Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement 22nd General Conference Public Spiritual Meetings – 10-13 September 2015
A large company of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement members and friends had the privilege to meet together for the 22nd General Conference spiritual meetings, which took place in Roanoke Virginia during 10-13 September 2015. What a grand time it was when over 1000 believers raised their voices together in song worshiping our heavenly Father.
The theme of the 22nd General Conference Spiritual Public Meetings was, “Christ is all, and in all”. A special theme song was composed and written for the occasion by Brother Nathan Tyler.
It was wonderful to know that a number of our Australian members and friends were able to be present at that special occasion. I asked some of them if they would like to relate some of their experiences during the General Conference and their travels; some of them answered, and I would like to share these with you:
“The General Conference spiritual meetings began on Thursday evening. They were held in, the huge auditorium at Salem Civic Center—an impressive venue on its own, but made beautiful by the stage design and lighting put together especially for our meetings.
I walked in, and the first thing that caught my attention were the cameras and computers at work capturing and maintaining a live video stream over the Internet. There were many people I knew there working hard along with some new faces. On the second level, on a small alcove overlooking the whole place, there was another camera set up where Bro Bobby and Sis Junee hosted the live broadcast audience. Watching them and the video crew made me think I was watching a news crew. I was so glad we were doing something so professional.
The front stage was beautifully decorated, and the large screens helped remind me what a huge event this was, probably one of the biggest our church in North America has ever hosted. Many different people were involved on stage, from playing or leading out in the music to the actual messages. The first evening touched my heart when Bro Silva mentioned how Jesus prays for us. As I thought of my own struggles it was a comfort to know Jesus cares so much.
One thing that stood out to me was, even though this was a huge event, it felt like everyone was family. There were so many familiar faces that were so overjoyed to see one another again. I felt blessed as I felt this oneness with so many and how God is leading us all. The sad part was that, because of the large numbers in attendance, as I sat on the upper stands, many times I would see a familiar face and long to catch up—but that fleeting glimpse would be the last time I might notice that person. But on the other hand, there were so many rich times of meeting up with different ones and having wonderful heart-to-heart conversations.
The music was rich and beautiful. The choir and orchestra practiced for many days before the event and did a lovely job. I was overjoyed as I heard the words of the theme song, written by my own dear husband, sung by over a thousand people. I knew each line, and the story it told was rich and meaningful. The concert Sabbath evening was lovely with items from different parts of the world. I particularly enjoyed the Russians along with the Halleluiah chorus sung by the choir. I know it must have been good, when I heard my seven-year-old son tell his aunty she really should have been there to hear the concert—it was worth hearing!
One of my favourite meetings was by Bro. Rolly Dumaguit. He showed many pictures and told the stories from our region of the world. It thrilled my heart as I saw him show and tell stories from around the Pacific, including our own Elim Heights and Schofields. His presentation was packed with lots of interesting details.
There is much to say, but these were some the highlights for me. The meetings were over too soon. But I was left with the feeling that we are a worldwide people who are traversing a pathway together through this world. I pray that we will all be successful in that journey, and that along the way we will be effective lights for Jesus, in whatever corner of the world we might be.”
~ Danica Tyler
“My experience at the General Conference Spiritual Session, 2015, was both meaningful and over-whelming, when over 1,000 people of like faith gathered for the ‘Christ is All and In all’ experience. There were many new faces which I didn’t have time to greet, but it was exciting to recognize those with whom I had met at the Bushkill Youth Camp-General Conference thirty-six years previous. There was a hymn appropriately written for the occasion which was a highlight, along with the wonderful world choir and orchestra. Meetings were prompt with orchestra playing and choir singing in between.
I encourage everyone to unite, raise the standards and be found ready and waiting for our wonderful Saviour. What a day that will be, when with Jesus we will be, forever and never have to part again or say good-bye.!!!”
~ Daphne Newman
“On Wednesday morning we got up early to catch our flight that would change two times to get to Roanoke, only to hear one flight was running late and they had to rebook us on a later flight. Waiting at the Airport for six to seven hours didn’t sound like our way of having fun, but we had no option.
As the time for our flight got nearer, we noticed people arriving that looked like reformers; this was confirmed when seeing Br and Sr Devai, who were booked to board the same plane.
When we arrived at Roanoke after being further delayed by a thunderstorm we were met by lots of reformers and eventually taken to our Motel.
While in Roanoke we were taken to and fro by buses. This was a very good service.
The food was good and organised very well seeing the amount of people they had to cater for.
The meetings were very precise and straight to the point–very punctual and stopped right on time. I was impressed that many preachers emphasised the point that the only One that can help us is Jesus, but we must be ready to surrender all to Him.
The music was great, both during services and during recess.
It was a wonderful experience visiting the General Conference Headquarters. The area is lovely, and the building is very nice. I especially loved seeing the photos of the different General Conferences and picking out people we knew years ago.
