Servants' News

Nov/Dec 2002

Feast of Tabernacles 2003, Manville

You are invited to attend an exciting Feast at Manville Camp, Manville, Illinois, Friday night October 10 through Saturday night, October 18.

Where Is Manville?

It is about 100 miles south-west of Chicago and 220 miles north-east of St. Louis, in the quiet farm countryside of Illinois, shown near the center of the map below. Manville Camp is very easy to find—official highway signs point it out from Illinois State Highway 17. You can reach Hwy 17 from Interstates 39, 57 or 55. From Interstate 80, go south on State Highway 23, then turn left on Hwy 17.

Most anything one might need to buy can be found 10–15 minutes away in nearby Streator (pop. 27,000). But Manville Camp should provide everything necessary for the Feast: “tabernacles” to dwell in, food to feast upon, rooms to meet in, and recreation to enjoy.

“You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Lev 23:41–43).

This Feast will again attempt to get closer to the biblical instruction for keeping the Feast—God’s people getting together in the “wilderness” to learn from Him and to rejoice with each other. The Bible says that even servants are to rejoice at the Feast (Deut 16:14)—it is a time for everyone to share in the work, not for people to spend lots of money to be served by others. In the future, all nations will keep the Feast of Tabernacles (Zech 14:16). The lead article of the Jan/Feb 2002 Servants’ News explained the Bible teaching on the Feast in detail. (We will gladly send you a copy or you may get it from the Internet at ).

For the last two years, we bought and prepared all of our own meals. This year, unfortunately, we were not able to find a campground that both had the accommodations we needed and that would allow us to do our own cooking. Yes, I can hear some people who regularly attend with us cheering that we will have professional cooks this year. (But I still think self-cooking is a good principle—the more we do it, the easier it becomes—so I will still look for such sites in the future.) Most everyone will probably also be glad to know that all of the facilities (lodging, meeting, dining, rest room, indoor recreation) have built-in heating and cooling (no space heaters).

Feast map showing Manville

Feast at the Feast

The Manville Camp cooking staff will provide three full meals per day, for 8 days, at 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and
5:30 p.m. The serving line will remain open for an hour for each meal. There will be no meals Friday, Oct 10th or Sunday, Oct 19th. There will be welcoming snacks on Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The menus for the meals have not yet been finalized, but the preliminary plans look very good. No pork or shellfish products will be served.

Sample breakfast menus are:

French toast, turkey sausage, fruit, cereal, donuts

Biscuits & gravy, omelets, fruit, cereal, oatmeal, muffins

Waffles, beef bacon, fruit, cereal, cinnamon rolls

Scrambled eggs, beef sausage, fruit, cereal, Danish

Sample Lunch Menus:

BBQ beef, tossed salad, vegetable, chips, fruit

Taco salad, toppings, spanish rice, refried beans, dessert

Fettuccini Alfredo, Italian sausage, tossed salad, garlic bread, vegetable, dessert

Sub sandwich with vegetable assortment, soup, chips, cottage cheese and fruit

Pizza, tossed salad, garlic bread, chips, applesauce

Sample Dinner Menus:

Pot Roast, potato, green beans, hot dinner rolls, dessert

Slow-roasted turkey and dressing, potato, vegetable, dinner rolls, dessert

Spaghetti, garlic bread, tossed salad, vegetable, cookies

Steak, mashed potato, tossed salad, vegetable, dinner rolls, ice cream

Homemade beef stew, biscuits, tossed salad, rice, pudding

All meals are “all you can eat”—the staff makes extra. The Manville Camp management is not offering any partial meal plans as we did the past two years (one advantage of doing it ourselves). Selling meals individually is time-consuming. Anyone who cannot attend the entire Feast, but who would like to eat some meals with us should contact us. If there is a simple way to make special arrangements for you, we will. (For example, if it turns out that we have 15 extra people who want to eat on the first and last day, they may agree to provide that for a certain price).

For those that do not want to participate in the meal plan, numerous supermarkets and restaurants are available 10 to 15 minutes away in Streator. Cooking facilities in the lodging units are very limited. We will try to accomodate people with special dietary needs either through the meal plan if possible or by reserving a room with cooking facilities.

Eating meals together is a very important part of the Feast. It is an ideal time to sit with a friend, join a group that appears to be having a good time, or to sit down next to a stranger who is all alone and get to know them. We hope that nobody will avoid the meal plan just because they might be able to save a few dollars or get better food somewhere else. People on special diets are welcome to bring their food to the dining room and eat with us.


All rooms are heated, air conditioned and carpeted. There are essentially four kinds of rooms.

