Flinch Conference, the national conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, kicked off Thursday evening at the Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott in New Jersey.
The opening celebration was preceded by dinner hosted by the Grace Brethren Investment Foundation. As has become tradition, Grace Brethren military chaplains were recognized. Six chaplains were introduced by Col. John Schumacher (U.S. Army, retired), the endorsing agent for the FGBC: Major Bill Graham (U.S. Army), Major Carl Phillips (U.S. Army), Lt. Col. (P) George Youstra (Air Force), 1st Lt. J.P. Prado (Air Force Reserve), 2nd Lt. Matt Frost, and Scott Schafer each shared a bit about their ministry.
Martha Schumacher also made a presentation to the wives who were present.
At the celebration, Bartley Sawatsky, executive director of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches and pastor of Grace Community Church, Mississauga, Ontario, challenged the audience with “Will you Flinch?”
Tim Boal, executive director of Go2 Ministries and executive director of Penn Valley Church Multi-Site Network, Telford, Pa., spoke on “Risk: the Spirit of the Apostle.”
Kevin Pinkerton, pastor of Grace Community Church, Fremont, Ohio, closed the evening with a challenge from the life of Daniel, as he encouraged “Faith Inspired Defiance.”
The evening closed with a spirited brief hockey game between Canada and the USA, in which Canada won. That was followed by an ice cream social hosted by the church planting organization, GBCanada.
See more photos (by Liz Cutler Gates and Trent Radbill) at facebook.com/graceconnectus and follow the live action on the Flinch Wall, where posts to Twitter and Instagram (with the hashtag #flinch2015 and #graceconnectsus) may be be found.