Roanoke is a lovely town and the hills around are very pretty.
It was lovely to meet up with friends I knew when I was a teenager, really a little taste of heaven.”
~ Dorothy Kelly
“I was very privileged to attend the GC; it was such a blessing. I especially enjoyed meeting new people, making friends and catching up with those I already knew. The meetings were very interesting; it was nice to hear what is going on in other parts of the world. The venue was really nice, and the volunteers worked very hard to help make it all happen. Sonya and I had the privilege of travelling before and afterwards. We were away almost six weeks; we were able to see some Adventist heritage sites and meet with lots of church people, such a blessing!”
~ Linda Goudie
“It was an amazing experience to be able to attend the GC session held at Roanoke, Virginia, this year.
I want to thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity to help out with it and for the experience and friendships made during that time.
I had been invited to volunteer with the office side of things, and so I enjoyed learning what goes on behind the scenes at these special events!
The conference began Thursday evening, and I was sitting behind the registration table with a couple of other volunteers when the first of the guests began arriving. It was a really enjoyable time getting to meet the different visitors from all over the world.
The theme of the conference was “Christ Is All and In All”. The meetings were all live streamed so viewers from all around the world were able to join in the meetings and also hear the beautiful music that was provided at the beginning and ending of each meeting.
On Sabbath there was an estimate of around 1400 people, and being surrounded with believers and people there all praising and worshiping God together was an overwhelming feeling.
I praise and thank God for providing the means and helping the different people who worked hard and many long hours behind the scenes for it all to run smoothly.
Yours in Christ”
~ Shelley Newman
“On the 17 of August, we flew from Brisbane to USA; the trip went smoothly and no drama. We arrived in Roanoke Virginia and met up with a fellow Australian, Shelley Newman. The first week we stayed at the GC Headquarters. It was nice to put faces to all the names I had heard about for years.
The first week, I was in the kitchen cooking and packing things up ready to take to the delegation setting. My brother Jonathan was setting up building translating booths, for the translators to translate at the delegation. After a wonderful Sabbath of fellowship with other believers, on Sunday was the day we had to pack up and move to the delegation area. We were all very busy getting things ready for the delegates who would be arriving Sunday night and Monday. For the rest of the week we had the delegation. All of us volunteers were kept very busy keeping everything running as smooth as possible.
At the end of the second week, we had the opportunity to play in a choir and orchestra. We had to practice together for three days, and then we had to pack up and move everything to the place where we were having the General Conference meetings.
Thursday night was the opening of the conference. On Friday they had a heath program and a lot of good spiritual meetings and opening of Sabbath. Sabbath, we gathered for morning worship and breakfast then Sabbath School, and the Word of God was brought to us by Br D. Silva for Divine service. After lunch we had more meetings and many items and experiences, from all around the world. It was a blessing; there were over 1000 people who were able to attend the General Conference Spiritual Meetings.
I thank God that we had the opportunity to go the delegation and the General Conference. It was wonderful to be around so many like-minded Christians, all from the four corners of the earth.”
~ Jessica Brown
“At long last I had made it as the plane took off from Kingsford Smith Airport, Sydney, bound for LA International Airport, where through connecting flights I would arrive to my final destination at Roanoke, Virginia U.S.A. for the 22nd General Conference Spiritual Meetings, 2015!
“I would like to take this time to thank God for the wonderful opportunity He provided, that I was able to attend this magnificent gathering of God’s people and to be strengthened in faith as a result. It truly was a blessing!
“I would like to tell you the good thing God did for me there at the Spiritual Conference. Br. Adrian Finaru (USA) shared his study, ‘Christ is All for Me’ (Revelation 3: 18), and he was talking about the power of God and how we can receive it. As he was saying these things, I was thinking to myself, ‘This is true…. I believe it.’ It was at that time whilst I was sitting there that I received power from God!
“And I shared this blessing with others around me, even with Br. Finaru. After sharing this with a retired SDARM Minister, he said to me, ‘We must cherish these impressions.’ Later when I finally arrived home to Australia, I found a statement from RH, January 30, 1894 par. 3 reaffirming what he said because there is a danger of losing the blessing.
“As a result, my faith in Christ and His Church was reaffirmed, and this is what I came away believing. ‘And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.’ Revelation 18:1.
“Dear reader, that angel is us, the SDARM. God gave me power at this gathering and peace, ‘…the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,…’ Phil. 4:7. I came away understanding God gives us His power that we may reveal His glory, His character of love to others in these last days.
May God help us.”
~ Craig Cunningham.
If you missed this event or simply would like to be refreshed by it again and again, just click on the following links:
Spiritual Meetings or sdarm.org/gcs2015
Sacred Concert and special items or sdarm.org/gcs2015music