We have reserved Chadron State Park, near Chadron, Nebraska, to keep the Feast of Tabernacles in 2001. We hope to create a family environment in which we can feast together, praise God and learn from each other. As Abraham, Isaac and Jacob dwelt in tents, looking forward to a “city whose builder and maker is God” (Heb 11:8-10), so we can use this time to realize that our bodies are like tabernacles—sheds? We have been given these bodies for a short time to learn, grow and overcome.
The sun, moon and stars declare to us daily that God is capable of making things last for billions of years. But our bodies—our temporary dwellings—are lucky to last 100 years. So if our life in this body is so short on the cosmic scale of things, why doesn’t God just “skip it”? There are good answers to this question. We will talk about some of them at this feast.
We plan to have a large variety of messages and activities designed to honor the Eternal and strengthen each person participating.
The Park has a number of facilities that will help make an enjoyable Feast site. The meeting room will accommodate 120 people seated at tables. A complete kitchen adjoins it, where we will prepare breakfasts, lunches and some dinners. The park is a beautiful wooded location with hiking trails, volley-ball courts, tennis courts, horseshoes, an athletic field, playground equipment and, if all goes well, basketball and paddle boats.
There are 22 finished, two-bedroom, heated cabins at the park. Each has beds for four, a bathroom (shower, no tub) and a kitchenette. A smaller cabin with two double beds costs $54 per night (10 are available). Larger cabin with two double beds cost $64.80 per night (6 available). These are located about half a mile from the meeting/dining hall—a few minutes walk or a one minute drive. Right next to the meeting hall, there are three duplexes (6 units) with one queen bed and two single beds for $60 per night. If you have more than four people, you can add one extra in the $54 units or 2 extra in the $64.80 units by bringing your own crib, sleeping bag, etc.—or by paying for rollaway beds for $5.40 per night per person. There is a per vehicle park entrance fee $2.50 per day with a maximum of $14 per year.
The rooms will be reserved for Feast-goers only until sometime in April. The larger rooms will probably be “taken” well before that. Please make your reservations with Chadron State Park by calling 308-432-6167 as soon as practical. A payment for two nights will be expected as a deposit to hold your site. Make sure you mention you are attending the Feast of Tabernacles sponsored by Servants’ News. (If there is anyone who would like to share a cabin, Servants’ News staff will attempt to match you up with others in the same situation—call 517-625-7480.)
The park has tent sites and 70 RV sites. Per night costs are $7 for tents, $8 for RV’s without electricity and $11.00 for RV’s with electricity. Water and a dump-station are conveniently located. Reservations are not accepted for tent/RV sites, but Park personnel have said that some sites are virtually always available during October.
Meals may be purchased per person on an 8-day basis. All 8 breakfasts are $25, all 8 lunches are $30, and all 6 dinners (Wednesday and Thursday excluded) are $25. Prices for children 3 to 12 years old are $15, $20 and $15 respectively. The price for all meals is $80 per adult and $50 per child. (Those who can only attend part of the Feast, but who would like to participate in the meal plan should make special arrangements.) These meals are so inexpensive because we are planning for you to volunteer a few times to help prepare them. Breakfast will consist of a variety of eggs, pancakes, sausage, toast, cereal, fruit and beverages. Lunch will offer diverse sandwiches, soups, salads and hot dishes—some will be outdoor picnics if the weather is warm. The six dinners will be pot roast, spaghetti & garlic bread, turkey with dressing, baked chicken, pizza, and steak with baked potatoes—each main dish accompanied by appropriate vegetables, salad, bread, beverages and dessert.
For those who would like to stay at a motel and eat in restaurants, the city of Chadron is less then 10 minutes away. We will have more information in future issues, but a favorite motel is likely to be the West Hills Inn (Best Western) with standard rooms for $53, mini-suites for $59-$63 and Jacuzzi suites for $78. These prices do not include tax, but are for two adults with children free. The motel has a free continental breakfast, hot tub and indoor heated pool. A Country Kitchen restaurant is located next door. For West Hills Inn information and reservations call 877-432-8305.
