United Church of God

New England Churches Host Semi-annual Campout

You are here

New England Churches Host Semi-annual Campout

Friday afternoon and evening, brethren pitched their tents and unbagged their camping chairs while a taco bar dinner was prepared. To cap off the evening, local member Jacob Sutherland led everyone in a campfire hymn sing.

The Sabbath was sunny with a high of 75 degrees; a perfect day for services under the big tent and the shade of the trees, with 61 people in attendance.

Local pastor Andy Diemer and incoming pastor Andy Duran delivered the two split sermons. Mr. Duran delivered the first message, titled “Beware of Offenses,” on striving not to offend and also not to be offended. Mr. Diemer closed the messages with, “In The Beginning, God,” the second split sermon focused on God’s incredible creation.

Mr. Diemer also delivered a Bible study titled “God Reveals Himself in Creation,” which further explored God’s creation and our place in it all.

The Worcester, Massachusetts, congregation hosted the semi-annual gathering for its third year running. Local deaconess Erica Rains, who helped plan the event, said the church campout is the social event of the year and a perfect setting for the Sabbath.

“Really the Sabbath service is such a highlight,” she said. “Having everyone come and having church outside, under the tent and hearing the brook rumbling. More people come in and we have a big crowd, with the children running around playing together. It’s just great.”

The kids enjoyed a special Sabbath school activity on the life of David, with local deaconess Kayla Rains leading the kids through a series of stations—such as a harp-playing station and a station where they had to slay a wooden cutout of Goliath.

Mrs. Rains said the weekend takes a couple of months of organization and teamwork to have a smooth-running camp experience. The campout doesn’t happen without the loving care and volunteering of many.

“Julie [Salva] for instance is in charge of food prep,” Mrs. Rains said, referring to the four provided meals at the campout. “She just gets more and more organized every year. And the event just gets smoother and easier to run each time.”

The original dates for the campout were postponed by two weeks due to inclement weather. The group certainly couldn’t have asked for better weather July 30-Aug. 1. The entire weekend went off without a hitch. The event wrapped up Sunday with a group breakfast and takedown. Local members David and Amanda Crawford led the kids in a Bible journaling activity while the grown folk took down camp and packed up to go home.

Kurt Reeter, local member, attended with his wife and son. He said it’s an event he would hate to miss.

“I wish it was every year instead of every other,” he said.

Mrs. Rains agreed.

“It’s just something we all get excited for,” she said.