This was significantly down from almost 180 last year, which included more than 40 international visitors. There were also several local members who were unable or chose not to attend due to concerns about COVID-19.
Until Sept. 15, there was uncertainty about whether to meet together since provincial borders were partially closed to travel to keep with the restriction to 50 people per gathering. However, borders opened and gatherings were allowed at 50 per cent capacity. We were well under that, but what we lacked in numbers we made up for in enthusiasm. This Feast was undoubtedly marked by everyone stepping out of their comfort zones to serve however they could to get involved and fellowship with people. A highlight was our daily beach walk led by our Festival elder, Roy Demont. The beautiful stretch of beach, with the daily potential of spotting dolphins, seals and whales, afforded the perfect opportunity to fellowship and get some exercise and also for kids to burn off energy before services.
Something we tried this year, which was based on a successful ladies’ presentation given last year, was a series of interactive evening presentations. Although some were more interactive than others, this is something we now plan to build on in the future.
We had five of these presentations, designed to be as practical as possible in dealing with an increasingly challenging world. We started with a presentation intended purely to inspire, titled God’s Incredible Creation, focusing on Psalms 46:10 Psalms 46:10Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
American King James Version×—“Be still, and know that I am God.” The other four presentations consisted of one titled “Boundaries” for ladies; another for men called “Our God-Designed Role as Men” (presented by Jorge De Campos via Zoom from Jamaica!); and two more titled “Tithing” and “Dealing With People in Crisis.”
Those unable to attend could connect to our services and Bible studies via Zoom. Although Zoom is not the most ideal tool for this, we decided to stick with something we’d become familiar with over the last six months, not having had enough time to familiarize ourselves with and implement webcasting—although webcasting is now something we will be looking into. Nonetheless, a good number of very appreciative and otherwise isolated members were able to benefit from connecting every day. With masks being worn during services, everyone’s temperatures being taken daily and socially distant seating as constant reminders of a world more in need of the Kingdom than ever, we were still able to collectively focus on the wonderful hope of the future and enjoy a memorable Feast together!