[Photo Courtesy of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists]

General Conference

Adventist Global Virtual Campmeeting to Launch May 19

This online event will bring members together from around the world to encourage each other, focus on our beliefs, and prepare for the mission at hand.

Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Beth Thomas

The Covid-19 crisis has brought unprecedented challenges to the globe as millions of people face social isolation, severe health concerns, loss of income and even death. According to the World Health Organization, “the economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating.”[1]
As a faith community, Seventh-day Adventists understand the importance of fellowship with other believers. As the body of Christ, we are to encourage and uplift each other through difficult times. As 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “…Comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing” (NKJV).  

Throughout the pandemic, local congregations, conferences and regional offices have been doing their best to provide connection between members through virtual church services, special conferences, and online prayer meetings—and these have been filling a need for many. General Conference (GC) leadership have also desired to make a contribution. 

A collaborative group from GC departments had already been planning a virtual exhibition hall for the GC Session in St. Louis, which had to be postponed due to Covid-19 concerns. They decided to use the scheduled time for an alternative event that would still bring members together from around the world to encourage each other, focus on our beliefs and prepare for the mission at hand. 

“We thought, ‘What better way than to have a big campmeeting?’” Tim Aka, associate treasurer and director of investments for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, says. “I grew up going to campmeeting and enjoyed everything that goes on there,” he says. 

“Of course, a virtual campmeeting isn’t quite the same, but it could be a good spiritual refreshing for people. We also thought it would be good to hear from our global leaders—from the deep thinkers, scholars and theologians of our Church—what we believe and what we hold to be the truth. This time of spiritual refreshing is something that is needed right now,” Aka notes.

How will a virtual campmeeting work? Over the weekend of May 19-23, 2021, keynote speakers such as Dr. Barry Black, Alejandro Bullón, Dr. David Williams and Dr. Michael-John Von Hörsten will share, followed by over 350 seminars offered in six different tracks: discipleship, education, health ministries, media, missions and theology. Speakers will keep their presentations relatively brief to allow for interactive question and answer periods afterward. Members can register for any seminar that interests them. 

Presenters are directly involved with booths people can visit in the online exhibit hall. Sam Neves, associate director of Communications for the World Church, explains how the exhibit hall will function. “When you enter the website, you have an image of a big hall. There are posters and banners for exhibitors. You can select a floor to visit and a rolling banner of virtual ministry booths will appear. After making your selection, you will see all the information about that ministry. Some will offer online chat sessions with a booth volunteer who can answer any questions you have,” he says.

The organizational committee hopes that this event will “expose the best of Adventism. Very few people have the opportunity to see what entities, ministries and organizations around the world are doing. This global campmeeting will provide a way for members to travel virtually across continents to see how the mission is advancing, and what exciting projects others are doing,” Neves says. 

Based on the Church’s strategic theme, I Will Go, this virtual campmeeting will give church members an opportunity to get the resources and information they need to take part in the mission of the Church. 

In order to make this a truly global campmeeting, the event will “have programming centered around three major regions: Asia-Pacific, Euro-Africa and the Americas. Seminars will be scheduled for convenient access from time zones around the world.”[2] More detailed information and registration is available at campmeeting.com. 

Event organizers invite you to make this global campmeeting your spiritual highlight of the year. “Join us at the Adventist Virtual Global Campmeeting to fulfill our mission to Reach the World with the gospel of Jesus, and be ready to say, “I Will Go.”[3]

[1] Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news/item/13-10-2020-impact-of-covid-19-on-people%27s-livelihoods-their-health-and-our-food-systems on April 12, 2021.

[2] Retrieved from https://www.campmeeting.com on April 12, 2021. 

[3] Ibid.