By Kim Ebersole, former director of National Older Adult Conference (NOAC)
The creative energy was flowing as the 2015 NOAC planning team gathered for its initial meeting in May 2014. The primary concern of every NOAC planning committee is to create an experience that inspires, nurtures, challenges, and renews those who attend.
Again and again, the 2015 team remembered what was shared by 2013 keynote presenter Phyllis Tickle about the importance of telling our faith stories to our children, grandchildren, and others we encounter. With this inspiration, we created the 2015 theme, “Then Jesus Told Them a Story,” related to Matthew 13:34-35.
The 2015 event lived up to its storytelling theme as preachers, keynote speakers, workshop leaders, musicians, and performers explored the stories of Jesus, and encouraged us to share our own stories through conversation, writing, art, drama, music, and service to others far and near.
One of the greatest joys of NOAC over the years is hearing how the gathering has positively impacted the lives of those who participate. Attending NOAC can be a transformative experience, as these quotes from 2015 attendees attest:
“It feels good to have Brethren living together with love, laughter, and great hospitality to one another. It’s like fresh air coming down out of the mountains that causes us to look up and smile.”
“I walk beside the still waters of the lake, smell the roses, and my soul feels restored, healed from the daily grind back home.”
“I feel so alive, so refreshed, renewed, challenged to reinvent myself into a better vessel for service and ministry.”
“My life’s story has not been fully written. Gaining inspiration from NOAC speakers, the next chapter has the potential to be the best one.”
“No one told me about the power of NOAC. I’m going home and getting a group of my friends ready for the next one.”
We hope you will attend the next NOAC in 2017 (September 4-8) at Lake Junaluska,N.C., and experience the power of NOAC for yourself. How beautiful it is to fellowship together and feel the creative energy of God move on that sacred ground.
Kim Ebersole recently completed nine years of service to the Church of the Brethren. Learn more about the 2015 National Older Adult Conference at www.brethren.org/noac . Support this and other ministries of the Church of the Brethren at www.brethren.org/give .