The one-story facility’s cheery interior created an intimate and wonderful festival home. Approximately 35 percent of the audience attended here for the first time. It certainly made for a vibrant gathering. The 40-member choir and instrumental ensemble certainly added to our sense of worship before God. After the final Eighth Day message, Ingrid Helge 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 were displayed in the background.
Those attending Oceanside were able to partake of 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 “Two Promises to Live and Die For,” from Revelation 22:4. There was also an interactive Sabbath teen class, a couple of festival classes for younger children and a very interactive young adults study guided by Steve Buchanan titled “Rejoice in Your Youth” that dealt with this godly command from Ecclesiastes 11:9. We enjoyed a full afternoon of a two-part workshop presentation by Jon Garnant titled “Through the Eyes of Christ,” discussing how Jesus would have approached the Feast of Tabernacles both as a contemporary Jew as well as being the Son of God who as the Word led Israel through the wilderness.
The seniors banquet, which is always a festival highlight, was attended by 105 “seasoned citizens” and ministerial couples who were greeted by an aquatic theme this year and 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 downtime with family and brethren resting on the warm sandy beaches of Oceanside and nearby Carlsbad. The weather was generally 75 to 80 degrees, which was picture-perfect for the activities at hand.
Most importantly, the entire membership of all ages came prepared to fully be 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.