GENESO REUNION – 2015
– By Robert Murie
Each year, when we try to write an article about the Geneseo Reunion, it gets harder and harder to do so. How do you keep saying that it just keeps getting better and better? For those Saints who have never attended this particular reunion, or any other, they are missing out on what it is like to live in a Zionic condition, even for a short time. Many of the Saints have grown up attending reunions and that is why they are active today. Others are just learning to appreciate this wonderful experience and look forward, in anticipation, to more in the future.
Sometimes we allow the vision of the Kingdom to become dim because we focus on the hard work that lies ahead and the small number of Saints that we have to carry out this task. This is why getting together at camps and reunions is such a valuable ministry for those in the priesthood as well as our brothers and sisters who serve as members.
One hundred and twelve Saints and friends from several different states and Canada assembled on these beautiful grounds in western Illinois for a week of fun, fellowship, music, classes, preaching ministry, and prayer services. Each came for different reasons and with different expectations, but nobody left disappointed. In reading the individual testimonies, which are posted on the Remnant Church Facebook page, we can see the remarkable effect this week of walking down “The Old, Old Path,” especially with “our friends most dear” had on all who attended.
One of the remarkable strengths of this reunion is that it is for all groups in the Restoration Movement. It makes no difference which group you come from, and that subject is never broached during the week. We came as a group of eager, extended family members wanting to hear the ministry that was being provided and basking in the fellowship and friendship of everyone in attendance. Thirty priesthood men were available for ministry, and each was allowed to participate in the services. Most were introduced as “men of God, authoritatively called to bring ministry.” No more was necessary. All differences were put aside, and we began to realize that, fundamentally, there are no differences. We are all children of our Heavenly Father looking for His Spirit to teach, heal, and show the way to the Kingdom.
The Lord was obviously pleased with our preparation and participation. Because of the unity experienced, we were blessed to hear His voice on Wednesday morning as He gently blessed, challenged, and chastised, to show the changes that we must make if we are to be His. Several came with physical disabilities, and they were presented to the Lord for His healing Spirit to intercede. Brothers Bob Moe, Paul Gress, Tom Beem, and Robert Murie were administered to, and each had a testimony of an almost immediate healing. Brother Tom actually had a heart attack two days after delivering a powerful sermon, but, after his administration in the washroom where he had collapsed, he felt almost instantly relieved. He was sent to the hospital for medical precautions but was able to drive himself home after just a couple days in the facility.
The camp was threatened several times during the week with tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, complete with hail. We were protected as the storms seemed to break as they approached and went around our campgrounds. A few of us left with some hail damage on our vehicles, but the Lord protected us. During one storm, we all gathered in the basement cafeteria and sang songs and prayed for protection. Never once were we in any danger as our Lord protected His people.
One of the best features of the reunion was the abundance of young people who were in attendance. They, and their dedicated teachers, gathered daily for classes and fellowship. They had their fun on the playground and in their trips to swimming in a nearby lake, but when it was time to get serious, they settled right down and entered the sanctuary with reverence. As a group, they were given a “special word” to listen for in the evening sermon. Whenever the brother preaching mentioned that “word,” they made a mark on their paper. At the end of the evening, the young person with the closest total was given a special treat. It was exciting to watch them jotting down their marks as the sermons progressed.
Everyone chipped in to do their best to help out. The KP lists were filled and very seldom did Brother Jack Evans have to find extras to fill in. Even KP was an uplifting experience.
Another wonderful use of our Aaronic ministry was to see the men standing at the four corners of the campground and in the sanctuary just prior to the fellowship services and the evening sermons. This was done to invite angelic ministry to attend our worship and help us get the most out of what was rightfully ours to expect. It was so touching to see these wonderful men position themselves at their stations, quietly and reverently. As soon as the group saw the men in position, they lowered their heads and began to pray that the Spirit would come in abundance. And it did.
The week went by all too quickly, and there were many sad faces, especially on the young people, as we gathered to say goodbye. At the closing fellowship service, all the priesthood stood on the sides of the sanctuary as “watchmen in the tower” to show the magnification of their calling and their dedication to act as servants to the Saints. Then the Saints gathered together in a large circle, holding hands, and sang in closing, “The Old, Old Path,” and then finally, “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.”
So now we say goodbye for another year and most are counting the days until we can return again. The reunion was extremely well organized, and everyone thanks Brother Mark Deitrick for his hard work in putting everything, and everyone, together. May God bless us until we meet again.