Today’s blog is an “in-house” memo, sort of. Most of you will not be attending our churches’ Annual Conference, but you may want to know some things going on at it. Each church is represented by their pastors and lay members. The dates are July 18-20, 2016. Please be praying for our time together.
Here are some things I’m personally looking forward to about our Annual Conference…
- Break Away Sessions. New this year are some seminars on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. We want to move from “all business” to “practical input” during our time together. This year we are focusing on the three priorities of the Conference: Leadership Development, TurnAround, and Church Planting.
- Ordinations. On Wednesday night of Annual Conference, 5 people will be ordained: 2 are transfers (Scott Wallace and Jim Saemenes) and 3 for the first time (Tim Morelli, Garrett Beatty, and Daniel Russel)! That is always an exciting and solemn time to affirm their eldership and leadership.
- Interviews from two of our church pastors. We get to hear from two pastors of our Conference: from one of the newest churches, Pastor Keith Kirkpatrick from Journey in Bend and from one of our oldest churches, Pastor Randy Butler, from Salem Evangelical. I’m looking forward to hearing what God is doing in their churches.
- Teaching from Brian Eckhardt. Our evening services are at 7:00 each night. General Superintendent Brian will be our speaker. He always has good things to say from the Word. I’m looking forward to learning from him!
- Updates from our Boards. Just a heads up: no read-out-loud reports! (So make sure you read them before hand, ‘k?) Each leader will give a highlight and share how it applies to our local churches.
- TurnAround Focus: Gordon Penfold. Gordon is part of the teaching team for our “TurnAround” process. He and his team are passionate about helping revitalize churches. It will be great to hear from him!
- Communion. On Monday night we will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper. Worship will be led by Pastor John Stuthard and a local team. Having communion together is always important and meaningful.
- Morning Devotions. Annual Conference will begin each day at 9:00 AM with worship and devotions. Pastor Brian See will lead worship and I’ll be sharing. I’ll be looking for you…don’t sleep in!
- Voting! Yes, we have a number of important decisions which need to be made including our insurance, Discipline changes, Standing Rule updates, and future Annual Conference times.
- Coaching Focus: Josh Conn. This past year Josh has been coaching a group of our pastors to prepare them to coach others. The coaching centers around five key areas of our lives – Spiritual Life, Family life, Fitness, Finances and Ministry.
- Remembering those who have gone before us. Cliff Good has worked with Glenn Austin to produce a special video commemorating all those who have gone to be with Jesus this past year.
- Next Steps. Our theme this year is “Next Steps.” My hope and prayer is that all of us will come away from our time together with some specific things God is asking us to do in our lives and in the local church.
- Honoring our retirees. As pastors step out of every-day ministry, we want to acknowledge the years of dedication they’ve given. Lives have been changed for the kingdom because of their obedience and we look forward to honoring them!
- Church Planting Focus: Keith Twigg. Keith is just starting a church plant in Boise, Idaho. He has a heart for starting new churches. I’m looking forward to hearing from him because he will motivate all of us to think outside the box.
- Seeing you! I really look forward to seeing you! It will be good to spend time together. I’ll be encouraging all of us to have “conversations” with each other. That includes me, so don’t hesitate to chat with me.
BEFORE YOU GO…
If you are planning to attend Annual Conference, do you have a 16th thing you are looking forward to? I’d love to hear from you! Click over to the blog to comment.
A bit of business: The “final” revision of the packet for Conference will go out this week. Please be sure to read through it. I’d especially like you to take a few minutes to review it with your lay leaders in anticipation of our time together.