Executive Director’s Appeal

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. … You are the God who works wonders: you have made known your might among the peoples. Psalm 77:11-14

Throughout its storied history, St. Christopher has survived many challenges that have shaken its financial viability.

A polio epidemic, multiple hurricanes, World War II, economic recessions and mold have all had their turn of impacting the ministry of St. Christopher.

Soon after its creation in 1938, a polio epidemic shut down the 1939 summer camp program. The very next year in 1940 a hurricane laid waste to many newly created structures including the original Chapel of the Palms. During the years of World War II, the U.S. Coast Guard took possession of Seabrook Island for military use, and forced the relocation of a summer camp program to Burnt Gin State Park near Sumter. In 2008, the discovery of debilitating mold caused the closure of half of the lodge buildings, precipitating numerous cancelations of groups that could no longer be hosted, on top of an economic recession that had already reduced the utilization of our Barrier Island ministry. In the consecutive years of 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, hurricanes and floods caused multiple week-long closures that severely impacted the bottom line. With all of these challenges, none however compare with the present impact of COVID-19.

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Shannon’s Hope Faces Down Grief (March 9, 2020)

Shannon’s Hope Camp, which helps children grieve the deaths of loved ones, met at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center on March 7 and 8, continuing a decades-long tradition. Founded in 1989, Shannon’s Hope has held nearly all of its sessions at St. Christopher since then.

“I believe we missed one year because of a storm,” executive director Jonathan Wright said as he greeted arriving campers before the opening ceremony. “Now we always reserve our time a year in advance.”

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A Citadel Chaplain Reflects on Masculinity (March 4, 2020)

Just over 300 people, including a priest and a bishop from 7,600 miles away in Kenya, attended the Christian Men’s Conference in late February at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center. They gathered at Susanna’s House, the largest-capacity building on the St. Christopher campus.

“Strong Winds Possible,” said a sign to the left of the speaker’s platform. That advisory traces to a message by the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina, who once said congregations should be places where metaphorical strong winds indicated the presence of the Holy Spirit.

“This is a holy place, a sacred place, one of my favorite places,” said Edwin Smythe, Director of Student Ministries at St. Michael’s Church in Charleston, during the conference’s opening session.

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A Farm-based Future for Rob Kunes (Nov. 14, 2019)

The Rev. Rob Kunes has not met farmer Joel Salatin, but Salatin’s thinking has helped determine the future of the priest’s ministry.

Kunes, who has completed his service as director of The Prayer Center at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center since 2013, envisions a farm inspired by Salatin’s Polyface Farms (“We Are Your Clean Meat Connection”) of Swoope, Va. Kunes plans to base the farm near Georgetown, the historic seaport city 80 miles northeast of St. Christopher.

Kunes became aware of Salatin’s work when his wife, Julie, saw some of the farmer’s web videos. She then read Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World.

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