Feast of Tabernacles

1997 in Review

Thousands of people from all over the world kept the Feast of Tabernacles this year. Some met in big groups of thousands, others met in groups of hundreds, and in some places, one or two families got together. Some people kept the Feast in Jerusalem, some flew thousands of miles to other destinations, others drove, others walked. Some stayed in fancy hotels, some in tents and huts. Some stayed home and built a booth in their yard.

What meaning did these people derive from the Feast of Tabernacles? Some thanked the Eternal for the good harvest and all that He has given them. Some thanked Him for "sheltering" or protecting them in times of adversity. Others looked forward to a latter outpouring of the holy spirit, much greater than the day of Pentecost. And certainly, many looked forward to the Millennial reign of our Savior on Earth. Some, gave thought to all of the above.

Some kept the Feast in September; though most kept it in October. Some kept it twice. We know of at least six different calendar systems that were used.

Which, if any, of these people keeping the Feast were "right"? Some Feast preachers told their audiences that they, the one group assembled before him, were the only ones who will be saved. Others taught that God was only working with one particular organization. Others went about the business of conducting their Feast and left the judging to the Eternal. Is He in a hurry to condemn those who are "doing it wrong"?

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time (1Tim2:1-6).

Our Father is righteous, just, holy, and perfect. We are not. But, he wants everyone to be saved. He is looking for the day when everyone will attend the Feast of Tabernacles—and at that time He will punish those who do not (Zech 14:16-19). He understands the confusion that is occurring here on the earth today. Before we conclude that the Eternal condemns people for keeping the Feast differently than we do, we might ask ourselves "What does the Eternal think of people who do not keep the Feast of Tabernacles at all?"

Obviously, there are many people who know nothing of the Feast of Tabernacles, so they will not be judged harshly for not keeping it (Luke 12:47-48). On the other hand, how many Jews and Christians are there who know about the Feast days but do not keep them? Some are prevented from keeping them by physical circumstances. Some would like to keep them, but fail to set aside time and money. But how many are simply not that interested?

We need to be thankful for all of the people who sincerely keep the Feast wherever they are. Those who make time for these days are more likely to learn what the Eternal has in mind for them. We should also be thankful that most Feast of Tabernacles sites are open to whomever would like to come. Twenty years ago, it was very difficult for a person to keep the Feast with other brethren if they were not a member of a big organization. Furthermore, with the growth of numerous independent sites, it is now possible for brethren to go and participate in the Feast, rather than just listening to messages. This year, over 2000 people (whom we know of) attended independent Feast sites—sites where the vast majority of people attending are not members of any one organization.

In this article, we report mainly on independent Feast of Tabernacles sites—not because the others are unimportant—but because the independents are the ones who send us reports of their Feasts. Also, most of the sites sponsored by a larger organization will be covered in their own publications. Another good source for coverage of all sites is The Journal, News of the Churches of God, PO Box 1020, Big Sandy, Texas 75755 (Send $10 for six issues, ask to start with the October issue for Feast reports).

Everyone Participates at Burr Oak

About 100 people met at Burr Oak State Park in Ohio for the Feast sponsored by Servants’ News. Some shared their Feast between this site and another site. Some were able to come only for part of the Feast, but all were welcome. A family-like atmosphere pervaded throughout. The weather was pleasant—there was no rain or snow during the Feast.

Every effort was made to ask "What does the Eternal want us to learn this Feast?" The speaking and activity schedules were not finalized until well into the Feast—making use of the various gifts and ideas of the brethren. The Wednesday night opening message mentioned that brethren will not be able to effectively preach the gospel to others if they only think of themselves as "former members of this or that group." Rather it is essential that we see ourselves as people with Bible truth to live and to share with the rest of the world. Sharing our truth with others will require us to learn to speak so they can understand, rather than developing a more and more separate terminology of our own.

