By Kim Ebersole
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).
The planning team for the next National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) is excited to announce the 2015 conference theme, “then Jesus told them a story…” (Matthew 13:34-35, CEV).
The theme grows out of Phyllis Tickle’s 2013 keynote address, in which she challenged older adults as the ones who know the biblical stories to “go back and weave those stories into the lives of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.” It acknowledges the powerful way stories can convey God’s message, shaping and transforming our lives even today. This power of storytelling will be explored during the conference through worship, keynote presentations, creative arts, workshops, and song.
NOAC is the Church of the Brethren gathering for adults age 50 and older. The 2015 event will be held at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina, Sept. 7-11. Helping Congregational Life Ministries staff member Kim Ebersole with the conference are planning team members Bev and Eric C. Anspaugh of Rocky Mount, Va.; Deanna Brown of Clarks Hill, Ind.; Jim Kinsey of Lake Odessa, Mich.; Paula Ziegler Ulrich of Greenville, Ohio; Deborah Waas of La Verne, Calif.; and Christy Waltersdorff of Lombard, Ill.
More information about the 2015 NOAC will be available as planning progresses. Visit www.brethren.org/NOAC to experience the 2013 event through photos, written reflections, and videos by the NOAC News Team.
— Kim Ebersole is director of Older Adult Ministry for the Church of the Brethren.