Feast 1998—an Early Look

Several independent groups have sent 1998 Feast of Tabernacles information to Servants’ News. All of the Feast sites below are using the Hebrew Calendar, so the feast will be held from Monday, October 5th to Monday the 12th. Most will have their first service on Sunday night, the 4th. Everyone is invited to attend the site of their choice. You may stay at the hotels and campgrounds mentioned here, or you may make arrangements of your choice.

It is helpful to those who plan festivals to know how many are coming. But the festival planners realize that there are reasons why people sometimes do not want to let their plans be known until they actually go to the Feast. Ask the Eternal what you should do for the Feast—and be as helpful to others as you can.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

This year, Servants’ News will not be sponsoring a site of its own. The Edwards and the Deweys will be helping with the United Christian Ministries (Ray Wooten) site in Gatlinburg Tennessee. The Feast occurs before the area’s “fall colors” season this year, so crowds should be much smaller than last year. Gatlinburg is a resort town with many things for families to do. Several of the hotels are within walking distance of the hall.

Plans include a variety of speakers, interactive Bible studies, workshops, seminars, teen programs, youth activities and social events. Music will consist of both traditional “Church of God” hymns and modern praise and worship music. Rooms for family socials will be available nearly every night of the Feast. A special meal for the entire congregation is planned for one evening. If you are interested, start planning your act for the variety show!

The Feast will be held in the Mills Auditorium, part of the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Reduced rates on some motels are being negotiated as this issue goes to press. You may contact Servants’ News for a copy of the special rates and a complete 52-page Gatlinburg Vacation guide. (PO Box 220, Charlotte, Michigan 48813, 517-543-5544, e-mail: 75260.1603@compuserve.com.) For any questions about the site, or to volunteer to serve in some way, contact United Christian Ministries, PO Box 361334, Birmingham, Alabama 35236-1334, tel: 888-985-9066; e-mail: UnitedBham@aol.com.

—Norman S. Edwards

Ludington Michigan

Several families who attended the 1997 Feast site in Burr Oak, Ohio are sponsoring a site in Ludington, Michigan for 1998. They intend to use a similar approach—allowing questions and comments for a few minutes after each message. Ludington is on the coast of Lake Michigan, and is serviced by an auto ferry, for those who may be traveling from the west. Ludington is a smaller town, but large enough to have a Wal-mart, K-mart, Ponderosa Steak House, Pizza Hut, and other “respectable” restaurants.

Services will be held at the Lands Inn & Convention Center. Several nearby motels will provide very reasonable rates as this is “off season” in Michigan. Camping facilities and recreation are available at Ludington State Park. Basketball, swimming and other indoor activities are planned in case the weather makes outside activities too difficult.

The reserved meeting room holds about 100 people, but a larger one could be secured if necessary. For more information, contact Darrell West, PO Box 26, Webberville, MI 48892, 517-521-3630; or Mike & Keely Salisbury, 517-224-6141 (9 AM to 6 PM Eastern Time), e-mail: Keely@mintcity.com.

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Cornerstone Publications will be sponsoring a Feast of Tabernacles site in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. As was the case last year, Marina Bay Resort will serve as the host for this year’s Festival as well. They have guaranteed us the same rates as last year for accommodations, as well as meeting facilities. The condos are scheduled for renovation during the first part of 1998, so everything should be in fine order for the fall.

For those of you who might be interested in attending with us, you can go ahead and make your reservations at this time. The rates for 1998 are as follows:

Hotel room only: $55 per night

Hotel room with kitchenette (some have wet bar and refrigerator only, some with stoves—inquire at front desk): $55 per night

1-Bedroom condo (fully furnished kitchen, living & dining area, bath): $65 per night.

2-Bedroom condo (as above with extra bedroom and bath): $86 per night.

3-Bedroom condo (off property—contact Marina Bay for details)

You may make reservations by calling 800-377-6274 and mentioning that you are with Cornerstone Publications to receive the above quoted rates. A refundable deposit equal to one night’s lodging is required when reserving accommodations. If you are not paying by credit card, you may write: Marina Bay Resort, PO Box 209, Osage Beach, MO 65065. Camping is also available at the local KOA, situated only a few minutes away from Marina Bay. You may call 800-562-7343 for camping reservations.

The earlier you are able to make your reservations, the easier it is on us and Marina Bay to facilitate scheduling. You are under no obligation by making your reservations now, for you may cancel at any time up until September 4th with no penalty. Those on our mailing list will receive a more detailed letter about this Feast. It will contain a short questionnaire which will help us better plan activities for the Feast. If you are not on the mailing list and wish to join us this fall, please contact me and I will send you the letter.

