Today at NOAC – Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019

“But Esau ran to meet him, threw his arms around his neck, kissed him, and they wept” (Genesis 33:4, Common English Bible).

Early morning sun on Lake Junaluska. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Ken Medema performing with Ted Swartz for the Thursday keynote. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

Quotes of the day

“Any conversation can be a conversation with a messenger of God.”

— Ken Medema, Christian musician, singer, and composer, who with actor Ted Swartz presented the morning’s keynote event.

“Sometimes we are most holy when we just listen.”

— Ted Swartz, during the morning’s keynote presentation that he gave with musician Ken Medema.

“You Brethren are the people who brought us together.”

— Ken Medema telling the NOAC audience about the Church of the Brethren’s role in his first meeting Ted Swartz, leading to their current collaboration. The two artists are planning a joint tour and invited interested Church of the Brethren congregations to contact them as potential venues to host performances.

“There’s so much promise in the Church of the Brethren.”

— Doris Cline Egge in an interview with the NOAC News crew, shared in the evening’s video. She is one of the few people who have attended all 15 NOACs.
Ted Swartz during the Thursday keynote at NOAC. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

“I will sing praises to your name O most high.”

— A section of Psalm 9 cited by song leader Bev Anspaugh during the afternoon’s hymn sing and organ recital featuring Jonathan Emmons.

“May we be bound together as a living, healing community aware of your Spirit in our midst.”

— A prayer by Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele, following the Brethren Benefit Trust Memorial Tribute to the church staff, pastors, and spouses who have died since the last NOAC.
Walt Wiltschek preaching the Thursday sermon. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

“It’s amazing how many things we find to divide ourselves, isn’t it? And yet we do it again and again and again…. May we rebound into God’s faithfulness…and aim those possibilities of divine love at the core of our brokenness.”

— Evening preacher Walt Wiltschek, pastor of Easton (Md.) Church of the Brethren and at-large editor for “Messenger” magazine, speaking about handling conflict in our relationships and in our communities. His sermon was titled, “Ready. Fire. Aim: Reaching Through Conflict.”

Walk around the lake benefits Twa education

The early morning walk around Lake Junaluska is a NOAC tradition celebrating generosity as well as healthy living and appreciation for the beauty of nature. As usual, this morning walkers gathered as the sun was beginning to rise over a mist-covered valley. Brethren Benefit Trust sponsored the walk, organizing it and hosting the walkers as well as collecting the donations.

This year the walk benefitted education for people from the Twa (or Batwa) ethnic group in the Great Lakes region of central Africa. The funds will go to Twa education efforts by the new Brethren church groups or affiliated organizations in Rwanda, Burundi, and Democratic Republic of Congo. The Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission and Service office will be working with those groups to distribute the funds.

By Friday morning, donations toward the walk and for Twa education totaled $5,280, raised by about 120 walk participants.

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