Swimming Carp Frustrate Tabernacle Location Plan

Post a Comment » Written on June 30th, 2008     
Filed under: News
GREEN LAKE, WI (June 30, 2008) – To a casual observer, The Feast and the 123rd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church went off without a hitch.

What those attending did not know, however, was the looming disaster that threatened to scuttle the best laid of plans just days before The Feast was scheduled to begin.

TabernacleFor two years, Feast Planning Director Lisa Orris and the rest of the team had met, worked, and prayed countless hours to make The Feast at Green Lake Conference Center a reality. It was picture perfect – a large tent (nearly the size of a football field) to serve as a tabernacle, nestled along the shores of Green Lake.

Then came the call from conference center staff.

Storms that had moved through the Midwest caused Green Lake to crest higher than the staff had ever seen with water seeping onto adjoining grassy areas. With more than a thousand people expected to arrive that weekend, she was told that crews could not erect the huge steel frame structure at the intended location (top photo).

Orris and team member Fredrik Wall immediately drove from Chicago to Green Lake to assess the situation. When they arrived, Orris recalls workers on the site standing in knee-deep water. “My stomach was in knots.”

OrrisThen came a hasty conference call with President Glenn Palmberg, Executive Vice President Donn Engebretson, and Gary Walter, executive minister of the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism. Orris felt confident they would offer her the wisdom, encouragement, and spiritual support she desperately needed.

A panicking Orris told them, “There are carp swimming on the green space!” First, silence. Then an explosion of laughter on the other end. Orris later learned that Engebretson “was doubled over” in laughter. And, Palmberg couldn’t resist asking, “Are there any bass there?”

“This is not funny,” Orris initially thought to herself. However, she quickly realized that they knew something she didn’t. “I needed some levity,” she said, to help release the tension. The group then quickly focused on the gravity of the situation and discussed options.

Organizers decided to move the tent to higher ground. The water had risen, Orris observed, “but God provided dry land! And we had an amazing time at The Feast.” (The lower photo was taken as Orris preached during a Feast worship service.)

Worship services, seminars, and recreational activities involved more than 1,000 participants, including 690 adults and young adults, 289 children and youth, and 28 infants.

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