March 2024

Dear Chapel by the Lake,

As I’m writing this letter, Karen and I are making our way to Hawaii!  In typical Juneau style, it started snowing a wet, heavy snow as we left for the early morning flight to Seattle. We are so excited to get away, and I am especially excited as this will be the 50th state I’ve visited.

One of the fundamental values for Followers of Jesus is hospitality. I recently asked Kourtney to review how many people were blessed by Chapel’s hospitality since last summer. Here are some highlights:

Overnight Guests

  • 23 Overnight Stay Events
  • 81 nights
  • 324 people spent at least one night

Some Fun Facts about overnight groups

  • Mission teams, scouting troops, and school groups (sports and music)
  • 5 groups were from outside Alaska
  • 9 Southeast Alaska Communities
  • 6 Alaska Communities
  • 1 International group.  A sweet story about this group. They were a girl’s volleyball club from Germany who take a month-long trip every year. The coach has been leading the program for over 50 years.  She shared that they have never been welcomed and cared for so well as their time at Chapel!

Day Use

  • 6 groups regularly meet at Chapel. These include 2 music teachers (lessons and recitals), Cub and Boy Scouts, PEO, and 2 weekly Lakeside Enlightenment (AA) meetings
  • 2 Weddings
  • 8 Funerals/Memorials/Celebrations of Life, most with receptions
  • Birthday parties, wedding and baby showers
  • Occasional music events, including an upcoming Juneau Symphony program in March.

We are committed to providing SE Alaska schools a safe and comfortable place to stay, both when they visit Juneau and when they lay-over on longer trips. Students raise a lot of money to participate in school programs, and we know that by providing our church, it benefits our Juneau community and beyond. We typically charge $50 a night for the whole group to cover increases in water and heat. We have very nice cots and linens too!

Of course, our most impactful hospitality is extended to Auke Lake Daycare and Preschool. They provide care for 60 children, and daycare is a critical need for our families in Juneau. Finally, just this week we agreed to help a local Christian preschool and Elementary school who lost thier space.

I read the story about the vision that inspired the construction of the Log Chapel. The vision was to provide a space for the community, not just our church. I am happy that vision continues as genuine hospitality can be a powerful witness to the love and grace of Jesus. This is not our building, but the Lord’s, and we are stewarding it well to His glory!

In my message on February 18, we considered Jesus’ words to His disciples concerning the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus (in typical fashion) was so clear in His message: the Kingdom prototype is a servant! The first will be last and the last will be first. Jesus also reminded His disciples (and us) that “even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many.” I said a simple metric on church health is measured by how many people regularly serve.

One important way to serve is to help us with our hospitality. There are important ways we can take it to the next level, but that requires more people to help. Our current hospitality is being born by a few people.  Will you help? We have a Facility Stewardship work day the first Saturday of the month.

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