Tag Archives: convention

Fairfax Regional Day 2: Better Together

Wednesday night worship at the Fairfax Regional.

By Carl Stagner

Jesus is the subject. As Jim Lyon acknowledged on Tuesday at the Fairfax Regional Convention, some who have heard the line too readily dismiss it as simply a slogan or tagline. But it is so much more, as evidenced by the weight those four words carry and the way they’ve become part of the lexicon of the Movement—and tribes beyond. A common theme emerged during the Fairfax Regional Convention on Wednesday as the implications of “Jesus is the subject” became clear in the face of generational, geographic, cultural, political, socioeconomic, and ethnic division in the world and the church. Teachers Rod Stafford, Jo Anne Lyon, Kevin Earley, and Brad Lomenick called the church to recognize the greater life that awaits all of us when we bridge the gaps that would otherwise separate. Frank and open discussion at the Town Hall on racial unity, as well as opportunities for question-and-answer throughout the day, encouraged the Church of God to address root issues that stunt growth and suppress life. Continue reading

“That They May Be One” in Southern Africa

By Mike and Heather Webb with Corey and Abby Stocksdale

Over sixty individuals from six different southern Africa countries gathered in Botswana the first week of August 2018. They traveled by bus and plane to meet together for the second Southern Africa Church of God Conference. This is a conference that was dreamed up, planned, and implemented by the national leaders in southern Africa. Continue reading

Unity in the Caribbean: Convention Helps Re-establish Regional Assembly

Lennox Boyce addresses the Caribbean-Atlantic Assembly in July.

By Carl Stagner

We love to talk about unity in the Church of God, but putting it into practice is often another story. Over the past two years, the national churches of the Caribbean-Atlantic region have taken steps to move beyond theoretical to functional unity once again. Though an assembly of national churches came together formally in the 1970s, recent years had seen a downturn in participation and interest. Until 2018, more than seven years had passed without a convention of the Caribbean-Atlantic Assembly. From July 28 through August 3, seven of fourteen national churches united in a visible recommitment to worshiping and working together for the advancement of the kingdom in their region. Continue reading

Concerning Clergy Compensation: Concilio Connects with CARE

Concilio pastors pray together at the CARE seminar in Houston.

By Joseph Cookston

¡Buen trabajo! ¡Excelente! ¡Muchas gracias! We want to contextualize the information to our culture—thank you for the great desire to help us!

Openness and expectancy abounded throughout the CARE Seminar that opened the convention of the Hispanic Council (Concilio Hispano) of the Church of God in Houston, Texas, near the end of July. Pastors and spouses gathered and processed together for the three-and-a-half hour dialogue regarding pastoral compensation and financial planning. Again and again, participants expressed their gratitude for the intentional reach into the world of Spanish-speaking congregations of the Church of God. Continue reading

ONE Gives Students Glimpse of Heaven, Desire to Change the World Together

By Carl Stagner

Some had likely never worshiped in Spanish before. Others had probably never experienced firsthand the high-octane energy of urban gospel. History suggests that few had likely ever been in a setting where three cultures converged in the name of Christ. But that’s exactly what happened at the first-ever ONE event, which took place at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 21 and 22. The result was a glimpse of heaven and a renewed desire to change the world together. Continue reading

Youth to Participate in Historic Unity Event this April

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By Carl Stagner

It’s at the core of who we are. We preach about it. We sing about it. We read books about it by pioneers of our movement. But we don’t have a flawless record of living it out. The perfect love which unites us all in Jesus must translate to how we function as individual churches and as a movement. A new generation is rising up in the Church of God less connected to “the way we’ve always done it.” They are challenging the status quo; they are daring to do things differently. They’re setting the example for the rest of us as they come together in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 21–22 to worship under one roof. No, it’s not the International Youth Convention. No, it’s not NIYC. And no, it’s also not a youth convention of the Concilio Hispano. It’s ONE gathering, hosted by all three groups, that your church’s youth group won’t want to miss. Continue reading

Reclaim 2016 Philadelphia Wednesday: When God’s People Come Together

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Photo: When God’s people come together…

By Carl Stagner

Incredible things happen when God’s people come together. The presence of God is powerful when God’s people come together. When God’s people come together, regardless of ethnicity or culture, differences diminish and Jesus Christ is magnified. Hope shines bright, the body of Christ is strong, and the kingdom advances when God’s people come together. In a world so strongly divided by race and politics, Jesus Christ was the clearly the unifying subject on Wednesday at the Regional Convention of the Church of God at New Covenant Church in Philadelphia. In a culture exemplified by competing aspirations and agendas, Church of God pastors and lay leaders came together Wednesday to embrace a common mission: to reclaim our neighborhoods in Jesus’ name. Continue reading

