“Jesus used stories when he spoke to the people. In fact, he did not tell them anything without using stories. So God’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, ‘I will use stories to speak my message and to explain things that have been hidden since the creation of the world’”
(Matthew 13:34-35, CEV).
Quotes of the day
“It seems to me a little bit of healing went on in the telling of the story...and the listening of the story.... I believe that we’ve learned some tools here to bring back home the gift of sacred conversation.” -- Ladonna Sanders Nkosi, pastor of First Church of the Brethren in Chicago, Ill., brought the concluding message of NOAC 2015. Her sermon “We Are One,” was inspired by 2 Timothy 1:1-15. In addition to pastoring First Chicago, she is founder and president of Ubuntu Global Village Foundation making connections for the healing of the nations between the US, South Africa, Rwanda, and beyond.
“If we had not had chances to share stories, we would be working in isolation.” -- LaDonna Sanders Nkosi commenting on the experience of meeting here at NOAC a former Brethren Volunteer Service worker who had served at Douglas Park Church of the Brethren near her present church on the west side of Chicago. His stories of ministering to youth of previous generations–two years before she was born–helped her understand pre-Civil Rights era restrictions on movement for young people of color that still are a part of the way people live in Chicago today. She encouraged the older adults to share stories to inform and encourage younger generations in order that their work, although separated by time, is work done together for Christ.
“She has truly been a servant of the church.” - Spoken during the tribute and thank you to Kim Ebersole, NOAC coordinator, who is retiring from the staff of the Church of the Brethren this fall.
“That’s why I’m retiring, so I can come to NOAC.” -- Kim Ebersole, responding to an invitation to come back to the next National Older Adult Conference, even though she is retiring as NOAC coordinator. Her remark was met with laughter and applause.
NOAC by the Numbers
Registration: more than 870 people.
Monday’s offering: $3,297.43.
Wednesday’s offering: $8,662.02.
Thank you for your offerings! They support the ministries of the Church of the Brethren, including NOAC.
Share a Story: 400 children’s books donated to Junaluska Elementary School—more than one per child for the 350 students, plus a box of gently used books for classroom use, and a box of extras from the Kits for Kids service project.
Kits for Kids: 46 NOAC volunteers assembled 416 School Kits and 287 Hygiene Kits, and more than $1,300 was donated in cash to help Church World Service aid disaster survivors.
NOAC for Nigeria: more than $10,000 raised for the Nigeria Crisis Response effort, with about 160 people joining in the walk/run.
Mark your calendars!
The next NOAC is planned for September 4-8, 2017. Updates will appear at www.brethren.org/NOAC.
In gratitude for Kim Ebersole, NOAC coordinator
Kim Ebersole, coordinator of five National Older Adult Conferences and on the staff for a total of six NOACs, plans to retire after this conference. This year she has been transitioning into retirement, starting on Jan. 1 when her position as director of Family and Older Adult Ministries became part -time, and NOAC became the primary focus of her work.
Over the past several months Ebersole has been working with Debbie Eisenbise, who joined the staff of Congregational Life Ministries on Jan. 15. Eisenbise’s new position of director of Intergenerational Ministries will include a main focus on NOAC, but also other work to encourage an intergenerational focus in the Church of the Brethren.
We express gratitude for Kim Ebersole’s creative and dedicated leadership, and the excellent experiences she nurtured at NOACs present and past.
NOAC Staff: Kim Ebersole, director of NOAC; Debbie Eisenbise, director of Intergenerational Ministries; Laura Whitman, special projects coordinator and BVSer; Jonathan Shively, executive director of Congregational Life Ministries.
NOAC Planning Team: Bev and Eric Anspaugh, Deanna Brown, Jim Kinsey, Paula Ulrich, Deb Waas, Christy Waltersdorff
Onsite coverage provided by the NOAC Communication Team: Eddie Edmonds, Russ Otto, Frank Ramirez, and director of News Services Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford