United Church of God

More Than 300 Enjoy Fellowship, Sports at Northwest Family Weekend

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More Than 300 Enjoy Fellowship, Sports at Northwest Family Weekend

The weekend began with three seminars on Friday. Carrie Lippencott, an occupational therapist from the Portland congregation, spoke on “Finding Equilibrium.” Her presentation included finding ways to calm down when we are too “up” and perk up when we are too “down.” She spoke about how God designed us to sync with others to help each other coregulate. When we are well regulated, we are able to better bond with others. Paul Moody, an elder from the Spokane congregation, described “10 Key Characteristics of Valuable Employees.” He showed how God is also looking for these characteristics in us. Portland congregation pastor Rex Sexton rounded out the seminars with a chronological account of the background, messages, and results of prophets of the Old Testament from Elijah to Malachi. All three messages encouraged the listeners to reach for balance, good character and knowledge.

Friday evening of the Sabbath there was a Bible study by Salem pastor John Cafourek. His study focused on “Keys to Remembering the Scriptures,” followed by a hymn sing.

On Sabbath morning, Ben Light, an elder from the Salem congregation, led the teen and young adult Bible study on the topic of discipleship and commitment. Mr. Sexton and Mr. Cafourek led a speaker’s workshop for men interested in fine-tuning their speaking skills. Mr. Sexton took an agricultural analogy by comparing the spiritual food of messages to different types of chicken feed with varying amounts of protein. Mr. Cafourek encouraged speakers to keep a file for messages and to save detailed notes to inspire future speaking. Then the group outlined sermonette messages based on notable scriptures from Proverbs.

Sabbath service messages were split-sermons by Olympia and Tacoma pastor Roc Corbett and Mr. Sexton. Mr. Corbett visually walked attendees through a chart, showing our need to make continual spiritual progress rather than just stay above the steadily declining morality of the world. Special music was a moving rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” sung by the Portland youth a cappella choir led by Jack Scruggs. Mr. Sexton spoke about “A Life With No Regrets,” encouraging the audience to strive for spiritual growth so that we don’t regret that we could have done better.

That evening teens from five different states danced the night away at a star-themed “Celestial Ball.” They enjoyed the sparkling lights and twinkling star decorations, all set amongst a 10-foot projected slide show of 100 images of our amazing universe. The family dance had a “Dancing by the Sea” theme, with nautical and treasure chest decorations, along with an arts and crafts table for children.

Sunday was the sports day with competitive games in volleyball and basketball. Afterwards we enjoyed an evening of bowling, chatting and playing games. The staff at the bowling alley was impressed with the group. They invited us to come back anytime.

Monday was a day of skiing and tubing at Mount Hood Meadows. Attendees enjoyed the 120 inches of snow on a cold but clear day. At the top of the resort, the wind created some thick ice that made things interesting.

Many thanks go to the countless volunteer hours, preparation and creative energy put into making the weekend an enjoyable event by all who attended. We hope you join us next year!

Members of the Portland congregation