Pastor Doug Givan related the story of how Nicodemus felt lockout from God’s grace and love. Do you feel locked out? We find Jesus in the waters of grace baptism. We don’t find it in our daily struggles. Grading yourself does not equal Grace. Remember, Emanuel means God is with us. Follow and listen with your heart to hear God. Nicodemus had his heart unlocked by God, just as we can.
By Greg Frazier
Business Meeting – Morning Session
The business meeting began with the first order of business, floor nominations for the NLS Board. There were two nominations for President, two nominations for Vice President of Operations, and one nomination for Secretary. The current VP of Outreach, Lindsay Daugherty, gave a talk on what the VP of Outreach position entails. A motion to accept the floor nominations was passed. A new website will be coming soon for the National VdC: www.test.viadecristo.org. Jim Ryan then presented the financial reports. The meeting recessed until the afternoon session.
By Kim Silence
Story Telling with Ron Poisel
When we read from the Bible, we often read word for word. However, many listeners will tire and tune out from the word of the Lord when shared this way. So how do we bring the Bible to have a personal meaning and to share that with other? Pastor Ron Poisel used the parables of the yeast and leaven, the hidden treasure, and the Pearl of Great Value to show the participants how to use storytelling to engage others when sharing the word of the Lord. Participants were encouraged to select stories from the Bible and know them well enough to tell the story. By sharing Bible stories we can give listeners another point they can remember, and maybe even tell others.
By Mary & Dick Link
Forum # 1 – Peace of Christ
Speaker – Dick Brenneman
“The Peace of Christ” Forum focused on the reality of experience the actual peace of Christ in today’s world.Dick Brenneman spoke about and raised the questions of how to attain and maintain this peaceful state of being in grief.The discussion groups then spoke together about whether grief ever leaves a person.The consensus was that it does not. To cope with finding peace in grief, suggestions were made to turn the grief over to Christ in prayer and for group support through conversation. Another obstacle to peace that was presented was conflict which is always present where people are involved.The audience was given examples of how we might find peace, like holding a baby, spending time in nature or floating in a tube on a river.Brenneman offered a definition of “peace” as “when chaos is all around you and you remain calm.” He suggested that God’s grace is a form of peace and a way to find peace.The discussion topics were – what are the benefits of peace, challenges to peace, and what it means to live in peace.The session ended with singing of “Peace Like a River” in unison.
By Yvonne Stewart
EOI – Future Hosting of the Annual Gathering
Leader – Debbie Klatt
Ever wonder what it takes to host the VdC Annual Gathering? Debbie Klatt led the participants through the highlights of what hosting an Annual Gathering requires. In 2020 we will be in Minnesota and in 2021 we will be in Texas. The NLS Board is currently looking for a host for the 2022 Annual Gathering. Debbie shared the basic timeline of events, the financial requirements and considerations, some fundraising ideas, and other logistic to consider. She also shared with the participants some of what this year’s host committee has done. The trend is to put more information online vs. using paper binders. A host committee should expect to hose 200-250 people. If you’re interested in hosting the 2022 Annual Gathering, please reach out to the NLS VP of Administration.
By Greg Frazier
EOI – Jam Session/CCLI License
Leader – Jeanne Gaston
Copywrite music is used in nearly every worship service we attend. But there are rules that govern the use of the music we love to sing. Jeanne Gaston led the participants through the CCLI License requirements. Some of these rules include not changing any words without permission from the song’s owner, not being allowed to post a video online if it includes a song (public domain songs may be used), the requirement to report on 6 months of use when contacted, and ensuring you notate the copywrite notation on all slides projecting the music. There is a lot of resources on the CCLI website. But if you have any questions, please reach out to Jeanne Gaston at National Secretariat.
By Chris Carson
EOI – Pastors Roundtable
Leader – Sue Beall
Pastor Sue Beall distributed the survey results from 2012 of Spiritual Directors throughout the secretariats. These questions will be reused in an upcoming survey with modifications discussed. Interestingly, 84% of those pastors agreed that VdC strengthened the lay leadership of their congregations. It was commented by the group that this is the most important benefit of this movement.
Other discussions included how difficult it theological and denominational beliefs are obstacles to Pastoral participation in VdC. In light of these differences an updated version of the Spiritual Director manual is available and issued to those at the session. Notably, Rollo #12, Life in Grace, was changed to remove some of these obstacles. Please have your secretariats review these changes before your next weekends.
The last topic of discussion was the “clergy” weekends. These have had some success in developing stronger relationships with our local pastors from various denominations. Guidelines and some “marketing” materials were showed to the group. It was clear that the success was most contingent on personal invitations. Just as we were personally invited by a friend to a weekend, our pastors need the same personal touch. Jesus will guide us all as we invite others to these weekends.
