The congregation of Beth Shalom Community and Learning Center, led by Tina Munson, director, and Matt Munson, co-leader, hosted their first Jewish Adventist Camp Meeting in the Southern Union territory, October 14-21, 2019, at the beautiful Unicoi State Park in Helen, Georgia. There were approximately 75 people in attendance, with 30 to 35 attending daily workshops and teachings. The cultural Adventist Camp Meeting/Sukkot (the celebration of “The Season of Our Joy”) was in pioneer style, with the majority of the meetings outside except the Sabbath services. Most attendees were able to enjoy the outdoors in tents, cabins, and RVs — many attending from places as far as France, California, Texas, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Not only were there Jewish Adventists in attendance, but they were joined by some of their Jewish and Messianic Jewish friends in the area.
There were outstanding Bible studies with the focus on “The Season of Our Rejoicing,” with prophecy teachings in Daniel pointing toward the Messiah, with Richard Elofer, General Conference director of the World Jewish Adventist Friendship Center. “The Remnant of Israel” and “The Everlasting Covenant” were presented by Ralph Ringer, director of Jewish ministries for the North American Division and Southern Union. There were many guest speakers, including Mark Hart, lay leader from the Allegheny East Conference; Arnold Trujillo, former vice president of the Pacific Union; and Jeff Zaremsky, director of Shalom Adventure Magazine.
There were cultural workshops, including Sukkah building, the Lulav, Challah making, Tzitzit and Tallit, and Davidic Praise. There was outdoor education with camp skills, wild edibles, and plants for health purposes. “The Heavens are Telling the Good News in the Stars” was presented as they enjoyed the beauty of the evening skies that God has given.
There was support from the Georgia-Cumberland Conference, including Richard Pinero, district pastor; Edgar Alquinta, Atlanta North pastor; and Neil Reid, D.Min., Conference central region ministerial director.
The highlight of their time together was watching seven members of the Baez family follow Jesus/Yeshua in baptism, and Matt Munson, congregational co-leader, being set aside in ordination as an elder. At the end of Sukkot in Jewish tradition they said, “Next Year in Jerusalem.” Their prayer is that next year they will all tabernacle with Jesus in the New Jerusalem for eternity, but, until that day, may the fellowship of all believers bring fruit to celebrate the final harvest.
Next year, the second Jewish Adventist Camp Meeting will take place October 2-10.
is the director of church growth, evangelism training, and Jewish ministries at the Southern Union Conference in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, and the director of Jewish ministries for the North American Division in Columbia, Maryland.
is the leader of Beth Shalom Congregation Community and Learning Center in Cornelia, Georgia.
Southern Union | December 2019