  1. 2-bedroom cottage with bath. Varying twin/double configurations sleeping 2–4.
  2. Motel room with bath and 2 twins or 1 double bed.
  3. Room with 10 twin beds that connects to one of the above motel rooms—people can share its bathroom. (Good for large families or groups of singles willing to share the bathroom.)
  4. Room with 10 or 12 twin beds but no bath—use the bathhouse. Families may use these rooms or singles may share them.

Is It a Sin to Have Anyone Work for Us During the Feast?

The Feast is a time to learn and to rejoice. Our ability to rejoice today, while living in Tabernacles (primitive dwellings) is much different than it was for ancient Israel. At that time, many more people knew how to cook for large groups and nearly everybody knew how to be comfortable without all of our modern conveniences. It was not God’s effort to make the people miserable at the Feast, but to get the people close to God, close together and away from the vast amount of “stuff” that people tend to accumulate and busy themselves with.

Someday, when everyone keeps the Feast, it will receive planning at a national level. Numerous facilities will be designed and built so that Feast food may be stocked and prepared by both trained professionals and an army of helpers—in a way that no one person has to work too much. Today, we should try to achieve the goal of self-sufficiency. But if we simply cannot find or afford a place that will allow us to take care of all the physical things ourselves, then it is better to find the best place we can, rather than not keep the Feast. People who know nothing of the Feast are usually glad to give us their labor for our money. It is fairly obvious that God has blessed the Feasts of many groups—even though they rely heavily on outsiders to serve them.


All of these rooms are located very close to a large, heated bath house with private showers. They all have a place to hang clothes, but you may wish to bring extra hangers. For 8 days (including all meals), room types 1 & 2 cost $270 for adults and $230 for children 4 through 12. Room types 3 & 4 cost $240 for adults and $200 for children. Little ones age 3 and under are free.

Several RV sites are available and will be charged at the “no bathroom” rate. Those who prefer to stay in a conventional motel will find two good ones about 15 minutes away in Streator. Adults and children who stay outside the camp may participate in the meal plan for $170 and $140 respectively. Anyone who neither stays nor eats at Manville Camp but attends services and activites should pay $40 for the week or $5 per day usage fee.

The Streator Super 8 Motel (1705 N. Bloomington St, Streator, IL, 61364; Tel: 815-672-0080) has daily rates: $53 single, $63 double, $6 for each extra person. Included are a continental breakfast, guest laundry and a small indoor pool. 11% tax will be added to all motel rates.

The motel that this writer recommends is the Town and Country Inn (2110 N. Bloomington St. [Hwy 23], Streator, IL61364; Tel: 815-672-3183; It has 96 units and is locally owned and operated. It has a restaurant & bar on site, a large indoor pool, hot tub, exercise equipment, executive suites, efficiency kitchen rooms and offers free continental breakfast. Daily rates are $44 for 1, $49 for 2, $54 for 3 or 4. Extra people (over 4) are $5 each. King bed rooms are $53.

If you are planning to stay at a motel, make your reservation directly with them, but also contact us, whether you plan to eat the group meals or not. If you would like to stay at Manville Camp, do not contact them directly, but contact Church Bible Teaching Ministry, PO Box 107, Perry, Michigan 48872-0107; Tel: 517-625-7480; e-mail:

Make Reservations Soon

The sooner we know who is coming, the easier it is to plan. Please print out and fill out the form (or write down the information that applies to you) and send it in with a 10% deposit as soon as you are fairly sure that you are coming. It is much easier for us if most people send in reservations early and a few cancel, than it is if everyone waits till the last minute. We will refund deposits up to September 12.

Another good reason to reserve space now is because facilities will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. We try to use facilities for the benefit of everyone—the closest units may go to a handicapped person, the kitchen unit to someone with a special diet. We also try to be efficient—avoid putting too few people in a room that could hold more. But beyond this, we will give the first people who make a reservation the first choice of what is available.

If there is any way that you think you could help serve at the Feast—music, speaking, teaching children, organizing sports, doing crafts, coming a day early to set up, staying Saturday night to take down, etc. please write it on the Reservation Form.

Manville Camp Rules For Now

  1. Bring your own bedding, pillows, towels, etc. They are not provided.
  2. Pets, in general, are not allowed. Contact Manville Camp management for exceptions: 815-358-2522.
  3. Camp curfew is midnight, unless other arrangements are made.
  4. Rooms have locks, but the charge for a lost key is $5.00.
  5. Food and drinks are not allowed in dorms, motels, gym or meeting rooms unless prior arrangements are made.
  6. Roller skates, roller blades, skateboards and scooters are for use in the gym only. Bicycles may be ridden on the roads as long as they are under complete control and go slow when pedestrians are nearby.
  7. Moving tables, chairs, mattresses, etc from room to room or from building to building is prohibited unless permission is granted.

