When we think about the 50th Anniversary Celebration, we think of hundreds of people gathered from many states. We think of embracing those we haven’t seen in years, of worshipping our God as one giant Ranch family. We think of lingering over the meal table and lots of Ultimate Frisbee on our newly seeded athletic field.
As you can see, our vision is entirely incompatible with a pandemic.
For a while, trends were pointing in a good direction, and we were cautiously optimistic. But as case counts have climbed and restrictions have tightened again, we’ve decided now is the time to reschedule, before any more flights are booked or plans are made.
The Ranch was founded in September of 1970, so we’re postponing this celebration from the beginning of our 50th year to the end of it. The new dates are September 24-26, 2021. Please help us get the word out.
We continue to rejoice in all that God is doing in the young lives at CER and that His work is not crippled or thwarted in the slightest degree by a worldwide contagion.
There will be much to celebrate next fall. In the meantime, let’s keep running the race together.
Around the world, Covid-19 is highlighting fragility and need in society, and not just with medical and economic systems. Social disruption, family chaos, and emotional fallout are evident too, and underneath all lies a gaping spiritual need. For 50 years, Christian Encounter Ranch has been devoted to addressing these very issues. You can help us do this by signing up for the Agony Ride today.
Despite the unknowns of the coming months, we will still be hosting the 38th annual Agony Ride at the end of July. We plan to ride in the Sierra Valley as usual. If gatherings that size are prohibited, we have contingency plans, such as subdividing into smaller groups. Even if tight restrictions are in place, you can still participate: our team of tech volunteers is creating a whole set of fantastic new tools that allow a virtual option. On July 24-25, you can ride wherever you are, anywhere in the world.
Due to quarantining, this year we're more aware of our hunger for caring and authentic community than normal. The camaraderie of the Agony and the demonstration of Christ's sacrificial love that takes place in that valley cannot be replaced. If our gathering is limited, there will be loss.
But the virtual option will result in new joys and opportunities. It allows people unable to travel to participate--maybe for the first time. It creates new opportunities to recruit friends in other locations. It gives people with tight work schedules the ability to ride too. The Agony will still happen, life-saving money will still be raised, and you can be part of it.
The purpose for the ride stays exactly the same: overcoming the cycles of brokenness, one story at a time. If anything, the lapse in societal structure makes the Ranch program for struggling youth more strategic and necessary than ever, and the economic downturn puts our scholarship fund squarely in the spotlight. We are so grateful for our Agony riders, who allow us to give scholarships to 100% of the young people who come to us for healing and a fresh start.
Sign up today to be part of a worthy cause: saving lives and giving hope. In the meantime, build your immune system and strengthen your lungs by going on a bicycle ride today!
For more details, check out the FAQs on AgonyRide.org. We will keep you posted as restrictions change and plans in line with state and local guidance develop.
Your partner in this good work,
Mark your calendars now for all of Christian Encounter's 2020 events!
In the fall, we had two residential volunteers join the Maintenance department, both of whom are former interns. Holly McClain came on as a part-time work program assistant upon completion of her internship, while Joseph Snyder’s (‘18) duties primarily consist of landscaping.
In the Food Service department, we welcomed Kim Gilliland, long-time Grass Valley resident and local AWANA Club Director, as assistant to Food Service Manager Chris Unitt. Olivia Crissman finishes up her one-year internship this month and will transition into the Food Service department as a residential volunteer early next year.