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 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. 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, 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 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 sang New Songs and some members even displayed their vocal talents in an impromptu talent show. Then a bonfire and surprise fireworks display closed 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. To wake everyone up, one of the Church of God orchestra members played a loud trumpet just like like they do in summer camp. Everyone started to come out of the tents to prepare breakfast.
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 an activity that will be continuously spoken about and never forgotten at the Church of God.