The Season Of Encampment

Methodist camp meeting 1819. The season of Encampment

In previous posts, I have described seasons of the liturgical year of the New Message from God. The Messenger’s Vigil is held in the last week of January. This vigil celebrates the birthday of Marshall Vian Summers. The Steps Vigil is held over a 20-day period starting in May and ending in June. The Steps Vigil celebrates the receiving of the book Steps to Knowledge in 1989.

The season of Encampment

The third and final season is Encampment. Encampment is the annual gathering of the worldwide community of the New Message from God. This season was instituted in 2008. This is the 7th annual Encampment. Encampment is usually held in the fall. In some years it was held at the beginning of September. In some years (like this year) it is held at the beginning of October. Unlike the two vigils, the time of Encampment isn’t connected to a particular date.

Some people compare Encampment to the Hajj of Islam. They are both annual worldwide gatherings of a spiritual community. On the other hand, attendance at Encampment is not required of students of the New Message. The word “Encampment” reminds me of camp meetings, a practice of certain American Christians in the early 19th century. Both our Encampment and the camp meetings were voluntary gatherings in relatively secluded places in nature. Both our Encampment and the camp meetings were gatherings for the purpose of spiritual development.

It was my great blessing to attend the 2012 Encampment. I believe it will be my great blessing to attend the 2014 Encampment. On the one hand, I feel I should approach this event with minimal expectation. On the other hand, I have a certain expectation that something miraculous will happen at this event. I considered the 2012 Encampment to be a remarkable experience. I was around a group of people who were remarkably free of wounds and itches.

Something particular to this Encampment will be a live webcast from Marshall Vian Summers on Sunday, 5 October 2014, at 17:15 GMT. I believe there is a feeling of great anticipation in the New Message from God community about this upcoming event. It is the season of Encampment.

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