Camp Meeting Goers are Called to Love
By Krissy Barber
The tents are coming down and the benches are all put away, but the memories of this year’s Gladstone Camp Meeting will long remain.
After a momentous GC session during the beginning of July, many expected heated debates, and tension with camp meeting so close on the heels of the decisions made in San Antonio. That didn’t prove to be the case however. Instead, a climate of renewed mission, hope, and encouragement prevailed in Gladstone, all further encouraged by this year’s theme, “Called to Love… Members in Ministry.”
Many spoke of new insights gained from Lee Venden’s thought-provoking evening presentations in the Plaza Pavilion. They also spoke of the exceptionally friendly atmosphere of this year’s camp meeting attendees, staff, and volunteers. People were regularly heard thanking and encouraging each other and generally recognizing the value of those around them.
In addition to the evening presentations, the daytime seminars and events drew sometimes standingroom-only crowds. Having received a great deal of publicity during the two weeks before camp meeting, the seminars on earthquake preparedness, and the anticipated Cascadian event, were VERY popular and interest exceeded the room’s capacity. Fortunately, recordings of these two presentations (along with most of the other seminars) are available through the ABC.
For younger generations, activities ranged from crafts to obstacle courses, and from community service projects to a trip to the beach. Ages 3-10 were encouraged to “Imagine God’s Universe” and spent one evening after the program exploring the beautiful night sky through telescopes.
Among the community service aspects of camp meeting, this year’s annual blood drive exceeded the two-day goal, meaning 345 patients will receive the gift of life through blood. The Adventist Community Services Disaster Response (ACS-DR) team distributed “flood buckets” at their booth in the Exhibit Tent. The bright yellow buckets were for attendees to take home, fill with cleaning supplies (a list was provided), then return the filled buckets to their local ACS Center for distribution to families who experience a flood or similar disaster. One person, who teaches nursing at a public college, took 21 buckets so she could assign the project to her nursing students. On Friday morning, this year’s Fun Run/Walk saw more than 200 participants of all ages, including 88-year-old Franklin Gearhart who crossed the line with a smile on his face!
If you weren’t able to attend this year’s Gladstone Camp Meeting, you can still get a taste of the experience by watching each evening’s program, the Sabbath morning service, and reading the daily newspaper, the Gladstone Gazette, on the Oregon Conference website at www.OregonConference.org.
Next year’s Gladstone Camp Meeting will begin with Spanish Camp Meeting, July 14-16, followed by English Camp Meeting, July 19-23. Hope to see you there!