Church of God Spends Labor Day in Unity
For Labor Day Weekend 2013, the World Mission Society Church of God held a Summer Camp retreat to promote unity and fellowship. Nearly 1,000 members drove from all branch churches along the East Coast to Skinners Falls in Narrowsburg, NY for the two-day event. Members came from Hudson, NH; Pittsburgh, PA; Richmond, VA and everywhere in between.
The Church of God reserved half of the campgroup to accommodate all the members. Members arrived Sunday afternoon and pitched their tents in a semi-circle around the Church of God Tent of Meeting, which was positioned in the middle of the campground. After settling down, members enjoyed lunch and casual games, such as volleyball and football, or explored the area around the camp until everyone arrived at the site.
Before dinner, all the members gathered before the Tent of Meeting for words of welcome where the emphasis was unity and love. The welcome set the tone for the evening and the exciting day to follow.
That night, everyone joined in one voice and lifted up New Songs to Father Christ Ahnsahnghong and Heavenly Mother. Members also displayed their vocal talents to the delight of all those present. A bonfire and fireworks climaxed the night. The bonfire represented the fire of the Holy Spirit that burns inside each member and the fireworks were the hope for the kingdom of heaven that God the Father and God the Mother have instilled in their hearts. Members expressed their surprise and excitement at the events and relished in the joy of sharing this special moment with all the members there. However, there was more to come.
Members woke up to a light rain shower that refreshed the camp and dampened the last remaining embers from the previous night’s bonfire. Right before the morning trumpet—played by a Church of God orchestra member—sounded, the sky cleared and each Church went about preparing breakfast.
By mid-morning, members again gathered in front of the Tent of Meeting. This time, it was to share words of Father Christ Ahnsahnghong and Heavenly Mother and give thanks to Them for uniting all the members on this day. The members prayed for unity, not only for this event, but always. As the Bible teaches us, God is pleased when brothers and sisters live together in unity (Ps. 133:1). The message prepared all the members for the upcoming activities.
East Coast Churches were divided into regions—North, South, East and West—and spent the rest of the afternoon participating in unity games designed with the specific purpose of encouraging members to work together in teams and groups to win the competition. Members took turns participating in the games. Those on the sidelines were actively cheering and encouraging their teammates to win for their region. After all the activities, the East Coast took home the Unity Games title.
Overall, the event was an exciting summer highlight—and an activity that will be continuously spoken about and never forgotten at the Church of God.