Wednesday, December 15, 2010

National Older Adult Conference to be held Sept. 5-9, 2011.

"Passion and Purpose in a Changing World" (Romans 12:2) is the theme for the 2011 National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) on Sept. 5-9 at Lake Junaluska (N.C.) Conference and Retreat Center. Adults age 50 and older are invited to this Church of the Brethren event.

Speakers for worship are Robert Bowman, associate professor of biblical studies at Manchester College, who will preach for the opening worship service Monday evening; Philip Gulley, a master storyteller and author of "If the Church Were Christian," "I Love You, Miss Huddleston," and the Harmony and Porch Talk series, who will preach on Wednesday evening; and Susan Stern Boyer, pastor of La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren, who will preach for the closing service, with Ken Kline Smeltzer, interim pastor at Burnham (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, sharing a brief reflection about the week.

Morning Bible studies will be led by Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm, associate professor of preaching and worship at Bethany Theological Seminary.

Other featured speakers include Jonathan Wilson-Hargrove, a leader in the new monastic movement and author of many books including "To Baghdad and Beyond," about his experience with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq; David E. Fuchs, M.D., and Curtis W. Dubble, who will share a dialogue about "Unexpected Travels in Healing" exploring questions about life, death, medical ethics, and faith raised by the illness of Dubble’s wife, Anna Mary; C. Michael Hawn, university distinguished professor of church music at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas, whose address, "Singing with the Saints," will explore the gifts of the world Christian church and invite the audience to join in a "choir rehearsal for heaven."

On Tuesday evening, NOAC will be graced with a concert of spirituals, show tunes, and classical selections sung by Amy Yovanovich and Christyan Seay. Music continues Thursday evening with a hymn sing coordinated by Jonathan Shively, executive director of Congregational Life Ministries for the Church of the Brethren, assisted by Hawn, the NOAC choir, and a variety of musicians.

Opportunities for service will include a fundraising walk supporting leadership development of young adults through Ministry Summer Service, and the collection of school and hygiene kits for disaster relief. Also offered will be dozens of Interest Groups on a wide variety of topics, arts and craft classes, and recreational opportunities such as hiking, tennis, golf, and boating.

NOAC is receiving support from the following sponsors: the Fellowship of Brethren Homes, the Brethren-related colleges and university, Bethany Theological Seminary, Everence (formerly Mennonite Mutual Aid), Brethren Village in Lancaster, Pa., and the Palms of Sebring, Fla.

Kim Ebersole, director of family life and older adult ministries for the Church of the Brethren, coordinates NOAC assisted by the planning committee of Deanna Brown, Ken and Elsie Holderread, Nancy Faus-Mullen, Peggy Redman, and Guy Wampler.

Registration materials will be sent to past attendees, congregations, district offices, and retirement communities around March 1. They also will be available online at or contact or 800-323-8039 ext. 302.

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