By Kim Ebersole, NOAC coordinator
What is it about a conference for older adults—those age 50 and older—that makes young adults wish they were old enough to attend? If you have attended the Church of the Brethren’s National Older Adult Conference(NOAC), you know all that this biennial gathering has to offer. If you haven’t attended NOAC, here are highlights of this September’s conference, featuring the theme “Then Jesus Told Them a Story” (Matthew 13:34-35):
- Renowned speakers Deanna Brown, Ken Medema, Brian McLaren, and Alexander Gee will enlighten and challenge participants about a wide-range of relevant topics.
- Bible study leader Bob Bowman will invite participants to explore scripture and apply its message to their own lives and communities.
- Worship experiences will feature preachers Robert Neff, Chris Smith, and LaDonna Nkosi, voices raised in harmonious song, and quiet times of prayer and contemplation.
- Performances will be given by musicians Terra Voce, comedian Bob Stromberg, storyteller Gary Carden, and folk dancing troupe J. Creek Cloggers.
- We will laugh at the zany antics of the NOAC News Team
- We will reach out to others through service projects such as Church World Service Kits for Kids, the fund-raising walk for the Nigeria Crisis Fund, and sharing stories through giving books to local elementary students.
- We will enjoy laughter, conversations with friend old and new, eating together, recreation, creative arts, workshops, and relaxing by (or jogging around!) beautiful Lake Junaluska.
Through ministries of the Church of the Brethren, age-specific conferences including NOAC, are provided as opportunities for faith formation, spiritual growth, learning, and service. NOAC is a Spirit-filled gathering of adults (age 50 and older) who love learning and discerning together, exploring God’s call for their lives, and living out that call by sharing their energy, insight, and legacy with their families, communities, and the world. Like youth who attend National Youth Conference, many NOAC participants have a “mountain top experience” that continues to nurture and inform their lives long after they return to their homes and local faith communities.
What about young adults who yearn to be part of NOAC? Several have discovered the joy of attending NOAC as volunteers to share energy, experience, expertise, and enthusiasm to help make NOAC happen. So whether you are young or old(er), consider coming to NOAC for the time of your life.
National Older Adult Conference 2015 will be held September 7-11 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in western North Carolina. Register or learn more at www.brethren.org/NOAC or call 847-429-4305.