2022 Citation for Long and Valued Service to the Assembly

Judy Rodes - July 2022

230m6cit Judy RodesThe membership of the Congregational Summer Assembly is composed of a multitude of people who are talented, capable, hardworking, and eager to be of assistance. Most of us realize that the Assembly, as we know it, could not remain in existence without such people. Some of these people are officers and members of the Board who ensure that all of the fine details of the operation of everything at the CSA run smoothly and are organized properly. Other people make contributions of a structural genre, such as helping put the lifelines in, working with the CSA Art Fair and Cottage Treasures, building kayak racks, or setting up the family night dinners. Others are more spiritual, such as Bible Study Groups or singing in the choir. Others provide service in helping members through difficult times with grace. Still, others play their part by providing various activities which make our time while we are vacationing here so enjoyable, such as tennis tournaments, water carnivals, ecology instruction, operettas (both children’s and adults’), and Stunt Nights. The level of volunteerism is unbelievable!

The Citation Committee has the challenging but enjoyable task of making it possible for the general membership of CSA to have an opportunity to recognize people that routinely go above and beyond the normal expectations of this wonderful community and its contributions to their own quality of life. We do this by publicly recognizing their exceptional levels of devotion to the CSA.

This year, we have selected a person who has been on the CSA Education Fund for many years. This group raises money to provide scholarships to assist not only our own college-age students, but also for needy local high school graduates to continue their studies. She was a member of the Spiritual Life Committee and, at one time, was on the board of both the Wildwood and Golf Lane Associations. In addition, she has, over her adult life, faithfully sung in the CSA Church Sunday morning choir.

She is, however, more renowned for being one of the “movers and shakers” in the CSA Operetta productions, which offer opportunities for artistic participation for both adults and children that have delighted audiences and participants for more than seventy years. The tradition of having a musical production began back in the 1930s and 40s. But many of us have been in one or more children’s operettas as we were growing up and look back with great glee remembering those performances. Likewise, many of us remember getting involved with an adult production by singing, acting, or being part of the stage crew. Although our 2022 recipient has played significant roles in several operettas on both levels, she has moved beyond being merely a thespian. Back in 1985, she began to assist in directing the children’s operettas and eventually moved into the director role. She also became a director of one adult operetta in 2003. She continues to hold these roles to the present time. It is her particular delight that this summer, she had the opportunity to direct her grandchildren in the operetta, “One Cray, Cray Day at the CSA.”

We found it interesting that she met her husband at the CSA many years ago when he came for a summer visit in the late 1950’s with his family, and then returned to become an integral part of the CSA community. Wonderful things happen here!

With great pleasure, we recognize the 2022 recipient of the Citation for Long and Valued Service, Judy Stewart Rodes.

2021 Citation for Long and Valued Service to the Assembly, 2021

    Gary and Judy Dawley - July 2021

Citation to DawleysThis last year and a half has tested the stamina of the people of our entire nation, as our ability to relate to, and to serve, others has been rather severely restricted. We have masked, practiced social distancing, depended on ordering goods on line, and been in isolation or even quarantine. Now that we are able to return to the CSA, not only in spirit , but in person, we are blessed to find that "everything is just like we remember it", for most things here at the Assembly. We all depend on the serenity, the natural beauty, and the fellowship we not only enjoy, but assume to be here for us, upon our return. All of that is due to the efforts of dedicated CSA members who often work "behind the scenes" so that we are able to come back to what we know and love. While we are here at the Congregational Summer Assembly, we are blessed by being surrounded not only by natural beauty, but by being part of a wonderful community of people who have learned over the years to do things for others, as they practice what we call, the "the Assembly Way". It is because these people contribute their time and energy in their own myriad of ways, that we continue to have this special oasis of calm, joy, beauty and fun year after year. We can all "re-charge our batteries" for whatever the upcoming year challenges us to do.

The Citation Committee has the delightful duty of publicly recognizing and celebrating the contributions of such people through the awarding the Citation for Long and Valued Service. This year's recipients were supposed to receive this award in 2020, but due to the pandemic, we have had to make them wait until today to be recognized. Permit me to share with you why this couple is so precious to all of us.

He has been an Assembly person for his entire life. We discovered that, when he was a teenager, he was awarded the Citizenship Award for contributions made at a time of his life when most people are very self-focused. His name is on the trophy cup which is in the Office Building, which you can check out the next time you are in the Office. He has continued his contributions over the years by designing and building sets for operettas, as well as performing in a few, singing in the choir, serving on the budget committee, on the Endowment committee, and on the Executive Committee. He served 3 years as a Trustee, and he has been Treasurer of the Executive Board for many years. The financial stability of the entire Congregational Summer Assembly has been strengthened by his expertise.

She, in her words," married in to this wonderful place". She is a hard working and loyal contributor to a wide range of Assembly programs. For example, she has played an active role in the Womens' Association, serving on the board and also as Assistant Treasurer. She has also served on the Membership Committee and on the Youth Committee. She has been very helpful by working on the stage crews for both the childrens' and adult operettas. She has helped out as Assistant Archivist for many years. Her most visible contribution can be seen in the Office Building. She made that beautiful valance which tops the windows in the great room where we all have enjoyed potluck dinners, childrens' dancing, the Cottage Treasures sale, and the Artists and Artisans Days.

The Citation Committee is so pleased to finally have the opportunity to formally and gratefully recognize the long and faithful service of Gary and Judy Dawley!

Citation for Long and Valued Service to the Assembly, 2019



We are living in a fast-paced world, where our daily schedules and demands on our time are most certainly not what was typical when the CSA was first established. And yet, we still have people ready to go that extra mile and demonstrate what is meant by "the Assembly Way."

The Citation Committee has the challenging task each year of recognizing individuals who have done so much to allow our way of life here at the CSA to proceed smoothly. Much of this effort goes largely unnoticed by the general population, but the result blesses us all! For example, they may be seen building scenery for the operettas, or maybe they make the road signs for the shady lanes where our cottages are found. Maybe they work on a committee to raise money for scholarship assistance for Assembly college students and well as others in Benzie County. Maybe they work to provide activities for our youth who have outgrown Monday night dancing. Maybe they participate in the Artists and Artisan's Day to share their artistic talents with interested people. Maybe they serve on the Board of Trustees or on various established committees of the Assembly. Maybe they help with the transition of the Crystal View from a gas station of long ago, to the quaint eating spot overlooking the lake that it has become. Sometimes they step up to repair or modernize the Meeting House facilities. Maybe they work to provide man-power for the Annual Art Fair and its ever-so-important-Cottage Treasures event. Our 2019 recipients can say, "Been there, done that!" to all of the above. They've found so many ways to be of service ever since their introduction to the CSA in the late 1940's when they were very young. Perhaps they picked up that attitude of being involved from previous CSA donors of time, energy, ideas and effort.

What's more, our beloved CSA is not the only organization for vacationers around this lake. But it's interesting to note that the efforts by CSA members such as our recipients, have had a spill-down effect on other such organizations, inspiring some of them to reach out to the needs of others in ways which resemble the pioneer work done by CSA. The sharing spirit grows and moves goes beyond our borders!

In the words of our 2019 recipients, "If you have an idea to enrich the Assembly, explore it! If you see a way to be of help, step up to the task!" Our summer paradise could not survive without such individuals! With pleasure, we announce that the recipients of the 2019 Citation for Long and Valued Service is awarded to Cynnie and Carl Hood.