We asked those who met for an overview of the camp meeting experience and judging by the responses, this year’s encampment has been . . . unprecedented. . . Yes, that’s a word we’ve come to hear over and over again, especially during the pandemic, but it truly encapsulates in the words of that old hymn, The Wonder of It All . . .
Indiana Camp Meeting this year was a very special time to be together since so many had been apart due to the pandemic. We had fellowship, preaching and beautiful music that was inspiring and encouraging to all. There was a record attendance with both in-person and virtual church and at-home audiences.
God performed miracles with the weather. It was a beautiful, sunny day on Sabbath.
It was the first time we had a large tent for Hispanic members. There was a great crowd that reflected the tremendous growth in Indiana in our Hispanic community. It was important to them to meet again and share meals together.
Although we had to make adjustments this year, the event far exceeded our expectations.
Camp meeting has run very smoothly this year, albeit we had to shake off some of the rust after skipping a year. We closed registration at close to 85% capacity of past years, and we’ve had no challenges with COVID. The plenary and seminar presentations have also been very well attended.
One highlight for this year was Fieldwork, something we’ve never done before at camp meeting. Adults and young people alike were able to make a difference in the lives of children in the community by providing beds.
We were also able to provide featured video content this year highlighting each of the children’s divisions that was played nightly in the adult meetings.
[A local news station was onsite to report on the beds being made.]
All plenaries and Sabbath messages can be viewed at www.misda.org/video2021. Audio recordings of both seminars and plenaries can be accessed at www.misda.org/audio2021. All videos, photos, and other digital content can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/miconf/.
I cannot hide that I had some concerns about being part of the organizing team of the camp meeting this year in the COVID-19 context. It was my first big challenge after I was nominated as the new president of the Wisconsin Conference. After the Executive Committee reconsidered the initial decision to cancel the camp meeting, the Conference Administration and the Camp Management Committee took the responsibility seriously.
A series of meetings were conducted, guest speakers and musicians were invited, and volunteers were organized. For the first time, I experienced what an actual camp meeting looks like. It is not just what happens during the regular time at Camp Wakonda. It involves a lot of planning and preparation, at the Conference office and especially at the campground.
I have been pleased to observe the level of excitement of all participants in reconnecting with old friends and family members, establishing new connections that will last for a long time. We have been hungry to meet one another and spend precious time sharing our stories and personal experiences. The high degree of participation in the seminars and worship services demonstrated our desire for spiritual revival and reformation.
Now, at the [almost] end of a successful camp meeting, I want to express my thoughts of appreciation for Our Heavenly Father, who blessed us with this beautiful spiritual retreat. We thank Him for keeping us safe and providing the best physical and emotional environment for spiritual rejuvenation, fellowship, and physical relaxation.
I am grateful to all guest speakers and musicians who accepted our invitation on a very short note. All of them incorporated the camp meeting theme, It’s Time, in a beautiful and complementary way. We have been enriched by various perspectives and applications related to the present time and eternity.
Lake Region's virtual camp meeting, "Go Share Jesus Now!"opened this week and you can watch on Facebook and the YouTube channel.
Illinois Conference’s camp meeting theme is Proclaiming Jesus Passionately, and it will begin July 28 - 31 at Camp Akita in Gilson, Illinois. Registration is now open!