Since most of the people attending the Feast did not know each other, Mike Riggs suggested that the first service be used for everyone to stand up and introduce themselves and mention something about what they hoped to learn from the Feast. Mike Riggs facilitated the session. People who did not know each other became friends. Everyone agreed that this was an excellent use of a service.

Brethren suggested topics for Bible studies during the Feast. Some suggested a day of special prayers for the sick. The barbeques and many of the other activities were all the result of brethren seeing what resources were available and using their talents to turn their ideas into real service to others.

Most services had a scripture reading followed by a brief open discussion session. Even children participated in some of the readings and discussions. The scriptures were Matthew 6 and 7, 1Corinthians 13, Romans 12, Isaiah 11 and 12, Revelation 12. Also, 5 to 10 minutes were reserved after each main message for audience questions and discussions. Nearly all were considered helpful and edifying—there were only a very few cases where people appeared to be "pushing" their own personal view of the scriptures.

For one service, the main hall was not available, so the men and women met separately. Norman Edwards spoke to the men about how a man should encourage his wife to have a strong relationship with the Eternal and to use her spiritual gifts, but without relinquishing his position as head of the family. Pam Dewey spoke to the women about how Sabbatarian women have been and can now be lights to their families and to the world. (Acts 16:13 is an example of women meeting together, Titus 2:3-4 commands older women to teach younger women.)

Two interactive Bible studies were held. One was on local gospel preaching. Nearly everyone agreed that there is much less trust of large-scale corporate religions today than there was years ago. Pastors of congregations of all types report a large number of people traveling from one group to another, seeking for truth. By making friends in the community, people find opportunity to share what they know. Some have visited other religious services in addition to their own, and had opportunity to share many Bible truths. We must realize that this should all be done to teach-truth, not to "get people to come to our group."

The other interactive Bible study was on "How Has God Worked in Your Life?" Most of the brethren had one or more stories to tell about miracles that the Eternal had performed for them. Some miracles involved healings, some deliverance from dangers, some deliverance from evil spirits, and others were examples of divine guidance in someone’s life.

Other messages included: The Story of Samson and My Experience with Local Radio Outreach by Houston Holland; Local Congre gation Experience by James Burns; Joyful Music and Learn To Be Still by George Dewey; Music: A Christian Priority and Trusting God Rather than Man by Darrell West; Feast-keeping and Barnabas Ministries by Alan Ruth; God Works Through Imper fection, Meaning of Feast and Where We Go From Here? by Norman Edwards.

Special Music was performed by: Keely Salisbury, Darrell and Dustin West, Roxanne Urbanek, Kay Waggoner, Pam Dewey and Marleen Edwards. Daily music included older standard hymns, Dwight Armstrong hymns and modern praise and worship music. The music was led by George and Pam Dewey and Marleen Edwards; accompanied by: Joel (bass guitar), Josh (percussion), and Norman (keyboards) Edwards .

Feast Activities included barbeques, a 3-mile nature hike, family volleyball and football games, variety show, sing-a-long and game night, family swim night, and youth bible classes.

Upon leaving this Feast, several people independently told us that after being at this Feast, they will have a difficult time going back to an "only sit and listen" Feast in future years. We hope that other groups will think more about using the Feast more to help train real ambassadors and servants for Christ.

—Norman S. Edwards

Great Feast in Gatlinburg

Over 350 people attended United Christian Ministries’ Gatlinburg, Tennessee Feast site. In my opinion, it was GREAT—it lived up to the many raving compliments it received last year. Here’s why:

Grace /Gifting: Ray Wooten’s leadership of the site was Christ/grace centered. Other speakers followed his lead and plenty of fine material was presented to encourage all without apology in celebrating the outpouring of God’s grace as illustrated in the many themes and ultimate fulfillment’s of the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day.

