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. Members came from all over; Hudson, NH; Pittsburgh, PA; Richmond, VA; and everywhere in between.
The Church of God reserved half of the campground to accommodate all the members who spent the night at Skinners Falls. Members arrived Sunday afternoon and pitched their tents in a semi-circle around the Tent of Meeting, which was positioned in the middle of the campground. After settling down, members enjoyed lunch and casual games, like volleyball and football, or explored the area around the camp until everyone arrived at the site.
Before dinner, all the members gathered by the Tent of Meeting for words of welcome, with an emphasis on 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 sang New Songs, and some members even displayed their vocal talents in an impromptu talent show. Moreover, the members had a bonfire and surprise fireworks to close out the night.
The next morning, a light rain shower refreshed the camp and put out the last remaining embers from the previous night’s bonfire. Everyone woke up the next morning to the sound of a trumpeter’s reveille bugle call. Each church location prepared their own breakfast and prepared for the day’s activities.
By mid-morning, members again gathered in front of the Tent of Meeting. 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 branch churches were divided by 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 who remained on the sidelines continuously cheered and encouraged their teammates to win for their region. After all the activities, the East Region took home the Unity Games title.
Overall, the event was an exciting summer highlight—and a Labor Day Weekend activity that the members will always cherish.