Taylor in front of Harding University
This weekend finds me back in Searcy, AR for another great Campus Ministry United Conference. I really enjoy going to this conference because it is a way to reconnect with friends from far away and to connect with new friends, even further away. This year was no exception. I took Taylor, my intern, with me so that he could experience a little bit of what it is like to be on a 4 year college campus. I think he liked it as well.
Campus Ministries from across the country bring students and others associated with the ministries here to Harding University for 4 days of renewal and fellowship.
This years theme, “Strange Days” focused on the the AOSTLE Paul and how he and others thought the “gospel” was strange. It was an interesting approach and really made sense for the culture we are involved in these days. I was asked to be a guest speaker and delivered a paper on race relations in the church and on our campuses. It was really well received. I, as well as others, see this, or miss this, big white elephant in the room. We try not to notice that there is little if no diversity in the church. It frustrates me, because I really don’t think that is how heaven will look. There were other sessions there that dealt with our sexual purity, how to fund raise, ways to develop and strengthen small groups and the list goes on and on. It is a great moment to get away from the phones and all the stressors in our lives.
In the Heritage Building
These conferences are always filled a time of praise and worship. I don’t think I ever get tired of singing.
I really can’t carry a tune, but when here, it really doesn’t matter. You can see some of the video I shot in years past. We in the Churches of Christ, for the most part, sing all of our music acapella which means we use no instruments. Some find this strange, but once you experience it, you want more. I heard a guy today say, wow, they don’t even need to pack up or tune the piano. The beauty of this corporate singing is that no one has to try out or be selected to sing, we just all lift up our voices and sing to God. I am sure he only hears our heart, not our tone: Thank God.
In front of one of the fountains at Harding
I met a couple of new ministers from the Texas area and we all seemed to hit it off. We have made plans to get together for activities and events throughout the year.
The trip also included some pretty good eating.
We took advantage of a suggestion from our hotel desk clerk to eat at a place called Colton’s. It wasn’t bad and really reminded me of the Texas Road House Steak restaurants in Texas. It was one of those places that allows, more like encourages, you to toss your peanut shells on the floor. I am a stickler for clean floors, so this made me just a little uncomfortable.
Taylor at the conference
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in town and it was a really nice place. This is a new property only opened for about 2 months. We had a great stay with them and the entire staff was really nice and made our stay just perfect. You can read the review posted.
The 4 days will end Sunday with the 5 hour drive back to Kilgore where I will preach that evening at 6pm. The topic will be about that the triumph of Ruth and her way to victory through tragedy. I think we can all relate to that.
Searcy Hotels & Accommodations review
Great Gem in the 'Diamond' State
Ok, everyone knows how much I like staying at the Holiday Inn Express. I was really excited to see that this new property was going to completed by my… read entire review
Searcy Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Coubntry and Good
Taylor and I ventured to Colton’s on a suggestion from the desk clerk at the Holiday Inn. He was pretty excited about us going there, so we moseyed … read entire review