2012 New Message Encampment Day 1 – A Long Awaited Meetup

As I pondered how to approach Encampment, I recalled the story of Naaman the Syrian general from the Old Testament (2 Kings 5). Naaman had some expectations as to exactly how the prophet Elisha would heal his leprosy, but some wise members of his entourage encouraged him to put them aside and follow the prophet’s instructions.  As it was my first time at Encampment, it seemed like a good idea to not burden the event with my expectations.

On the morning of September 13, I took a bus from the south side of Boulder, Colorado to the north side, to the Greater Community Sanctuary, from which we would carpool to the Encampment site. There are many New Message videos available on YouTube, and many of those videos originate in the Greater Community Sanctuary.  There was a little bit of administrative work being done, a little bit of gear loading into a truck, but between about 10 am and 1 pm, give or take, there was a lot of pleasant schmoozing with people, associating faces with names I had seen online, meeting people I had never met before.

There were people at this Encampment from the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Spain, France, Germany, Finland, China, Malaysia and New Zealand.  I believe the day will come when a meeting like this has people from every nation on Earth.

I rode with an elderly couple from Boulder to the Encampment site, passing through Lyons and Estes Park along the way. We shared various things about our studenthood experience.  They have been students for longer than I, but I had some experience from a time before they discovered the New Message.  They said “We hope you took good notes!”  I’m sharing this conversation to point out something.  I consider the content of the New Message at this time to be a significant elaboration and expansion on themes that were introduced in its earliest days in 1983.

Somehow I had the thought that Barclay House was going to be out in the middle of nowhere, but it turns out to be but one large facility in a group of large facilities and cabins in the YMCA of the Rockies.  On the other hand, there was a glorious view from the front porch.

Furthermore, a small herd of elk showed up outside the back porch just before dinner, as if to welcome us to a place they clearly believed to be their territory.

What is now called the New Message from God has gone by a number of different names between 1983 and now.  This timeline might be helpful:

Marshall Summers, the recipient of all the New Message material, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2010.  I’m not aware of the details of his treatment, but he seemed reasonably healthy to me as I observed him over the five days of Encampment.  I’m telling you this to tell you that during a season of convalescence, he was directed to call the material he has received since 1983, “the New Message from God.”  He has received a number of messages since then elaborating on his role as the Messenger of this New Message.

I believe that some people are reading these words and thinking to themselves, “Well, that’s certainly convenient for him.”  I anticipate and welcome your skepticism.  This is hardly the first time that someone has claimed to have a New Message from God, a message that ushers in a new reality.  America seems to be fertile soil for this sort of thing.  I did a good bit of pondering about this over the five days of Encampment, and over the next few posts, I plan to share with you some of what I grasped.

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