I took the liberty of playing one last round of golf on Wednesday. Accompanied by pastors Dan O'Deens (Gateway Church in PA) and Clancy Cruise (Marysville GBC, Ohio), I attacked the Island Course here at Innisbrook and was effectively attacked back. It was a brutal, yet BEAUTIFUL, golf course. Although our scores were less than boastable, we all concluded that we'd wished we played the Island course more and Copperhead less. Copperhead has the notoriety because it hosts a PGA tournament, but the Island course is downright more beautiful and more challenging.
Silas took a cruise to Shell Island and then went to the Loch Ness pool for some swimming.
The evening session began with a time of worship and some personal stories of how individuals feel that they have been impacted by the conference. The evening's speaker was Pastor John McIntosh of the Simi Valley Grace Brethren Church. Pastor John is incoming moderator of the fellowship and his message was an exhortation for us to invest in the future generations and pass along our faith. He used II Timothy chapter 2 as his reference.
On Thursday morning, I attended the FGBC Delegates Brunch. This is the official "business meeting" of the fellowship. Two significant items of note were the acceptance of Community of Hope (Grace's daughter church in Surrey, BC) into the fellowship. Philip Bryant introduced the church and the Canadians all hooted and hollered. It was amusing.
The other item that was an encouragement to me was the election of Pastor Tom Hocking as the next moderator. Tom is the lead pastor at Bellflower, California's Grace Brethren Church. I don't know Tom at all, although I've known his name. He took five minutes or so to share some things that were on his heart and he hit the bell hard with me. After spending a week talking about our personal responsibility to share the Gospel with the disconnected, Tom shared his passion to see us as Jesus-followers to do this work in "team;" to do it together. He also emphasized our need to not just help people discover Jesus, but to help them connect with God in a growing relationship and to also connect them into sound Biblical community. Amen, Pastor Tom! I'm with you!
Once the brunch/meeting was over, the conference offically ended. Silas and I went to hang out at the Loch Ness pool until the thunderstorms
ran us off. So we spent the rest of the day watching tv, playing video games and eating.
Tomorrow Elizabeth and the rest of the Blair gang fly to Orlando. Silas and I will be renting a van and driving there ourselves to officially begin our vacation in Mickey-town.