NORTHEAST—About 170 brethren from 14 congregations in the northeast U.S. region of the Philadelphia Church of God met at a campground in northwest Ohio for the region’s annual Labor Day weekend camp out.
Brethren began arriving for the activity on August 31 to set up tents or prep meals for the weekend. Preaching Elder Greg Nice delivered a Bible study about how looking at creation can draw us closer to the Creator of the universe.
The Sabbath began with a hearty brunch served at the camp kitchen. Preaching Elder Eric Anderson, who organized the kitchen volunteers, said “The camp-cooked meals are always a highlight of the camp experience, as it brings everyone together between activities to ‘break bread’ and fellowship as a group a couple times a day.”
Sabbath activities included a hymn sing, a children’s Bible story and craft activity, and Bible Jeopardy. Members also conversed in groups, sitting at picnic tables, standing in groups, and walking together through the trees and fields.
“Whenever there is a camp out filled with God’s people surrounded by His creation, there is sure to be a great time,” Ohio member Ryan Adams said. “Wonderful messages, fellowship, family activities make for a blessed time.”
During Sabbath services, Ohio Preaching Elder Victor Vejil delivered a sermonette about preparing for the fall holy days, and Regional Director Cal Culpepper gave a sermon about qualifying for spiritual offices in Jerusalem.
After sunset, Indiana deacon Mark Pozorski organized an entertainment night that included Philadelphia Singers songs, original compositions and piano solos. Members concluded the evening with s’mores around the campfire.
Sunday’s activities included a men’s softball game, midday snacks, swimming in the pool and the annual euchre tournament, won by Dale Flory and Chuck Collert. After a family softball game, the group had dinner, then played kickball and held children’s activities, organized by Indiana members John and Kathy Baas.
The final event was a group dance and game night. Ministerial assistant Abraham Blondeau and his wife Jordy taught the Virginia Reel, Oh Susanna, and a traditional English barn dance to dancers of all ages. The activity was concluded with team-building games.
On Monday, members pitched in to clean up and leave the campsite in a better state than they found it.
“Camp Palmer is a great activity to build unity and provide Christian fellowship,” Mr. Vejil said. “It gives us a unique opportunity to get to know each other better through the camping experience and activities. It’s also an important activity for our youth, because it gives them another opportunity for them to connect with other youth outside of holy days and Philadelphia Youth Camp. It gives all of us a nice boost of rejoicing before the fall holy days.”