From Ed Allred, President of the Board of Trustees

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The last weekend of the Summer Season is upon us.  The sounds of children playing on the ball field, of tennis players hitting balls at the Crystal Lake and Wood courts, of sails flapping in the wind, of friendly neighbors chatting while walking down the paths are all abating.

While it saddens me to think that the season is wrapping up, I'm very proud and grateful for the fantastic season we had.  Many of our traditional activities returned and a redoubled effort to improve our programming was incredibly successful.  I am thankful and appreciative of all those who made it happen.  The staff and countless volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure we could have a memorable summer . . . and that it was!

Many will continue their work throughout the off-season to ensure Summer 2023 is one not to miss.  We all look forward to reuniting then and gathering as if we had not left.  Until then I wish you a happy and healthy off-season.  Thank you again for being part of one of the best communities I have ever had the pleasure to be associated with.

Sincerely ~ Ed

A Message from our Managing Director

233f6 ManDirAmyWow! What an amazing ride these past nine weeks have been. This week I find myself reflecting on the season, just as I did in June each year during my 30-year teaching career. Every day of this summer brought about exciting activities and unexpected surprises at the Congregational Summer Assembly. In the coming weeks I will still be processing this season, but here is a glimpse at some of the takeaways I want to share.

This summer I learned what makes this place so special for all of you. Many shared that the CSA is home, it is your constant, it is where you reset, spend time with family and catch up with lifelong friends. It is a place that takes you away from the chaos of the world. It is where you find spiritual peace. It is where your family can enjoy each other without the pressures of day-to-day responsibilities. Your kids can run around outside and play as they grow and make new friends. Some of you even met your spouse here.

The rich traditions here offer predictability and safety. It is a place unlike any other, and you all hold it dear to your heart. There is not one word to describe this special place; it cannot be wrapped up in one statement. It means so many different things to so many of you, and what I see is that those who participate, volunteer, work, and spend time vacationing here fall in love with it. Everyone who takes action on its behalf does so out of love, and the effort to preserve strong traditions and experiences.

In addition to meeting all of you, one of the biggest highlights has been working with our incredible staff. When I began interviewing and hiring staff this past winter, I knew it was going to be a great team. They have exceeded my expectations with their level of professionalism and dedication. Thank you to our 2022 crew!!

Seeing strong volunteerism in action is amazing. The CSA is a model to show how a community can thrive when people step up to volunteer. Each time I updated the white board this summer I was in awe of how many volunteers work tirelessly to make the activities that happen here each day a success. It is absolutely incredible how much you all care. Please take time to reflect on the positive difference you make in this community - the CSA would not be what it is without you!

Thank you to everyone in the CSA community for making the 2022 summer season so great! Thanks for taking a chance and letting me be part of this community. See you all in 2023!

Amy Somero

From the Board of Trustees

Summary 2022 Annual Meeting Vote on Stone Revetment

On Saturday August 6th, 2022 the Lot Owning Members of the CSA approved a motion to allow the cottage owners on the Lake Michigan bluff, the Smoliks, Burrows and Gosnells, to construct at their own expense a stone revetment to protect the CSA dune and their own cottages. The vote tally was 57 Yay, 1 Nay and 3 Abstain.

The motion ensures that a binding legal agreement between the cottage owners and the CSA must be executed before the work can continue. The legal agreement will contain protections for the Assembly’s best interests. Some of them, but not all, are listed below:

  • All expenses, including for the legal agreement, the permitting, the construction, and the maintenance of the stone revetment will be paid by the cottage owners.
  • There will be a CSA project manager with stop-work authority overseeing the work in case the project deviates from the planned scope and negatively impacts the CSA.
  • The cottage owners will need approval by the Board of Trustees of the remediation plan which will include considerations for the roadway into the site, the laydown area for the materials, the construction access path, the beach and an escrow account to cover expenses that might be incurred.
  • The project will have a reasonable timeline that matches their permit, starts within 2 years, and contains blackout times for when the work cannot be done.
  • The agreement will be binding to the owners, heirs, and assigns so that all stipulations remain in place upon change of hands of the properties.

At the Annual Meeting a new construction access path was presented and accepted. Click here to read the approved motion, exhibits and additional information regarding the new construction access path.The new access path, show in green in the linked images was recommended by a CSA member who works as a senior coastal engineer. His experience includes the determination of coastal structure design criteria, the design of beach nourishments, and the analyses of tidal hydrodynamics and storm surge.

The new access path was recommended for the following reasons. Less of the area is disturbed and can more easily be remediated. It is more easily accessed from the roadway and the lay-down area. It is further away from the newly constructed stairs. It will allow for the reuse of the sand that is displaced for the remediation work. It avoids more of the natural vegetation in the area. It will not be as steep or high as the originally proposed path.

We thank the members for their participation in this process.

CSA Board of Trustees

Officers of the Assembly 2022-23

President: Ed Allred


Secretary: Tammy Kockaya

Vice President: Debbie Allbright


Treasurer: Gary Dawley

Board of Trustees    


Ed Allred

Alfie Bingham

Brooke Hammond Cunningham

Diane Robertson Tracy

Crissie Fuller Vitale


Debbie Allbright

Bill Fisk

Joshua Knight

Lorry Spitzer

Jennifer Rodes Swetland


Sally Dutton

Andrew Gaffney

Julie Finley Knott

Mike Lodes

Susie Ratner

Women's Association: Ann Whelpton



Message from the President

September 2021: A Message from Board of Trustees President Ed Allred:
     As the sounds of summer fade away and our friends and families return to their distant homes, I hear the increased din of wildlife around the CSA grounds.  It is with a bit of melancholy that I reflect on how quickly time flies at The Lake.
     What a great summer though! I am very pleased that it was a huge success here at the CSA.  While we didn’t have all of the traditional activities, we were able to do many that brought joy to youth and elderly alike.  We owe a great deal of thanks to the staff and the countless volunteers as they executed their responsibilities and the CSA’s programming flawlessly.  We also owe a lot of thanks to the participants of the events and gatherings, because being together is what makes our community thrive.
     Over the next several months, the Board of Trustees and Committees will continue to work on the governance of the CSA to ensure that we have another wonderful summer with as many traditional, and some new, activities as possible.
     I wish you all a safe and healthy future. I look forward to coming back next summer to enjoy more of the same.  Sincerely ~ Ed