Here are a few reports from those who attended the festival this year.
At the end of my summer school assignment I left NY for San Jose, California to spend time with my elderly mother. My plan was to spend a week with her and rent a car to drive to Summer Lake, Oregon for the BBF. As it turned out my sister was taking my mother to visit her newborn great grand-babies in Portland, Oregon and her vehicle would be available during the time I would need it for the BBF. My mother gave her permission for me to use her car to travel from San Jose to Summer Lake. I had put out an email as to my travel plans and Justice from Sacramento, California responded needing a ride to Summer Lake. Rob C (RC) from Orange County in California had been in contact with Justice also desiring to go to Summer Lake. And so RC took a bus from Anaheim to Sacramento where I would pick both of them up. The evening before the trip I received a phone call from Dee G also desiring to go along on the trip to Summer Lake to attend the BBF.
So on the morning of Friday August 30th I packed up my mother’s car and drove to Sacramento. There I met the Wilkins family; Elders in HC at Holy Sacrament, RC, Justice and Dee. We repacked the car and amazingly all of our stuff was able to fit. We began the 9 hour drive to Summer Lake and talked the entire way getting to know each other. We arrived to Summer Lake just before nightfall where we met Brother Gregory, his wife Regina, his daughter Alicia and her husband Richard as well as their 3 beautiful children; Sebastian, Latham and Kelly. We also met Stephanie Joy who has been working at Summer Lake for the past 7 months and Heather who arrived from Bend, Oregon. Later that evening the Hansen’s arrived from Kentucky along with Zach Jarvis; the 17 year son of Brent Jarvis from Missouri.
That evening Regina prepared a pot of delicious lentil soup and home made bread prepared by Stephanie Joy. We ate by the campfire and talked late into the night. Rob played his guitar and impressed us with his musical skills. Richard had put up his yurts for us to sleep in. I shared a yurt with Dee and a kitten who had been abandoned on the Gregory’s property and adopted by the family.
Over the next 2 days we also met the Andersons from Washington State and Jack who lives in Oregon. Because of the few folks who showed up we were all able to spend much time really getting to know each other. Much fun and laughs were had during meal preparation and taking walks together. A lot of knowledge regarding healthy foods and recipes were shared and especially appreciated by me who knows very little. It was a joy to watch the Hansen’s 7 children along with Zach Jarvis and the 3 children of Alicia and Richard play together (with no toys) from morning to bedtime. Their beautiful interactions including their disputes and their forgiveness of each other in continuing to play together demonstrated a good example of Kingdom living.
On our last day Brother Gregory gave a presentation on “connections” . He demonstrated to us via white board illustrations how we got to where we all are today beginning with Adam and Eve. We all got to ask questions which inspired much discussion.
Justice, Rob, Dee and myself left early on the morning of Monday Sept 2nd for the ride back to Sacramento and later that day, NYC for me.
As I write this record of my trip, I ‘m already back at work and back into my daily routines. I left Summer Lake with many blessings which Brother Gregory asked us all to share with others. The blessing I choose to share with you and want to remember myself every minute of everyday for the rest of my days is; BE LOYAL TO RIGHTGEOUSNESS.
I had a great time at the Burning Bush Festival and spent some time with Justice and the Wilkins Family in Sacramento this past week. Thanks to Justin W. and Michelle and kids for hosting me for a couple days on the way up and on the way back home. You guys are awesome, real people.
Brother Justice and I have been in touch for a while now through phone and email and this trip solidified our friendship.
I am now a part of the Core in Sacramento while still moving forward with our group in OC.
Thanks to Gregory and family for the hospitality. It was a really small group this year and very intimate. It is amazing how fuzzy things can be through the internet, but when you step out and actually meet the people in this network, it feels like family. OK, am I gushing? Whatever. Suffice it to say I am glad I had the opportunity to go and I would encourage anyone who is able to attend one of these gatherings.
My journey started on a Greyhound from Anaheim to Sacramento. From Sacramento, Isabelle drove myself, Justice and Dee to Summer Lake so we had some time to get to know each other a bit.
At the gathering I enjoyed conversation with Zach Jarvis, Joy, Heather, Rob Hansen and spent time around the camp fire with the whole group.
Justice, James Williams and myself had a couple excursions around the property and had some good laughs. James filled us in on a story from Caleb about some “Big little minnow fish” and then of course there was the “American Chicken” outburst at the camp fire. Good times.
Brother Gregory gave a talk that covered a lot of ground. The main theme could be summed up as Kingdom connections. He started in the garden and showed very clearly the origins of man’s government and how it all stems from making the tree of the knowledge of good and evil our source. All world governments are part of this chain and by default are out of the presence of God. In contrast we looked at the solution of Christ’s government.
Grace & Peace,
We had planned to attend the Burning Bush festival in years past but life events had always thwarted our attempts to act out the urge. We had attended other gatherings and had made many new friends through them and knew the opportunity to meet those on the Western side of the country would be a great chance to fellowship with those we had only interacted with in cyberspace and or phone. We had heard much about Summer Lake from others who had attended past festivals and could not wait to see it for ourselves.
Coming from western Kentucky we had the opportunity to see much along the way. In order for us to maximize our time we scheduled many educational stops along our route and attempted to add homeschooling lessons into an otherwise very long drive. We also had the opportunity to fellowship with others on our journey. In Northeastern Missouri we picked up Zach Jarvis to add to our already large family of nine. From there we were able to stop and fellowship with the Hostetter clan in Iowa, who graciously fed and sheltered us for a night, which was much appreciated. We also discovered that Scott makes a mean tomato sauce.
On the drive we had the opportunity to help a couple of people with car problems and others with fellowship. After creeping down the west side of the Rockies which was literally straight down on a road that was 4′ wide with no shoulder we navigated through a mine field of free range cows in the dark that longed to walk in front of us at every opportunity. Once at the festival we had the opportunity to fellowship with Greg and family, Richard and his family, Rob C., Isabelle, Justice, Joy, Heather, Dee, Jack and other’s I can not think of at the moment (sorry). The kids played constantly and to me were a perfect image of the network we are trying to create.
I personally had the opportunity to shadow Greg during our stay and learn about farming in the high desert and the differences that it entails from that which I’m used to back east. I had the opportunity to weigh-in during the Saturday broadcast and was impressed with Greg’s demeanor while doing his show in his modest studio/ office. The church property was amazing as was the aquifer system that allows life to be sustainable in the area. Much fire side talk was exchanged, good music by talented musicians as well as good star viewing opportunities. Richard treated me and my oldest few to a very enjoyable canoe trip down a very pretty creek fed by the artesian springs of the area. Afterward we appeased the kids desire for ice cream fuel at the local general store. All real good times.
I think everyone learned more regarding the Kingdom via our personal exchanges and Greg’s presentation. Meanwhile church business and paperwork was completed, explained and validated. Greg’s hay had to stay in the field a little longer while we all kept him busy, though we did have one day that all able bodied man folk attempted to put a small dent in this endeavor, thanks to Nathan’s accumulator magic.
We were sad to finally have to go, though we had other adventures on our return trip we reminisced about our few days at the Burning Bush festival and hope to attend again in the future. If you have not had the chance I would highly recommend placing it on your bucket list. If the travel is so daunting, look to car pool as many at this years gathering did. Otherwise, look for other gatherings in locals closer and / or form your own. These face to face interactions with like minded people are so refreshing and reinvigorating and add to ones growth in ways I cannot explain with words. Thank you to everyone that attended as I am better off for knowing you and thank you Williams family for hosting and your hospitality.
Bless you all and take care,