This year’s Northeast Iowa Backbone Rally will be Aug. 17 and will feature messages from Elder Mic Thurber, ministerial director for the Mid-America Union.

Before his current role, Elder Thurber served as a pastor in Texas and California (mostly on college campuses), as ministerial director for the Southeastern California Conference, and a Bible and music teacher at Sunnydale Academy in Missouri and Mt. Pisgah Academy in North Carolina. He has a special appreciation for the energy, talent, and potential for the young men and women of our church. In addition to preaching Jesus and His marvelous grace, Elder Thurber’s passions include encouraging and supporting pastors, photography, reading, and his family.

The rally, named after Backbone State Park, where it is held, was established by pastors in northeast Iowa more than 20 years ago to foster friendships between their local church members.

Sabbath school will begin at 10:00 am, and there will be a special activity for children ages 3-10. The worship service will begin at 11:15 am, followed by a potluck lunch and another message from Elder Thurber at 2:00 pm. Many choose to enjoy a woodland walk after the afternoon program or a bit of Sabbath rest. The evening will close with a vespers program, singing, and a bonfire supper where people can bring their own hot dogs to roast, along with other items left over from potluck to share.

Anyone who would like to come is invited! Backbone State Park is centrally located in northeastern Iowa (map), allowing those who want to just come for the day plenty of time to make the drive. There are also a variety of camping options for those who want to make a weekend trip out of it. Those who camp are invited to a pancake breakfast Sunday morning, Aug. 18. Pancakes and standard toppings will be provided, but feel free to bring other items to share, such as Stripples (vegetarian bacon strips), fruit, etc.

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