News from the Pastor
July 5, 2020
Apple Tree, Here We Come!
We are gearing up for our sixth annual Vineville Baptist River Trip, next weekend, July 9-11. If you are planning to go on the trip, and have not yet contacted Melissa or me, please do so today. As I indicated last week, dealing with the pandemic means that we must make some prior arrangements that are not normally part of our planning.
This past Tuesday afternoon the US Forest Service finally informed me that Apple Tree Group Camp will be open – solely for us! We will be the only group allowed to camp there next weekend!
We will follow our usual schedule leaving Thursday morning to set up camp and enjoy a relaxing swim in Nantahala Lake, then return to camp for a meal of grilled burgers and hot dogs. On Friday we will raft the river, then return to camp for an evening of steak, corn on the cob, and ice cream! We will break camp on Saturday morning and be back for church on Sunday.
The cost of the trip is $30 per person for food for the weekend ($20 for children under 12), and $20 per person, or $30 per family, for the campsite. Rafters are supposed to weight 60 pounds. The cost of the raft is about $33 per person, and the cost for a “ducky,” (an inflatable kayak) is about $40 per person. If you cannot get free from work to go with us on Thursday, you can meet us early on Friday morning and still raft the river. If your children are too young or too small to raft, bring them anyway. Or, if you feel you are too old to raft, you can still come and enjoy the campsite fellowship. The area is full of delights for the young and young at heart.
I NEED TO KNOW YOUR RAFTING INTENTIONS BY TONIGHT! Normally I make an extra drive to the Nantahala Outdoor Center early on the morning of our trip to make reservations, but the NOC must have advance notice of our plans so they can schedule safe and proper transportation for us. So if you know you are going down the river, please let me know whether you plan to take a raft or a single or double ducky. I will finalize our rafting reservation tomorrow morning, Monday, July 6. You don’t have to pay me in advance for rafting, just let me know your plans.
Should you need to borrow a tent, sleeping bag or other equipment, please let Melissa or me know. We can provide whatever camping gear you might need. Note that the state of North Caroline mandates wearing a mask in public, and everyone riding the NOC bus to the put-in site will need to bring a mask. (They will do a temperature check on everyone also.) And everyone helping to prepare our meals at the campsite will be required to wear a mask while doing so.
I am absolutely delighted that the Forest Service is accommodating us. As I say, we will be the only group camping there and the only group using the bathroom and bathhouse. We will make every effort to keep those facilities safe during our use.
On another note, I want to thank all of the volunteers who are helping us each Sunday to make worship possible. I appreciate everyone’s effort to make gathering each Sunday safe for everyone. If you would like to volunteer to help us with Sunday worship responsibilities, please contact Angela or Leigh.
Speaking of Angela and Leigh, both will be out of town this week, taking the church’s youth and children tot he beach for a retreat. They will return on Wednesday, just in time for the children and youth to head to the mountains with us. Since Leigh is my videographer, there will be no Pick Me Ups or Bible study offered again this week. HOWEVER, on our church’s Facebook page and on our streaming service you’ll find moving testimonials from members of our church family. I heartily recommend these to you!
We cannot relax in our efforts to take COVID-19 seriously. Some of those who worshipped with us two weeks ago can’t worship with us presently because of later exposure to the virus. And some churches who have opened their doors are already having to close them. We don’t want that to be us!
A word from your pastor,
Dr. Richard Kremer