Rejoice: One of Gatlinburg’s strong points was its focus on praise as we came together to rejoice in our common ground in the Messiah and the Holy Days that celebrate His ministry. Wes and Linda White hosted a wonderful party for the LikeMinds electronic mail group that evolved into a sing-a-long featuring Wes and Richard Fox on guitar, Rosemary Stogner helping us through new songs and plenty of joyous Maranatha music bouncing through the vaulted pine log cabin. I overheard Ray in the back say something to the effect, "How can you not be at peace with one another when you eat, drink and sing together." The use of music to "join hands" in our worship was effective and appreciated. Who knows, dancing may be just around the corner for more CoG sites. Seeing so many "face to face" who had prior to been visualized around an e.mail address was another reason to rejoice as well!

Encouragement: From the hand count on the First Day it seemed most were active in Home Fellowships. We were welcomed, respected and empowered throughout the Feast. The speakers encouraged us in our celebration of the Sabbath, Holy Days and in our fellowship together. Youths were included and encouraged throughout the Festival. Greetings from other sites kept us connected and encouraged. It was a positively charged Feast site.

Atmosphere: Yes, Gatlinburg was a bit crowded this year due to (what was supposed to be) the fall peak season and FOT overlapping, but the site was still much more cozy and secluded than its city site counterparts. The Smokies formed a beautiful backdrop to our coming up to, " the mountain of the Lord". Southern hospitality was in fine form. The site was small enough to continually run into brethren frequenting restaurants, amusements, etc. I’m not much on tourist traps but even I would give Gatlinburg high marks for a FOT location. If UCM opts to go elsewhere next year I hope they give another independent ministry first crack at their slot.

Torah: The restoration of a grace-based focus (so well defined in the "New Testament") only added fuel in our rejoicing in the Torah (God’s law/instructions). The extremes of legalism and license gave way to a balanced approach in our celebration of these dynamic jewels embedded in the heart of a Torah-observant lifestyle.

I really feel that many in the non-corporate circles have turned a corner so to speak. The Feast reports so far seem to be bearing this out (not that we still don’t have our hot buttons). The direction of many of the non-corporate ministries represented here on the LikeMinds’s and Interact mailing lists has me in eager anticipation for Feast ‘98. After I concluded my slide presentation with the customary, "Next year in Jerusalem," John Merritt came up and asked, "Well, what about it?" Actually something I’ve been giving more and more thought to but was thinking more along the lines of a multi-ministry, non-aligned Jerusalem Feast in the year 2000. (There would be no offering baskets, just discreet boxes or direct mail to the various ministries.) Maybe this is an idea who’s time has come and we can begin the discussion at the upcoming "Footsteps..." seminar in Wagoner, Oklahoma, since so many of us will be together there.

Gatlinburg was great because when we "lift up" the Great God all our ego-centered static fades in the distance. A well deserved "Thank You!" to Ray Wooten, the UCM staff and everyone who made Gatlinburg a success.

—Todd Drawbaugh

Myersville (Frederick), Maryland

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

The Feast of Tabernacles sponsored by Cornerstone Publications at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri was a resounding success! Approximately 400 scattered brethren, some from as far away as Germany, Spain, Canada and Puerto Rico, gathered under sparkling blue Missouri skies for one of the most marvelous Festivals in memory. Both services and accommodations were hosted by Marina Bay Resort, which served as an ideal location for the Feast this year.

Services were held every day except Monday. We were privileged to hear a wide variety of messages from 10 different speakers. The messages were powerful. Those given by Mordakhai Joseph, Jim Wolfe and Helm Hobrath were just tremendous. It was not known beforehand whether Jim Rector would be able to speak or not, but thankfully he was strengthened to do so three times during the Feast. He was able to attend every service, with the exception of the morning meeting on the Last Great Day. Several excellent workshops were held as well, but perhaps the real highlight of this gathering was the spontaneous formation of study and discussion groups. On any given afternoon or evening, you could easily drop in on any one of a dozen or more such conclaves. Most of these continued on into the wee hours of the morning. It is estimated that these study groups probably involved nearly 90% of the attendees present, a quite remarkable figure.

