SEC Camp Meeting Commences
20th June 2019
This week saw the start of the South England Conference (SEC) annual camp meeting, held from Monday 17 - Sunday 23 June, at Pontins, Prestatyn, North Wales. This year as in the past members from across the SEC territory assembled for a week of spiritual revival with biblical preaching, teachings on health, religious liberty and workshops on various topics. SEC President Pastor Emmanuel Osei opened the proceedings and highlighted the events that would occur throughout the week. Here is a brief summary of the activities so far:
Pastor David McKenzie, Youth Ministries director from Northeastern Conference in the United States, kicked off the SEC Camp Meeting in Prestatyn with an urgent message: 'Hold on! No compromise!'
He took as his passage, one of the darkest episodes in Israel's history, 1 Samuel 4. A succession of woes overtook Israel that day: Eli's sons were killed, the Israelite army was slaughtered, the Ark of the Covenant was captured, and the glory of God departed from Israel.
Pastor McKenzie challenged his listeners with a question, "so why did Israel lose the Ark? Why did they lose the glory, Church of the living God?" The problem was compromise. When they saw the other nations go into battle with their idols and images, instead of depending on their God, they decided to do the same. "The Seventh-day Adventist Church must not try to live in two worlds," he said, "The Church must know what it believes and stand for what is right."
Some of the young adults hit the beach ‒ but they weren't sunbathing! This was part of a plan for the young people of the SEC to enrich the areas of Prestatyn and Rhyl through practical acts of service. Armed with refuse sacks and litter pickers provided by the local council, a group of young people set about cleaning the beach and promenade next to Pontins. As well as helping to maintain the natural beauty of the beach, it was a great opportunity to interact with residents of Prestatyn. Everyone who walked past stopped for a chat, enquired about what was taking place and offered a word of encouragement. The young people involved were really pleased to be able to represent our Church and help the environment at the same time.
The day was capped off in the evening worship service by a dynamic sermon from guest speaker Pastor Dewayne Frasier who encouraged those present to trust God that He will bring us into a new season in His timing.
'God, I want to change the world, but can you first change me?'. This prayer repeated by the Teens in the morning service was represented throughout the activities of the day. In a safe, open and non-judgmental atmosphere, SEC Teens director, Pastor Juan Carlos Patrick, facilitated a candid discussion on helping individuals who struggle with pornography. After an initial cautious start, the young people actively engaged in talking about a subject seldom dealt with in a religious setting. Practical and spiritual advice was shared among the teens, counsellors and pastoral staff. Teens were also encouraged to develop and use existing 'quality' close relationships, with people they can trust and talk to, about any subject without feeling judged.
Christian Karlsson grew up in both Sweden and Uganda with a powerful story of how our health message has brought life. His grandfather was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 20 in the 1940s when diabetes victims had up to a ten-year life expectancy as there was no artificial insulin. Christian's grandfather's brother died 5 years after his diabetes diagnosis. Faced with this grave prognosis, his grandmother read Ellen White and went against the 'scientific' wisdom of her culture and changed the household to a largely plant-based diet. Ten years after the grandfather's diagnosis, Christian's mother was born, and he lived another 45 years! Christian believes he is here because of the effectiveness of the Seventh-day Adventist health message!The remaining services can be view on livestream here.