You’re invited to “Refresh!” Make plans to attend the Western Bible Conference.
by LINDA GRIFFIN –
Have you been feeling a growing hunger for God? Do you want to boost your Christian energy? Is it time for an infusion? Is there a “miracle elixir” that will replenish you? Do you long for an opportunity to escape everyday life and pressure, to come face to face with the Spirit of God and be refreshed and renewed?
If you answered a hearty “yes!” to any of these questions, then plan to be a part of the inaugural Western Territorial Bible Conference, to be held June 29 through July 5, 2008 at the beautiful Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California. Nestled along the coastline of California’s famed Monterey Peninsula, Asilomar is a charming oceanfront retreat cradled by natural surroundings of white quartz sand dunes, lush pine and cypress forests. It is a place for tranquility and harmony—free from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The purpose of the Western Bible Conference (WBC), is to create an environment where those in attendance may come into a closer relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ through Biblical teaching, preaching, worship, study, fellowship and recreation.
Plans well underway
Planning for the WBC centers on reaching individuals as well as whole family units with a variety of programs, worship styles and music, built on ministry excellence. Teaching will be tailored to the different age ranges, so families will be able to build on the concepts presented as they share together each day.
The theme for 2008’s conference is “Refresh!” based on Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message). “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
To refresh is to renew one’s energy; to reactivate something dormant; to replenish something that has diminished; to partake of; to update. It implies revival, enlivening, invigorating, rejuvenating, energizing, restoring, recharging and revitalizing! Could you use that kind of refreshment?
Our National Leaders, Commissioners Israel and Eva Gaither, have agreed to be with us to preach the Word. Dr. Bill Ury, noted Wesleyan Biblical Seminary professor, will be a primary teacher. A diverse staff will be gathered from around the territory to carry out the elements of the total program.
A desire for spiritual growth
The WBC was developed because the soldiery throughout the territory have expressed a desire for deeper Bible teaching, practical application, and personal spiritual growth, to be presented in a casual setting, with a large gathering of like-minded inquirers.
The territorial commander and his staff have wholeheartedly embraced the concept and given approval and blessing for the inception of the very first Western Bible Conference. Initial planning has been accomplished by members of the Territorial Vision Action Team, comprised of representatives from each of the currently functioning Divisional Vision Action Teams.
Representatives were sent to each of the other territories’ Bible conferences (Old Orchard Beach Camp Meetings in Maine, Southern Bible Conference in Junaluska, N.C., and Central Bible and Leadership Institute at Camp Wonderland, Wis.) to observe, participate, and report. They returned with helpful information, invaluable inspiration and practical ideas. A planning committee has been established at THQ and exciting ideas are in the air.
As you venture onto the grounds of our chosen location—Asilomar, which is known as Monterey Peninsula’s “Refuge by the Sea”—you are brought into a tranquil environment with gentle blowing sea breezes. We who have visited Asilomar believe the Holy Spirit will permeate us in similar fashion, as delegates are engulfed in God’s majestic creation. Whether reclining under the trees or watching revolutions of waves caress the sand, we are assured it is an environment in which God can minister to his people.
The daily schedule
A typical day at the WBC will include:
• sound Biblical teaching enriched by music and creative arts each morning;
• a leisurely “free” afternoon with optional family-friendly activities, enjoying the grounds of Asilomar (beach, pool, volleyball court, walking paths, guided ranger tours, etc.) or exploring the Monterey Peninsula
• a celebratory evening of participation and preaching, sharing relevant biblical truths and their life application
• food, fellowship, and fun
Ample time will be allotted for rest and relaxation, allowing for personal rejuvenation and quality family time.
The celebration of our nation’s birthday on July 4 will include an old-fashioned field day and barbecue, capped off with a glorious fireworks show on the peninsula.
Travel time is available on both ends of the conference, which is scheduled to begin on Sunday evening (check in at 3 p.m., followed by dinner) and end with Saturday lunch. This will be a great opportunity for family reunions, vacation, personal growth and relaxation, as well as a time for total-territorial interaction!
Asilomar offers private rooms for individuals, couples, or for friends to share, and rooms large enough for entire family groups, as well as a dining room serving excellent food, accommodating all delegates simultaneously. Campgrounds in the area will lodge those who choose to stay in RV, trailer, or tent.
Don’t miss out! Asilomar can accommodate only the first 800 people. Be part of the first WBC—this is sure to become a Western tradition.