Wonderful Feast of Tabernacles in PCB

Tuesday, October 02, 2018
Panama City Beach, Florida, United States
We just completed a wonderful Feast of Tabernacles in Panama City Beach, Florida where we kept it with 1,060 people from all over the United States.  A highlight for us was having my son Michael, daughter-in-law Alix and grandchildren Alyssa, Elena and twin boys Ethan and Evan with us the entire eight days.  This was truly a family Feast as we enjoyed being together this concentrated period of time. 
The highlights of any Feast are the daily meetings of all people.  I felt the speakers went to great lengths to prepare visionary, inspiring, educational, encouraging messages that gave everyone hope for this world's and their personal future.  As we know, the Feast of Tabernacles celebrates the coming Kingdom of God that we pray for daily as Jesus Christ instructed in Matthew 6:10: "Your Kingdom Come." 
I'd like to share a moment about our people that I'm very pleased with.  One of the shuttle drivers of the condo complex where we stayed came to me.  He said that he understood I was president of the United Church of God.  He then went on to tell me how much he was impressed by our people over the past five years.   He said that there was NO OTHER group at the Convention Center that had the spirit we did in how we talked and dealt with one another.  He spoke about how he noticed all the kinds of people in our midst from young to old and what a "family" we were.  I relayed this in the sermon I gave.
The music was superb both in the chorale and solo numbers.  
Our services were webcast to the public and regularly had more watching online than were present at PCB.  Our attendance was over 1,000 for most days.  On opening day there were 1,062 in attendance. There were two main webcasting areas. One was Bend, Oregon (Pacific time zone) and here at Panama City Beach in the Central time zone.  Also, the annual webcast from the Church's leadership was from PCB.  Council of Elders Chairman Donald Ward and I shared the time in one webcast on the weekly Sabbath during the Feast (Sept. 29).
In addition to sermons, there were Bible studies, youth instruction, a special opening night welcome message and a meeting with an Ambassador Bible College representative for those interested in applying.  
There were many family activities for children, teens, young adults and family that included dances and recreational events.  Also, there was a senior citizen's lunch that was very well-attended.  
It was also wonderful to connect with people we've known for decades as we travel our earthly journey.  It was a time to share perspective and our hopes.  
Our family went out on a pontoon ride one afternoon.  We had some time to allow the children to swim. Our pontoon had two slides.  We did get caught in a squall and barely made it back to port in the heavy rain.  We were totally drenched.  
I'm writing this on the day we check out.  From here we fly to Houston, Texas later in the day and then all night to London, where we have a layover until our flight to Sri Lanka. We arrive midday Thursday. 
Off we go!  Follow our trip, visits with people and experiences here on this TravelArk blog.
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