By Matt DeBall
The Annual Conference office is in the swing of preparations for the Church of the Brethren’s Annual Conference July 2-6 in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus is vibrant and boasts many activities and sight-seeing opportunities for people of all ages.
The official Conference hotel is the Hyatt, and is in the same building as the conference center. But the Crowne and Drury hotels are connected by skywalks. “To have 75 percent of our rooms adjacent to the convention center is amazing,” said Chris Douglas, director of the Annual Conference Office.
Restaurant and food options are also convenient, as well as numerous. “You can’t beat the food court next to the conference center,” shared Chris. And only a block away is the North Market, which features 35 merchants of different ethnic foods, fresh produce, flowers, spices, and other gifts. Across the street is Bareburger, a restaurant where you can build a burger from a variety of meats (grass-fed, organically raised animals) and ingredients. Jon Kobel, Annual Conference assistant, also recommended the Northstar Cafe, one of several great restaurants in the Short North District, less than a mile from the convention center.
Columbus promises many sights to see. One is German Village, an original settlement that has been restored to its old glory. “We’re offering a bus tour for non-delegates,” said Jon. “Tickets can still be purchased online.” The Columbus Zoo and Center of Science and Information (which features a Sherlock Holmes exhibit) are both top-rated attractions in the country.
“If you’re looking for beauty in creation,” said Chris, “Franklin Park, where the BBT Fitness Challenge 5k walk/run will be, is magnificent.” Within walking distance from the conference center, Brethren baseball fans can also see the Columbus Flyers AAA team, who will be in town the week of Conference. “On Saturday night we’re having an intergenerational gathering, co-sponsored by the Outdoor Ministries Association,” said Jon. “We will have a lot of fun and games, and concerts too.”
Annual Conference in Columbus promises to be a Spirit-led, fun-filled gathering. Online registration closes June 3, so be sure to visit www.brethren.org/ac soon!