So. Cal. Celebrates Christ in the Family
by Helen Ridgewell –
“Celebrate Christ in Our Family” was the theme for the Southern California 1999 Family Bible Camp, held at Camp Mountain Crags in the Malibu Mountains, an ideal setting for a weekend of praise, meditation and relaxation. Special guests, Commissioners Ian and Nancy Cutmore (R) from Australia, proved to be the perfect leaders with their own easy-going style, well-suited to the informal atmosphere of camp.
The musical contributions of the Leslie family, Captains Clem and Evangeline and daughter, Joy, contributed to the relaxed mood of the weekend. They encouraged the congregation to join in some of their familiar and well-loved songs while their individual solos brought blessing and aided in worship. The Divisional Youth Band, under the leadership of Divisional Music Director Chris Mallett, ably supported during the weekend and provided accompaniment to guest cornet soloist Carl Saunders of Cardiff Canton, Wales.
Highlights of the weekend included a specially produced video featuring “What’s Going On in Southern California,” a Christian Hip Hop/Ska Concert complete with DJ and a family talent show.
Breakout sessions geared to varying interests covered “Family Values,” “MTV Generation-Family Youth Happenin’,” “Not On Your Own”– a session for singles and “The Family that Laughs Together, Lasts Together.” This session, led by the Commissioners Cutmore, proved that laughter was an ever-present ingredient in their own lifestyle and had the audience rolling in the aisles. Later they joined in earnest prayer for those distressed families known to the group for whom laughter was a missing component in the home.
During the weekend, Commissioner Ian Cutmore challenged the congregation to “live lives above average for Jesus” and “not to waste God’s wonderful gift of grace, especially in relationship to the challenges of family life.” Many responded to his call for deeper commitment and stronger dependence on God’s provision during Sunday’s worship service.
Divisional youth leaders Captains George and Jeannie Baker led the final session which included the farewell to Accepted Candidates Mario and Claudia Ruiz, who with Candidate Rhonda Saunders will enter the College for Officer Training in the fall. Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Alfred R. Van Cleef urged the members of the congregation to consider their own commitment as he promised prayer support to the young couple, whose parents have recently taken command of the Santa Fe Springs Temple Corps.
Sincere appreciation was expressed to the visiting guests and Family Bible Camp coordinators, Majors Jerry and Donna Ames, as well as to the divisional staff for their efforts before Lt. Colonel Sherryl Van Cleef pronounced a final benediction.