The conference theme was Reconciliation…The Ministry of Christ’s Church. Dick did a wonderful job introducing it to us and then we immersed ourselves in learning more from each speaker about how this theme comes up in The Bible again and again, as well as becoming more aware of the different ways we feel separated from God and what we can do to feel our connection to Him. Helen Mathis was back! This year she opened up Revelation, which isn’t easy to do. Madelon Maupin is another dynamic speaker I always enjoy. She related Reconciliation to the Kingdom and how we can go beyond partisan politics and church cultures.
Sandy’s presentation was the same one he did for a recent Gathering at our church, which opened up Jeremiah 1:4-10, and he then led discussions at three break out sessions on removing blocks to healing and feeling the Kingdom of God’s reign within.
Laura LaPointe was a new speaker this year and shared some wonderful ideas about welcoming strangers, incorporating music and dance into her talk. Watch for her — Laura just joined the CS Board of Lectureship. Linda Bargmann shared some interesting history about Bible translations.
And last, but not least, Shirley Paulson, Head of Ecumenical Affairs for The Mother Church, gave us a very clear explanation that we can refer to anytime we find ourselves sharing Christian Science with other Christians.
“As more Christians are becoming increasingly conscious of their role within the context of a global village, they are recognizing the value of magnifying commonalities shared, despite issues that still divide. Additionally, liberation theology has played an important role in awakening awareness of marginalized voices and finding the means to welcome them. These shifting attitudes have encouraged many mainline Christians to listen to and take more seriously the voices of those they have known little about, including Christian Science.”
~ Shirley Paulson
I always enjoy the music at Asilomar, but this year was one of the best! Our own Natalie Davenport blended her lovely voice with Jonathan Kidder’s, and Laura LaPointe’s. John Gilmore, a LA based composer and arranger, gave a great talk about music in our Bible study, as well as accompanying the singers on the keyboard. Alex Cook and Justin Froese shared their singer/songwriter talents, as did Dwight Oyer around the evening bonfire, after he and his wife, Melinda, ran tech all day.
A cool new addition this year was a daily yoga class taught by Alison Bristow-Wilburn from the LA area. A superb gathering all told–which included a spectacular setting at the beach, great food and many friends, old and new. Please feel free to ask any of us about our conference experience – we’d be happy to share!
Several members of the Fellowship traveled to Pacific Grove, CA, for the 35th Annual Asilomar Bible Conference. Sandy Wilder and his wife were there with first-time attendees Maria Griswold and Cindy Marston, both accompanied by a mother-in-law or mom. Other members who attended were Linda Bargmann, Dick and Jerri Davenport, Sandy Laurie, and Maryl Walters, who shared the thesis she wrote for Seminary.