CHICAGO, IL (April 27, 2011) – Next Tuesday is the final day individuals can take advantage of early registration discounts for the Feast, and organizers hope that every Evangelical Covenant church will help send at least one family who can bring back lessons and experiences to share with their congregations.
The Feast will take place June 25-28 at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, located some 65 miles northwest of Denver. Registration can be completed online.
“We will have opportunities to learn from each other and share our journey with others of different ages and backgrounds,” says Marti Burger, a member of the planning team. “Our hope is that the people who come will be able to see more of who God is through the life example of others.”
That experience can be multiplied throughout the church as people return to the congregation and share what happened to them as individuals, families, and members of the larger community of faith. “We want to offer them some options and ideas of how to do life together,” Burger says.
The days will begin with Awakenings – opportunities for quiet reflection or gathering in groups to participate in various spiritual practices. Workshops, worship and other activities are scheduled throughout each day.
Worship also will take place in the evenings followed by Afterglow, a time when people can gather at campfires across the campus and share how God has been working in their lives during the day.
The theme this year is, “PLAY … for the kid in all of us!” Activities are scheduled for “kids” of all ages.
Intergenerational learning and worship is one of the foundations for the Feast. There will be separate activities for children, but also plenty of opportunities for people of all ages to interact with each other.
Through those interactions, the Feast will help attendees consider how they can pursue similar objectives in their respective congregations. “Children are not the church of the future – they are the church now,” Burger observes.
The Feast also will help people experience God in ways that perhaps they never imagined was possible, Burger says. That includes learning how to incorporate interests and hobbies as part of the spiritual lives.
For example, Burger says, “How can my love of photography become a spiritual discipline? Check out the learning experience – Seeing God with the Camera’s eye: Photography as a Spiritual Discipline.”
Among the plethora of other opportunities, attendees can learn how to be honest and raw with God in prayers of lament; give thought to ways of impacting our world and communities with a taste of Sankofa, Journey to Mosaic or practical ministry in the lives of homeless students and their families; consider ways of holding space for God in a high-tech world; have spiritual conversations at home, and bring healing to people following some kind of trauma.
Main speakers include:
- Eugene Cho, pastor of Quest Church, a multi-cultural Covenant congregation in Seattle
- J. Wilson Herrera, director of Christian Formation with an emphasis on Hispanic congregations within the Department of Christian Formation
- Jeff Mazzariello, spiritual formation pastor at Marin Covenant Church in San Rafael, California
- Peter Sung, director of church planting for the Evangelical Covenant Church
- Lauren Walter, a freshman at Azusa Pacific University and a member of DeerGrove Covenant Church in Palatine, Illinois
- Camille Russell Wooden, pastor of Abundant Life Covenant Church in Pasadena, California
Burger says she understands recent increases in fuel prices may cause some people to have second thoughts about attending, but adds the event will be a unique experience.
“The Feast is one of those markers in life,” Burger says, “where you get to stop and reflect with people from around the world on your relationship with God, what is working, what is needed for future growth, and opportunities to consider refocusing your perspective on how you spend time with God.”
Each person will leave with a devotional that can be used in small groups, retreat settings, as families, or in other settings. The devotions will be available from the Covenant website in a downloadable format following the Feast.