By Steve Siroky
EOI – Networking
Leader – Wendy Showalter
Wendy Showalter opened the floor to the audience to share successes, questions, challenges among the various secretariats in growing their respective VdC Communities. The room was filled to standing room only as a very lively discussion took place on a variety of subjects. Included in the topics were whether or not to cancel weekends with lower pilgrim attendance, how to engage and reignite 4th day attendees, better engagement of clergy and building relationships with the communities and potential pilgrims to accomplish the ultimate goal of preparing Christian leaders to go back to their communities. Suggestions for sponsor training as part of leadership training, retreats and further training for teams when there is low pilgrim attendance, educating clergy with Monday – Thursday retreats, like a VdC Weekend. A Secretariat Facebook page used for requesting financial support and other needs for pilgrims was suggested. Finally, inclosing, Wendy made an appeal that Secretariats share successes on the NLS website.
By Yvonne Stewart
EOI – Lay Directors Roundtable
Leader – Danyal Walters
After taking a poll of how many lay directors are serving their Secretariat as a delegate, Danyal Walters lead a discussion with the lay directors present. We spent time speaking about topics concerning the various ways of doing business. Are we transparent? Do we post minutes? Do we accept email ballots for elections and how bylaws should be posted for 30 days prior to a vote. We also discussed better ways to engage, communicate and run weekends. We should send a letter to the pilgrims’ pastors following a weekend and make sure to get a sponsor pastor signature. We also discussed how rectors are chosen and that the Lay Director makes the call to the rector and should arrange back up rectors. We should be continually performing a wellness check and make sure we backup documents.
By Sean Rice
EOI – Writing to Our Forgotten
Leader – Mary and Dick Link
Mary and Dick Link lead a discussion on Fthe forgotten. The forgotten are found in all areas of our life: church, VdC, neighbors, family, work. They can be our friends, loved ones, those in nursing homes or are shut-ins, children, widows, deployed soldiers, or the family of deployed soldiers. They can be anyone. People can be forgotten by choice, due to bad experiences, medical issues, life circumstances, alternate work schedules, or they may have had their feelings hurt or simply don’t know how to communicate with others. But make no mistake, everyone desires a connection with others, a human touch in their lives.
We can connect with others in a variety of ways. We can write a letter or send a card. We can also call or visit people. The important thing is to do something to connect with those who may feel like part of the forgotten. They don’t need fancy words, expensive paper, or grand gestures. What they need is to know they are cared for and loved. Mary and Dick encouraged the group to write a card, make a call, stop by for a visit. The forgotten will love anything you do from the heart.
By Robin Grega
Business Meeting – Afternoon Session
The meeting began with Pastor Sue Beall leading a prayer. The first order of business was the resolution presented by Good News VDC. President Wendy Showalter yielded the floor to Pastor Doug Givan for this discussion. The delegates voted to suspend the motion pending a discussion between the NLS board and Good News VDC to address the conflict. They will begin that discussion tonight and report back in the Saturday morning business meeting. There was no vote on the resolution itself. Pastor Doug return the floor to President Wendy Showalter. The next order of business was the election of the NLS officers. Two positions were running unopposed and were confirmed by consensus. Pastor Sue Beall has been elected as Spiritual Director and Jeanne Gaston has been elected as Secretary for a one-year term. Due to time, the rest of the elections were suspended until the Saturday morning business meeting. The meeting adjourned for the day.
By Kim Silence
Forum # 2 – Joined In One Body
Speaker – Sean Rice
After an invigorating rendition of Happy Birthday for Speaker Sean Rice, he presented the audience with the concept of how today’s technology prevents us from turning off the ugliness of the world around us. But there is ALWAYS room on God’s team! We are called to work together as one body. But how can we live in peace when the world is against us? We need to love one another and work together to live God’s word. When Sean finished his talk, we discussed the following questions – What do I lose if I have peace with others? How can I overcome with my own obstacles with others? How can I live as myself within the church?
By Louise Taylor
The evening started in silence and reflection Pastor Ken Baker told the story of Noah’s flood in a tub and the sacrifice we don’t give to our Father and or unforgiveness is our jail. He then read Psalm 103:11, 1 Corinthians 10:13 and 1 Corinthians 11:27-29. He then shared the story of the Ragman from the back of the room. After self-reflection, we wrote on a 3×5 card our woes and things that were dirty red rags to be given to Jesus, the Rgman of the story. Pastor Dave Rankin came to us as the Ragman and exchanged our dirty card or “rags” for a clean linen cloth, filled with pristine whiteness of our forgiveness and free relationship with our Father through the gift of Jesus.
As I stood with all my brothers and sisters, waiting patiently to let the Ragman take my doubt, obstacles and sins, I could not imagine the amount of pain, anxiety and grief we give to our Father tonight. So much we experience is heaped upon us as true believers, but tonight a room full of us were free of these wounds, hurts and things that hinder our walk with our Lord and King, Jesus.
Praising the Blood and Name of Jesus
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