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A lively spirit filled the gathering space as the leadership of the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network (POAMN) and the Association of Retired Ministers, Their Spouses or Survivors (ARMSS) celebrated their 20th year of co-sponsoring a national conference for persons engaged in ministry with older adults.
For more than a century, the manse next to First Presbyterian Church in tiny Baird, Texas (population 1,600), served many functions: as the church’s first sanctuary, as a home for a string of pastors, and as space for vacation Bible School and adult Sunday school classes. In recent years, however, it had become an albatross, a dilapidated structure that was too expensive to repair and too expensive to demolish.
When members of Canfield (Ohio) Presbyterian Church began raising funds for a remodeling project and addition in 2008 they made sure 10 percent of the capital raised was reserved for mission activities. Several years later, and another remodel of existing facilities, the church opened its mission housing space to those engaged with area service organizations.
When the Rev. Dr. Nancy Jo Dederer earned her Doctor of Ministry degree in parish revitalization, she had no idea that church transformation would become her calling. And not only her calling, but also a blessing to the people of Homewood, Illinois.
From “Navigating Change” to “Sustaining Spiritual Vitality,” attendees at the Go Disciple Live “Be the Light” Conference chose from a wealth of nearly 30 workshop topics toward building their skills in authentic evangelism, storytelling, social media, effective church transformation, justice, church planting, and more.
Using the same text—Mark 1:16-20—on which he preached the evangelism conference’s opening sermon, the Rev. Dr. Ralph Basui Watkins returned to Jesus’ call to his disciples to “come and follow me,” as the foundation for his plenary presentation on “Evangelism in the 21st Century.”
Following several days of severe thunderstorms and flooding, participants in the Go Disciple Live “Be the Light” Conference were more than ready on Aug. 10 to witness the sun come up and dry the rains to make way for a unique worship experience on the beach.
Midway through his plenary address this morning, Mike Breen—one of the world’s leading innovators in the church planting and discipling movement—asked his audience at the Go Disciple Live “Be the Light” evangelism conference a critical question, “Where are we going with this?”
Competing against the noise and the sheer force of a second day of torrential downpours that literally shook the tent of meeting here, the diminutive—by her own admission—Rev. Casey FitzGerald displayed her own God-given powers in presenting the art of biblical storytelling to a rapt audience of some 275 conference attendees.
After weathering rains so heavy that they flooded the exhibit hall and much of the ground floor on the first day of the Go Disciple Live “Be the Light” Conference, some 275 attendees at the opening worship were particularly primed to hear a sermon on Jesus’ call of the first disciples at the seaside.