling.

60D_CC_20120614_0109web

Several years ago we launched “28 to 28” as a way for young Staff Alumni to more easily become Associates. Recognizing that giving $500 a year isn’t always easy when you’re starting out in your career, “28 to 28” allows people to give $28 a month to the Mount Hermon Annual Fund until the age of 28 and enjoy all of the blessings of belonging to the Associate family!

Sean Charles Sommerville was our first Staff Alumnus to sign up! We’ve asked him to share about his journey at Mount Hermon and why he has made the decision to become an Associate.

“I first attended summer camp at Mount Hermon as a lowly 5th grader down at Redwood Camp. I never missed a single summer after that and even came back as a “super senior” after graduating high school. I was hooked and knew someday I would come back on staff… so I did (though I’m still not sure who was crazy enough to hire me)! I worked several summers at Ponderosa Lodge, then came back as the Redwood Host intern and Coordinator for the
Echo program in Santa Cruz.

I have been a Christian my whole life, but it was at camp that I finally took ownership of my faith. Escaping the day to day and being surrounded by a staff that was driven by a love for God and others made a huge impact on me, and I still remember where I was sitting in the Forum at Ponderosa when I decided that my faith was no longer going to be something I did just on Sunday mornings. Working on staff was even more impactful and I still think back on late night discussions with staff and campers, of lives transformed for eternity thanks to decisions made, and of all the conflicts that turned into life lessons. Much of who I am today was formed during those summers on staff
at Mount Hermon.

I always loved the idea of giving back to Mount Hermon, but didn’t think that I actually could. When I became an Associate I was working part time as a substitute teacher while finishing up my teaching credential. That was when I heard about 28 to 28, and I knew right away I wanted in. $28 a month? Yeah,
I can do that!

You see, when I went to camp all those many years ago, I was only able to make it due to camperships. Each year my family relied on that extra funding to help get me to camp. The money I donate now goes toward the same campership fund that enabled me to get to camp.

I am so grateful for the role God allowed the Herm to play in my life and I want desperately to see it continue for many years to come. Please please please consider joining the Associate family.
You don’t have to be a millionaire, it’s just $28 a month!”

If you have questions or would like more information about “28 to 28” contact Andrew Summers at andrew.summers@mounthermon.org.

Redwood Society Creates a Family Legacy

Posted by & filed under Alumni, Giving, Kindling, Redwood Society.

My parents, Doug and Charlotte Jenks, met at Mount Hermon and lived as followers of Jesus throughout their lives. With a vision to thrive in their own faith and see their children embrace the faith they cherished they were consistently engaged with their church and with the ministry of Mount Hermon.

My sisters (Marilyn and Liz) and I have often reflected on the many ways our parents influenced us towards embracing the Lord they loved. They did this with both words and actions. With words they always encouraged us to talk about anything, ask important questions and pay attention to the things that matter the most. With actions they modeled the faith they proclaimed. We were never confused about what our parents valued most deeply.

Doug and Charlotte Jenks were generous people. I remember their telling me about their joy in being able to give to the Lord through our church and Mount Hermon. My dad was the first person to talk with me about money from a broad and biblical perspective. He wanted his children to avoid the dangers of greed, envy, fear or pride that often accompany a misguided perspective of money. He talked with me about having healthy habits around giving, spending and saving. Our parents wanted us to experience the reality of generous living as a response to loving a generous God.

This influence continued in an amazing way as my parents neared the end of their lives, entered heaven and surely experienced the reality that “We brought nothing into the world, and we take nothing out of it” (I Timothy 6:7).

Jenks

Cancer took Doug Jenks’ life in 1999, but it did not take away his vision be a faithful follower of Jesus and a Godly influence for his family. I remember my father sharing with me that I did not need to worry that his death would create financial confusion for his family. They had taken the needed steps to prepare for the financial changes associated with his passing. Then he shared with me their vision to joyfully share a final financial gift to the Lord whenever my mom would join him in heaven. He wanted me to hear this from him, that a legacy gift was a way they could honor and thank the Lord who had given them so much. He also said they wanted this legacy gift to be a final and specific teachable moment for his children.