A complete list of rules will be provided when you arrive at the camp.


For people interested in flying to this site, Bloomington Airport is 45 miles away, Chicago Midway is 80 miles away, and Chicago O’Hare is 109 miles away.

The nearest Amtrack stops are in Bloomington and Kankakee. Bus connections may be made to Streator, Pontiac, Ottawa, and the cities mentioned above.

It would be easiest for us if you arranged your own transportation to Manville, but if we are given advance warning, we will try to arrange for someone to pick you up from the airports or train stations. A person should not need a vehicle to enjoy this Feast site.

Feast Plans and Schedule

The Feast site schedule is not yet finalized—we usually add suggestions and ideas from those who attend. We will include a basic Schedule below and print more information in later issues as it is finalized.

Friday, Oct 10th:

5:00–8:00 p.m.: Drop-in to get acquainted, snacks.

8:00–8:45 p.m.: Brief service

Every day, Saturday, Oct 11th through Saturday Oct 18th:

8:30–9:30 a.m.: Breakfast served

9:20–9:50 a.m.: Singing

10:00–noon: Service to include about 20 minutes of reading and discussing Deuteronomy. The law should be read every seven years at the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut 31:10–11). The last Feast we read it was in 1996. We will discuss the direct physical law as well as the spiritual lessons in it. Congregation members, including young people, are encouraged to read a portion.

12:30–1:30 pm: Lunch served

5:30–6:30 pm: Dinner served

Saturday, October 11:

Service will discuss the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles

2:00 p.m.: Bible quiz-bowl.

7:30 p.m.: Planning meeting for the rest of the Feast—everyone is encouraged to come.

Sunday, October 12:

Service will include a discussion and note-taking session on the wisdom of the laws of God. Last year, the congregation’s ideas were used to write and record a song thanking God for providing for us, this year it will be a song thanking God for teaching us.

2:00 p.m.: People who like to write verse and music can come to help condense the congregation’s ideas and form them into a song.

Tuesday, October 14:

Service will include a short practice of the recorded song.

Wednesday, October 15:

Service will include the recording of the new song. Everyone is welcome to join in.

6:30 p.m.: Variety show practice.

Thursday, October 16:

7:00 p.m.: Variety show.

Friday, October 17:

7:30 p.m.: Bible study—Deuteronomy catch up. Read and discuss through chapter 32. This will not be a “boring” study!

Saturday, October 18:

Service will include reading of Deut 33 and 34 and an explanation of the “Eighth Day” from the Bible. Also, we should have a CD of the recorded song for everyone.

7:30 p.m. until finished: Pack up and clean up hall. Help would be appreciated.

More to Come

In addition to the above, we will have other Bible studies and indoor and outdoor sporting events. (See the Sept/Oct 2002 issue for a description of Manville Camp’s facilities.) A family field day and a karaoke night are also likely. We will have a variety of speakers in the services and studies—the schedule is not set yet. A new voice at our site will by Louis Williams, a long-time Sabbatarian who has had his own religious TV program on public access in the Washington DC area.

We would like to hear from you.

— Norman Edwards


Click here for the Reservation Form to make your booking for the Feast at Manville Camp


Is Your Group Looking for a Place to Keep the 2003 Feast?

The facilities at Manville Camp are sufficient for more than one group for this Feast. Meeting facilities include an 800-seat auditorium, 140-seat meeting room, 40-seat conference room, 30-seat conference room and a 20-seat conference room.

We would consider sharing this camp with another Feast-keeping group that would like to conduct their own services, but share meals, fellowship and possibly Bible studies with us. We would need one of the larger two of the five meeting rooms, but other groups could use one or two of them.

Your group would need to agree to the charges mentioned in the article and agree to abide by the rules of the camp, but would have exclusive use of your rooms and be able to share in the recreational facilities. We would be willing to work out as many or as few combined activities as you like.

It is very likely that we can make arrangement for groups that use a calendar that differs from the Hebrew calendar by a day or two.

If interested, contact Norman Edwards, 517-625-7480, e-mail:


List Your Site

Please send information about your independent Feast Site to Servants’ News for inclusion in our next issue. There are many brethren who look for sites in a particular area—hoping to visit family, friends or some other significant place during their Feast trip. Some people want to go to independent or interactive sites. Unfortunately, most other Feast site directories mix corporate and independent sites together. Every year we have quite a few people who call and ask us if we know of a non-aligned Feast site in a certain area. There must be a whole lot more people who actually read our Feast section and find out. Please send us your information:


Reservation Form


Manville Camp website:


Manville CampIn the previous issue we incorrectly printed the website URL. The correct address is — apologies for any confusion caused. The website has pictures and information which show what the place is like. (The online version had it correct).




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