Here are seven areas in which were able to rejoice at the Feast in Anchorage, Alaska:
1. The reading of scriptures during the sermon and messages. The scriptures that were read had a direct reference to the Feast (or Kingdom), and they were related to the theme of family. The speakers cast a vision explaining that what we are learning now relates directly to our coming role as divine members of God’s family.
2. The second reason for rejoicing was due to the effectiveness of the speakers as they delivered their messages. They explained and expounded on God’s Word. The insight and inspiration that God gave to each of the ministers was truly inspiring.
3. The third reason for rejoicing was the special music. The music succeeded in glorifying God and in inspiring the brethren. And the song/instrument selection put together by Hansel New was fitting for the Festival season.
4. The fourth reason for rejoicing was the opportunity to share in the giving of the Holy Day offerings to God! We rejoiced that we had been granted the blessing to do our part in giving to God and His work! God’s people were extremely generous in their offerings. In addition, the brethren contributed $1,365 in cash and 351 pounds of food to the Anchorage Food Bank of Alaska.
5. Rejoicing and thankfulness was abundant in the offering up of opening and closing prayers to God.
6. The opportunities to make new friends and renew acquaintances were more reasons for rejoicing.
7. Of course, the spectacular beauty of Alaska put smiles on the faces of God’s people. The glory of God’s creation was abundant everywhere! God’s creation inspired all to rejoice.
Our high attendance was 177 and it was on the first Holy Day.
In addition to services and Bible studies, some of the scheduled activities were: the ladies’ fellowship, a trip to the Happy Trails Iditarod Sled Dog Kennels, a young adults glacier hike, a church/family trip to a reindeer farm, a teen bowling party and a teen get-together at Mark Regoord’s home.
This was a Feast like none other that we have celebrated. COVID-19 was a factor. About a week before the Feast, some brethren told me they had to cancel their Feast reservations because they had come down with COVID-19. Upon arrival in Anchorage, we soon learned that Alaska had become the national leader in per capita cases. Midway during the Feast, a few told me that they were self-isolating in their hotel rooms. Following the Feast, more began reporting that they too, were COVID-19 positive.
In light of what transpired, we are thankful that God has provided the modern technology which allowed us to stream either live or recorded Festival services. Brethren were able to stream the services from our local site, from the Bend, Oregon, site or from Panama City Beach, Florida. So, the hearing of the Word of God continued in spite of COVID-19! And, we were able to continue in-person service for the entirety of the Feast.
We thank God for His merciful care of His people, and for once again giving us eight days to review His promises of His coming Kingdom!