Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nazarene General Assembly - Day 2

Everybody showed up today.  The workshops were out in full force and the delegates and representatives from around the world were finally settled in and active in the convention center.  I met friends from Bangladesh, Korea, Italy, Russia, European Nazarene College, MidAmerica Nazarene University, Nazarene Theological Seminary, and even an old girlfriend from Louisiana!


Most of the day consisted of morning to night workshops for me.   I learned a lot at each workshop, and I was able to make connections with some of the speakers for the possibility of working together in the future.  Here's a brief highlight from each workshop:

  • Missional Partnerships: The Church of the Nazarene finally carved out a specific position for a missional partnership coordinator.  This is a huge step forward in facilitating long-term transformational missional partnerships.   (To read more about partnerships, go to David Wesley's blog.)
  • Human Trafficking - Awareness: The average age a girl is first raped for profit is 12!  Trafficking is rampant around the globe, even in the US, even in rural communities.  (To read more, check out ONLY12.)
  • Human Trafficking - Solutions: Only 1% of victims of human trafficking are rescued.  While rescue efforts are important, the long-term solution will only come from prevention.  Natural focal points for prevention (in the US) are girls raised by single moms, children in foster-care, after school programs, and awareness campaigns in junior and senior high schools.  (Our church will be following up with the guys at stoptraffickingproject.com to help us learn how we can add  the local element to compliment our fight through freethegirls.com.)  
  • Sexual Addiction: The greatest enemy of sexual health for Christians is silence.  40% of all porn is viewed by women.  Isolation is the root of all addiction.  (The speaker for this workshop helped design the first graduate certificate for sexual addiction counseling, which is at MidAmerica Nazarene University.)

At the end of the day, we had our first worship service with music in English and Spanish.  We also had a lovely African American sister who rocked the house with a special song celebrating how Jesus sets us free.  Then, General Superintendent David Graves challenged us to be people of grace, who are passionately committed to sharing God's grace with those rejected by the world.
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