Evangelism Anchors Camp Meeting Messages
Albert Kegley from Shelton, Wash., remembers attending Washington Adventist Camp Meeting every year — for 75 years.
"I can't remember when I didn't come to camp meeting," says Kegley. For the last 15 years, Kegley invited his best friend, John Dennehy, to attend camp meeting with him. This year, Dennehy finally accepted the invitation.
A Time to Reflect Jesus
Kegley is a living example of Washington Conference's vision to see every member, church and school reflecting the image of Jesus and working together to share the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ and His soon return.
This vision formed the basis for messages at Washington Adventist Camp Meeting in Auburn, Wash., where guest speakers explored the characteristics of "Reflecting Jesus" through listening to God, living with humility, praying for others, showing mercy, practicing good stewardship, caring for family, worshiping with sincerity and sharing faith.
"If you have a relationship with Jesus, you are qualified to share your faith and reflect Jesus to others," says Shawn Boonstra, first weekend speaker. Boonstra is the new evangelism coordinator for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America.
David Smith, outgoing Union College president and week-night speaker, encouraged the live and online camp meeting audience to reflect God in daily living and in each church.
"God wants church to be a caring environment," says Smith. "Notice who is in church ... these are God's children who need love, forgiveness, acceptance and salvation. Let everyone who comes through the doors of your church know that you and Jesus love them and that they are in the right place."
The messages throughout camp meeting resonated with attendees. "My members want to go home and make church a safe place for people," says John Kurlinski, Bremerton (Wash.) pastor.
A Time to Reach Washington
The evangelism focus continued with the unveiling of evangelism plans to "Reach Washington" to reach up for revival and reformation; reach in for spiritual gifts, ministry and community; and reach out for evangelism and witness.
More than 80 of 100 churches in western Washington will begin evangelistic series on Sept. 30. Camp meeting attendees raised $470,954.38 — including a $100,000 matching fund from a matured trust — to fund evangelism activities in western Washington.
"The members and leaders of this conference can do amazing things in evangelism," says John Freedman, Washington Conference president, "because we are united in Christ and united in our vision."