By Jean Brindel,
Captain Fund Team
North Indiana Outdoor Ministry Project

During the North Indiana Annual Conference session in June 2006, the North Indiana Outdoor Ministry Project to upgrade four campsites was set into motion. The way I like to say it is, "we were asked to get out ducks in a row to do the projects." Thus, our first task was to get our ducks - develop engineering plans, estimate costs and hire a consulting firm to determine the level of economic support. In other words, plan for success.

We now have ducks. The project is divided into phases to allow the building and funding to be manageable. The Epworth Forest Campus projects will be phase one. The engineers have completed the initial drawings. The costs estimates for the project have been made. Now, for the final ducks to get in line - awareness meetings.

Awareness meetings are opportunities for a few folks to gather from across the conference to hear about the specifics of the project and to determine the possible level of support for the plan. This support includes feedback, faith and financial support - head, heart and wallet.

Here are some folks to be thanked for helping to gather the ducks. They include Mark Warsco, an attorney from Ft. Wayne, and Mark Westerhausen of Dulan Ward and DeWald, a CPA firm in Fort Wayne, who graciously developed the endowment documents for the Outdoor Ministry project. The family foundation of Victor and Kristine Porter, Formula Thunderbird Boat Company of Decatur, Ind., made a very generous donation of seed money for the Epworth Forest Project. Also thanks are in order to the members of St. Mark UMC of Decatur for their gift of seed money. Seed monies are funds used for start-up costs for the capital campaign.

The last piece of "getting our ducks in a row" before the capital campaign can really be launched is the task of getting feedback and information through awareness meetings.

About ten Outdoor Ministry Project awareness meetings will take place across the North Indiana. At these meeting, United Methodists will be asked to hear the plan, look at projects costs and finally to pray about their possible level of support. This is not a time to ask for money, so if you are invited to one of the awareness meetings, leave your checkbook at home. This is the time and place to measure and determine if the right ducks and are lining up.

Continue to pray for North Indiana Outdoor Ministry Project as we finish lining up our ducks.

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Jean Brindel, CFRE, AFP, serves as senior pastor of Saint Matthew United Methodist Church in Frankfort, Ind.