Report on the Year 2000 Men's Retreat

Men's Logo April 7, 8, 9, 2000

What significance do these dates hold in the Region of Georgia? Well, if you are a male member of a Disciples of Christ congregation in the Region of Georgia, you should recognize the dates as those of the Georgia Regional Disciples Men Retreat. We gathered this year at the Georgia Baptist Conference Center in Norman Park. We have not before used this center for the menís retreat, but thought it would be a nice area to visit. It was, in fact, a very nice area for a retreat. The accommodations were good, the meeting room was very good and the food was excellent. The only thing that fell short this year was the number of men in attendance. We had only nineteen men at the retreat. A couple of things that affected the attendance were Iím sure, it was spring break for the school system, and the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta.

Rev. L. Wayne StewartThe retreat though small numbers, was a very spirited time. The retreat leader, Rev. L. Wayne Stewart, Director of Reconciliation for the General Church, brought four challenging messages. He informed those present of the progress being made in the areas of inclusiveness and racism. He also challenged us to not take for granted that positive things in the areas will happen without assistance. We must be constantly working to assure success in both these areas. ReconciliationRev. Stewart has a way presenting these challenges that brings into focus one thought; we are all Godís children, regardless of ethnicity or gender. That God does have a plan for all of us and He expects us to participate in His plan. Embracing each other not only as equals, but more importantly, as children of a loving Father who desires the very best for all his people.

Rev. Dean Phelps again led the singing with Joe Kern as his able assistant. We learned a song in Spanish, which was easier for some present due to the area they have recently lived in. The music as always was a special part of the gathering. It is indeed thrilling to hear a group of men lift their voices in praise to God.

Dean was also the Sunday morning Bible Study Leader. His message came from the book of Genesis, chapter 31. The focus was on the covenant between Jacob and Laban. These were two strong willed men who were almost to the point of killing each other and decided that an agreement, a covenant between them was a better option.

Rev. Alfred Dotson, the newly arrived Associate Regional Minister, was the speaker for the morning worship service. Dean Phelps provided an excellent lead in for Rev. Dotson, who also spoke on the word covenant. Rev. Dotson also gave us a valuable lesson in how we perform the function of "receiving" offering. He said that no one likes to have something "taken" from them. We should always "receive" an offering as it is freely given.

The Disciples Men Commission met on Saturday evening for several hours discussing the business of the Region. It was decided to change the Commission in several ways. The officers in the future will be President, President Elect, Secretary, and Past President. All of these officers will serve one two-year term in office. The President Elect, will of course if affirmed at Retreat, assume the office of President at the appropriate time.

District representatives will also serve a two-year term. They may however, succeed themselves for a second term if asked to do so. Two additional at-large members will increase the number of district representatives.

The Commission also chose to appoint a Pastor-Counselor for guidance. The person who will fill this position immediately is Rev. John Richardson.

One additional piece of business that should be of interest. The Commission elected to return to ChristMount for years 2001, 2002 and 2003. The retreat leader in the year 2001 will be Rev. Dr. Michael Mooty of Central Christian Church in Lexington Kentucky. Those dates will be March 16, 17, 18, 2001. The retreat leader for 2002 will be Rev. Dr. Joseph (Joey) Jeter; Jr. Rev. Jeter is a professor at Brite Divinity School, which is part of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.

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