Today at NOAC – Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019

Drew Hart gives the Wednesday keynote address. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

“God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean” (Acts 10:28).

Quotes of the day

“We as Christians have an opportunity to follow Jesus through our racialized society…the Jesus who identifies with the least, the last, the lost…and see the world around from the vantage point of below…. Follow Jesus and embrace a new belonging to other people’s suffering because shared suffering is…where we live out our anti-racist discipleship in the way of Jesus.”

— Drew Hart, keynote speaker for the day. He is assistant professor of theology at Messiah College, holds a doctorate from Lutheran Theological Seminary, and is the author of “Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism.” He opened his talk by sharing “greetings from Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren, that’s my new congregation!”

“Every time we invite someone new to the table we are changed…. We are all invited to be part of this diversely-abled gathering…because we all have special needs and we all have special gifts. But we don’t have to wait until the end of time. Let’s get this party started!”

— Jeanne Davies, pastor of the Parables congregation now meeting in two locations in Lombard and West Dundee, Ill., preaching the evening’s sermon on the theme, “The Welcome Table.”
Jeanne Davies preaching for NOAC 2019. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

“God of all creation, open our eyes and our hearts to your presence in one another.”

— A prayer from this evening’s worship service.

More important than the program are the people

Virginia Crim. Photo by Frank Ramirez

Virginia Crim, 101 years old, of Greenville, Ohio, has attended every NOAC. This is her 15th. She attended the first one with her husband because “we thought it would be an interesting project,” she said. In addition, “we knew a lot of people going at that time.”

Her husband passed away after they had attended the first three NOACS. “I kept coming,” Crim said.

She continues to come to NOAC because she’s brought by her daughter. “I would be able to come by myself,” she admitted. Crim was a schoolteacher for 20 years. She has 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.

Asked which NOAC she enjoyed the best, she replied, “Each one was different.” More important than the program are the people. “There were certain people we would meet at NOAC year after year. Many of them are gone now,” she sighed. “We had friends from all over the United States. This was the one place we could get together.” — Frank Ramirez

Find the NOAC news index page at www.brethren.org/noac2019 . Contributors to this coverage include Frank Ramirez, writer; Jan Fischer Bachman and Russ Otto, the website staff; Walt Wiltschek, editor of the Senior Moments daily news sheet; and Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services (editor).