The first week’s topic will be “Experience Salvation,” followed by hope, forgiveness, peace, guidance, love, strength, joy, faith, contentment, caring, recovery, prayer, community and heavenly hope starting Memorial Day weekend 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Sunday, through Labor Day weekend.
Worship leader for this week’s boat-in session, Harlan Steffen, stated one of the allures of the worship services is the informal setting. “The setting that we have out there is the greatest cathedral in the world, and God designed it,” Steffen, pastor at Wawasee Lakeside Chapel, said.
With 15 different music groups and a different topic every week, the boat-in services are sure to wow a crowd that can reach as many as 1,000 early morning worshippers. “It’s just become a really big part of our community,” Steffen, who has been a part of the boat-in services since they began 44 years ago, said.
The informal setting means visitors can come in their Sunday best or swimsuits for a half-hour nondenominational service. The hope is the simplicity of the service encourages visitors to attend.
“Most of these people wouldn’t feel comfortable taking their guests to church, but they feel comfortable to take them to the lake,” Steffen explained.
David Wells will play trumpet for the first service and David Herr, pastor at Calvary United Methodist Church in Syracuse, will minister at this first service.
One hundred worshippers will be permitted to board Bob and Karen Fawcett’s Lillypad II at the Frog Tavern, beginning at 7:30 a.m., and seating is “first come, first serve.” The Frog Tavern will provide free coffee and pastries.
There will be two boats, one manned by Larry Yoder and another by Jan and Phil Keim, passing out bulletins to boaters attending the service. There will also be fish nets available to provide offering.
Visitors can also attend on shore at Oakwood. Monica Lambright and Thelma Brown will pass bulletins out on shore.
“We greatly appreciate that Oakwood gave us such a welcome along with the opening of the hotel and restaurant,” Steffen said.
The boat-in services on Lake Wawasee are sponsored by the Syracuse-Wawasee Ministerial Association.