our little family of churches this April. It's been a couple of decades since our church got play host.
Today, we're putting the invitations in the mail, and this is what I said:
Dear Allegheny District Pastors and Church Leaders,
You should come to district conference this year.
I mean it. I don’t just want to invite you–I want to challenge you to participate in the district conference April 19-20 at Lanse Free Church.
In the spirit of late-night television, let me give you a countdown of 10 top reasons:
10. Music. Our times in worship together will be led by either Chris Tomlin or Matt Mitchell* (*depending upon availability).
9. Food. The ladies at our church know how to cook! I’ve told them that even if they fire me someday, I’ll still come to the fellowship dinners. We’ve also arranged for a family-style dinner on Friday night at a nearby location. Bring a belt that has an extra hole in it.
8. Family. Our district is a family of churches. Come and visit with your crazy uncles and the cousins you haven’t met yet at the family reunion. This year, we’re going to welcome new churches into our district family! It’s like a child dedication at church. You don’t want to miss that.
7. Location. Central Pennsylvania is beautiful in April. With Spring bursting all around, it’s a gorgeous drive to our church campus through the Allegheny Mountains. And if it rains some, don’t worry, we have Noah’s Ark out on our playground.
6. Exhibitors. Meet the guys in cowboy boots and Stetsons from Miracle Mountain Ranch. Ask Bud Smith from Minneapolis for his latest joke. Learn something you didn’t know about Trinity from Carl Johnson. Pick up extra pens and candy!
5. Rollicking Fun Business Meeting. What more can I say?
4. Pastors’ Wives. Ladies, this time, Kim Powell’s hospitality get-together is being hosted by my wife, Heather, at our house. Find a moment of peace, make yourself at home, drink something out of my wife’s “tea-snob” storehouse, eat something sweet, look out our picture window at the chickens in the yard, and reconnect with your fellow ministry-wives.
3. Hotel Deals. The three conference hotels are nearby, nearly new, and cheap. Where else can you stay a comfortable night for $89 including breakfast?
2. Theme & Speakers. Last year we learned about being externally focused churches. What does that mean for us globally? Our two main speakers are going to challenge and inspire us to reach our world for Christ.
1. Who You ARE. You and your church ARE the Allegheny District. “The district” isn’t someone else somewhere else. Together, we are who “the district” is. We all need each other to be interdependent.
I hope to see you in April. If you can’t come, please send some other representatives from your church.
Matt Mitchell, Pastor