The weather was strikingly beautiful during the Feast, and the amenities offered at Lake of the Ozarks are so plentiful that it is almost impossible to partake of them all in only 8 days! There were tennis and ping-pong tournaments, dinner cruises on the lake, an afternoon picnic, a delightful Family Night of entertainment, a host of excellent restaurants, world-class shopping, and virtually anything else you can think of as well.

The physical blessings were great, but they were decidedly outweighed by the spiritual ones. We praise and thank God for the delightful and spiritually rewarding Feast He granted us. I hope everyone’s experience was as blessed as was ours. We are seriously considering coming back to Lake of the Ozarks next year for the Feast.

—Jim Rector

CEM in Kissimee, Florida

We have no idea of the affiliation of the all the people who attended the Christian Educational Ministries (CEM) Feast of Tabernacles site. On a show of hands, it looked like half the people present were not at the CEM festival last year. No one seemed to care very much about the distinctions between. We have had many visitors from other locations. Some came and stayed, others were pilgrims passing through to their third or fourth festival location. I have never seen quite so many nomads. There were a number down from United on the Last Great Day because our services were in the morning and United’s were in the afternoon.

Attendance ran close to 500—about what we had last year minus the Puerto Rican brethren who met nearby but with services totally in Spanish. Sadly, I hear their numbers are down due to a decimation of their church due to the "Conder" and the "Sacred Names" doctrinal controversies. Nevertheless, our best guess at the attendance on the Last Great Day was something over 600. There were 670 chairs in the room and from the stage there did not appear to be 50 empty seats. Great crowd, great singing, wonderful finish to the Feast.

We had unbelievable weather. The only rain (light) was on the Sabbath day when no one was involved in outdoor activities. Will almost certainly be our last year in Kissimmee, Florida as we are hoping to move to the Florida panhandle next year. I had originally thought to go to St. Pete, for one year, but I think we may not have to now.

On the first night, I gave a 15 minute message about the fact that tonight may be the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus. I followed it up with the importance of remembering that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. The next day, I spoke on the theme, "Where is Home," and Brent Kern sang "O Holy Night" for special music—did a magnificent job. In the afternoon Bill Rollins spoke on prayer, and it may have been the most helpful sermon on prayer I have ever heard. We will be offering it to our list when we get back. Other Feast messages were brought to us by Steve Sanders, Mike Linacre, John Reedy, Larry Watkins, Gerry Bernardo, and Ken Svehla.

We had 13 well attended and very educational workshops and seminars. Mike Linacre’s "Dead Sea Scrolls" was standing room only as was my own—probably 175 to 200 each time. Good size groups also attended the Sabbath School Writer’s workshop and Larry Watkins "local church administration" workshop. Other seminars were on radio sponsorship, local evangelism, ministering to the elderly and infirm, using the Internet and computers, and "Know thyself".

We had a really marvelous inspirational music concert on Friday night, a talent show on Monday night, and a great family fun fair on Tuesday afternoon. We had a get-together for the Like-Minds electronic mail group.

I still marvel a little at the harmony we have at this rather diverse Feast site. I suppose it is because CEM has no special agenda to push but just want to provide a nice place to keep the Feast.

—Ronald Dart

(summary from his e-mail & web-site)

Sunriver, Oregon

Approximately 150 brethren assembled to celebrate the Feast Of Tabernacles near Sunriver, a recreational community near Bend, Oregon. The assemblies at this non-aligned Feast site were held in a rustic lodge located at the Thousand Trails campground. Most of the people stayed in very nice, nearby rental homes and condominiums. Canada was well represented with about 25 brethren. US representation included brethren from California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Idaho, South Dakota, Texas, Kansas, Utah, and Kentucky. The Eternal provided sunshine nearly every day with high temperatures ranging from the mid-70’s to the lower 60’s.

