Akron UBF, Bowling Green UBF, Buffalo UBF, Cleveland UBF, Columbus UBF, Erie UBF, Owens UBF, Pittsburgh UBF, and Toledo UBF (North America)
August 9, 2012
On July 27-29, the Great Lakes Region chapters held their summer conference at Hiram College located in northeastern Ohio. Nine UBF chapter from Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Erie, Owens, Pittsburgh, and Toledo participated in planning, praying, and implementing different aspects of the conference program.
Pastor Mark Vucekovich also attended as the North American coordinator. Three messages on Acts 2:42-47 titled "They Devoted Themselves to Jesus," Ephesians 4:1-16 titled "The Fullness of Christ," and 1 Timothy 4:7-16 titled "Train Yourself to Be Godly" where given by Daniel Errett, David Lee, and Jeff Gathergood, respectively. The conference included two life testimonies, three world mission reports, group Bible study, a special lecture by Dr. John Armstrong, reflection writing and sharing, and eight break-out sessions. On Sunday, we collected offering primarily for African mission.
We learned that the fullness of Christ entails unity and community, the gifting of the Holy Spirit, godly character and maturity, and much more. It's hard to fully capture and describe all that God is doing in our region, in each chapter, and individually. I believe we all sensed a growing regional cohesiveness and connectedness. In forming a representative conference steering committee, we tried to be much more deliberate in promoting shared ownership and inter-chapter collaboration in preparing the conference. We also tried to give more freedom and flexibility in the program content. I felt the conference atmosphere and fellowship we shared had increased relational depth, openness, and honesty. Many of the regional directors and leaders were moved by the words, "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3). I am so thankful for the blessing and favor of God evident in and through our conference. We pray that our longing and receiving of the fullness of Christ may keep increasing individually, in each chapter and city, our region as a whole, and beyond. We truly need Jesus, and we need each other to grow in the fullness of Christ. This fall we will plan and organize a regional staff development conference.
By Greg Lewis (Toledo UBF)