During the weekend of August 17-19, 2012 the Queensland Conference held its annual Camp Meeting at Ewen Maddock Dam Recreation Centre, near Landsborough on the Sunshine Coast.
In harmony with the AUC declaration of 2012 to 2013 as the “Year of Revival and Reformation”, the theme of the camp focused on “Reviving Primitive Godliness”.
On Friday afternoon members and friends from the north, the south and the west gathered at the camp grounds to welcome in the Sabbath day. The worship service, entitled “Denying Ungodliness” was taken by Br Anton Klemens and focused on recognising what God’s grace teaches us in view of godliness. Grace does not give us licence to sin, but rather teaches us to deny sin in our life, enabling us to live godly lives in this present world.
After the evening meal, Br Paul Chapman presented the main study for the evening, “Revival: Seeking True Godliness”. We recognised the reality of our own condition and the application to ourselves of the following testimony: “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work.” Review and Herald, March 22, 1887. Godliness was defined as piety, or religiousness, and as something that should be brought into every aspect of our lives—home, school, work and recreation. Revival, a renewing of our spiritual life, was also defined. He then went on to outline the necessary steps we need to take to seek such a revival. An appeal was made to make this entire weekend one where spiritual revival would lead to a genuine reformation in the lives of all who attended.
The Sabbath day’s program was extra special this year. Not only was it packed full with timely messages, but it also featured an afternoon baptism.
The morning worship, entitled “Godliness with Contentment”, was presented by Br Jonathan Brown, and highlighted to us that our contentment and true happiness do not come from material possessions but from a life lived in consecration to God.
After breakfast, we all prepared for the Sabbath School program. The classes were all well attended and participation in the lesson discussion was high.
Br Alasdair Pow, who was our visiting speaker, presented “Jesus: The Promise of Godliness” for the hour of public worship. When it comes to living godly lives, Jesus is both our example and source of power. He is represented as a deliverer from sin—both its guilt and power. As the promised deliverer, He would “turn away ungodliness” from His people. He did this by manifesting godliness in the flesh, and offers to manifest that same godliness in all of us. This experience we can have today.
In the afternoon Youth Meeting, many beautiful songs and musical items were shared in praise to the Lord. Immediately following the Youth Meeting, a Profession of Faith service was held for Bro Jamie Squires. We then made our way down to the shore of the lake to witness his baptism and welcome him in as a member of God’s organised church on earth (see report below).
With the close of Sabbath fast approaching, we all made our way up from the lakeside and back to the meeting hall. Br Jordan Chapman then took as through a short study entitled “A False Godliness: Form without the Power” to close the Sabbath. He highlighted the danger we face of being in the position of the foolish virgins. They loved being with God’s people, but failed to allow his word to dwell in their hearts. Their lives became a form. We need to follow the example of the wise virgins who let God’s Word transform their natures so completely that they fully reflected the character of Jesus.
Following supper, the evening was spent in social activity around a beautiful bonfire.
Sunday morning we all awoke to the call “Break up Your Fallow Ground” as Br Amos Thiel delivered the worship service. We learnt that the fallow ground is something that is not easy to break up, but it must be done if the precious seed of God’s word is to take root and bear fruit in our life. The things in our hearts that come between us and a loving relationship with God need to be given up.
After breakfast, Br John Araya took us through “Modern Challenges to Primitive Godliness”. Here we discovered a number of things that act as hindrances to us living a godly life and how to deal with these challenges. We then finished off the meeting by hearing from three young people regarding the personal challenges they each face in living a consecrated life. All were encouraged by these testimonies.
We then broke into prayer bands where all had an opportunity to pray for the spiritual needs of each one personally as well as our local churches and groups.
Br Juan Ricardo Amaya, concluded the main series of meetings with a stirring presentation on “Reformation: Living True Godliness”. He highlighted the need to ensure we are living a life that has been truly revived. Any other life of reformation will be like a house that is built on sand. When the storms come it will be washed away. Only by experiencing a true revival can we live a life of true reform.
“Brethren and sisters, we need the reformation that all who are redeemed must have, through the cleansing of mind and heart from every taint of sin. In the lives of those who are ransomed by the blood of Christ, self-sacrifice will constantly appear. Goodness and righteousness will be seen. The quiet, inward experience will make the life full of godliness, faith, meekness, patience. This is to be our daily experience. We are to form characters free from sin—characters made righteous in and by the grace of Christ. . . . Our hearts are to be cleansed from all impurity in the blood shed to take away sin.” Counsels on Health, p. 633.
The spiritual conference closed with a final few words from Br Alasdair Pow and Br Paul Chapman.
Refreshed spiritually we then sought to refresh ourselves physically through an afternoon of “Adventures in Nature” activity—high ropes, canoe rides and camp clean-up. A wonderful time was had by all. We thank the Lord for the blessed weekend of spiritual refreshing and Christian recreation amidst the surrounds of His beautiful creation.