The brethren enjoyed messages brought by eight different speakers including Wayne Atchison, Jeff Henderson, Bruce Barrett, Al Murrey, Gary Servidio, Gary Sjordal, Jonathan Sjordal, and Lee Lisman. Two planned studies were conducted and one impromptu. Jonathan and Kristie Sjordal presented an intriguing study on Children’s Toys and Entertainment. Wayne Atchison, an elder recently re-located to Bend, facilititated a thought provoking discussion on the Smart Card and Prophecy. Social activities included a Western Theme Day and a Game Night. A highlight of the Feast was a short play featuring David vs. Goliath performed by the children on the Eighth Day. The Feast Committee, which sponsors this site, solicited input from all attending on how to make the Feast an even greater delight next year. For information on the Sunriver site, please contact Al Murrey at (541) 881-8600 or Bruce Barrett at (408) 427-2275 (e-mail, bbb@cruzio.com).

—Al Murrey

Hebrew Roots in Estes Park

Forty or so people gathered in Estes Park, Colorado in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. All gatherings were called to order by the sounds of the shofars and all services were intentionally different from the standard fare. Having no acceptable model from which to pattern the Messianic services, and fully realizing that this Feast would be attended by people of many diverse opinions, it was a play-it-by-ear situation. The schedule was created as we went and was not completed until the last day.

The lack of pressure to participate, yet generous allowance for many ideas was a real "Welcome Mat" for many. Participation, however, came naturally and was welcomed in such forums and studies as the Ecclesiastes (Koheleth) Bible Study, the men’s and the women’s discussion groups, and the question/answer sessions by Yaffa Decosta. In fact, every speaker was required to allow a question/answer period regarding his chosen subject.

Whether by design or otherwise, every individual in attendance had an important part to contribute, without which the Feast would have been diminished.

All meals were previously arranged and we dined together, family style. This created a wonderful environment which encouraged unhurried, undistracted fellowship and the sharing of a wealth of experiences and ideas. Some of the members took over part of the kitchen, with the blessing of the management, to make homemade whole wheat bread and granola. A special seder service and thanksgiving Sabbath meal was prepared on Friday evening and a Havdala service was demonstrated following each Shabbat.

There was, of course much singing, Jewish folk-dancing and appropriate activities for all to participate in. We were even entertained by a special harp that has made in the traditional fashion in the nation of Israel. A Messianic group came to entertain with dancing and song. Those guys and gals really had the floor bouncing. To me it was very memorable watching the very young children choosing of their own accord to join in the dancing.

Riding the gentle horses up the mountain trail was a unique experience for some of us cowhands. With or without horses, however, the location was perfectly suited for hiking to a beautiful inspiring mountain setting for exercise or private prayer. The peace was totally undistracted except by an occasional mule deer or elk.

It was a pure delight to see the children involved in virtually every aspect of the Feast. They were blessed daily under a canopy, and were involved in the family services. In addition they had many Succoth activities provided for them. They made special decorations for the Succah that was built on the first day, and other items for the Simchat Torah parade.

The lodge management made the 20 or so families who attended to feel completely at home. The rustic, informal setting was perfectly suited to our purposes. Before the week was over, some of us were running around the lobby in socks or slippers. For fellowship, learning and growing, few other facilities could have provided such warmth.

For those who were able to remain following the final day we had a Simchat Torah parade that danced its way throughout the ground floor to the tune of makeshift musical instruments and Yaffa’s special harp. That really livened the place up and provided us with a special memory.

—Condie Irwin

Feast of the Nations
Is a Family Affair

New friends quickly became "family" at this years Feast of Tabernacles. Sis-Q Meadows, Oregon youth camp once again saw brethren from the United States and Israel gathered to keep the Feast with a Hebrew flavor. About 20 families created an intimate site, where we really did "get to know" each other; to visit with people we’d have only seen as "faces in the crowd" in times past.

