Every year during the last weekend of June and the first weekend of July, it is customary for Northeastern Conference (NEC) to have its annual camp meeting on the grounds of Camp Victory Lake in Hyde Park, New York. Camp meeting this year was originally not included on the NEC calendar because the General Conference Session was scheduled to occur in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Since the General Conference postponed its session because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Northeastern Conference administrators made urgent plans to have a virtual camp meeting. Thanks to tedious planning, camp meeting was held on the social media platforms of the conference—the NEC Facebook page (facebook.com/northeasternsda), NEC website (northeastern.org), and NEC’s Youtube channel (https://bit.ly/2ZMB43O).
The NEC Youth Ministries department planned and presented programs on Friday, June 26, with Damian Chandler, senior pastor of the Capital City church in Sacramento, California. The following Friday evening, July 3, Timothy Harris, a pastor in the Southeastern Conference, was the speaker.
The traditional adult programming began each Sabbath morning with Sabbath School followed by the worship service. On June 27, Ephesus church hosted Sabbath School and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, U.S. Representative for New York’s 8th congressional district, joined the service and gave greetings. The worship service speaker, G. Alexander Bryant, then North American Division executive secretary (now newly-elected North American Division president), delivered his sermon via Zoom with production for programming taking place remotely.
The following Sabbath, Faith church hosted Sabbath School and Bill de Blasio, New York City mayor, joined the service to bring greetings. The programming was produced at a remote location and from the Northeastern Conference office building. Oswald Euell, Northeastern Conference executive secretary, preached his sermon from the multipurpose room that was transformed into a production studio.
JeNean Lendor, NEC assistant to the president for communication, in partnership with Gary Saunders, Praizevision CEO/Founder, created the unique setup for this unprecedented virtual camp meeting. Kimberly Holmes-James coordinated the music for the Sabbath programs. More than 34,000 people viewed the virtual camp meeting services for both weekends.
—Communication staff, Northeastern Conference