National Older Adult Conference 2023 will meet on the theme ‘God Is Doing a New Thing!’

“God Is Doing a New Thing!” is the theme for the 2023 National Older Adult Conference (NOAC), inspired by the scripture text from Isaiah 43:19: “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

The event is sponsored by the Discipleship Ministries of the Church of the Brethren, and is scheduled for Sept. 4-8, 2023, at Lake Junaluska, N.C.

“A lot has happened in the world since we last gathered at Lake Junaluska for NOAC in 2019,” said a theme statement from the planning team, in part. “We never could have imagined that a pandemic would keep us apart for so long…. In 2021 we were forced to take NOAC online and participate in a virtual conference. We were pleasantly surprised to find that even on our computer screens we could develop a sense of community. During the past three years we have had to make many changes in our home congregations and in our denomination as we continued to minister to one another through a time of uncertainty.

“So, now what? Perhaps we are feeling some apprehension and fear. How do we move forward into an unknown future when we aren’t quite sure where we are heading? We find a word of hope from God through the prophet, Isaiah. ‘I am going to do something brand new!’”

Please pray… For the team planning next year’s National Older Adult Conference, that their work will bear much good fruit.

Daily themes also have been announced: for Monday, “Watch for the new thing…” (Isaiah 43:19-21); for Tuesday, “…What God has done” (Genesis 12:1-9 and Mark 1:16-20); for Wednesday, “…What God is doing” (Acts 8:26-40 and 16:11-15); for Thursday, “…What God will do” (Matthew 28:16-20 and Ephesians 4:1-7 and 11-16); for Friday, “Challenge and sending forth” (Isaiah 43:19-21 and Revelation 21:1-6).

Keynote speakers are

— Mark Charles, a speaker, writer, and consultant on the complexities of American history, race, culture, and faith;

— Ken Medema, a Christian singer and songwriter, and Ted Swartz, a Mennonite actor and writer; and

— Osheta Moore, a writer, pastor, speaker, and podcaster.

The preachers include

— Lexi Aligarbes, co-pastor of First Church of the Brethren in Harrisburg, Pa.;

— Jeremy Ashworth, pastor of Circle of Peace Church of the Brethren in Peoria, Ariz.;

— Deanna Brown, an ordained minister and director of Cultural Connections India Pilgrimages;

— Christina Singh, pastor of Freeport (Ill.) Church of the Brethren; and

— Katie Shaw Thompson, pastor of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill.

Bible study leaders are Christina Bucher and Bob Neff.

The planning team includes Glenn Bollinger, Karen Dillon, Jim Martinez, Leonard Matheny, Don Mitchell, Bonnie Kline Smeltzer, Karlene Tyler, Christy Waltersdorff (coordinator), with Discipleship Ministries staff Josh Brockway and Stan Dueck.

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