Today at NOAC – Monday

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
The opening worship service of NOAC 2015


“Jesus used stories when he spoke to the people” (Matthew 13:34, CEV).

Quotes of the day:

“Jesus never left. Whenever the distressed are cared for, whenever the hungry are fed…wherever people gather to forgive, the Jesus story continues.” — Bob Neff, preaching for the opening worship service of NOAC 2015.

“At this time of life we expect that we are free. But the story [Jesus’ parable of the talents] says, ‘No, you are not’…. Essential to who we are is doing productive work.” — This evening’s speaker Bob Neff explaining Jesus’ parables in Matthew 24 and 25, that the stories are about human responsibility to do what God designed us to do, namely to serve God and to keep the commandments, and relating that responsibility to the life of older adults and those in retirement.

“The Church of the Brethren is unique in providing a national conference for people 50 and older. Not many other denominations do this.” — Kim Ebersole, NOAC director and staff member of the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries.

“She has brought an artistic vision of connecting theme and leadership, within and beyond the denomination.” — Deanna Brown in an introduction of NOAC director Kim Ebersole, who has overseen five National Older Adult Conferences and has been a part of six. Ebersole is retiring from the Church of the Brethren staff following this NOAC.

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
The NOAC Planning Committee gives a welcome to the participants, from the state in the Stuart Auditorium at Lake Junaluska Conference Center.

Welcome to NOAC 2015 from the Planning Committee

Listen to the stories of Jesus.
Discern what truths are being revealed for our lives.
Explore the echoes of Christ’s parables in our own life stories.
Discover the unfinished chapters in God’s story of our lives.
Then go. Share the stories of Jesus and your own stories with others.
“Go back and weave those stories into the lives of your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
—Keynote speaker Phyllis Tickle to participants of NOAC 2013.
Indeed, into the lives of everyone your life touches.

— The NOAC staff and Planning Committee includes Kim Ebersole, director of NOAC; Debbie Eisenbise, director of Intergenerational Ministries; Laura Whitman, special projects coordinator and BVSer; and Planning Committee members Bev and Eric Anspaugh, Deanna Brown, Jim Kinsey, Paula Ulrich, Deb Waas, and Christy Waltersdorff.


Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Bob Neff gives the opening sermon of NOAC 2015, preaching on Jesus’ parables in Matthew 24 and 25.

NOAC by the Numbers

Registration: About 900 people, including staff, volunteers, speakers, young adult assistants


I scream, you scream, we all scream…

Tonight’s all-NOAC Ice Cream Social is sponsored by the Fellowship of Brethren Homes.


It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s an APP?

Those who see something flying above Lake Junaluska this week may have spotted the “Aerial Photo Platform” flown by the Communication Team, hoping to record unique views of
NOAC. These brief videos will be posted at

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Christine Smith’s book is featured at the Brethren Press Bookstore at NOAC


NOAC Exhibit Hall features Brethren Press Bookstore, Brethren exhibits

The NOAC Exhibit Hall features exhibits about Church of the Brethren programs and agencies, where participants may learn about what the church is doing around the world, purchase books and resources from the Brethren Press Bookstore, share joys and concerns, and more.

Exhibits inform about the ministries of the Church of the Brethren and Brethren agencies. Among the ministries offering displays: Church of the Brethren denominational ministries, Bethany Theological Seminary, Brethren Benefit Trust, On Earth Peace, Bridgewater (Va.) Retirement Community, and the Palms of Sebring, Fla.

The Brethren Press Bookstore features Nigeria merchandise and books written by the NOAC speakers, among other resources. A variety of Nigeria-related merchandise is available including the #BringBackOurGirls art print by Sandra Jean Ceas, which was on display at Annual Conference in Tampa and is central to the worship backdrop here at NOAC; “One Body in Christ” batik graphic t-shirts; and the brand new Nigeria activity book for children, Children of the Same Mother. Purchases of Nigeria-related items help support the Nigeria Crisis Fund.

Author signings will be hosted by Brethren Press throughout the NOAC week, and will include keynote speaker Brian McLaren signing copies of his books on Thursday afternoon, and Christine A. Smith and Alexander Gee Jr. on Wednesday evening, among other authors.


Onsite coverage of NOAC 2015 is provided by the NOAC Communication Team: Eddie Edmonds, Russ Otto, Frank Ramirez, and director of News Services Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford


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