Two airports are about a 90-minute drive from Chadron Nebraska. Rapid City (South Dakota) Regional Airport (“RAP”) is larger with connections through Minneapolis via Northwest, Denver via United Express and Salt Lake City via Skywest/Delta. The Western Nebraska Regional Airport near Scottsbluff has connections only through Denver via United Express and Westward Airways.
Breakfast will be served from 7:30a.m. to 9:00a.m., lunch from 12:30 to 1:00p.m. and dinner from 5:30 to 6:30p.m. (see below for Wednesday and Thursday dinner). Hymn, praise and worship singing will be held each morning (except Thursday) from 9:00 to 9:45a.m. Daily Services are from 10:00a.m. to 12 Noon. Topics of the main messages are given below. Those interested in giving shorter messages or helping to fill the few open slots should contact Norman Edwards at 517-625-7480 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
6:00-8:00 p.m. Drop in to get acquainted. Snacks available.
8:00-8:45 p.m. Opening service.
10:00-12:00 Noon Service. Message: What does the Bible say about the Feast of Tabernacles? (Norman Edwards)
2:00-4:00 p.m. Bible Quiz Bowl.
7:30-9:30 p.m. Planning meeting, game night.
10:00-12:00 Noon Service. Message: How Did You Come to Know God? Those present will be encouraged to give a three-minute or less summary of how they personally came to a knowledge of God.
2:00-5:00 p.m. Hike on park trails, sports events.
5:00-6:00 p.m. Hay rack rides.
6:00-8:00 p.m. Buffalo Stew Cookout, prepared by park personnel with Norm Martin, a long-time area entertainer whose songs and stories relate to fur trade and cowboy history of the area. Adults $7 and $5 for children 2 to 12.
8:15 a.m. Caravan Tour to the Black Hills departs.
Possible options include: Mammoth archeological site ($5 adults, $3 children 6-12), swimming in Evan’s Plunge hot springs water park ($8.50 adults, $5.50 children 1-12), Wind Cave Tour ($6 adults, $3 children 6-16), Mt. Rushmore ($8 per car) and Custer State Park ($10 per car). Sack lunches will be included with the meal plan (whether you take the tour or not). One dinner possibility is a roast beef and chicken buffet in the White Buffalo room of Custer State Park lodge ($15 per adult and $9 per child 3-9). Several weeks before the Feast, the tour schedule(s) will be finalized based on the interest of those attending.
10:00-12:00 Noon Service. Message: True Religion (Leo Bredehoft)
2:00-3:00 p.m. Sports events.
3:00-5:00 p.m. Practice for Variety Show
6:45-7:00 p.m. Kiddush (for those interested).
7:00-8:30 p.m. Bible study. Subject to be announced.
8:30-8:45 p.m. Ice cream desert
10:00-12:00 Noon Service. Topic to be Announced (Craig Christner-Covenant Community Church, McCook, Nebraska.)
2:00-4:00 p.m. “Be ready to give an answer” (see note below).
7:30-11:00 p.m. Variety Show, Karaoke Night.
10:00-12:00 Noon Service. Message: What does God expect from us now? (Norman Edwards)
2:00-5:00 p.m. Field Day—organized competition for both the serious & fun-loving.
7:30-9:00 p.m. Campfire sing-along?
10:00-12:00 Noon Service. Message: Topic to be Announced (Jerry Laws).
2:00-4:30 p.m. Swimming party at the Best Western
7:00-8:30 p.m. Bible study. Subject to be announced.
8:30-8:45 p.m. Surprise dessert
10:00-12:00 Noon Service. Meaning of the “Eighth Day” (Norman Edwards).
“Be ready to give an answer” is a hands-on educational workshop. While we are frequently flooded with information about God through Bibles, literature, tapes, etc, many of us have only rare opportunities to explain what we believe to others. The goal of this session, like most other education, is to provide a little practice so we can better handle “the real thing”. We will break up into small groups and (for those want to participate) the new believers or young people will ask the mature believers to explain why they believe what they believe. Bring your Bible or any other literature that you would like. If the new people do not have enough questions, a list of common questions will be supplied.
We expect this feast to be attended by a variety of people, 30-year Feast-keepers and first-time feast keepers. Some will travel far to get there, others in the area will enjoy their first Feast where they did not have to travel overnight. If you believe it is the Eternal’s will for you to be there, we hope you will make plans to come.