The Church of God 2012 North American Convention (NAC or for people like me who are used to the old name--Anderson Campmeeting) was recently held on the campus of Anderson University. Our congregation was represented by myself and Kathy Brad (who was able to attend many of the Christian Women's Connection events in addition to some of the other conferences and services). Most of my time in Anderson was spent attending the General Assembly meetings where various issues are presented and discussed. The three biggest topics of this year's assembly meeting were a resolution on Conditional Deeding, the transition plan for the retiring General Director, and the feasibility study regarding locating the NAC in different rotating sites. If you would like to watch a video of one of the services or the Hymn Sing, they can be found at this website. If you are only going to watch one, may I recommend one of my favorite preachers--Diana Swoope and the Monday service.
The Conditional Deeding resolution passed after some discussion in lieu of a recent court battle in Colorado. The transition team was announced and is chaired by Rev. Dr. New-Edson from Ohio. One of the things related to this transition included a survey that all the pastors in the Church of God received to fill out. I have completed my VISTA survey but if you have thoughts on what you think the national offices and General Director should emphasize, let me know and I can communicate that to the transition team. The final issue was the study on moving the location of the NAC. The determination was that moving the convention would provide many who are away from the Midwest an opportunity to attend more cheaply, but would ultimately cost the church and most of those who do attend too much money. The plan is for a regional site at one of the church colleges or large church campuses to begin in 2014 and eventually have up to four regional sites far away from Anderson where the services will be streamed and other connectivity and training can be offered.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of NAC 2012 was the information shared about the 2013 Global Gathering of the Church of God. In previous years this was called the World Conference and it has been in places like South Korea, Australia, and Birmingham, England (which I attended in 1999). This time around, the global church requested the opportunity to come to the US and Anderson, Indiana specifically. Our church is supporting this endeavor by sending along $1000 but you can add your own personal support as well. (You can look at the Church of God website for more info on giving). 58 delegates from around the world are coming and many of these leaders need financial assistance for the cost of travel. A list of the delegates will soon be posted in the fellowship hall. They have also released the slate of preachers for the conference. I cannot encourage you strongly enough to consider attending the Global Gathering. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to learn from many of the church leaders from around the world and be more connected to the broader work of the church. Here is the list of speakers and a link to the Global Gathering home page.
- Timothy Clarke (Colombus, Ohio)
- Amos Moore (Meghalaya, India)
- Donny Franz (Encarnación, Paraguay)
- David Ravell (Pacific Pines, Australia)
- Edward Nkansah (Accra, Ghana)
- Andrei Kolegov (Chelyabinsk, Russia)
- Mailesi Phiri Ndao (Lusaka, Zambia)
- Norberto Obermann (Marechal Cândido Rondon, Brazil)
- Arnetta McNeese Bailey (Anderson, Indiana)
- Lenworth Anglin (Kingston, Jamaica)