Upper Columbia Conference Camp Meeting Focuses on 'Serve One More'

The first in-person camp meeting in Upper Columbia Conference since 2019 reunited many old friends and families and provided the opportunity to make new friends. The theme of the camp meeting — held on the campus of Upper Columbia Academy in Spangle, Washington — was Serve One More.

“For many of us, it was our first time hosting a full camp meeting,” said Dustin Jones, UCC communications and camp meeting director. “Those who attended came away with amazing experiences under our theme Serve One More."

After three years of virtual or hybrid camp meeting, UCC staff busily prepared for a spiritually uplifting weekend in person. Beginning Wednesday, June 14, UCC welcomed Carlton Byrd, president of Southwest Region Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Dallas, Texas, as the main speaker.

Byrd began camp meeting by sharing the story of Moses from Exod. 3:9–15, emphasizing the idea of Go and Serve. “I’ve learned over the years God isn’t quite so interested in calling the equipped, but more into equipping the called,” shared Byrd.

Thursday morning, David Jamieson, UCC president, shared inspiring testimonies from his time working at The Church in the Valley in British Columbia, Canada. He shared the impact his former church made in the community and expressed his desire to ignite the spark in UCC to Serve One More.

“Service changes our churches. Service changes our communities. Service changes each of our hearts and minds,” said Jamieson. “Jesus laid down His everything for our nothing. How much more should we, being nothing, serve those He considered to be something worth everything?”

Children's programs were provided in both morning and afternoon sessions from beginners to youth. Kids enjoyed interactive meetings with singing and crafts as well as bounce houses and slip-n-slides.

Presenters offered seminars on a variety of topics on Thursday and Friday morning and afternoon, with reports of as many as 50 in attendance at several meetings.

Early each morning, UCC pastors engaged with attendees around the importance of prayer. Friday morning, Stephen Farr, Pendleton and Pilot Rock district pastor, shared his life story and how prayer impacted his life. Later that morning he spoke with a smaller group during seminar time on how prayer starts the fire of revival in one's church and community.

All camp meeting attendees had access to a prayer room so they could open their hearts to the Lord as a group or personally. Each evening after the meeting, leaders held a spiritual anointing service, encouraging attendees to pray for the messages presented.

Mid-morning on Friday, Jamieson finished his two-part series on Servolution, “a significant change in the course of human history sparked by simple acts of kindness.”

With Serve One More as the theme of the 2023 camp meeting, service projects were a part of the week’s schedule. The youth class was the first to participate, going out into the community and transforming a yard in the town of Tekoa.

On Friday afternoon, two groups served the communities of Fairfield and Spangle. Yard clean-up, weeding, pruning and debris removal kept the many volunteers occupied. There were 100 volunteers putting the Serve One More theme into practice.

Sabbath morning, John McVay, Walla Walla University president, presented the Sabbath School lesson, and Jeff Wines, Camp MiVoden director, and staff shared the ministry they provide at camp in the summer. Then a thousand people gathered under the Big Tent for a final message by Byrd.

“We need a revival,” shared Byrd. “We have a responsibility to make Jesus famous! When you say yes to Jesus, then you say no to the devil, and he will try to get you to take back your yes.”

On Sabbath afternoon, attendees spread out over UCA’s campus, enjoying each other’s company and partaking in potluck. Soon after, they gathered to hear musical guest Fernando Ortega share with voice and piano.

Wrapping up the weekend of service, song and worship, Jamieson presented “Jesus is the CEO of UCC.” In his final sermon, Jamieson explained that “when we follow Jesus and lift Him up, miracles happen in our own lives because it is God’s work.”

If you missed camp meeting visit news.uccsda.org/CampMeeting2023 to listen to Byrd and Jamieson share the importance of Serving One More.

Featured in: September/October 2023