First Tent Meeting in 70 Years Shelters UCC Camp Meeting

The second Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) Camp Meeting on the campus of Upper Columbia Academy (UCA) in Spangle, Wash., has come and gone. Judging from positive comments from the more than 2,200 attendees, it was a success.

"Thank you for being forward-thinking," says Debbie Williams, one attendee. "The meetings were charged with the love of Jesus and fervor for souls!"

This was the 133rd-annual UCC Camp Meeting, a tradition started in 1879. And it was the first time in 70 years that the main meeting was held in a tent. According to Spokane County officials, the mammoth 19,000-square-foot tent is the biggest temporary structure of its kind in the Inland Northwest.

Another first was the hop-on shuttle service that assisted people in the long trek up to the ballfield. This was especially nice for those who camped on the airstrip. One happy passenger said to the driver, "Thanks so much for the ride. You're an angel!"

The theme this year was "Consumed With His Cause," something each speaker touched on in his own way. John Bradshaw gave practical, down-to-earth sermons, with a bit of humor. On Thursday morning he said, "God does not want you to make any promises to Him. Instead God wants you to believe His promises to you."

Marvin Moore gave two seminars each afternoon and taught the Sabbath School lesson on how to let the church know what is going on — in other words, reporting what you do. Moore said, "You have to do something to have something to report. Those who are consumed with His [Christ's] cause will!"

Attendees were further charged by Dwight Nelson to let Jesus completely cover their sins. He said, "There are two options. You can pay the price of sin yourself, or you can let Someone else pay it for you. There is no third option."

And a thought-provoking perspective on how to live for Jesus came from Mike Ryan, who spoke on Sabbath evening. He told a story about an Adventist Development and Relief Agency worker who had been injured and whom he visited in his country. He said to the worker, "I will pray for your success here."

The worker replied in the words often quoted from Mother Teresa of Calcutta, "God has not asked me to be successful. He has only asked me to be faithful."

Faithful to following Jesus and being consumed with what He wants us to do was also the theme in many of the children's meetings.

As people arrived at camp meeting, they were met by Pathfinders who helped them locate their camping spots on a map. The Pathfinders offered to pray for them, asking for God to bless their stay and that they would be inspired and encouraged by the messages they would hear at camp meeting.

Next year the UCC Camp Meeting will be held June 19–22, 2013, at UCA. Speakers will include David Asscherick, co-founder and director of Arise Institute; Jerry Page, General Conference ministerial director; and Leslie Pollard, Oakwood University president. Registration opens on Sept. 1, 2012.

Featured in: August 2012


Kathy Marson

Upper Columbia Conference communication administrative assistant