Dear Family and Friends of Encounter the Gospel of Life

It has been a long time since we last gathered. Please know that our prayers and thoughts are with each and every one of you always. We have all witnessed how our world has changed as a result of the global pandemic, and the impact it has had on ministry as a whole, including our parishes, schools, and the nonprofits that serve our communities. The board of EGL has been faced with challenging decisions on how best to move forward.

The fact is there are increased restrictions by many of our partner organizations on volunteers (limits on numbers, vaccine requirements, age restrictions) as well as the closure of many sites. In addition, we have seen the loss of many parish groups without youth ministry programs. We have been challenged trying to envision the Encounter experience as we once knew it.

After several years of change, months of discernment and prayer, and consultations with various key stakeholders in EGL, the board of directors had decided to dissolve the corporation of EGL, Inc. effective June 1, 2022. We can all take comfort knowing that EGL, Inc. has a legacy of 20+ years of empowering young people to serve for a lifetime, and while it will no longer be an organization that directly provides a summer program to offer our community, the scores of talented individuals who came through our program are indeed sharing their gifts in other places around the world today, leaving an impact that started in 1998.

For our staff and team members who throughout the years gave their time to the EGL. Inc. program, we are forever grateful for your selfless service. We appreciate you sharing your gifts that have impacted so many lives over the years. We have been in touch with both the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Archdiocese of Washington, with their youth program directors, and they are both very excited about having the opportunity to work with the talented people who helped EGL be the best summer program in the DMV for over 20 years. Both programs in each archdiocese are frequently in need of volunteers to help them with their youth programs and any assistance our EGL crew can provide would be greatly appreciated.

What else does this mean? EGL, Inc. had reserve funds that were distributed to several of our partner organizations, who over the years have been at the heart of our ministry. Our donations will hopefully provide some support for these non-profits to be able to continue their work with those they serve. They were most gracious to receive those funds, and in return will continue to provide support to their clients and staff.

While it is bittersweet to say goodbye to something that has been driven by the Holy Spirit for so many years, as a service to young people, their parents, their parishes, their schools, and the communities who benefited from their works, it was the Holy Spirit who guided the decision to dissolve the organization, with the hope that the seeds that have been planted by EGL participants over the years will grow fruit and bear new programs and activities that meet the needs of this new and changing community.

We do hope that each of you will continue to work with each other to bring the mission of Encounter the Gospel of Life to others, seeing the face of Christ in everyone you meet, and that your memories of the years together will inspire us all to remember that we are all called to serve for a lifetime.

As a farewell to our program, we celebrated 20+ years with the board and many friends and former participants in July of 2022 – we hope you enjoy our photos from the past which will still be available on our website as well as from this celebration.

Rob Smith

Encounter the Gospel of Life, Inc