Gladstone Camp Meeting 2009 Large Crowds are Powered to Serve
This year's theme, Powered to Serve, sought to give attendees the tools and encouragement needed to better serve their families, churches, communities and beyond. The 80th annual Gladstone (Ore.), Camp Meeting brought together an unusually large crowd as people came together to worship, talk about God and mingle with friends. This year's Main Pavilion speakers included: Dick Duerksen, Maranatha assistant to the president and master storyteller, with his inspirational stories and Jose Rojas, North American Division director of volunteer ministries, with his thought-provoking messages. On Sabbath morning, Al Reimche, Oregon Conference president, spoke on how God's message impacts our current view of events.
The youth not only attended meetings in large numbers, they also enjoyed afternoon recreational activities such as the Alpine Slide at Mt. Hood and the Clackamas Aquatics Center. In addition to the normal afternoon activities, they volunteered in surrounding Portland metro communities. They helped in such places as the ReBuilding Center, the Children's Book Bank, the Oregon Food Bank and Northwest Portland Ministries. The Evangelism Training Camp also spent time out around the Gladstone neighborhood knocking on doors to talk about God.
The children's divisions had a space theme — Imagine the Universe. Outstanding storytelling and crafts gave children a glimpse of Jesus. Special guests like the Reptile Man and The King's Yomen (the Yo Yo Man) were favorites. The water slide, obstacle course and hay rides rounded off youth experiences at camp meeting.
People come to camp meeting for different reasons — some for spiritual absorption, others for fellowship. Barbara came to Gladstone Camp Meeting when she was first born in 1936. She continued until she went her own way at age 17. In 2008, 55 years later, she decided to come back to camp meeting. Some people befriended her and this year she was part of the hospitality staff. Barbara also reports she was baptized into the Adventist church on March 14.
We may have found our most experienced Gladstone Camp Meeting camper this year. Olive Watson is 100 years old. Olive's husband Bill is 92, they still come up in their motor home and spend the week. Olive remembers the first Gladstone Camp meeting in 1930. She was a 21 year-old nursing student at the time. Olive enjoys the seminars and seeing old friends. Bill volunteers for Better Life Television as a camera operator so he helped out at camp meeting also.
Come join us next year. We would love to have you! Gladstone Camp Meeting will be July 13–17, 2010.