Gladstone Camp Meeting Goers Are Called to Love

The tents are down and the benches are all put away, but the memories will long remain of this year’s Gladstone Camp Meeting, which was held July 21–25.

After a momentous General Conference Session the beginning of July, many expected heated debates and tension with camp meeting so close on the heels of the decisions made in San Antonio. That didn’t prove to be the case, however, as instead a climate of renewed mission, hope and encouragement prevailed, all further encouraged by this year’s theme, “Called to Love … Members in Ministry.” 

Many spoke of the new insight they gained from Lee Venden’s thought-provoking evening presentations in the Plaza Pavilion. They also spoke of the exceptionally friendly atmosphere of this year’s camp meeting attendees, staff and volunteers. People were regularly heard thanking and encouraging each other as they recognized the value of those around them.

In addition to the evening presentations, the daytime seminars and events drew sometimes standing-room-only crowds. With the Cascadia Subduction Zone having received a great deal of media coverage during the two weeks before camp meeting, the seminars on earthquake preparedness were popular, and interest exceeded the room’s capacity. Fortunately, recordings of the two presentations (along with most of the other seminars) are available through the local Adventist Book Center.

For the younger generations, the activities ranged from crafts to obstacle courses and from community service projects to a trip to the beach. Kids ages 3–10 were encouraged to “Imagine God’s Universe” and spent one evening after the program exploring the beautiful night sky through telescopes.

Among the community service aspects of camp meeting, this year’s annual blood drive exceeded the two-day goal, giving 345 patients the gift of life through blood. The Adventist Community Services Disaster Response (ACS-DR) team distributed “flood buckets” at their booth in the Exhibit Tent. Attendees will take the bright yellow buckets home, fill with cleaning supplies (from the provided list) and return the filled buckets to their local ACS center for distribution to families who experience a flood or similar disaster. One person, who teaches nursing at a public college, took 21 of them so she could assign the project to her nursing students. On Friday morning, this year’s Fun Run/Walk was enjoyed by more than 200 participants of all ages, including 88-year-old Franklin Gearhart, who crossed the line with a smile on his face.

If you weren’t able to attend this year’s Gladstone Camp Meeting, you can still get a taste of the experience by watching each evening’s program, viewing Sabbath morning’s services and reading the daily newspaper, the Gladstone Gazette, on the Oregon Conference website at

Next year’s Gladstone Camp Meeting will begin with Spanish Camp Meeting, July 14–16, and follow with English Camp Meeting, July 19–23. Hope to see you there.

Featured in: September 2015