Every year at our National Gathering, I get at least one person (usually more than one!) who comes up to me and says something like, “Every year my pastor has tried to get me to come to an ECO National Gathering. I always wondered, ‘How good could a denominational meeting actually be’?” Then we laugh and they say, “But this really has been an amazing experience and I am so glad I was able to come! I am even more thankful to be a part of this denomination.”
While I am disappointed that we will not be able to have an in-person gathering this year, I do recognize that we now have the ability for many more people to gain a deeper connection to what God is doing in and through our movement. I love the way our speakers will complement one another by providing both the reminder to continually be healthy spiritually and emotionally as well as pushing us in how the church can respond to the current challenges and opportunities in our midst as we venture “into the unknown”.
If you haven’t yet signed up for our Virtual National Gathering that will take place January 29-31, we encourage you to do so here. Plan to participate in the whole gathering in order to get as much as you can out of the experience! We also encourage you to take advantage of opportunities after the gathering to dig deeper into a particular topic. All of our speakers have ministries or processes that allow you to go deeper into each of the areas that we will discuss. Some of these opportunities will be hosted and facilitated by ECO. For others you can connect with our speakers’ ministries directly.
I know that when the calendar changed to 2021, not all of our problems and challenges magically disappeared. But I do hope and pray that this year will be an opportunity for our churches to find new ways to gain strength. I hope we can be strengthened personally in our own souls, become more tightly knit and committed to one another in our churches, and focus even more on the unique mission that God has for us in the world.
I look forward to having you join us online at the end of the month!
Dana Allin, ECO Synod Executive