By RAY BALOGH
Three of the four area boat-in worship services are scheduled to begin Sunday morning, May 24. The fourth, the lakeside services at Webster Lake, conducted by North Webster United Methodist Church, are presently on hold.
All the sponsoring churches are recommending attendees practice common sense precautions in light of the recent coronavirus pandemic shutdown.
This year’s season will be 16 weeks long, running from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
Attendees are welcome to participate by boat or on land.
Dewart Lake Community Friends Church will conduct services from 8:30-9 a.m. at Quaker Haven Camp’s lakefront behind the church. Worship leaders will be announced on the church’s website.
The theme for the season will be “A New Testament Voyage.”
For more information, call (574) 529-0687 or visit www.dewartlakefriends.org.
Patona Bay is the site of the worship services hosted by Leesburg United Methodist Church. Services run from 8:30-9 a.m. and feature a guest musician and a message by the Rev. Rob Seewald, the church’s pastor, speaking from a pontoon on the lake. The May 24 service will feature music by Ed Rock.
Guests may anchor in front of Patona Bay or may bring their own chairs and attend on land.
The area’s largest weekly gathering will take place near the grounds of Oakwood Inn and Resort.
Sponsored by the Syracuse-Wawasee Ministerial Association, the services run from 8:30-9 a.m.
Attendees may board the S.S. Lillypad behind The Frog Tavern by 7:30 a.m. for transportation to the service. Complimentary pastry, coffee and orange juice will be served. The boat will accommodate approximately 50 persons.
The theme for this season is “The God 2020 Vision.” Bulletins will be distributed at each service with the season’s schedule of topics and related scriptures. Janet Norris will provide the worship music at the May 24 service and Pastor Pat Park of Wawasee Heights Baptist Church in Syracuse will deliver the message.
Harlan Steffen, one of the four founders of the Lake Wawasee boat-in 51 years ago, said he spoke with the administration of Oakwood and the owners of the Lillypad and they gave their approval for the gatherings.
“We are asking people to just use common sense and carefulness and maintain social distancing. Masks are optional,” he said. “I’ll be distributing about 500 copies of a flier to condos around the lake and we will have a statement in there. We will also put that in the first couple bulletins.”
He said, “People are excited about having the boat-in. I have so many people call me to talk about it and they are just so glad this is happening.”
Steffen released the 2020 schedule, themes and related scripture verses:
• May 24, A God Vision, Proverbs 29:18
• May 31, Restoring Vision, John 9
• June 7, Vision of One God, Deuteronomy 4:35
• June 14, Vision of One Way, John 14-16
• June 21, Vision for Family, Genesis 2:23-24
• June 28, Vision for Love, 1 Corinthians 13:1-8
• July 5, Vision for Unity Togetherness, 1 Corinthians 1:10, 1 Peter 3:8
• July 12, Vision of Mercy, Micah 6:8, 7:18; Titus 3:5; Luke 6:36
• July 19, Vision of Stewardship, Psalm 24:2, Matthew 25:14-15, 1 Timothy 6:20
• July 26, Vision of One Church, 1 Corinthians 12:27, 3:16
• Aug. 2, Vision of Forgiveness, Psalm 103:3, 1 John 1:9, Colossians 3:13
• Aug. 9, Vision of the Heart, 1 Samuel 16:1, Romans 8:27
• Aug. 16, Vision of Commandments, Matthew 23:36-40
• Aug. 23, Vision Sharing, 1 Timothy 6:18, Hebrews 13:16
• Aug. 30, Vision of Trust, Proverbs 3:5
• Sept. 6, Vision of God Future, John 5:14, 1 Corinthians 13:12
For more information, call (574) 457-7172 or (574) 457-4446 or visit www.wawaseepoa.org.
The administration of North Webster United Methodist Church has currently suspended its half-hour lakeside worship services at Epworth Forest Conference Center Beach on the north side of the lake. The leadership has held open the possibility of reconsidering the decision.
For updates on the decision status, call (574) 834-2871 or visit www.northwebsterumc.org.