Volume 4 Issue 31 August 5, 2021
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Redwood Camp Meeting
Last month’s Redwood Camp Meeting provided the inspiration and encouragement that many were seeking. “People came hungry for spiritual food,” said Ed Fargusson, assistant to the president. “They just wanted to be uplifted – to come apart and have a true spiritual retreat.”

More than 900 people attended the camp meeting, which was divided into two six-day sessions. Some people camped in tents and RVs, while others came for a day. Compared with previous years, the event was very simple. The grocery store, cafeteria, ministry booths, and other amenities were closed. Adults attended two meetings per day – both held in the outdoor Pepperwood Pavilion. Some highlights:

  • Gary Venden, senior pastor of the Glendale church in Arizona, and Lee Venden, a revivalist in the Arizona Conference, presented a series on the Book of John.
  • A number of pastors and laypeople held programs for children and teens.
  • Campers gave more than $52,000 to help with camp meeting costs.
  • Forty people donated blood to the Northern California Community Blood Bank. This was the 34th year that the bloodmobile came to Redwood!
  • Two people were baptized during the final weekend.

My favorite part of camp meeting was the part that started at 9:00 and finished at 9:00!” joked Director Harry Salvini. “It was all powerful!”

Plans are already in the works for next year’s camp meeting, July 21-30, 2022. New camp caretaker Jeremy Salvini and volunteers will be busy working on the grounds before then. Keep up with the news at redwoodareacamp.com.
Thank You, Redwood Volunteers!
We asked NCC administrators and directors who attended this year’s camp meeting to bring back stories of volunteers with servant hearts, who passionately worked for the Lord at Redwood.
Basil Oilar - Security
By Willie Johnson, African American Ministries Coordinator/Urban Ministries Director

I had the privilege of working with an amazing gentleman whom I now call friend, Basil Oilar, a Eureka church member. We worked together for two weeks handling safety and security assignments.

Basil surrendered his life to Jesus back in 2016 after receiving an impression that he would die if he didn’t change his life. He began his quest to follow the Lord by first attending an independent Sabbath-keeping church, but he eventually backslid into the world of drugs. Not long after this, the Holy Spirit led him to the Eureka church, where he met Pastor Roger Williams. Later he was invited to camp meeting, and he eventually began working with Williams, doing what he’s still doing – helping to provide safety and security.

Brother Basil is an excellent pastry chef! (I sampled his pumpkin spice bread and his root beer cake.) He provides cake of some sort every week for the Eureka church potluck. “Preparing food for my church gives me another purpose for service in my Christian walk,” he told me.

Redwood Camp Meeting is a little safer with Basil around because he is committed and passionate about caring for the people of God.
Elena Blum - Children’s Division
By Jim Lorenz, Ministerial Director

Everyone who saw the gate leading to the children’s division for ages 5-9 was immediately drawn to the elaborate sets behind it. The division’s theme was “The Christian Journey,” focusing on the story of The Pilgrim’s Progress. The sets included Doubting Castle, Vanity Fair, the Celestial City, and more. Each day, the kids acted out part of the story and also learned about the armor of God.

High school sophomore Elena Blum served as the division’s assistant director. (Her mom, Coreena, was the director.) Elena worked on all aspects of the program, including planning, setting up, and teaching. “Seeing it all come together was pretty cool,” she said. She enjoyed creating the “Bible Museum,” which featured David’s slingshot, the forbidden fruit, the jawbone of a donkey, and other items from familiar stories.

Every day, the children spent four and a half hours in the division, rotating through various stations. I am sure they won’t forget how much fun they had learning about Jesus.

“I want the kids to have good memories of camp meeting,” said Elena, a member of the Manteca church. “I loved it here when I was little. Camp meeting was my favorite part of the summer.”
Ken Eastburn - Pumper Truck
By Jose Marin, Executive Secretary

At this year’s camp meeting, I had the opportunity to talk with Ken Eastburn, who drives the pumper truck. Although he is not a member of the Adventist Church, he has been doing this work at camp meeting for six years. He told me that Redwood is a sanctuary for him. “Every time I come, I am changed,” said Ken (pictured on the left with Camino church Pastor Avi Mendoza).

Although we usually think of camp meeting as a time of spiritual refreshment for church members, it can also serve a missional purpose. I think about the many grandparents – whose children are no longer church members – who bring their grandkids. I think about the people that have drifted away from God who come to Redwood to see old friends. I think about people, like Ken, who find it easier to go camping than to go to church. God is using Redwood to draw all these people to Himself.
Richard & Duane Dederer - Heavy Equipment
By Sal Alvarado, ABC Manager

I appreciate Richard (pictured in red) and Duane Dederer – members of the Redding church. Each summer, they arrive a week before camp meeting starts and stay a week after. They drive the backhoe, tractor, forklift, and cherry picker. They’ve built bridges, repaired buildings, dug trenches, trimmed trees, and more! They are willing to do whatever the camp requires – always with a smile. These men have a strong desire to serve the Lord, and they love people.

The brothers were raised in a farming family in Canada, and their father taught them to drive tractors and all kind of agricultural equipment. Nearly 40 years ago, after they had moved to the Redding area, they heard that Redwood had a lot of energetic elderly volunteers, but needed younger workers. They offered to help in any way they could, and they have not missed a camp meeting since 1983. They now serve on the Redwood board of directors.

“We are very passionate every year to have the campground ready for the campers,” said Richard, who is 80 years old.

“We don’t mind driving 200-plus miles from home to serve the community that comes to the meetings,” said Duane, who is 79. “We enjoy helping people.”
President Ricardo Graham Is Retiring
Pacific Union Conference President Ricardo Graham is retiring after 47 years of service to the Adventist Church, including many years in the NCC. We are grateful for his inspiring and Christ-focused leadership! Watch a short video about his ministry.

Delegates from throughout the union will gather in Tucson, Arizona, Aug. 15-16, for a constituency session to elect a new president and other officers.
Office Closing at Noon Today
The NCC office will be closing at noon today, Aug. 5, as a thank-you to NCC administrative assistants. This year’s Administrative Professionals Day took place in April during the office shutdown, and so this is a belated celebration.
Upcoming Events
Learn about upcoming women’s ministries programs, including an event this weekend, on the NCC women’s ministries page.

You are welcome to join the NCC prayer call every Thursday morning.
Adventist Book Center
This coming Sunday, Aug. 8, is the last day to get camp meeting special prices on vegetarian food at the NCC ABC. Don’t miss out!

The NCC ABC will be making prepaid drop-off deliveries in Northern California and Nevada during the month of August.
Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
(916) 886-5600 I www.nccsda.com