8th June 2017
Last weekend (2–4 June) members and friends of Plymouth church gathered together at Chapel Porth, Cornwall for their annual family camp. Friday evening saw the small group arrive safely on site and enjoy a meal together before bringing in the Sabbath with worship.
The speaker for the weekend was Pastor Jim Botha who was originally from South Africa and currently ministering in Scotland. Using examples found in Exodus he spoke about problem solving and how to cope with simple, complicated, complex and chaotic problems by relying completely on God. He alone, in His almighty power can solve any problem, we have only to pray, handing the problem over to God and follow His plans for us.
Pastor Botha highlighted four promises from God found in Exodus chapters 3 and 4; "I will be with you, I will lead you, I will teach you and I will do something/act." Worship was filled with song requests led by Matthew Herman on the piano with Daniel Costin (saxophone) and Gemma Hall (guitar).
Pastor Botha involved everyone by doing simple problem-solving exercises and encouraged those with a different first language to recite the same Bible verse for everyone to listen to. It was fascinating to hear the passages recited in seven different languages. Just after sunset everyone headed down to Chapel Porth beach to enjoy the last embers of light on the horizon. The perfect end to a beautiful day.
On Sabbath morning Pastor Herman led the Sabbath School lesson which focused on promises in the Bible such as Jeremiah 29:11; "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." The children learnt and performed the 'Ravens' Wings' for the group as they had learnt about Elijah and the ravens in Sabbath School.
After lunch friends from local churches, Redruth and St Austell, joined the group for a walk up to the St Agnes Beacon, along the coast and to the beach. The beauty of the coastline around Chapel Porth never ceases to amaze. In the evening after some songs of praise everyone sat around decorated tables for an Agape Feast. In groups of two or three everyone prayed for one another and shared in communion before dining. The occasion was very thought-provoking and moving. As night fell the bonfire was lit and everyone enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere. Gemma Hall observed that "it was great to spend some quality time in a small group. It made me feel closer to those around me and to God."
On Sunday, after a wet start, the day brightened up allowing for fun and games on the campsite before everyone set off for home after lunch. Pastor Herman commented that "the day of the worst forecast weather, turned out to be the best sunny day. God is truly our canopy of grace."
Everyone had a great time and look forward for next year's camp.