Last week nearly 250 RPCNA campers trekked to the Horn Creek Camp in the beautiful Sangre de Christo (‘Blood of Christ’) mountains near Westcliffe, Colorado for a week of fellowship, rest, and vacation.  They came together around the Word of God in the beauty of His creation to worship and learn together. The camp is perched at about 9,000 feet above sea level at the base of Horn Peak, which soars above the camp to nearly 14,000 feet.

The Midwest Presbytery of the RPCNA has a rich tradition of utilizing this beautiful camp which until recently was owned by a family very close to our churches. In December 2015, the camp was purchased by Sky Ranch, a Texas-based Christian camping ministry with whom we have had very positive interactions.

During the week Dr. Rich Holdeman of the Bloomington, Indiana RP church preached and taught about “Maintaining Gospel Witness in a Hostile World” from the Minor Prophets. Mornings were dedicated to the lectures with follow-up discussion and application. Dr. Holdeman structured his four lectures (plus two sermons) as an overview of the Minor Prophets, effectively summarizing the books of Hosea, Joel, Amos, and Zechariah. He began the week on the Lord’s Day evening with a sermon from Hosea 1 emphasizing the LORD as the faithful husband whose faithful love transforms a wayward wife. The final event of the week was a consecration service where Holdeman’s message was loud and clear: Jesus makes you an invincible witness and frees you to serve Him wherever He sends you!

Afternoons at Horn Creek were dedicated to recreation, including a full ‘free day’ on Wednesday when many families hiked in the mountains or visited tourist attractions in the area. Evenings were focused on a variety of conference events, including an evening of dedicated prayer, a Western Night, and a fine arts Talent Show. You can see some of the pictures from the conference on social media at #RPHornCreek!

This year the conference featured two thematic talks around the theme of Knowing is for Living. Dr. Calvin Troup of Geneva College led participants in considering the basic principles of epistemology – thinking about how we think. He encouraged God’s people to ‘own what you know’ and to see the tremendous wisdom available in the Westminster Confession and Catechisms in this area of knowledge. Later in the week Kyle Reed led a deacon roundtable featuring the diaconal ministry of five different congregations. Active deacons reflected on the opportunities and challenges they face in applying the Reformed faith in various diaconal situations.

We thank the Lord for an opportunity to refresh and recharge in the context of Christ’s church. We learned and grew in our knowledge of the Scriptures and were challenged to live for Jesus in our daily lives. We observed the intergenerational blessings as one generation taught a rising generation about the goodness of God and of His mighty works revealed through the church. Children learned hand motions to Psalm 31, engaged in the first 20 minutes of each morning lecture, then worked with skilled teachers to engage in crafts, activities, and further learning that reinforced the teaching points of each day.

You can listen to the recorded audio from the conference here. Thank the Lord with us for a blessed week, for good weather, and for the spiritual nurture we received from His hand.

Pastor Brad Johnston