Camp Meeting is a time where almost everyone looks forward to attending. Congregations talk and wonder about who the speakers will be and what topics will be taught at each break session. Parents also talk about the break sessions for their children – there is something in camp meeting for every kid of every age. Camp meeting is supposed to be an experience to remember for years to come!
Our MN Conference President sent an email to all staff, which includes pastors, lay workers, and conference employees in regards to last minute details. His closing words to that email said: “Camp Meeting is meant to be a very positive experience for each person who attends. The theme for this year is ‘Serving Jesus.’ Please, serve each person as though you were serving Jesus – you will be blessed and have fun doing so.” His words were brief but profound – Serve every person as though you were serving Jesus! Those words once read; stayed with me and reminded me of what camp meeting is really about: to serve! I don’t know how many people actually know all that goes behind the scenes in order to make every camp meeting a success. I don’t even know exactly what each department does to make this happen, but I do know that right around camp meeting, every employee, from the top down is exhausted, worked out and stressed.
Some choose to be exhausted right after camp meeting begins, but everyone is working together and for “you” – the individuals who come to camp meeting to be blessed by everything that we have worked so hard for.
It’s good to elaborate a bit on what it takes for camp meeting to become a reality for every person, and to really thank those pastors, lay workers, spouses, children and conference staff for all of the hours and energy they put into making every camp meeting a blessing for everyone. You see, every teacher from cradle roll to youth is led by a team of pastors or lay workers; kitchen staff is led by Maplewood students or teachers; the conference does not really close when camp meeting is in session; the staff only work double time! Talk about serving as if we were serving Jesus! – I believe for many years their effort has been unrecognized and I would like to challenge everyone who is reading this article to extend a couple of words of gratitude to those who make this happen for you every year. They do it; not because they get paid, not because they have to or their jobs will be in jeopardy, not because they want to boast, but because every one of these people want to serve as if they were serving Jesus.
I believe camp meeting begins with a simple “calling” that happened long ago when each one of these individuals were called by God to serve Him. Long ago, a pastor was impacted by an experience to come to Jesus and serve. Long ago, a teacher was impressed by a child and thought, I could serve. Long ago, a child was born into a Christian home and was taught to serve. Long ago, someone prayed for a partner and married a pastor and was united to him to serve. Long ago, different people from all walks of life were called by God to serve. For Camp Meeting we were “all” called to serve and we all said: “We are your faithful servant.”
Elizabeth Rodriguez, Capital City Adventist Christian School Principal
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