Young people were especially enjoyable, the girls as they improved or were first introduced to "Davidic dancing", and the boys (who, sometimes, also danced) as they gained experience at the blowing of the shofar. Add to that volleyball, basketball, "Snowball" and tracking the guinea hen mixed in with banner making, friendship-bracelet weaving, and encouraging we adults.

The metamorphosis of a youth camp—austere and drab, transformed into a colorful, vibrant Feast Tabernacle was amazing. Many hands coupled with a spirit of cooperation produced a beautiful place in which to keep our "appointed time" with God. Everywhere one looked there were festive pictures of fall harvests and fall leaves. The theme, Feast of Nations, was emphasized with flags, special trims on beams and, especially, the beautiful "festival" banner designed by Mary Beattie and Deirdre Salmon displaying Jerusalem as the center of the world surrounded by national flags. And the cafeteria came out of it’s cocoon on Friday evening as we gathered for the "Erev Shabbot". We found ourselves sitting at tables decorated with "jewels", blue vases filled with flowers, glossy green ivy framing lovely pictures of the temple in Jerusalem; and from the ceiling hung oriental style blue and silver baubles. We were kings and queens at God’s banquet.

Teachers at the Feast included James Sorenson, Reb., Beverly Clapp, Bob Salmon, John Beattie and Lionel Nightingale. Their subjects included "David’s Temple", "The Covenant between God and Man", and "God’s restoration of His Things to His people and His People to Himself". Torah and Psalm readings were a part of each service, along with wonderful praise singing.

From the blessing of the sukka and the waving of the lulav (a gift our Israeli guests brought), to the last Davidic dance after the 8th Day, we were coming closer together as a spirit led family. And we thank Our God for His many Blessings.

—by Sharon Bonney

100 People in Ocean Shores

About 100 Messianic, Seventh Day Adventist, various Churches of God, Independents, and Hebrew Roots individuals kept the Feast in Ocean Shores, Washington. Speakers and workshops were wonderful and we have had sunshine the entire Feast! Our hope is that your Feast has been every bit as wonderful.

—Rick Richardson

(excerpted from Internet post)

Little Chute, Wisconsin Feast

God’s Church in the Appleton-Green Bay area held a Feast from October 18-25, based on what we perceive as the calendar God gave to Moses. The information concerning Moses and the calendar was reviewed during the Feast.

Topics included: Prayer, Home-schooling, Original Language Text Unfolding, Metamorphosis, A Living Relationship, Healing and Medicine, God’s Holy Days, The Dead Sea Scrolls.

Activities included: Children’s lessons, videos and discussions, family musical get-together, lunch and hike at local nature preserve.

—John Purvins

(summarized from event schedule)

Nashville, Tennessee Feast

The Church of God, Fellowship, just completed its first Feast of Tabernacles in the middle Tennessee area. Sixty people, representing eight states were in attendance. The weather was beautiful the entire eight days.

Because of the manner in which those present conducted themselves and in taking care of the facilities, resulted in our cost being reduced to a third of the original cost.

During the Feast, we had two off days for local tours. A show of hands indicated ninety five percent would attend the Feast in 1998, if held at the same location.

Because of the overwhelming acceptance of the 1997 Feast site at the Henry Horton State Park, forty miles south of Nashville, we have decided to hold it there in 1998. We are anticipating a doubling of our 1997 attendance. In addition to our regular Feast activities, we plan seminars on specific subjects. Anyone knowledgeable in Christian subject matter is encouraged to consider our Feast site.

—Paul Bell,

Church of God, Outreach Ministries

Two Feasts near Lake Tahoe

Those among our extended fellowship who observe the conjunction calendar celebrated the Feast during September, in a large home setting in Incline Village, Nevada. This earlier Feast site in the Lake Tahoe area was sponsored by Dale and Arlene Carmean of Sedro-Woolley, Washington.