When my mom passed away in 2012 we were able to facilitate our parents’ wishes and relay a gift from their estate to Mount Hermon and their church. Our parent’s final financial gifts to ministries that cherished their most precious values allowed them to express in their death what they had proclaimed throughout their lives. I will never forget this powerful expression of faith and my parents’ wise intentionality to give in this way. This was a beautiful and teachable moment indeed! My parents’ legacy gifts were a final kingdom investment in ministries they loved and a powerful influencer encouraging their children to continue to follow Jesus in a humble and generous way.

For info about how you can be a part of The Redwood Society visit mounthermon.org/redwoodsociety or email dave.talbott@mounthermon.org.

New Redwood Sports Pavilion Underway!

Posted by & filed under Alumni, Building Projects, Giving.

Sports-Pavilion-1a

For 20+ years now we have been dreaming of a Sports Pavilion at Redwood Camp, and this summer that dream will finally become a reality! Last summer we were uber-blessed with a lead gift of $900,000 along with many other generous contributions which allowed us to reach our funding goal of $1,365,000 and begin construction on our new Pavilion!

Continued from Newsletter

For those of you who have worked at Redwood Camp,  you know that the lack of dry, covered recreation space can be a big bummer. When the meadow gets wet it stays wet, for days. This new space will provide us with the ability to run recreational programs rain or shine, and is also designed to  leave plenty of room on the meadow for other activities. The pavilion will be great for our summer camps and also dramatically enhance our programing options for both guest groups and our own camps throughout the school year. We will now be able to utilize this space even when the rain is pouring down for basketball, dodgeball, volleyball, and much much more!

Construction began in late September, and the pavilion will be open and ready for use this summer! It has been designed with an “open-air” feel. The lack of walls will allow for guests to enjoy an unobstructed view of the whole area while still being protected from the elements. Check out this video fly-through to see how awesome it is going to be.

There will be an official dedication ceremony during the Redwood Reunion  this summer on Saturday, July 30. We would love for you to join us!

Watch the construction happen here: mounthermon.org/samuelsonpavilion

Parallel Histories

Posted by & filed under Associates, Giving, Kindling, Redwood Society.

RWS-GlennStewartTwo long histories coincide in the life of Redwood Society member Glenn Stewart of San Carlos: Mount Hermon, and the U.S. Army.

At age 89, Glenn is one of the longest surviving members of the  Army during World War II, in a group known as Company L of the 96th Infantry Deadeyes Association. Glenn and his comrades liberated Leyte in the Philippine Islands, then headed for Okinawa, site of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific. He came back with a Purple Heart, among several other awards. The group still meets annually, and Glenn has made most of the reunions through the decades.
Glenn turns 90 in November.

But even before this heroic service, Glenn and his family were heavily involved in the life of Mount Hermon. His father first came here in 1917, and served three terms as president of the Board of Directors. Glenn became a Director himself in 1972, and has been active at Mount Hermon, attending family camps and other events with his children and grandchildren for five decades.

Glenn and his wife, Rita, were married for 51 years, when she was killed in a car accident in 2009. She had been a school teacher, and together Glenn and Rita were very involved at Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City, where Glenn has served as head usher since 1976. He also lists 50 years of being “chief budget and business meeting heckler,” which was reflective of his many years as a CPA and business administrator.

He is known for a steel–trap mind for dates and details, and for pithy statements he lives by, such as…

“My philosophy is I never meet a stranger, I just meet people I need to get better acquainted with.”

If you need to know anything about military history, ushering for Billy Graham Crusades, or the details of Mount Hermon’s history, including doing the canopy tour at age 84, just ask Glenn Andrew Stewart. He’s got nearly nine decades of great stories and memories.

If you have remembered Mount Hermon in your estate planning, as Glenn Stewart has done, thank you and please contact David Talbott for details on joining The Mount Hermon Redwood Society.

 

Learn More about the Redwood Society