Over 800 Attend 16th Annual Gathering in Denver

A total of 806 people joined us at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center in Denver, Colorado from October 2-5, 2016 for the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ 16th Annual Gathering.  The theme of this year's event was "Back to the Future: First Century Principles for the Twenty First Century".  

The event kicked off on Sunday evening with an opening worship service preached by Pr. Ebassa Berhanu (Faith Lutheran Church, Castle Rock, CO), as well as the announcement that the association has a new logo as well as its first ever mobile app.  

Monday's program featured Keynote Speaker Dr. Ed Stetzer (Billy Graham Distinguished Endowed Chair for Church, Mission and Evangelism, Wheaton College), as well as reports given by LCMC Staff members Rev. Mark Vander Tuig (Service Coordinator) and Rev. Steve Lien (Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry).  Steve and the LCMC Ministry Board also recognized district leaders, certifiers, new congregations, pastors, seminarians, military chaplains, and those who were celebrating significant anniversaries of ordination.  

On Monday evening, participants had the option to take part in a fellowship dinner, providing them the opportunity to make new friends in LCMC, reunite with old ones, or get connected with one of several different fellowship groups.  

Tuesday's program featured Keynote Speaker Dr. Mark Granquist (Associate Professor of the History of Christianity, Luther Seminary), Dr. Jim Blessman (President and Founder, Blessman Ministries) as the international focus speaker, and a report by LCMC Staff member Rev. Dan Clites (Coordinator for Church Planting Development).  

Attendees also had the option to take part in breakout sessions, which fincluded topics such as church planting, engaging millennials, retirement plan options, and more.  

On Tuesday evening, many participants gathered together in the convention center to assemble personal care kits with Lutheran World Relief.  Through the generous donations given by LCMC congregations, as well as the muscle power of many volunteers at the Annual Gathering, the people of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ were able to donate 8,228 personal care kits and deliver 35 quilts to those whose lives have been affected by natural disasters and to people who are living in poverty around the world.  

Newly elected to the LCMC Board of Trustees were pastors Brodie Taphorn (Area 5) and Darrin Vick (Area 6).  Current members of the board are Sean Kelly (Chair), Martha Uecker Nelson (Vice Chair), Julie Smith (Secretary), Laurel Swanson (Treasurer), Brodie Taphorn, Darrin Vick, Enrique Estrada, and Christopher Miller.  

Wednesday morning's program featured "ministry vignettes" presented by Pr. Steven Broers (Emmanual Lutheran Church, Fontanelle, IA), Pr. Sandy Miller (First Lutheran Church, Hope, MN) and Rev. Jonathan Haseley (Barefoot Christian Community, Niagara Falls, NY).  The event concluded with a closing worship service preached by Rev. Michael R. Bonham (Peace Lutheran Church, Gulf Shores, AL).

Each day, attendees also enjoyed worship provided by Bethel Lutheran Church (Colorado Springs, CO), as well as Bible study led by Rev. Janine Rew-Werling (Hosanna Lutheran Church, Watertown, SD).  

Videos of this year's speakers will be available online on our videos page (you can find it under Events  >  Media & Downloads  >  Videos & Presentations) and in our mobile app in winter 2017.  For a downloadable copy of the 2016 Annual Gathering Book, click here or download our app.  

Our 17th Annual Gathering will take place October 8-11, 2017 at the Hilton Minneapolis in Minneapolis, MN.  Stay tuned for further details.  

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