The center of gravity of the Grace Brethren Church shifted several hours to the southeast about noon today.
The Biola University campus in LaMirada, California, was just about emptied out after an intense week of Brethren National Youth Conference, attended by some 3,000 teens, youth pastors, youth leaders, staff, Grace Brethren national organization staff, and more.
Traffic was especially heavy on “the 10” and on the Riverside Freeway as attention, equipment, and personnel shifted to the Grand Champions Hyatt Resort in Indian Wells, a few miles south of Palm Springs and Palm Desert on Hwy 111.
By noon today the semi-trailer had arrived from Biola carrying the huge rigging and superstructure for the lights, platform, sound system, and other mechanicals. They are being brought into the ballroom and set up this afternoon.
In the foyer of the Conference Center, national organizations, local ministeriums, and other exhibitors have set up booths and exhibits. Deadline for completion is 9 p.m. Friday–the conference officially opens at noon on Saturday.
All around the perimeter of the conference center, small-group and special-purpose meetings are occurring. In one room are members of the Fellowship Council, in another the Women of Grace USA. At 5 p.m. officers of the Association of Grace Brethren Ministers will meet, and at 2 p.m. all Grace Brethren International Missions staff were gathering for pre-conference briefings and meetings.
We will keep you updated as the week goes along, though not with the frequency and intensity of the reports from youth conference. YIB (Your Intrepid Blogger) will be reporting from most of the main sessions, trying to give some flavor of this annual gathering of the Grace Brethren family.
We sweated and sweltered in LosAngeles, and here in the desert there is a searing hot dry heat. But the local California churches have brought in a mountain of bottled water for our comfort, and the power blackouts have not reached this far, for which we’re thankful.
We do, however, grieve with those who have lost loved ones to the heat in California–a news report a bit ago said the death toll in California from this heat wave is over 130 at this point.