Two of the three celebrations have come and gone since we last visited and what good times we had at each one. In Lincoln NE, the memories centered around the live satellite uplink events where we brought guests from across North America to visit the Heartland. They recalled how we developed lots of resources and tested them at College View Church among other congregations and how much they learned about improving their service as volunteers. They asked where the Center was going in the future and we reflected on that together. I’ll write more about that next time.
In Portland OR, our gathering included people from all over the Northwest who were part of the early years from 1988-1993. These were the days when volunteers would give their Saturday nights to labeling thousands of ABBA Newsletters. They remembered meaningful community in a Sabbath School class at Pleasant Valley Church and mobilization of church volunteers in new ways. They asked about what we saw we had accomplished in broad strokes over the past two decades and I plan to write about that in the future as well.
Let me add on a personal note that one of the nicest comments came from my wife Teri at our Portland event. She described to the group how I started the Center in our home where I sat alone designing newsletters, calling people, planning presentations, etc. She said that when we visited with family and friends and they asked what I was doing for work I would refer to what “we” were producing, publishing & presenting and it would often dismay her who I was referring to as “we.” Through the years she has come to realize that with my visionary gifts and strong value of inclusion, I could see this day even back then when more than 860 people would do work for the Center either as an employee, contract worker or volunteer. It has been in this community of friends that much has been accomplished for the cause of Christ in this world and your support has been invaluable. Thanks!
If you want to get in on our last celebration October 5-7 at the Innovation Conference in Ohio, it’s not too late to sign up at: www.sdapartnersininnovation.org