There Shall Be Showers of Blessing

This old hymn title could describe Family Camp 2018. While it rained most every day there were certainly many spiritual blessings as well. Rev. Duane Stine, Assistant to the Eastern PA District Superintendent and Family Camp program committee chairman framed the week by sharing at the start “with the forecast this week we may not see a lot of the “sun”, but my prayer is that we will see a lot of the “Son”, and that proved to be the case throughout the week.

Family Camp was held July 21- 28, 2018 at Summit Grove Camp near the PA/MD border. It was attended by Alliance folks from both the Eastern PA and Mid-Atlantic Districts.

Family Camp provides a setting for the entire family to experience a deeper encounter with God and celebrate Alliance missions around the world.

Left - Family Camp opened with a program on the history of Summit Grove; Right - The presenters included Cass Rowland, Jason Ostrander as John Wesley, Jane Bennett, Lynda Randle as Amanda Berry, Donna Peace, True Heart and Rev. David Jones as A.W. Tozer. [Enlarge]

Left - There was a good turnout despite a driving rain; Right - Repeating an old camp tradition of waving white scares at the conclusion. Pictures provided by Luis Hernandez. [Enlarge]

Camp opened with a program celebrating the rich history of Summit Grove Camp. The present camp location has been set apart for people to meet God since 1865. Donna Peace wrote a book on the history of Summit Grove, including events preceding 1865, and presented a God-inspired program Saturday evening featuring singers and re-enactors. Click here or type in “Providence Program” on YouTube to view the program.

Left - Rev. Allan Rathbun conducting an interview; Right - Toccoa Falls College led worship Sunday morning and for the teens throughout the week.

Rev. Allan Rathbun preached on Sunday morning and facilitated the services throughout the week including interviews featuring missions, church planting, Perspectives and the Summit Grove Day Camp ministry. [Enlarge]

Left - DR. Rock Dillaman and Rev. Jim Rudd; Right - Spencer Sweeting and the team from City Alliance led worship.

Powerful preaching and teaching was provided by DR. Rock Dillaman, Allegheny Center Alliance Church in Pittsburgh, and Rev. Jim Rudd, True Vine Church Community in Philadelphia. They challenged and inspired us from God’s Word in a direct manner including topics not typically addressed. [Enlarge]

Left - Ladies Luncheon; Right - Men's Breakfast

Presenting Global Focus seminars were Josh and Rachel Ellison, Scott and Carrie Dressler and Ed and Sue Danneker. Sue spoke at the Ladies Luncheon and Ed at the Men’s Breakfast as well. [Enlarge]

Left -Rev. Bill Klees with the teens; Right - The Escape Room where teens had to solve clues to escape.

Teen Ministry was led in a masterful way by Rev. Bill Klees, Community Alliance Church in Towanda. Creative games illustrated biblical truths that God sets us free to live freely and love others as Christ loved us. They looked at practical ways to apply the Gospel including the real chains that keep many of our teens enslaved in guilt, shame, fear and lies. Nearly 40 teens came forward in an act of defiance against whatever it was that kept them from experiencing total freedom in Christ.

There was a remarkable spirit to the week and students responded to questions and showed a genuine interest in the discussions. Pray for our teens because the world they live in seeks continually to keep them enslaved and to deny the victory and freedom that is ours in Christ. [Enlarge]

Left - Rev. Ryan Clarke and helpers with the kids; Right - The children sang in the main tabernacle on Friday night.

Rev. Ryan Clarke, Children’s Pastor at Daybreak Church in Mechanicsburg, returned to effectively lead the children’s ministry.  The kids learned how God cares more about our heart on the inside than what we look like on the outside. Kids enjoyed worship, games, snacks and the imagination station. [Enlarge]

Rev. Alfredo Gutierrez

Family Camp 2019 will be held July 20 – 27. Rev. Alfredo Gutierrez will be the evening speaker. He lives in Florida and currently serves as Assistant to the Superintendent/Director of Church Planting for the Southeast District.

We invite you to forward this to anyone who may have interest in Summit Grove and attending Family Camp. Churches are encouraged to forward newsletters to their congregational email addresses.

More information on Family Camp 2019 to follow on the next newsletter expected to be sent out in February.

There is no registration or reservation needed when you visit for the day. Overnight accommodations can be reserved by clicking on Reservations or calling Jen Weller at 717-215-3469.

For directions and additional information on Summit Grove Camp click on the header at the top of this page to link to the Summit Grove website.



A Campers Perspective

It’s funny to think of how it raised eyebrows if a kid dared to take a shortcut across the circle wearing shorts, or (gasp) a bathing suit!  Our memories of those early years include the big softball games in the athletic field, laughing until we had tears with friends (both old and new), and of course, the many amazing speakers.  Summit Grove was the first place we heard Ravi Zacharias, before he became a household name in Christian circles.  

Three of our four children still come to Family Camp and have raised our grandchildren with Summit Grove being the highlight of their summers.  (Our fourth married a Mahaffey girl – guess you can’t win ‘em all!)  Without Summit Grove, none of our walks with the Lord would be the same.  All of our children and grandchildren have hearts for ministry and missions that sprouted and grew as a direct result of the work God did in them on these grounds.  Among them, they have been on missions trips, both in the U.S. and abroad, going to the Philippines, Atlanta, Burkina Faso, Cleveland, Tennessee, Philadelphia, Staten Island and Haiti, as well as numerous local service projects.  Without the experiences that we have all had at Summit Grove, it’s unlikely that many of those would have happened.

We still look forward to Family Camp all year long and can’t wait to renew friendships begun 40 years ago.  We have never left the grounds at the end of the week, without knowing that we have been in the presence of our Savior and being changed forever as a result

Harold and Jennifer Weller