Happy New Year from Lake Junaluska! As we enter into a new year, we reflect on 2020 – a year of many challenges – and the moments that brought us together. While we could not gather the same as we have in years past, families and friends found creative and meaningful ways to connect on the water and along the lakeshore.
Journey with us as we highlight 12 of the moments that helped us experience transformation and renewal of soul, mind and body last year.
12. Floating Lanterns
Lake Junaluska volunteers and staff released 200 floating lanterns on the night of July 4, 2020, as a symbol of hope and faith to all.
11. Walks Along the Trail
At a time when playgrounds and parks closed, the Lake Junaluska Walking Trail and Rose Walk remained open, hosting guests daily for exercise, fresh air and a few moments of sanctuary.
10. Table Fellowship
A new curbside to-go meal service from The Terrace Hotel blossomed into the opening of a new restaurant - the Lakeside Bistro. Guests and community members savored new menu items while enjoying panoramic views of the lake.
9. Online Connections
A livestream of the sunrise on Easter Sunday morning offered hope during the early days of the pandemic. We then connected through online worship services, concerts, and events such as the ringing of the Weatherby Bell on Lake Junaluska's 107th birthday.
8. Shared Experiences
Golfers took to the greens on the Lake Junaluska Golf Course, enjoying wide open spaces and spectacular views. In a year when being together was sometimes challenging, meeting for a round of golf provided moments of joy.
7. Dreaming of Days Ahead
Charitable supporters gathered on the newly constructed lakeside deck at the York Dining Commons, celebrating the countless possibilities provided by this new outdoor meeting space and dreaming about future gatherings of young people and youth groups.
6. Sweet Smiles & Treats
Kids of all ages visited Junaluska Gifts & Grounds in search of yummy ice cream or their favorite cup of coffee before heading outside to spend time with loved ones in rocking chairs on the porch or along the cafe walk.
5. Lifting Up Prayers
We prayed in the quiet of Memorial Chapel, open daily for private prayer. The Carillon Bells above Stuart Auditorium filled the air with reassuring hymns and we joined together below the Junaluska Cross for an ecumenical prayer service.
4. Enjoying the Water
From sunset cruises aboard the Cherokee IV to paddling kayaks, canoes and paddleboards alongside family and friends, we found moments of laughter and renewal out on the lake.
3. Creative Gatherings
Lake Junaluska's ministry of hospitality moved outdoors in 2020. Couples said "I Do" from Inspiration Point, families reunited around the Shackford Firepit, Bible study groups circled up under the lakeside tent and bands rehearsed under the shade of the open-air gym.
2. Community Generosity
The Lake Junaluska community embodied the spirit of Christian hospitality through an outpouring of volunteerism and charitable support. From pulling weeds to decorating for Christmas, their love provided strength to continue our enduring mission.
1. Lighting of the Cross
The lights of the Lake Junaluska Cross were turned on to shine throughout the day as well as night, providing a symbol of faith and hope to a world experiencing darkness.
Thank you for bringing light and hope to Lake Junaluska in 2020. Although it has been a challenging year for our entire world, we begin 2021 with a sense of hope, praying for healing and recovery for all.
We look forward to gathering with you along the lakeshore very soon!
Lake Junaluska Communications