AGC National Conference 2014
All who attended the June 5 - 8, 2014 National Conference in London, ON were blessed and encouraged by the fellowship, music, speaker Rick Reed, and, of course... the food! Please read this report from Church Relations Co-ordinator Susan Page:
This past April through May we experienced the usual pre-conference flurry of activity. It’s always a time that challenges us and stretches us in many ways. This year there were some unique challenges that came at us, wave after wave so to speak.
The first was a flood resulting from a storm sewer back up in the building. Then, the flu bug which hit our team with a one/two punch. Just when we thought we were ahead of our “game” (10 days prior to Conference) we arrived at the office to the news that our Conference speaker had to cancel because of health issues. We had just finished printing materials with the advertising and Conference speaker’s name listed in the scheduling, etc. There was nothing that our striving or stressing could make right. Again and again we were reminded of the verse that we had claimed from Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Oswald Chambers said: “We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defence. We pray when there's nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all. Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. We don't want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of 'good time' is seldom in sync with ours.”
I like what one of our National Board members, Susan Davis, wrote in her e-mail the day we heard the news from the Prices. “I'm even more excited now to see how God works at Conference - so often last minute changes from our perspective create fabulous opportunities for God to expand our relationship with Him.” Additionally, John Thompson’s e-mail contained an insightful line: “Our disappointments are a part of God’s appointments.”
Bill Fietje has a favourite scripture passage that puts it all in perspective: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 19:21 is another verse that comes to mind “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
What was the result of all this upheaval and chaos? Believe it or not, it was a “peace that passes all understanding” ... and not only a peace, but an excitement about what God had in store for us!
Within a day and ½ we were able to contact Dr. Rick Reed, (President of Heritage Seminary) who was sitting in Heathrow Airport when he received Bill’s SOS e-mail. Rick graciously accepted the call to be our Conference speaker. As we continued to pray for Dr. Price and his family and plan last minute details for Conference our sense of excitement was heightened. God was in control. I share all this to emphasize the many lessons learned pre-conference that prepared our hearts for God’s blessing over our Conference. And what a Conference it was! We gathered together as a family with people represented from coast to coast!
Dr. Rick Reed profoundly exposed life lessons from the prophet Jeremiah (click on the title to listen):
Rick’s presentation of the Word brought times of great blessing and refreshment. God’s Spirit reached to the inner depths of our hearts and souls. Anyone involved in ministry could take away many life applications from the lessons shared from the book of Jeremiah.
Our worship band from Peoples Church, Wyoming, ON was used by God to lead us as a community into times of amazing worship. Again, God’s Spirit was in our midst as we lifted our hearts and voices in worship.
We had an excellent choice of Seminars which were very well received.
- Rev. George Bradford: Retaining our Young Adults
- Mrs. Kathy Butryn: Self-Leadership
- Rev. Russ Worrad: Aaah! Why do I always have to do everything myself?
- Rev. Dr. Paul Brittain: Are Christians Becoming Biblically Illiterate?
Of course, there were the usual times of business sessions that ran efficiently which will enable our Association to function as God leads.
We shared in some free time on Saturday afternoon with a varied choice of activities. Our young people from the local AGC area churches organized a softball game that was enjoyed by many. We could not have asked for more beautiful weather.
Our meal times were amazing, both the food and the fellowship. Our accommodations were excellent and the staff at Fanshawe College was both friendly and accommodating.
We finished off with a celebratory banquet! We had a few words of challenge from our President, Dr. Bill Fietje and final devotional thoughts from Rick Reed.
Everything and everyone seemed to blend together in beautiful harmony. It was wonderful to see our gracious volunteers, the many exhibitors, guests, pastors and delegates, all connecting with one another. This is the result that honours our AGC vision and our God. Connecting with God, with His Word, with the AGC and with each other is our purpose for planning and investing in Conferences. Praise God that His good purpose was accomplished!
Thank you to everyone who shared and took part in our AGC Connect 2014! As we look forward in our preparations towards AGC Connect 2016 National Conference, think about and plan on being there as part of the family! Much is to be gained as we gather together to learn from Him! The passage shared in our June Prayer Guide is one that was lived out at AGC Connect 2014!
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Col. 3: 16, 17