“Conference” is a long tradition in Grace Brethren history — it predates the founding of the Grace Brethren movement in the late 1930s. In fact, you’ll find an annual national meeting on the calendars of most of the other branches of the Brethren family tree. For those of us in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC), conference is a time to see what God is doing throughout our network, to renew friendships, and to worship together. (Oh, and we do a little business, too.)
It’s one of my favorite events.
This year, there is a fresh wind blowing. A new generation of leadership is infusing conference with a contemporary look and feel. A wide range of speakers, from a variety of generations and cultural backgrounds, will address timely issues. Both men and women will take the platform to challenge, encourage, and teach us. The setting — a historic hotel in lively Washington, D.C. — provides a perfect setting for what promises to be some groundbreaking meetings from July 17 to 21.
The online platforms of GraceConnect will provide daily coverage of both national conference and the annual youth conference, Momentum. Watch graceconnect.us, as well as follow facebook.com/ graceconnectus and twitter. com/graceconnectus for regular updates.
This issue is devoted to the conference, with a look at the schedule, a glimpse at some of the churches and ministries that will be welcomed into the Fellowship, some thoughts on what makes us unique as a fellowship, and an interview with one of the trail-blazing women of the FGBC, Janet Minnix. If you would like to attend conference, it’s not too late to make arrangements, though rooms at the conference hotel might not be available. See fellowshift.org for more details.
History tells us that change is inevitable. One doesn’t have to look too far to see how different society is compared with even a few years ago. However, of one thing (maybe two) we are certain: the Word of God will never change, nor will the commitment of the FGBC to biblical teaching and preaching.
Liz Cutler Gates, firstname.lastname@example.org, is the editor of Grace Connect. Since 2010, she has served as executive director of the Brethren Missionary Herald Company. She and her husband, Doug, live in Warsaw, Ind.