Overlapping URCNA pastors/missions conferences

Mid-America Reformed Seminary

In a creative cooperative effort, organizers for two URCNA conferences have not only scheduled them subsequently at the same location, but they’re also overlapping them by making the final session of one the first session of the other.

The two conferences will take place in June on the campus of Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, IN. The URCNA Ministers’ Conference will be held from June 24-26, while the URCNA Missions Conference will run from June 26-28.

“When ministers have the opportunity to partake of the three-course meal of superb teaching, searching discussion, and sweet fellowship, they tend to make reservations to eat!” says Rev. Harold Miller, an organizer for the Ministers’ Conference. “Brothers, your table is waiting.”

This year’s speakers at the Ministers’ Conference will address the theme: Ministering in Changing Seasons. Sessions include: Pastoral humility in years of popularity by Dr. J. Mark Beach; Loving the flock when it seems they don’t love you by Rev. Alan Strange; Maintaining pastoral vitality in a long pastorate by Dr. Joel Beeke; Beginning well: What to do and what to avoid in your first charge by Dr. Gerhard Visscher; Concluding well: How to know it may be time to emeritate and how to finish well by Dr. Joseph Pipa; as well as Blogs, Facebook, and the flock: What is the relationship of social media to the local pastorate? by Dr. David Murray.

The final Ministers’ Conference presentation, The Pastor as an Evangelist and the Evangelist as a Pastor by Rev. Paul Murphy, will also be the initial presentation for the Missions’ Conference. Its title, which is almost a palindrome, aptly conveys this presentation’s function as a hinge connecting the two conferences.

Delegates at Synod Nyack 2012
Delegates at Synod Nyack 2012

Missions Conference organizer Rev. Michael Brown says, “We hope to organize the conference in such a way that we focus on domestic church planting on the first two days and foreign missions on the third day, even though much of this material will overlap.”

The Missions Conference will also include: How to Plant a Reformed Church by Rev. Michael Brown; Developing a Plan for Outreach by Rev. Bill Boekestein; Maintaining a Vibrant Ministry in a Small Church by Dr. Brian Lee; The Cultural Factor in Church Planting by Rev. Mitch Persuad; The OPC’s Method for Mission by Mr. Mark Bube; Lessons Learned in Latin America by Rev. Richard Bout; Mission Work Among Native Americans by Rev. Wes Bredenhof; and The Long-term Commitment in Foreign Missions by Rev. Andrea Ferrari.

“The URCNA Missions Committee is excited about this conference as it will provide pastors, elders, and interested lay people in our federation with an opportunity to think together about church planting and learn from one another,” says Rev. Brown. “As a young federation, we have a lot of growing to do in the area of missions. Our prayer is that the Lord will use this conference to motivate, instruct, and sharpen us in our efforts to fulfill the Great Commission.”

Registration fees for each conference are the same, with a discount for those who register for both.

The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on page 15 of the February 27, 2013, issue of Christian Renewal.

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