“Why are we here?” was a most-relevant question asked early in 2015 Feast of Tabernacles at Kawana Waters on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Top attendance was 311, and the brethren were treated to a wide variety of uplifting and poignant messages from speakers, many with strong international accents. The opening address was due to be given by visiting U.S. speaker Peter Eddington (Media and Communication Services operation manager at the home office in Cincinnati), but unfortunately a severe hailstorm at the Brisbane airport delayed his flight. Festival elder Reg Wright, however, rose to the challenge and enticed us with a vision of a world restored with Jesus Christ at the helm.
All brethren were urged to use our Feast as preparation time, to garner strength and support each other and to rise and overcome the challenges that lay before us. The youth were encouraged to answer their calling (from a persistently ringing mobile phone), while a bullock-team whip reminded us all that working together with teamwork can achieve great change. Victor Kubik’s festival message about the kind of people God wants in his family also resonated loud and clear. Further memorable messages developed around the theme of being a Christ-like example in today’s world, God’s plan of salvation for all mankind, and preparing for our role in the first (and better) resurrection at the return of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Many thanks were offered to those helpers who willingly took on the coordination of events, provided special music, prepared the community center for services, ran the sound system, staffed the business office, provided the essential cup of tea or coffee before and after each meeting, and served behind the scenes to ensure the festival was enjoyable for all involved. The loudest and longest acclamation was a standing ovation on the Eighth Day to acknowledge and thank Christ for His loving involvement in the Feast.
To complement the inspiring messages and fellowship, the weather was near perfect, and the mixture of activities offered opportunity for all to assist or participate. The traditional family dance catered to all age groups, while the waterpark allowed the teenagers and young adults a chance to revel in the Sunshine Coast backdrop. Seniors were taken care of well, and the family day offered to all an opportunity to relax, play sports, have your face painted or casually attempt to break some unofficial UCG-Australia world records.
All too soon the Feast was over and we had to return to the harsh realities of this world. However, the take-home message comforted us by ensuring that, with the essential ingredient of faith, we can keep firmly fixed in our minds the vision of God’s future Kingdom. A new world is coming for which we are all most thankful.
See more photos from Kawana Waters, Australia at https://flic.kr/s/aHskny7RB3.