Some of the presentation topics at the September Feast included:

Purpose of the Feast, Growing in Grace, and Women in the Church by Dale Carmean; Gifts of the Spirit, and a "Jars of Clay Conference" Report by Robert Bodkin; Turning a Physical Religion Into a Spiritual Way of Life by Jack Lane; Who is Elijah to Come? by Arlene Carmeann; Matthew 25 Bible Study by George and Ann Stevens.

Music offerings for each day were provided by Mariah Carmean and Kamryn Creamer, who sang appropriate Feast songs.

There was a pot blessing one evening when the men did all the cooking and served dinner to the ladies and children. There was swimming in Lake Tahoe, and Sunday was set aside so that everyone, including visitors who came for the weekend, could ride one of the fine cruise ships on Lake Tahoe. An evening class on holistic health was presented by Dale Carmean, and those present experienced many positive results.

The Feast in October was sponsored jointly by "The Way" Publications and the independent Sacramento area Sabbath Bible study fellowship, the open Feast site in South Lake Tahoe, California was attended by those who observe the Hebrew calendar, those who observe the first visible crescent locally, and those who set the dates according to the first crescent seen in Jerusalem. This schedule gave three consecutive starting dates for the Feast, resulting in a ten day Feast.

Lovely fall decorations and a number of beautiful plaques decorated the South Lake Tahoe site, all made by members of the Sacramento area Bible study fellowship. The plaques contained messages such as "Rejoice at the Feast," "The Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace," "Perfect Love Casts Out Fear," and "Let All Those Who Trust In Thee Rejoice." The brethren commented as to the appropriateness of these plaques, and how they established the theme and intent of the Feast.

Some of the presentation topics at the Feast included: Is the Beast a Middle Eastern Leader? by Ron Kearney; We Can Enter the Promised Land! by Bill Creamer; Is the Anointed Cloth Biblical? by Robert Pinto; Rejoice at the Feast by Jason Churchill; Rules for Child Rearing by Dr. Jack Churchill Who is the God of Israel? by Bob Schimmell; Truth and Perfection-What are our Limits? by Dale Howard; The Post-Millennialist View by Joe Lango; Kingdom of God by Jack Lane; How to Avoid Strife by Dave Bedwell; The Law and the Ecclesia by Jim Snyder; and Hulga Clark’s book, "The Cure For All Cancer" by Linda Carter.

During daily services, the children were involved in Bible readings and music presentations. Bible lessons for the smaller children, prepared by Ashleigh Creamer, were administered by the teens each day of the Feast, showing a serving and ministering attitude among our youth.

A number of poems written by Rachel Empey were read, and Elyse Blakney also sang a song she had written. Beautiful music was performed by the adult and children’s choirs; also heard were solos and duets. One exciting feature was the performance of two movements from Claude Bollings "Suite For Flute and Jazz Piano" as musical offerings. On occasion, while the assembly sang upbeat songs, the children participated with hand-held joyful noisemakers, such as maracas, tambourines, and bells.

Those suffering from health problems were able to come forward following services and experience the laying on of hands and prayer by as many of the ekklesia as wished to participate. These ceremonies were deeply moving, and those who participated felt it was a privilege to come before God as a group in this manner. Prayer requests were made for others not in attendance during service, and prayer was also made at that time.

Activities included two pot blessings, a teen pizza and bowling activity, game night, hiking in the beautiful Emerald Bay area, a ladies’ night out, and a senior breakfast, all with a heavy emphasis on fellowship and rejoicing. There were two workshops in praise dancing, where whole families were dancing together: men, women, and children as young as three. The October group was invited to join the Church of God International for their dance in Kings Beach. One day (during the October Feast) was set aside as Family day, with no services scheduled; families were encouraged to spend the day together, rejoicing before God in the beautiful Lake Tahoe area.

—Jack Lane &

Servants News November 1997 index