Friday, June 30, 2017

We Are A Part of Something Bigger...#GA2017

I just got back from General Assembly.  This event takes place every four years in the Church of the Nazarene and it is when delegates come together from all parts of the globe (we are in 162 countries and minister in more than 200 languages worldwide) and do the business of the church. During these days, changes are adopted to our Manual (this contains the bylaws of the Church of the Nazarene) as well as looking at policies and procedures for the global church.  I talked quite a bit about what goes on at General Assembly in a former post so I won't spend a lot of time now, but if you want to learn more about what General Assembly is, you can read about it here. Today, I want to share a couple of highlights from General Assembly 2017.

First, there were amazing worship services.  It is hard to put into words what it is like to worship with so many brothers and sisters from around the globe, but it is amazing.  Since I am trying to learn Korean, I decided to get a translator headset so I could listen to the services and the some of the business meetings in that language.  That was an experience all its own.  I don't know enough to be able to follow along solely in Korean, but it was cool when I would be able to pick out the things I did know.  On Saturday night, they brought out on stage dozens of people to sing "The Revelation Song," and it was broken up into multiple languages.  What a moving experience that was.  You can watch the video below if you'd like to see it.  Wow!  In fact, you can find videos of all the services as well as this week's business meetings on YouTube.
Second, not only did I get to meet and/or catch up with friends from all over the USA, I was blessed to meet and get to know Nazarene Brothers and Sisters from all over the world. I met an amazing group from Nassau, Bahamas during the first couple days of Assembly and then was blessed to see them several times throughout the event. They brightened my day each time we got to see each other. Then another day, I met two women from Taiwan, one of which was the pastor of her church and had been pastoring there for many years.  What an inspiration she was.  I met the District Superintendent's wife from one of our India Districts as well as the General Assembly Delegate from another India District, both of which were amazing women of God.  I was blessed to chat several times with the fantastic woman, named Sun, who was manning the booth for Korea Nazarene University and I got to see the show their Tae Kwon Do Team put on.  It was jaw dropping.   It was great to get to catch up with the people Mom and Dad had worked with at Africa Nazarene University as well.  There were literally people to meet from all parts of the world and I tried to meet as many as I had the opportunity to do so.

Finally, I was there to witness the election of our two newest General Superintendents.  For those not familiar with the Church of the Nazarene, we have six General Superintendents who lead our church globally.  It is a huge job and not one that any of us take lightly.  They have the responsibility of chairing every District Assembly worldwide, ordaining all ministerial candidates each year from all parts of the world, as well as many many more duties.  This year, we elected Dr. Filimeo Chambo from our Africa Region and Dr. Carla Sunberg who has been the president of Nazarene Theological Seminary.  Dr. Chambo's election brings our Board of General Superintendents to three from within the US and three from outside the US and Dr. Sunberg in our second ever woman to be elected a GS.  It was an incredible honor to see these two wonderful leaders in our church elected to our highest office. 

General Assembly reminds me once again that we are bigger than just our local church.  Bigger than our Districts and even bigger than our countries.  We are a part of a global team all working together to reach the world for Jesus.  And when we include our brothers and sisters from other denominations that team just gets bigger.  It's important to remember that we are not alone.  It's important to remember that there are others working for the Kingdom in places we may never get to visit ourselves.  And it's important to remember that we are indeed all ONE team, pursuing ONE goal and that is the share CHRIST with the world.  I'm honored to be a small part of this global team.  

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