As summer comes to a close in the Northern Adirondacks you might find yourself lost in the daily tumult of preparing for the upcoming winter months. However, the local Adventist churches decided to take a break from life’s mayhem to focus on what is really important: spending quality time with a loving Savior, fellowshiping with the community, and finding time to enjoy nature.
On August 9 and 10, “Worship in the Woods” took place. A large tent was erected in a clearing among the pine trees. Timothy Osborn, pastor of the Northern Adirondack district, was the speaker for the weekend. His theme for the event was “How the Love of God Can Transform Our Family and Community.” The meetings were well attended despite the temperamental weather. Visitors from Vermont, Florida, Texas, and Canada joined members from New York.
After the morning meeting, a few participants were asked about their thoughts on the event. Sandy from Florida said, “We really enjoyed everything. God was there and each person was wonderful to be with.” Linda, a local church member, said, “God touched me. When our world is full of hate and racism, to see that when we set our minds and hearts on God, we all have one thing that pulls us together. We are all God’s children and I see no color—I see a family coming together to worship our Creator.”
A traditional Adventist potluck of haystacks followed the church service. The afternoon was spent hiking the local trails and spending time painting on small rocks to take home as a reminder of a special time.
Around 4:00 p.m. the tent was again filled, this time with music. Listening to classical guitar renditions of sacred hymns and singing brought a new emotion to many who attended. “I felt really united with God and everyone there. Seemed like we left all our grievances, our hard feelings were gone, and everyone became one,” said Joyce from New York.
Dinner around a crackling bonfire followed. With everyone gathered around the fire singing, a feeling of harmony settled over the community. With so many people from different backgrounds joined as one, Mark from New York made the comment that “‘Worship in the Woods’ had none of the pomp and circumstance that I have come to expect from large religious meetings. It honestly felt like a family reunion.” In spite of the unpredictable weather, many people say they were blessed. It was a much-needed weekend in the Northern Adirondacks.
When life gets you running, remember to stop, spend time with your Savior, find a community with whom to fellowship, and take a walk in nature. If by chance you make it to the Northern Adirondacks in August, you are welcome to join “Worship in the Woods.”
Tamara Windover, member, High Banks church