Palmer Camp Meeting Attracts Audience from Across Alaska

October 01, 2002 | John Kriegelstein

Seventh-day Adventist church members from across Alaska gathered for the annual Palmer Camp Meeting, Aug. 6-10.

By its finale, Sabbath, attendance had grown to more than 800, nearly a quarter of total Alaska Conference membership. Guests from the lower-48 states joined members from far-away St. Lawrence Island, to the west, and Ketchikan, in southeast Alaska.

Dan Matthews, retired executive director of Faith for Today and host of Lifestyle Magazine, led attendees each evening to a deeper understanding of the Camp Meeting theme, “Knowing the Hour.”

He encouraged his audience to “make payments on God’s love for us, by treating each other with love.” He also noted, “Theology is not theoretical. It’s not intellectual. It is relational.”

His wife, Betsy Matthews, treasurer of the Western Adventist Foundation, spoke each morning on the need for and advantages of having well-prepared wills and trusts. Ken and Colleen Crawford of the Oregon Conference, senior pastoral couple at the Meadow Glade Church in Washington, each afternoon shared parenting suggestions.

Other presenters included Walter Arties, evangelism director for the Voice of Prophecy; David White, coordinator of the Health Certification Program for the Health Ministries of the North American Division; and Derris Krause, Human Resource Bureau chief for Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA).

A daily schedule of events for younger attendees provided active indoor meetings and outdoor activities, including swimming in the refreshing waters of Big Lake at Camp Tukuskoya, the Conference-operated youth camp that serves south-central Alaska. •