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Longtime church member Karen Lee Wolter, age 82, died peacefully on Friday, October 14, 2022 at The Terrace at Cannon Falls. She will be greatly missed by her family, friends and church family.  Visitation will be at First Congregational Church from 9 – 11 a.m. , Saturday, October 22nd with the service at 11 a.m.  Read her full obituary HERE.


Well, it is Friday, our last day of camp – also known as crunch day, as I like to call it, since it is our last day to get our sites completed. We had a blast from the past. They woke us up with “Where is our Hairbrush” from Veggie Tales

My crew was very excited to get going.  We had a little bit to do, like putting the steps and handrails, put up the railing on 3 sides, and then put the spindles on the railing. Then when we were finished, we cleaned up the site of our mess. I’m very proud of my crew. We got it all done by 2:45pm. Since we skipped lunch, we went out to DQ (Dairy Queen) for food and ice cream.

We got back to the school to check in and return tools and unused materials.

We said goodbye to Joe, Ella, Sam and Thomas; they need to leave early.  After they left, I started to pack up my tools with the tools we had brought along with us. We are going to be leaving Sheboygan about 8am after we gas up for the long drive home.

Today’s theme is Go with God.

They talked about as we go back home on how we can use the new understanding of service to look/see all the opportunities to service because we are free. Throughout the week we saw how freedom, purpose, humility, and gratitude all ties into God, and on why he sent his son to teach us to be a servant.

Just a little bit of trivia…

We had 199 campers from 13 different churches and 8 states. We made up 34 crews, worked at 31 sites and completed 27 projects. All together, we worked 5,970 hours of service and brought 516 items for the local food bank.

On Monday we were introduced to writing care cards from Teddy and Fluffy. These care cards are to be written with positive and affirming notes to our crew, youth group, and anyone else at camp. Well as I’m writing this blog, everyone needs to have their care cards done by 11pm. They have an hour to go. So, it is a mad rush to get them done.

Thank you for reading these short blogs and Ella Coyle and I have been writing.  Now go serve with God!!!


Signing off for now; Cindy Mae

Ps. Please come to church if you are able on July 10th, 2022 at 9:30am to hear all the youth have to say about this exciting trip to Sheboygan WI.



Just like all mornings at camp woke up at 6:45 am to unique music . The 6:45 am wake up call while early for most is refreshing for me because when I was on staff in 2019 the typically wake-up call could be as early as 5 am. Breakfast was the same as usual. Not five-star worthy, but it definitely did the job and was made with care.

After a breakfast we learned about the focus for our day, which was gratitude. In a short video clip from a “on the street” interview the word gratitude was defined for us by a seven-year-old to be “a dog”. I don’t know if that is exactly the definition that I would use; however, it was interesting to start the morning hearing about how other people would define gratitude. With that in mind we were asked to think of something(s) that we have not yet thanked God for, but that we should. Think about that for a second. It is a tough question because there are so many things that we take for granted that God does for us. So, I encourage you to think about that and consider what God has done for you that may have gone without thanks.

After a reflective morning at program, we loaded up and got ready for the second to last day of camp. I get to go to my work site on to what is considered, by my crew, to be a mini party bus. It qualifies as a party bus because of the blue mood lighting and a broken TV. The goal for the day today was to finish up painting a two-story house and trim. We had a majority of the house painted, but needed to do a lot of touch up on the trim. That was a fun game of touching up the black paint and then touching up the white paint then the black then the white. Oh yes I forgot to mention there was an excessive amount of black trim on this house. It was a never-ending game …. not the most fun for a perfectionist. We left our site with a good amount of work done, but still more to do tomorrow, so we will get to return for one more day of work.

When we got back to the school it was time for a quick rest before adult shower time. You never really appreciate your ability to shower on demand until their defined shower times. Many of the youth group members spent the time before dinner writing care cards. AKA notes with words of positive affirmation for individuals in your crew and youth. Dinner tonight was chicken strips and mac’n cheese, not a personal favorite; however, it doesn’t take much to make a hungry camper happy. After dinner it will be time for program and tonight typically tends to be the reflective day of the week. Veteran campers have unofficially, officially called this night “cry night” that being said it is a time that is dedicated to personal reflection.

The guide for the reflection initiated today is a reading from Colossians 2:6-7. As the week comes to a close it is fun to look back and see how God has worked through us this week and how we can continue to show him/her the gratitude he/she deserves.

Sending smiles and blessings from Sheboygan, WI.

Ella Coyle

PS. Wasp Proof Shed Photo from CindyMae


Today when we were up and out by 6:45 am (the time I’m normally just getting off work to go to bed I noticed that the sun was not shining as bright in our windows (and my eyes) as it has the last two mornings.  It rained during the night, and it looked like our high for the day was only going to be 60 degrees. I think that is good working weather. You keep moving.  But mother nature changed her mind and it got up to 72 degrees.

Since it was a half day today, some of crews that might have finished their sites today will for sure tomorrow. We were one of those sites. We will most likely finish tomorrow and then get moved to a new site on Friday.  Just an FYI – my wasp-proofing dilemma has been solved. I’ll post a picture tomorrow.

Since we have nine folks in our group, we went to see all the youth’s work sites and saw what their projects were.  There were two decks and a set of stairs built, one crew painting inside the house and the 5 others were painting the outside of the house.  For supper, we grilled out by Lake Michigan, and walked out on a pier to a light house.  On the way to the light house Taylor lost her volleyball in the lake and had to be lowered down to pick the ball up with her feet. But Wilson is safe and sound! Then after youth group devotions, the group went for ice cream at The Blast Soft Serve.

