#SGW12: 3,000 celebrate 30 years of the Spiritual Growth Workshop
Blogging from Orlando, Fla.
About 3,000 members of Churches of Christ — white, black and Hispanic — came together this past weekend for the Spiritual Growth Workshop.
Christians celebrated 30 years of the workshop, a biennial event that helps strengthen ties among church members in Florida.
I was blessed to attend the workshop and shared real-time personal notes, along with several other participants, via the Twitter hashtag #sgw12. I appreciate workshop director Joe Roberts inviting me.
I interviewed Chet McDoniel, one of the keynote speakers, and plan to share his inspiring story (“No Arms, No Shoes … Still Serving”) in an upcoming print edition of The Christian Chronicle.
I enjoyed meeting a number of Chronicle readers at the workshop, including Terry Chapman, minister for the South Trail Church of Christ in Sarasota, Fla., and Jamie Dunson, a member of the Vero Beach Church of Christ in Florida. Both joked that they felt compelled to introduce themselves after my recent Inside Story column on “Seeing church through eyes of an outsider.”
On Sunday morning, I snuck away from the workshop to visit the Mickey Mouse Church of Christ — er, Main Gate Church of Gate, a congregation that meets inside a hotel lobby and serves Christians vacationing at Walt Disney World. The Main Gate work is a ministry of the Concord Street Church of Christ in Orlando. Look for a feature on it, too, in a future print edition of the Chronicle.
FeedbackI was there and it was very inspirational. I felt we were back to the basics of why we are christians, especially Bruce McLarty’s lessons. Chet McDoniel made us mindful we should not ask, “Why, me, Lord?” but “Why not me, Lord?” The other speakers I was privileged to hear (from a wide choice of subjects) were also outstanding. This workshop is a “secret that needs to be found out” by the brotherhood. God bless the Orange Street, Eustis, FL elders for their wise oversight of this program.Jeanne MohundroJuly, 2 2012Thanks for your comment, Jeanne.
I enjoyed Dr. McLarty’s lessons as well. It was wonderful to reflect on all the strengths of Churches of Christ as well as the challenges.Bobby Ross Jr.July, 2 2012I wish I’d had the opportunity to meet you. I would have liked to have told you personally how much I appreciate the work of the Chronicle and have for years. I appreciate your remarks about the workshop. It is a real blessing to us here in Florida.Pat BlissJuly, 2 2012Thanks, Pat! I would have enjoyed meeting you.Bobby Ross Jr.July, 2 2012I too was glad to finally meet you. The Workshop was a great reminder that we as a body of believers have nothing to be Ashamed of, we need to pick our heads up and be proud of who we are, even though we are not perfect, we serve a perfect God.Rickey EppesJuly, 3 2012Thanks, brother Rickey! It was wonderful meeting you. And thanks for reminding me about the NASCAR story idea. I will check into that soon!Bobby Ross Jr.July, 3 2012