For many years, Saint Paul’s Parish owned a summer camp for boys, girls, and families. Starting in 1898, and for more years, the choir director took the boys from the choir to Edgewood on Lake Minnetonka. They boarded a steam train for the ride to the lake, then hiked a mile or two to the camp site. The cost of the train ride was $8.

Over the next twenty years sites for choir outings were Chisago Lake to Lake Sylvia near Annandale. The choir alumni and others in the meantime were looking for a permanent campground that could be purchased for the church.

Deer Lake, a few miles across the state line in Wisconsin, was finally selected as Saint Paul’s choir camp. Charles Drew, longtime parishioner and active member, helped buy the 18-acre parcel near St. Croix Falls in 1928. The Choir Alumni Association and Choir Mothers Association presented the deed to the vestry with the understanding the property would be named “Camp Lawton” in memory of Edgar C. Lawton, a highly creative choir director prior to WWI. It was dedicated to the perpetuation on of tent camping.

Camp Lawton was a volunteer’s dream! Parishioners spent weekends building tent floors, dock, and stairs, and completely renovating and enlarging an existing building. The structure became the dining hall and was named for Hugo “Unk” Goodwin, camp director from 1931 – 1936. Tents, stoves, refrigerators, dishes — all necessary equipment was brought in camp trailers, trucks, and cars.

Camp Lawton never cost the church a penny. The land, building, and equipment were donated by choir members. Funds were raised by the choir giving concerts, the choir mothers club, and interested members of the church. Goodwin Hall was wired for electricity and a sewage drainfield was made to comply with Wisconsin specifications.

– To be continued –
Article submitted by Rose Nightingale

Senior Warden Message – COVID-19 Update

“Church is not cancelled; it has changed.” This was the message shared in the bulletin and in the opening message of our first online Eucharist. In these challenging times of COVID-19 we need to find new ways to connect, new ways to gather, and new ways to replenish our spirit.

Last Sunday’s online liturgy and a new Wednesday night online Compline, which will start next week, are just two ways we have started to adjust to what will be our new temporary normal. Besides our services going online, we are also sending notes, making calls, and having time together on various social media platforms. Keeping connected is so important to our Saint Paul’s community. We are all in this together supporting each other. God is making his presence known in all these wonderful interactions.

Two weeks ago, when we suspended our in-church services and closed the doors of the church, we hoped to reopen our doors April 1. Unfortunately, with the Stay-at-Home orders from Governor Walz and recommendations from Bishop Prior, we continue to be closed to holding any kind of in-person or public gatherings. The current recommendation from the Bishop is through mid-May. Although disappointing, this is necessary to keep all of us and our neighbors healthy. Please understand that the church will be locked and closed to all church-related activities.

Governor Walz and recommendations from Bishop Prior, we continue to be closed to holding any kind of in-person or public gatherings. The current recommendation from the Bishop is through mid-May. Although disappointing, this is necessary to keep all of us and our neighbors healthy. Please understand that the church will be locked and closed to all church-related activities.

Earlier this month we formed a COVID-19 response team. This team, made up of staff and Vestry members, is supporting and helping us live into this new temporary normal. This group will continue to watch for new ways for us to keep connected. They will watch for guidance from Episcopal Church of Minnesota (ECMN), the Minnesota Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO). I am so proud of the work they are doing and the amazing amount of love and care they have for our members.

Continue to watch for updates in your email, on Saint Paul’s Facebook page, or on our website. And don’t forget you too can help us keep connected – use our Realm online directory to reach out to your church family.

Stay healthy and know that God is with us, Beth

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