Today’s theme is humility, based off the scripture from Philippians 2:3-5  “Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself.”

We were asked what is humility? Again, we had many different answers. But I think the bottom line is that we don’t think so highly of ourselves, that we miss the whole point of why Christ Jesus came and gave his life for us on the cross; to serve others as he served us.

What does humility is to you? I just want to leave you with this saying the Pastor Glen would say before he would start his sermon…“may there be less of me and more of you”


Cindy Mae



                                             Today started the same as yesterday. We woke up at 6:45am to some recorder music, I think. The first couple work camps I went to, we woke up to Veggie Tales “Where Is My Hair Brush” and other Veggie Tales songs throughout the week. I’ll have to find them and play them for church some Sunday.

The youth were raring to go this morning, but as for the adults, we wished that we could have some more coffee to get the old bones moving.
My crew got to our site. Since we passed our first inspection just before we left yesterday, we started to put the ready-mix concrete in the holes. But after putting in the first bag of concrete in one of the holes we realized that we would not have enough to fill all 6 holes to the height required. We put one bag in each hole so they will be set for us in the morning to put another bag in them. We were able to get the deck squared up and the hanger brackets on and the cross beams on the deck. We could not get the steps on today because they were too short. So, we started our 2nd and 3rd projects; painting an 8×8’ shed and making it wasp proof. The is proving to be quite the challenge. We will see in the morning on how that goes. Hopefully we will have everything done by noon on Thursday. We for sure would be done by end of day tomorrow (Wednesday) but we have a half day tomorrow.

Today’s theme is: Go Serve with Purpose. The scripture for the day is Ephesians 2:8-10. “all we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’sGgod’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” We talked about what is our purpose is in Christ Jesus. And we were asked: what does purpose mean to us? There were again many different answers. But the one thing that was brought out in our morning program was that God purposely nudges us to do something that at times we are not sure if we want to do it. Like for me… I have been saying that this will be my last year going on these work camps. But more and more I’m thinking that going on these mission trips is one of the purposes that God has for me, working with these kids at camp. That is my prayer for the week. It just might be to be a Red Shirt.

Tomorrow afternoon is a fun day. Tune back in then to see what we did as a youth group.  Again today, I leave you with this one question for is what does purpose mean to you?

Cindy Mae


                                          This morning we woke up at 6:45 am; we needed to have our lunches packed, tools assembled, and breakfast done in time for our 8 a.m. program.

Todays theme is FREEDOM, based off the Scripture from Galatians 5:13-15
“You, My Brothers and Sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you bite and devour other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” In this morning’s program we were asked: What is Freedom? We had many different answers, but all of them were right for them as they walk with Christ.

This was our theme for our Crews and will be for tonight. Our youth and adults have been mostly split up into different crews and in general, we are painting and working on decks.

I’ll report more about the other crews as I hear back, but I am on Crew # 10 with 4 other people. I am the driver (I only made one wrong turn due to being in the wrong lane. Not too bad!). Today we tore apart the deck (pictured), broke up concrete and moved it away, dug 6 holes that were 30 to 48” deep, and built a 6×8’ deck frame. We put the frame we built over the holes we dug and then put the 10’ 4×4 in the hole shown below as well. Tomorrow we frame up the deck and put the steps on; we will need to have it inspected before we can put the deck topping on the deck.

I’m very proud of my crew and the youth and adults that came on this year’s trip. You sure can see Christ’s love shining through them.

I’m leaving you with this one thought for the day – what is Freedom to you???

CindyMae Nelson



Five of the 9 youth and adults left First Congo Church at about 7:15am Sunday to meet up with the rest of the group in Sparta at a Fast Fiberglass Mold Graveyard. It was very interesting.  We got into Sheboygan WI about 2:15pm and got checked in to our rooms, either women’s or men’s, and we are packed in like sardines! Tonight we were assigned to crews and could pick our role on the crew. Some of the jobs include the Break Maker gets the Crew’s food for the day; Devotion Leader leads us in a Bible Study; Progress Reporter reports in with the Staff on how the project is progressing; Organizer keeps the Crew Packet and the First Aid Kit; Quartermaster gets all the extra Tools and Ladders needed, and of course, the Work Director who keeps us on track so we can complete our project. On Monday morning, we wear our sparkling, new white camp shirts to identify ourselves as part of the work mission. From what we have been told it is to be a cool week – and that would be awesome! CindyMae



This coming weekend, First Congregational Church of Cannon Falls will be sending a group of nine volunteers on a work mission trip to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. They will be part of a larger effort of young people helping with volunteer projects around the community. The theme for this year is “Go Serve” and the organizers explained it like this:

“On each trip, we will focus on God’s call on us to serve in freedom. We will discover that Jesus is the reason we serve. We will learn that serving is a way to give praise to God. We will challenge ourselves to serve even when no one notices. We will remember that the ultimate example of service is Jesus’ humility and willingness to die for us. And we will discover that God blesses us when we serve.”

Pastor Grace commissioned the group at the outdoor church service last Sunday. Here’s the list of this year’s participants:

1. Samuel Coyle
2. Thomas Coyle
3. Taylor Coyle
4. Cadie Chorost
5. Andrea Eiden
6. Joe Coyle – Chaperone
7. John Coyle – Chaperone
8. Ella Coyle – Chaperone
9. Cindy Mae Nelson – Chaperone

We’ll be posting pictures and stories during the week of work camp so that church members back home can share in the experience. Please pray for a safe and fulfilling journey for all!



Women’s Fellowship will be on Thursday, June 16th at 10:00am in the Memorial Room at the church.  All are welcome!