Southwest Focus Retreat

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 was lucky enough to be invited by our pastor to attend this year’s Southwest Focus Retreat. It’s a chance for many of the leaders from Grace Brethren churches along the west coast to get together once a year to fellowship, worship, and relax a little. This year the retreat had a special focus. It marked the beginning of conversations about defining/redefining what it means to be “Grace Brethren”. As someone who is very new to that association of churches, it was encouraging to see a push to define ourselves by the things we have in common with other denominations instead of focusing on what’s different. Unity among believers was obviously important to Jesus, but is unfortunately not emphasized in the American church. It was also nice to hear leaders talk about Grace Brethren as a global church. I don’t think many people (even from within the association) realize that the vast majority of GB churches are outside the US.

It was also a good opportunity for me to make connections with pastors in California and to share what God has called me to in Japan. I plan to follow up and visit with many of them. And who knows, maybe God will lead them to join our support team.

Extra points to whoever can find me in that picture…