During camp meeting Dr. Hoskins, a church historian and professor, gave a lecture about the history of camp meeting. In the lecture he explored the history, traditions, and theology that created and sustained camp meetings from the late 1700s to now. One of the resounding themes in this lecture was theological democracy. This idea is that the Gospel and participation in the Kingdom is for all. Even before the Civil War, Civil Rights and Suffragette movements, the community of faith provided space for all to come hear the word, sing in harmony, preach, pray, and receive communion. Meetings went further than just a service but also provide space for education in various subjects. The entirety of life was filled up with the dangerous and entertaining work of the Holy Spirit. There within camp meeting people encountered God, were filled with the Holy Spirit and sent out to tell and invite others. The purpose of camp meeting has changed as time and denominations have come and gone, and yet the meaning of camp meeting remains the same. Paul writes to the church in Galatia as conflict arises about just how much space should be made within the Kingdom. Can those who do not first accept Judaism become real Christians? Paul’s answer is simple “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 4:28-29) The call to salvation, the call to holy living, the call to live in right relatedness with self, others, God, and creation has remained the same from Paul to Wesley to camp meetings to now. The invitation remains available to all. The reality that all can be transformed more and more into the image of God is one that all can experience.

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