The biennial WA Field Conference was held on the weekend of September 13-16. Our theme was “Revive Us Again,” on the subject of Revival & Reformation. God provided perfect weather for us throughout the conference and it was a delight to meet again at the conference campgrounds.
At our previous Field Delegation session last year it was decided to hold more group Bible studies and study groups as opposed to ‘sermons’ during the camp meeting. The decision was based on the following statement:
“It has been shown me that our camp-meetings are to increase in interest and success. As we approach nearer the end, I have seen that in these meetings there will be less preaching, and more Bible study. There will be little groups all over the ground with their Bibles in their hands, and different ones leading out in a free, conversational study of the Scriptures.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 87.
With this in mind, the WA Field Committee arranged to hold group morning worships in the cabins, led out by cabin leaders and 3 Bible study/workshop sessions over the course of the conference. Since we have a lot of children in our field, the morning worships worked out beautifully as it allowed mothers with little babies to stay in the comfort of their own cabin while still joining in for worship. Cabin leaders were given brief worship content to make their own and then present to the members of their cabins. It was good to know that each group was sharing the same spiritual message and singing the same hymns.
The study groups also were very well received. They were entitled, “The Reviving Word: How Can the Scriptures Make a Difference in My Life?”, “Missionaries by Birth: Ways & Means of Witnessing of Jesus” and “Developing a Personal Mission Statement.” These were, in reality, Bible studies presented in a free conversational style with plenty of participation from the group.
The meeting topics were, “Steps to True Revival”, Reformation Begins With Me”, “Christ the Reformer”, and “Outward Correctness vs Inward Integrity.”
In his meeting, “Steps to True Revival”, Bro. Jim Newman brought out how our attitude is a major catalyst to the revival Christ wants to work in us. He also brought out the outcome of true revival by sharing this alarming statement, “When we reach the standard that the Lord would have us reach, worldlings will regard Seventh-day Adventists as odd, singular, straight-laced extremists. We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” —Review & Herald, January 9, 1894 par. 10
In the next meeting, “Reformation Begins With Me”, Bro. Gerson focused on what led to Revival and Reformation in Nehemiah’s day. The basic thought here was that all true Reformation has its foundation in the Law of God. The people in Nehemiah’s day read the Law of God and as they read, it showed them how deformed they were in their plans, ideas and practices. This led to confession, repentance, restoration and reformation. It was shown also, how Christ takes away our deformity of character through bearing our sins and restoring our minds to reflect His character and will.
Bro. Ben Thiel took our Divine Service entitled, “Christ the Reformer” where he showed how Christ stood out in contrast to the philosophies of His day by being whom He was and teaching what He did. It was a needed reminder to us to see how we measure up against the Standard.
Bro. Alex Ng’uni led out in our last meeting of the conference entitled, “Outward Correctness vs Inward Integrity”. This enlightening revealing statement was read from Steps to Christ, “…Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them…Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.” SC 18.1
As I mentioned before, our Field has a lot of children! Among these were 3 brand new babies being dedicated to the Lord. Their names are: Imogen Brown, Dylan Balarezo and Hadassah Robles. Bro. Ben Thiel (Union Representative) prayed for each one separately and asked God to protect and guide in the upbringing of these children and also that they should be a tool in Christ’s hand to minister to others in their growing years.
The parents were happy as they pondered the words of Christ when He invited the children saying, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14
Another special highlight of our conference happened on Sabbath afternoon. A special meeting was held for praise and for the ordination of Bro. Jacques Payet to the eldership. We were thrilled as we saw our church’s sanctioning by the laying on of hands of the work Bro. Jacques has been called for.
Bro. Ben Thiel led out in the ordination service by briefly relating the qualifications and work of an elder according to the Scriptures and then inviting Jacques to stand when the following questions were asked:
- Are you earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints?
- Are you resolved to devote yourself wholly to God and His work?
- Are you in harmony with the beliefs and practices of the Remnant Church and are you willing to teach them to others by precept and example?
- Are you willing to follow the order, rules and decisions of the church according to a "thus saith the Lord"?
- Do you understand and are you willing to enforce the discipline of the church according to Matt. 18:15-18; to up hold the high spiritual and moral standards of this church.
- Will you diligently do the work of a shepherd, caring for the lambs and sheep of the flock and act as a messenger of God to those in danger?
- Will you be faithful to the principles of health and dress reform, both in precept and by example?
- Are you determined to employ your full time in the work of God and to be exact and punctual in all your duties?
May the Lord bless our dear brother and his family as they press forward in this important work and we praise our God for a blessed conference.