Festival elder Matthew Sieff opened and closed the Feast by asking the question, “What is your reason for being here?” He went on to provide the answer: “Because a holy God has called a holy people to a holy purpose.”
Subsequent sermons expanded on this theme, with the emphasis being on leaving the allurements and attractions of this world behind as we strive to complete the spiritual training program which will result in our becoming teachers and rulers in God’s Kingdom. The qualities needed to achieve this goal are summarised by Psalms 89:14 Psalms 89:14Justice and judgment are the habitation of your throne: mercy and truth shall go before your face.
American King James Version×: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and truth go before Your face” (emphasis added). In various ways, these attributes were emphasised by those delivering Feast messages.
The St. Helens site attracted transferees from New Zealand, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales. For four newly baptised interstate members, it was an especially significant festival: their first observance of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Most of those attending church in Tasmania are senior citizens. The influx of Feast visitors brought with it a more youthful element, ranging from preteens to young adults. And an adorable one-year-old, Samuel Edge from Victoria, instantly acquired a range of “aunts” and “uncles” he had never met before!
Feastgoers were able to take part in several activities, including a pizza and movie night, a trip to the factory and cafe of a local prize-winning cheesemaker, a seniors luncheon and an Eighth Day midday meal. The “tea and coffee corner” at the Feast venue was a very popular focal point for lively fellowship for the entire eight days.
The closing hymn for the final service was also a fervent congregational prayer: “God Be With You.”