As Summer Comes to an End...
by Al Reimche
Somehow summer escaped on us again. It just barely started and now we are back into another school year and another autumn. But while it was here, some exciting things took place.
Camp meeting was a blessing again this year. The first weekend was filled with around 5,000 of our Spanish members who came on the campgrounds Thursday evening and stayed through Sabbath evening. A larger number were able to enjoy camping throughout the three-day event than at previous camp meetings. Though I have not yet mastered the language, the comments shared told me that people were blessed by the speakers. For me the highlight of these three days was the Camp Meeting Joint Choir led by one of our pastors’ wives, Patty Pacheco. In fact, I have asked them to come together again for our quadrennial session in just a couple of weeks to share the rich sounds of their music for all of us to enjoy.
After a couple days of transition between Spanish and English camp meeting we were set to start again, and once again the blessings flowed. Our team of Conference directors had done an excellent job of coordinating the multiple seminars and speakers that filled each day. The evenings were a blessing as John McVay, president of Walla Walla University, and John Bradshaw, speaker/director of It Is Written, spoke. Sabbath morning Alexander Bryant from the North American Division shared a powerful message about the story of Gideon and how our understanding of having all the resources is different from God’s. Each morning we were blessed by Gordon Pifher’s and Russell Burrill’s thoughts on our theme, “Come Unto Me.” But camp meeting was not just speakers and seminars, as refreshing as they were. The energy and excitement of friends meeting again, the grounds filled with campers, the discussions that happened during lunch or in corn dog lines, the children sitting with rapt attention during skits and snakes and speakers, the huge team of employees and volunteers handling food trays, parking cars, teaching seminars, coordinating children’s programs, and providing security – these were all part of the blessings of camp meeting.
To finish out the summer, we met with the Conference Executive Committee members for the last time during this quadrennium. Our administrative team and I have been blessed these past four years as we have journeyed through reports, decisions, and plans with each of our Executive Committee members. It would be difficult to summarize all of the joys and challenges we have gone through together these past four years, but through it all runs the real experience of seeing God’s hand leading this conference. In a very brief way we will be sharing some of those experiences on September 15th at the Conference quadrennial session.
During this last Executive Committee we received reports from Stan Beerman in our ministerial department concerning evangelism in the Conference, a report from our new vice president for education, Gale Crosby, on the changes this summer has brought to his department, and a report from our associate member ministries director, Cheri Corder, describing the training and fellowship opportunities happening throughout our Conference. Treasury also shared data indicating that our tithe has continued to hold a positive increase even through the first part the summer. We are again reminded that it is the blessings of God, experienced by our members ,that are stamped on every dollar we receive.
So summer, a recent memory, still resonates with God’s blessings in a variety of ways. I pray that as you think back over your summer you too, feel God’s hand of blessings in your life.