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Newsletter for October 2002

The Pastorís Pen

What a joyous, harmonious and refreshing Festival of Tabernacles we were blessed with on Treasure Island the last week of September. No hurricanes!

While attendance was lower than we had hoped, the spirit of those in attendance was soaring. We met a number of new brothers & sisters in Christ & we pray that our relationship with these new brethren will flourish. We had in attendance families from 13 states: Alaska, Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, & Wisconsin.

This was the 22nd Festival of Tabernacles hosted by the Christian Church of God. I thank each and every one of you who gave of your time and self to make this Festival possible, pitching in to make this Festival such a joyous blessing to all in attendance. Those present expressed praise & gratitude for all the work and energy that went into making the Festival so joyous, warm & loving. Lots of work goes into a successful Festival: the mail-outs, pre-registration list, sound system, video recording, posters, set-up, fellowship activities, registration, ushering, song leading, piano accompaniment, and delightful special music.

Those in attendance from areas where they are not blessed with a church congregation to meet with each Sabbath expressed heartfelt gratitude for this missionary outreach effort, for providing a place to come once a year to be with brethren of like mind. It helps them remember that they are not alone. I thank all of our speakers who came from all over the country to deliver such powerful, insightful and inspiring words from our Creator who did indeed "tabernacle" with us at the Festival.

At this Festival, we baptized James Vines (in the Gulf of Mexico) & Ken Westby ordained Jamesí father, Merle Vines as an elder in Godís Church.

So, while the quantity did not meet our expectations, the quality of this intimate & loving Festival certainly exceeded my expectations. Les Stocker pointed out the fact that he sees our site is a "Pastoral Festival" with emphasis upon the individual. Calvin Burrell expressed his & the Church of God Seventh Dayís gratitude as the ONLY Festival site that reaches out to & includes their group. Our speakers represented the Association of Christian Development, The Church of God Seventh Day, The Braille Institute (a ministry for the blind) & the Christian Church of God. In past Festivals, a number of other church organizations have been represented on our speakersí agenda.

We must now decide whether or not we continue as a host for a Festival of Tabernacles. We cannot continue based upon this yearís participation. There just werenít enough of us there to carry on this rich & Godly tradition as the hosts.

So, on the Sabbath of October19th, we will decide Together As A Congregation. We will have a congregational meeting, along with a cookout at our home, 7710 White Plains, right after Sabbath Services. It is important for ALL in this congregation to attend, as we will be deciding whether or not to continue hosting a Festival of Tabernacles. I ask that each & every one of you pray about this important decision & show up to help us decide. Whatever we decide should be done as a team, a body with one mind, and not just myself or a handful of us.

To all of you who made this yearís Festival possible, in Jesusí words, "Well done good and faithful servantsÖ."

Jeff Booth

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