The land was uncharacteristically dry, inland to the coast, as we drove to the Feast. On our return, after some much-needed rain, the browns of winter had changed to lush greens. This transformation reflected both the impact of the Feast messages, which focused on renewal and the truth of God’s Word, in both general instruction and prophecy, as the world turns from Satan’s way to God’s way.
The weather was mild and mostly sunny. Festival activities embraced everyone with warmth, fellowship and good food.
In keeping with the site’s reputation for hospitality, there were many get-togethers—open-house events, dinners and exploring the local attractions. From the window of their apartment at Tura Beach, one couple counted 64 humpback whales this year. The flowers, including dramatic red waratahs, were lovely, and the three choirs—including the children’s choir—sang beautifully. One solo piece of special music left everyone in awe and made some men cry unashamedly.
Members commented on the love, the thoughtfulness and the inclusiveness demonstrated at the Feast and how good it was to catch up with old friends and make new ones.
One special feature this year was a “buddy system” established during the sermonette on the first Holy Day. The speaker provided everyone with an envelope containing the name of someone in the congregation. We had to “check in” with our “buddy” every day of the Feast, and were also encouraged to write a one-word summary of each day on a white board set up in the tea/coffee area. The whole idea was enthusiastically embraced and helped bring people together in a wonderful spirit of fellowship.
The sermons brought inspiring, rich and fulfilling spiritual food to this wonderful Feast. Justice, mercy, faith and keeping God’s law, as well as the need to have our hearts attuned to God’s heart, and how they all—with peace and unity—direct us in helping the world enter the Millennium, were an ongoing theme. As one member said of this, his first Feast: “I’ve learned so much—it’s been amazing, inspiring, full-on! I can’t wait for the next one.”