Steve here... Everyone likes a good party. The Bible often talks about the joys of a good party, feast, or banquet. A great banquet awaits us all with King Jesus.
Last week, representatives from close to 150 churches gathered in Niagara Falls for a "party", our 59th annual National Convention. I've heard from many delegates how much they enjoyed "Fellowship 48" this year. I thought I would share a few highlights.
Our theme this year was Vital Signs: Becoming more effective for ministry from the inside out. Our guest speakers were Peter and Geri Scazzero of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York. During our extended seminar format they shared practical methods to help enrich our emotional and spiritual lives. The Scazzeros thanked me for the invitation, saying how welcomed they felt from our Fellowship family.
Many pastor's wives and women on church staffs stopped me during Fellowship 48 to thank us for bringing the Scazzeros, especially Geri, who seemed to connect with so many women at Fellowship 48. A few couples also spoke to me, grateful for time spent with one of the three "counselors-in-residence" available during our Convention. A big thank you to the Webbs, Harrises and Lavergnes for their care of pastors and couples during Convention. Let me know if you believed our counselors were a helpful addition to our Convention.
The workshops were all well received along with Tuesday evenings' prayer meeting. Our closing banquet hosted more than 500 people and Phil Callaway had us laughing together.
It was a joy to present the new "Fellowship International" directional document and also distribute our new Fellowship "Reaching Francophone Canada" directional documents. These documents will be available on our website in English and French by the end of this week. Take a moment and check them out and discover how your National Fellowship might become a channel for your mission aspirations and initiatives internationally, in French Canada and chaplaincy.
Project 2013: Back to the Future was presented. This year’s project celebrates Fellowship International’s 50 years of ministry by focusing on five fields, one for each of the decades of ministry for the mission. These being:
* INDIA—The focus here is leadership development with Raj and Kim Vannadil.
* COLOMBIA—We will partner with our Colombian brothers and sisters by providing seed money to assist the El Redil churches as they prepare to launch their own missionaries into Colombia, surrounding countries and around the world. Diego and Claudia Cardona are giving leadership to this project.
* FRANCE—Assisting missionary Guy Leduc and the France team as they seek to create quality evangelistic media tools that can be used by evangelical churches throughout France.
* JAPAN—The focus in Japan is on church planting in Tsukuba and also in the region ravaged by the March 2011 earthquake/tsunami. What a unique opportunity we have!
* Democratic Republic of CONGO—A FAIR humanitarian project in the Congo with Richard and Brenda Flemming.
Our Convention offering raised $12,500 toward the $300,000 target. I hope many within our Fellowship family will prayerfully consider sending a gift to Back to the Future, our 2013 project in the next few weeks and months. Why not host a Back to the Future Sunday at your church or come to one of the Fellowship International 50th Anniversary celebration events coming to your region soon? During these celebration events we will not only celebrate God’s goodness these past 50 years but will use this opportunity to launch into the future God has prepared for us through a special focus on Project 2013.
Also at Fellowship 48, 11 missionary appointees (appointed over the past 18 months) were presented. All of these are seeking financial and prayer support. Visit www.fellowship.ca for information about these appointees.
One of the great joys, for me personally, during Fellowship 48 was to hear babies in our main sessions and see toddlers "stumbling" about. So many young pastoral couples showed up and I loved it! This definitely was the "couples’ convention". My hope is it will remain a time for "couples" to come for a "spiritual oasis" in early November each year.
Make sure to check out the 35 second video below...your Fellowship family at Fellowship 48 wanted to send all of us a message!
Have a blessed week,
Steve Jones (click on picture below)