As always, we will certainly need the help, expertise and service of others in both the planning of the Feast, as well as in the actual work that must be done while at the Feast itself. Volunteers are heartily encouraged to make their area of service known to us as soon as possible. You may contact us at 3802 Olive St., Texarkana, TX 75503, 903-792-1352, e-mail: atir903@aol.com.

—Jim Rector

Destin, Florida

CEM is already making plans for this year’s Feast of Tabernacles in Destin, Florida. We will be continuing the pattern that has been so successful at Kissimmee. We have three breakout rooms and will be having seminars and workshops every morning at 9:00 followed by worship services at 10:30. Once again, we will be having YEA classes for young people beginning at 10:15. We hope to develop our music program still further this year, so if you would like to sing in the festival choir, please contact us at the CEM office and we will forward your name to Brent Kern.

The festival at Destin can be as busy or as quiet as you please. You can be involved in education, recreation, fellowship, and fun to your heart’s content, or you can have a quiet walk on the beach or a private canoe trip down a nearby river. Or if even that is too busy, you can just sit on the deck and listen to the surf. All this and inspirational music and worship every day of the feast.

Meetings will be at the Destin Community Center, 101 Stahlman Avenue, at the corner of Stahlman and Zerbe, right off Highway 98. Our primary host resort will be Hidden Dunes, located right on the beach at 5394 Highway 98 East. Prices at Hidden Dunes will range from $69.63 per night for a 1 bedroom cottage to $146.50 per night for a 4 bedroom and 4 bath Villa, and just about everything in between.

For reservations at Hidden Dunes, call 800-824-6335 or e-mail hiddendu@emeraldcoast.com (or access htpp://www.hiddendunes.com.) In order to receive the special discounted rates, you must identify yourself as being with CEM and use Group Account Number 37757. The above quoted rates are a special blend of both their fall and winter rates and you must stay eight days to get this rate. The first week is quoted at 25% off their regular weekly value season (fall) rates and the eighth day is quoted at 25% off their regular weekly winter rates. The weekly value season (fall) discounted rate is also good for any days before the feast and the weekly winter discounted rate applies to any days after the feast, as long as the stay is continuous and you stay a minimum of four days. We currently have 103 units reserved under our group reservation. Hidden Dunes will only be able to guarantee these reservations through March 7, after that you will have to compete with the general public on a first come, first served basis, so be sure to call and make your reservation as early as possible to guarantee getting what you want. Hidden Dunes will require a 25% deposit at the time of the reservations, and all rates do not include a 9% sales tax.

Should you not be able to find housing of the type and size you want with Hidden Dunes, we have made arrangements with Abbott Realty for two nearby resorts: Tops’l Beach & Racquet Resort, which is a little more expensive and Mainsail Beach Resort, which is almost adjacent to Hidden Dunes and is a little less expensive. Abbott Realty will also be able to help you with private homes, as well as other housing options listed in their resort catalogue, which you may request if you are not already on the CEM mailing list. For reservations through Abbott Realty, call 800-336-4853 and ask for group rentals and be sure to mention that you are with Christian Educational Ministries. They are offering a 10% discount on all their rental properties.

For those interested in a 1 bedroom town home that will sleep up to six, for a weekly rate of $50.00 per night, call Gail Jones at Ocean Reef Realty at 800-432-7239. They also handle private homes and other properties at or near the beach. Again, mention that you are with Christian Educational Ministries to receive a discounted rental.

—Ronald L. Dart

Orange Beach, Alabama

Learning Together will hold a non-traditional Feast of Tabernacles at Orange Beach, Alabama this year. The focus of the Feast will be worshipping and learning about God and Jesus. Everyone will stay in the same condominium complex where the meeting room is located. The services will be held in small-group Bible study fashion where everyone will be able to discuss the scriptures that God has given us. Examples of subjects are: faith, forgiveness, listening to God, etc. There will be a leader for each subject, but no one will have speeches or messages. Instead, we are going to discuss the scriptures that pertain to the subject.

No one should come planning on convincing others of their ideas, but rather with scriptures to back up the things they believe. We are there to learn together through each other what God has given us in the Bible. We will be gathering with open minds and a desire to learn.

Rates are reasonable with one bedroom condos $71.00 a night, two bedroom condos $88.75 a night and three bedroom condos $101.25 a night for an eight night stay, plus 9% tax. If you are interested please contact us as soon as possible as the site will be limited to about 60 people due to the type of feast we are planning. Upon request we will send you all plans and topics available now. Contact information: 7807 N. Illinois, Caseyville, IL 62232-2058, tel: 618-344-5203, e-mail: LRNTOG@aol.com.

—Ron and Debi Wilson

Northern Ireland

A small non-aligned Feast site is available to European brethren. Contact information: 253 Castlecatt Road, Dervock, Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, BT53 8BN. Telephone and fax: +44-126-57-41616.

—Greg and Caroline Gault &