WA Adventists come together for Easter camp

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Pastor Ben Tavao leads worship in the Jenisus tent.

Seventh-day Adventists from all over Western Australia came together on Easter weekend for the annual Conference Easter Camp.

The Western Australia Conference is the largest, single conference geographically in the South Pacific region and sees people travel from great distances, up to one-third of Australia, to attend. With perfect weather and plenty of space on the Advent Park campground, Maida Vale, programs were run to cater for adults and children of all ages.

Young people went to nearby basketball courts for exercise.

In the big tent, Dr Bill Kilgore, Theology professor at Southwestern Adventist University, Texas, spoke mainly about the book of Thessalonians and the Advent believers there. Dr Ross Grant, from the Australasian Research Institute, presented on the secrets of longevity and the research that his team is doing to back up traditional Adventist health principles.

In the Jenisus tent, where the praise and worship part of the service was a little more contemporary, Professor of New Testament and Andrews Seminary, Ranko Stefanovic, spoke about the book of Revelation. His presentations focused on Jesus’ role in the different parts of Revelation, as king, priest and lamb, and what that means today. Pastor Ben Tavao led the worship team, complete with a choir from the Cannington and Samoan churches and a couple of former Endless Praise members.

Pastor Terrance Taylor and family.

Pastor Terrance Taylor spoke about Esther in the Youth shed and about having a special mission. He was partnered by Eddie Hypolite who ran morning worships for the young people. The back of the Youth shed was set up like a café, complete with chandeliers and crate furniture, by a team from the Kulikup church. Here young people could listen to live music and grab a hot drink.

The children were not forgotten with David Toogood, Andrew Olsen,  Malcolm Eastwick and Robert Stankovic presenting fun, interactive programs for the various age groups.

Other presenters such as Nathan Brown, book editor for Signs Publishing, Pastor Bruce Manners, former Adventist Record editor and author, Pastors Derek McCutcheon and Clem van Ballegooyen, from the WA Conference, Pastor Dave Hamilton, South Australian Conference, and Jarrod Stackelroth, Adventist Record editor, presented at various tents and workshops throughout the weekend.

“The WA Camp was so friendly and had such a good atmosphere,” said one first-time attendee. “I’ve been to other camps which were good but this one was great, I’ll definitely be back.”

A young helper gives out The Table TV balloons and magazines.

Market day on Sunday gave churches and ministries the chance to fundraise or just let people know about their products, with delicious local produce being sold, as well as things being handed out.

For the first time this year, Saturday night was an Adventist Media Network West film festival, with the theme of Fruits of the Spirit. About 12 entrants were narrowed down to one winner on a night that was complete with red carpet and dressing up in camp finery.

The literature evangelists held their annual lunch on Sunday in market square, with about 150 people attending to hear “stories of faith with Jarrod Stackelroth”.

Brenton Lowe, who organised the event, was happy with the turnout and reports that a few people expressed an interest in taking part in pop-up bookstores or joining the literature work themselves.

Western Australia’s men’s ministry were also active, with morning and afternoon meetings, workshops and a breakfast during the weekend.

Pastor Terry Johnson, president of WA Conference, thanked all the speakers and volunteers who make Easter Camp such a spiritual feast. “Without you, Easter Camp is impossible to run. You mean so much to each of us and from the bottom of our hearts at the conference office, THANK YOU!”