Spending a few days with friends…

2 comments Written on February 11th, 2012     
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Today’s post is written by Geoff Twigg, Adjunct Professor at North Park University in Chicago. Geoff is a pastor, singer/songwriter, worship leader and ministry consultant, and serves the ECC as a member of the denomination’s Commission on Worship.

I have to admit it. I love Midwinter. Of course, I mean the Midwinter conference that just finished, the annual training event for Covenant personnel.

This year’s event was the fourth I’ve attended, and it’s been enjoyable each time. There are various reasons…

First, there is the Covenant’s collegiality. Prior to this I was a pastor in a sister denomination that had several churches within the state, and many within a few hours driving time. However, in fourteen years I got to know very few pastors and even fewer musicians and worship colleagues. Since 2008 I have spent time in the ECC’s East Coast Conference and recently moved into the Central Conference, and yet, when Midwinter comes around I’m among hundreds of friends. This is where the truth of our Facebook group‘s title is proven again; we really are Better Together.

Second, there’s an atmosphere of celebration, study and the pursuit of best practice that is simply inspiring. I thrive on that sense of edification, enthusiasm and encouragement – it feeds my soul.

Third and finally, I love the shared stories. These embody the richness that comes home with me every year. In anecdotes, testimonies and Words of Witness the far-off names and faces become familiar, three-dimensional and memorable.

From its earliest expressions, this movement of Mission Friends seems to have been about stories; I read them in the books by Karl A. Olsson, J. Irving Erickson, Glen V. Wiberg and many others. Midwinter participants continue this tradition – inviting me deeper into the narrative – by sharing what God is doing and how we are joining in the effort. In hearing those testimonies we draw closer to one another and to God’s story, in which we all have a part to play.

I love it.

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2 comments “Spending a few days with friends…”

Well stated, Geoff. I’m still being refreshed by the streams of living water there. Brought back to that life-giving place often in the days since. And thank you to ALL who had a part in the worship planning and leading. It was wonderful!

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Absolutely.  I am SO looking forward to what this group will do in the future!

A (I think) funny story for you: our youth pastor was on the bus with another group as the worship pastors all went to dinner together.  And he told me later, “it was like listening to a whole bunch of you all talking to each other in a language I wasn’t quite sure was English.”  It’s been so good to have a community of people who get me, who I can turn to and say “did you see that?” and we both know that the guy running ProPresenter missed a slide without saying it … 

A very refreshing week for me, very much looking forward to next year!

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