We are presenting two reports covering the Feast of Tabernacles in the United Kingdom and in the United States:
Feast Report for the United Kingdom
by Brian Gale
Millennial type surroundings for the Feast of Tabernacles are not always easily available but the Global Church of God in the UK again held God’s autumnal festival at Chatsworth House in beautiful rural Derbyshire in central England. Six years out of the last seven, this venue has been used, and all the approaches to Chatsworth House for services ensure that the beautiful countryside including sheep, deer and other animals, form part of a wonderfully picturesque landscape. The Peak District in Derbyshire is the second visited National Park in the world (only Mount Fuji in Japan has more visitors) and Chatsworth House is the most visited stately home in the UK. It is no surprise, therefore, that visitors are so impressed with the surroundings which are appropriate to what the Feast pictures. It is very difficult to envisage any Feast site anywhere in the world which more accurately reflects a millennial setting of peace and tranquility – and the quality of surroundings.
There were a number of organised activities which included a social evening, a superb Feast dinner and a coach tour of the beautiful surrounding area. Other activities were suggested for those interested in the many attractions in the area.
A public lecture was organised in Derby where Evangelist Norbert Link spoke on “Europe in Prophecy.” Mr Link
has written a booklet on this subject and his dynamic presentation was appreciated by both church members who attended this lecture in Derby and those who accepted the invitations to attend that were sent out.
Of course, the main thrust of any Feast are the church services and the sermons and sermonettes that are given, and these carefully prepared messages were given by Norbert Link, Brian Gale, Bill Koeneke, Terry McQuire, Andrew Burns, Peter Cartwright and Edwin Pope (on DVD). These outstanding messages contained much millennial content which inspired all those in attendance.
The Global Church of God in the UK welcomed visitors, as they do to weekly Sabbath services so long as they worship in peace and harmony, and these are characteristics that will prevail in God’s Kingdom in the World Tomorrow.; The eight days passed quickly, and what the Feast pictures – the Kingdom of God – cannot come quickly enough!
Advertising in the UK for the recently produced booklet “Mysteries of the Bible” attracted nearly 1,100 replies. The usual media was used and, whilst the response was slightly short of the level expected (around 1,400 was expected), nevertheless this booklet was requested by many who would be new to the truth of God and other responses may still be forthcoming.
Feast Report for the United States
by J. Edwin Pope
The Church of the Eternal God, for the past three years, has been blessed with the beautiful surroundings along the central coast of California, in the area of San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay for the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. Set in the natural beauty of ocean, mountains, and rich rolling hills, with a beautiful harbor and with the magnificent Morro Rock rising out of the waters of Morro Bay, this wonderful area was again named as the site for the Feast of Tabernacles, 2006.
As one takes sight of the coastline, The Bay Estuary is one of the largest unspoiled coastal marshes in the state and attracts over 200 species of native and migrating birds, including hummingbirds, mockingbirds, and great blue herons, as well as being a reserve for the Peregrine Falcon. Marine life and land based animals are also found in abundance. Marine life includes such species as elephant seals, sea otters, and gray whales. Monarch Butterflies migrate by the tens of thousands into the coastal areas.
San Luis Obispo County has approximately one hundred miles of stunning coastline, from the dramatic shores of the northern coast (Ragged Point, San Simeon, and Cambria) to spectacular Morro Rock (Morro Bay) to the smooth, diamond white sands of the southern beaches (Oceano, Grover Beach, Pismo Beach), truly a delight for the sight of all who love the beauty of God’s great Ocean of the Pacific!
Truly God has blessed the church for these past four fall festival seasons by inspiring His Name to be placed in this area for His Feast of Tabernacles!
Many truly magnificent restaurants are scattered along the coast and other areas of this paradise, but the favorite
physical food of most as we assemble here each year is the wonderful fish and chips served magnificently by restaurants throughout the area.
The official meeting site once again was on the premises of the Sea Pines Golf Resort located on Morro Bay in the small community of Los Osos – Baywood Park. The Mediterranean type climate enjoyed in the area added significantly to the overall enjoyment of our fellowship together.
Adding to the beauty of the area is the fact that San Luis Obispo County is a world-class wine producing region, which has attracted award winning acclaim. The wines made here are among the best in the world. The area includes two incredible wine growing regions, with over 80 wineries which are said to match any in the world. In California, only Napa and Sonoma exceed the grape production of this region. The soils and climate are perfect for growing grapes used in the production of superior wines. Numerous varieties of wines are produced here. San Luis Obispo has been exporting wines for over two hundred years.
This wonderful area, where God has placed His name for His annual festival has surely been a blessing to His people.
Once again, we had several planned activities which added to the fellowship enjoyed by all as we rejoiced together in God’s wonderful festival. Most everyone participated in a “game night” as well as a “70’s disco dance,” both of which were organized by the young adults of the church. We also enjoyed, together, a wonderful southern style Bar-B-Que.
An additional event which has been one of the central events occurs on Thursday night – “the Farmers’ Market” held in downtown San Luis Obispo. This event involves more than 120 vendors. Farmers park their trucks in the center of the street and restaurateurs wheel out massive barbeque pits for grilling ribs, chicken, tri-tip and even calzones under the evening sky. There are various food booths that offer everything from sandwiches, pizza-by-the-slice, to warm-from-the-oven cookies.
Also, one can find freshly harvested fruits and vegetables, bouquets of garden-grown flowers, hand-pressed cider and other seasonal treats.
Arts and crafts plus live entertainment are also found in abundance.
The entire event is “a street fair and produce market” and covers six downtown city blocks. Local shops are open late for shopping.
During the eight day festival, spiritually we were served fantastically – eight (8) sermons, six (6) split-sermons, and seven (7) sermonettes – a total of 21 presentations covering in depth God’s Great Plan! Speaking were David Harris, Terry Grade, Bob Bourque, Rene Messier, Kalon Mitchell, Norbert Link (DVD), Bill Grams, Eric Rank, Robb Harris, Michael Link, Gilbert DeVaux, and Edwin Pope.
This was truly a dynamic Feast of Tabernacles and all in attendance rejoiced in it. We were pleased to have several new families attend with us this year, and as usual several were unable to attend due to illness. These were kept in our prayers throughout the feast. We were pleased that once again we were able to send out via internet each day’s service, which many were able to pick up and thus able to enjoy with us God’s wonderful Feast of Tabernacles!