Southeastern Synod ELCA

Luther Springs Now a Part of NovusWay Ministries

March 23, 2015

In November 2009, the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries of Florida (LOMF) and NovusWay (then known as Lutheridge+Lutherock Ministries) boards signed an eight-step agreement to guide the relationship of the two ministries. The purpose was to find a way to enable more Floridians to benefit from sharing in camp programs and to bring stability to Luther Springs. The eight steps have been largely accomplished which led to formal consolidation when the two boards conducted a joint retreat at Luther Springs on February 27-28, 2015.  See photo at right that depicts the Rev. Joe Glymph, left (NovusWay president, Largo, FL) and the Rev. Nathan Swenson-Reinhold, right (LOMF president, Longwood, FL). The eight step relationship agreement resulted in cost savings, shared staffing, joint marketing, and debt reduction. For the last five years Luther Springs has experienced balanced budgets.   Debt has been reduced from nearly $1 million to $570,000, of which $375,000 is external debt.  Joint marketing has expanded participation from Floridians, not only at Luther Springs, but at other NovusWay sites.  A new master plan is in place for Luther Springs that will one day enable 250 people to be accommodated at the site.  More recently the Mission Possible campaign has been launched for Luther Springs (expanded facilities and debt reduction) and Lutherock (land acquisition and all-camp worship area).With these successes, the Florida/Bahamas Synod Council and both the LOMF and NovusWay boards voted unanimously to consolidate.  As the LOMF Board of Directors completed its service on February 28, each member received a special print of a painting (pictured at left) of the “Vause Lake dock at Luther Springs” that was completed by board member Margo Walbolt.  Keith Johnson, NovusWay Executive Director remarked, “This process formalizes the very successful relationship that has existed for over five years. It has not only benefited Luther Springs, but Lutherock and other NovusWay sites.  Now that this step has been taken, staff can focus attention to expanding programs and outreach so that more people can be ‘inspired and empowered in Christ’s love,’ with specific attention on Lutheranch.”