United Church of God

2016 Feast of Tabernacles Report: Oceanside, California, U.S.A.

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2016 Feast of Tabernacles Report

Oceanside, California, U.S.A.

The facility’s cheery interior created an intimate and wonderful festival home. Approximately 40 percent of the audience was attending this site for the first time, and a number among them were attending the festivals for the very first time in their lives. It certainly made for a vibrant gathering. 

The 40-member choir and instrumental ensemble added to our sense of worship before God. Soloist Greg Hilgen opened up services on the two high days with a selection titled “Come Let Us Worship Him,” and on the Eighth Day the audience joined him in the chorus. After the final Eighth Day message, Ingrid Helge and Greg sang “The New Jerusalem” by Michael Card, with the congregation rising and joining in on the chorus as Powerpoint pictures of the heavenly Jerusalem and the starry universe framed the singers on the wall behind them. 

The weather was generally 80 degrees with a tropical storm making a unexpected surprise splash in the early hours of the Eighth Day. 

Those attending Oceanside were able to partake in our standard church services plus a special night activity of welcoming in the Sabbath with a hymn-sing, accompanied by a Bible study presented by Robin Webber titled “Five Permanent Keys About Temporary Dwellings.” There was also an interactive Sabbath teen class, a couple of festival classes for younger children, a very interactive young adults study titled “Restoration Task Force” that dealt with problem solving during the Millennium and a full afternoon of a two-part presentation by Gary Petty titled “Breaking the Shackles.” This followed the seniors banquet, where 120 were graciously served by our young adults and teenagers. 

Beyond services and Bible studies, Oceanside attendees were able to enjoy the nearby sites of the La Jolla and Del Mar coastlines, Oceanside Harbor, the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park, SeaWorld on Mission Bay, Old Town San Diego and nearby Legoland. Many simply settled for “down-time” with family and brethren resting on the warm sandy beaches of Oceanside and nearby Carlsbad. 

Most importantly, the entire membership of all ages came prepared to be fully involved in a spiritual Feast. They came prepared to give of themselves, volunteer on a moment’s notice, and share their smiles, warmth and helping hand to all they encountered. Attendance at all activities was up! We plan to utilize the Q.L.N. Center in Oceanside again next year.