IYC, NIYC and Concilio Hispano Youth to Hold Unity Event in 2017

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By Carl Stagner

Two of our partners in ministry celebrate vibrant youth ministry outside of involvement in the International Youth Convention, including the National Association’s NIYC (National Inspirational Youth Convention) and the student ministries of the Hispanic Council (Concilio Hispano). For many youth in the Church of God, IYC is not the pinnacle of their year; NIYC or the youth events of the Hispanic Council take that description. It is with great anticipation then, that in 2017, students of IYC, NIYC, and the Hispanic Council will come together for a groundbreaking unity event. ONE will gather youth across ethnic and cultural lines together under the banner of Christ to worship and serve together. When unity becomes more than just talk, incredible things begin to happen. Continue reading

Anderson Regional Day 1: Returning to Our Reclamation Roots

By Carl Stagner

In 1881, it had become painfully obvious that hell had stolen heaven’s ideal of God’s one, holy church. Where culture and government built dividing walls, the Church of God had the audacity to build bridges. Walking by faith and not by sight, our pioneers worked together to deposit into others the truth which had been deposited into them. They didn’t always see the results of their labor, and they could not have imagined the global movement that is the Church of God today. But they faithfully invested in the kingdom, and knew that unity meant working together—not just agreeing together. At the kickoff session of the Church of God Regional Convention in Anderson, the visible results of past investments into the kingdom were celebrated, offering the crowd of nearly 1,000 a blueprint for reclamation. Continue reading

Reclaim 2016: Welcome Back to Anderson, Church of God!

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By Carl Stagner

On the afternoon of Monday, June 20, a group of pastors, retired ministers, missionaries, Anderson University professors, and laypeople packed into a makeshift theater to watch a multimedia presentation of the early days of the Church of God in Anderson. They were reminded that since 1907, the Church of God has had a longstanding relationship with the city of Anderson. After a couple incredible conventions in Oklahoma City, and a historic gathering in Vancouver earlier this year, Church of God people are returning to a city with over a century of rich camp meeting history. More rich history will be made again this week as Church of God people once again reconvene in Anderson, Indiana. Continue reading

CHOG UK National Convention 2015 Largest in History

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By Zach Langford

The 2015 Church of God United Kingdom National Convention was held at Latimer Place, Buckinghamshire from May 22 to May 25. Every year members of Church of God Egan Rd., Birkenhead, and Community Church of God (London) gather together for a time of renewal, fellowship, and worship. The theme was “Partnership with Jesus in Ministry.” The main speaker was Rev. Benjamin Browne from Cayon Church of God in St. Kitts. With more than forty years of pastoral ministry experience, Rev. Browne was able to expound on this year’s theme with practical and spiritual application. Continue reading

Tuesday Evening Added to Live Streaming; Convention Reminders

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By Carl Stagner

Great news! We’ve just added the Tuesday evening worship to the list of sessions that will be streamed live over the Internet! This means that we’re now able to offer the 7:00 PM CDT session of Church of God Convention 2015 on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (June 22–24)! Of course, all General Assembly sessions (Monday–Wednesday, 8:30–10:30 AM CDT) will also be streamed live online. Nearly a year of preparation is about to culminate in an experience certain to make a profound impact on the Church of God. Here are just a few things to remember: Continue reading

Church of God Convention 2015: Celebrating CHOG TraffickLight

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By Carl Stagner

It’s been nearly a year since the Church of God took a stand against human trafficking and for the cause of freedom. CHOG TraffickLight mobilized the movement in a way that many have observed as unprecedented. Since Church of God Convention 2014, congregations have collectively raised the banner of Jesus Christ and worked together as his hands and feet. The Church of God continues in the footsteps of Christ as his kingdom advances, reclaiming in Jesus’ name that which hell has stolen. At this year’s Church of God Convention, we’ll come together to celebrate what the Lord has accomplished through us. Continue reading

CHOG Universities, College Gear Up for Convention

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By Carl Stagner

Church of God Convention 2015—Royals, Knights, Evangels, and Ravens welcome! Of course, all others are welcome, too! We simply want alumni of Warner University, Warner Pacific College, Mid-America Christian University, and Anderson University to be aware of the celebrations, receptions, and other opportunities your alma mater is bringing to this year’s convention. Even if you didn’t attend one of these Church of God schools, some of these events still apply to you! But most of these events also require RSVP by Monday, June 1. Continue reading

Movement-wide Prayer for CHOG Convention Begins This Week

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By Carl Stagner

For more than a century, Church of God people have gathered together on an annual basis to worship, connect with one another, and seek the Lord to propel the movement forward. Last year Church of God Convention and General Assembly participation showed significant signs of revitalization. Attendance numbers were up, geographic representation peaked, and representation of the total Church of God population in North America dramatically increased. Renewed hope for the present and future of God’s church was also evident among the gathered saints. This wave of momentum did not happen by accident, however. Prayer was vital to the Holy Spirit making last year’s event so pivotal in the movement’s history. CHOG Convention 2015 will be no different. The role of prayer will be paramount. So we’ve developed a free downloadable prayer guide to help you and your church undergird the before, the during, and the after of CHOG Convention 2015: Be Bold. Reclaim. Continue reading