The 153rd Regional Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Georgia was held November 15-17, 2002 at Epworth by the Sea, St. Simon's Island, Georgia.  Here are reports from the activities on Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon & evening, and Sunday morning.

Friday evening

Those of us who attended the 153rd Regional Assembly of the Christian Church in Georgia could tell from the very beginning that this would be a different kind of Assembly.  When we went to dinner before the opening session, we found the entry to the dining hall adorned with balloons, and each of us was encouraged to take one.  Oh, and let's not forget Trixie and Susie, who greeted us as we came in and made their rounds to talk to everyone.  Every church should have greeters so cheerful and well-dressed!

When we arrived in the meeting hall, we found it set up like a circus tent, thanks to the work of Nancy Oliver and her helpers.  George Bennett, Second Vice Moderator and chair of the Assembly Planning Committee, served as master of ceremonies (maybe ringmaster would be a better name) as Dr. Wes Morgan gave the first of his keynote addresses and Rev. Alfred Dotson encouraged everyone to let the child in them come out.  We knew it was going to be a playful time as we rediscovered faith like little children.

Saturday morning

Saturday began early for twenty of us as we gathered in the chapel for a time of intercessory prayer before breakfast.

After breakfast, Jerry Gladson led the Bible study on the "new wine" passage from Mark 2:18-22.  We broke into our small groups to discuss the lesson, and afterward we reassembled for the business worship.  Paul Svenson led our praise and worship singing as we opened the session, and Jim Caton's sermon encouraged us to get off our bottoms and proclaim the Gospel.  We recognized the top churches for growth in the Region.

Roger Sizemore and Dean Phelps presented the proposed budget for 2003 as part of the call to stewardship.  The budget was passed unanimously.  Roger recognized the top congregations in BMF giving.

Bob Harris recognized the newly ordained and licensed ministers.  Ralph Smith reported on the Sowing Seeds for Christ's Church capital campaign, and Mary Ward recognized the commission chairs.

Then Michael Weeks did something that you rarely see in a church organization: he decommissioned a commission.  After four years of outstanding work, the Camp Facilities Commission has completed its task.  Camp Christian is once again fully operational, and the dream of turning it into a year-round conference center have become a reality.  Michael recognized and thanked each one who had served on this commission and announced plans to form a new group to give oversight to the operation of the Camp Christian Conference Center.

Saturday afternoon

On Saturday afternoon (despite the conflict with the Georgia-Auburn game), C.A.S.T., the drama team from Peachtree Christian under the direction of Nancy Oliver, presented the Church of the Elite Saints.  The drama got a bit close to home at times, but many in the small groups recognized how we often act as gatekeepers in our churches.

Dr. Morgan talked about an organizational structure for the church based on spiritual gifts.

Saturday evening

The playfulness of the Assembly continued Saturday evening as the call to worship included blowing bubbles.  Paul Svenson again led us as we praised God with music, and Dr. Morgan preached a challenging sermon.

Sunday morning

Sunday also began with an intercessory prayer service in the chapel before breakfast.  The praise team from Iglesia el Aposento Alto led praise and worship.  Dr. Tom Neal preached with passion from Romans 12.  He also recognized the leading congregations in number of baptisms.  As we closed by singing "We Are Walking in the Light of God," each one had his or her own reason, but we were all thankful we had attended this regional assembly.

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