Mens LogoReport from the Men Retreat

March 19, 20, 21, 2004
By Buddy Ray

As in years past, the Men of Georgia, over 50 plus spouses, gathered at Christmount Christian Assembly in Black Mountain N.C. again this year for the Annual Men's Retreat.

Bob Grant was back after a years absence, to lead the singing (with Greg Holmes on the piano) as only Bob can.  Someone questioned if the roof could handle the volume of our singing as we opened the Retreat.

Friday Night.
After a welcome from President Charles Maddox and a devotion from Medie Still, Rev. Greg Alexander, Associate Regional Minister Kentucky, delivered the first of his presentations on Men's Ministry entitled "Why Do Men Need to Make an Inward Journey?"  Greg pointed out that our churches are not 'men friendly", that pastors don't know what to do with men.  Greg believes that to do effective Men's ministry does not require new programs but a new brotherhood of men who are willing to step up to the line and do what it takes for Christ.  Greg used the 51st Psalm to point out that the Lord demands a Brotherhood of Extraordinary Christian Men.

Rev. Dave Everton delivered Vespers.  His text was Matt. 10  He told a wonderful story about his experience packing for a stint in the Peace Corp and how he packed for a jungle when he was sent to an arid area.  He pointed out that we come into the world with nothing and take nothing out, that we should simplify as Jesus told his Disciples to simplify as they went out by twos to Evangelize.

After Vespers we all enjoyed an Ice Cream Social and lots of good fellowship.

Saturday

Following a good country breakfast at the dining hall, Bob and Greg warmed us up again with several great hymns.  Buddy Ray then brought the morning devotion, urging the Men to "just do" Evangelism.

In his second session, Greg explained that Male patriarchy had been the primary social system until the 1960's when it came under pressure from Women's liberation, Civil Rights and many other social forces.  Once this system declined, Men found that they were no longer in exclusive control of the Church - and they have yet to figure their new role.  He also pointed out that men are taught to compete from the day they are born and define themselves in competition.  This keeps men from confiding in or revealing too much of themselves to other men (who might be competitors).  This works to prevent men from confiding in one another or building brotherhood.

After Greg, Charles conducted a short business meeting in which Associate Regional Minister Michael Weeks filled us in on plans for The Camp Christian Conference Center and how the Men could help.

During the afternoon free time two foursome's played golf, several groups visited the Biltmore House in Asheville, several visited Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, two brave souls went hiking and some just sat on the porch and rocked.

Saturday Evening

After another excellent dinner, and more fine hymn singing, Greg did his third presentation in which he explained that Men must learn to move, in their faith journey, beyond the "nearsighted man" to a man with 20-20 vision through God.

Vespers was again presented by Dave Everton and we all turned in.

Sunday Morning

A hearty breakfast of Country Ham, Eggs, Grits, Biscuits and Gravy and more filled our stomachs almost as much as the mornings worship filled our souls.

Rev. Jerry Gladson used Ps. 119 and 2 Tim. 3:14 to ask the Men how we use the Bible.  He encouraged each of us to read the scripture, the hard passages with the easy.

Greg Alexander closed his presentations by explaining his vision of what Men's Ministries can be, a Fellowship of Extraordinary Christian Men, and provided resources such as http://www.ministrytomen.com.

The Retreat was closed with Worship including a Sermon from Rev. Chuck Rolen and Communion by Rev. Joe Faulconer and the Kirk of the Corners.


Speaker: Greg Alexander
Associate Regional Minister Kentucky

J. Gregory (Greg) Alexander has been serving as Associate Regional Minister for the Christian Church In Kentucky since July 1, 1992. He came to this position from the First Christian Church, Fort Madison, Iowa, where he served as their Minister.

Prior to Fort Madison, Greg served as Minister of the Hobbs Christian Church, Hobbs, Indiana; and, Minister of the First Christian Church, Renssalaer, Indiana. He has also worked as a computer programmer and as a waste-water treatment plant lab supervisor and senior chemist.

Though born in Austin, Texas, Greg was reared in Greenfield, Indiana. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a B.S. in Environmental Health and received his M.Div. from Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis. Greg is married. His wife, Nora, is a high school biology teacher in Lexington. They share 4 children: Jeremy (24), Lauren (23), Kelly (20) and Nathan (18).

Since receiving his ordination in June of 1985, Greg has served the Church in a number of capacities. He has been a high school camp co-director; served on the Indiana Region's Commission on Ministry as a Nurture and Certification Team member; served on the Justice Commission of the Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa; served on the Task Force for Christian Lifestyle and Ecology of the General Church; and currently serves on the General Church’s Discernment Committee on the Role of Gays and Lesbians in the Life of the Church. Greg has lead workshops on the Stewardship of Creation at both Regional and General Assemblies of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); and has keynoted Christian men’s retreats in 22 Regions of the CC(DOC) as well as doing workshops at Regional and General Assemblies. He served as an adjunct faculty member of Culver-Stockton College; and has helped to found several ecumenical, social justice ministries in the communities he has pastored. In January, 2000, he was elected to serve as a Board Member of the North American Conference of Church Men Staff.

Greg's responsibilities with the Christian Church In Kentucky include being Staff Consultant to the following: Assembly Program Committee; Budget and Funds Committee; and, Cabinet for Men's Ministries. He is also the Business Manager and Treasurer for the Christian Church In Kentucky; Secretary to the Board; District Minister to Districts 7 and 9; and, CCK’s congregational consultant in the areas of Stewardship, Evangelism, Spiritual Development and Faithful Planning.

Greg is co-founder and editor of The Journal of Worship Resources, a resource for pastors and worship leaders providing prayers, litanies, offering and communion meditations, children sermons and selected hymns.

In November of 1994, Greg was awarded a research grant from the Louisville Institute for the Study of Protestantism and American Culture. The Fellowship of Carpenters, a congregational ministry for men now in over 600 congregations throughout the US and Canada, is the result of his three month research leave.

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