The Great Co-Mission Conference Drew Over 150 Participants From More Than 15 Area Churches

Amir Metry

Saturday’s (Sept. 30) missions conference drew more than 150 involved participants from a variety of churches in the area. There were Episcopalians, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and others representing non-denominational churches from Downingtown to Narberth. Approximately 35 from Good Samaritan attended the day-long conference. Andy Crouch was the conference’s facilitator and keynote speaker, leading three major sessions in the church. His presentations focused on God’s original image for the purpose of mission, the ways we have lost or distorted that image, and ways we (as churches and as individuals) can restore that original image. Participants appreciated Andy’s words and thoughts and also found meaningful and inspiring his style of combining words, music, and singing in a learning and worshiping atmosphere.

Another component of Saturday’s conference was four “break-out” sessions. Participants chose one of interest. Sessions included: “Helping Without Hurting,” led by Rev. Jeff Conway of Paoli Presbyterian; “Who is My Neighbor?” facilitated by Rev. Sturgis Poorman, Bethany Christian Services; “The Heart of Poverty,” facilitated by Rev. Jeff Moretzsohn; and “Evangelism and Social Action: They are Really One,” presented by Rev. Dr. Tony Campolo.

There was no charge for the conference or for the catered box lunch; however, we did include a free-will offering. At Andy’s recommendation, this offering was directed toward “The Philadelphia Project” (a ministry that we as a church also support). Giving was quite generous and we have sent on behalf of Andy and the host churches a check for $2,152 to The Philadelphia Project.

Andy at piano
Andy Crouch

In addition to all the learning, sharing, and meeting new folks, the conference was simply a very moving and ecumenical event that might draw us all out of our silos of separate churches.

Friday evening prior to the full conference, we held a sharing session at Paoli Presbyterian for representatives of mission/outreach committees from a dozen area churches heavily involved in missions and outreach. Andy Crouch facilitated sharing exercises among the nearly sixty participants, emphasizing our common successes, problems, challenges, and perhaps most importantly ways we might view ourselves as the Church rather than as a group of churches. Many contacts were formed and potential partnerships were stimulated.

Thanks so much for all hospitality generated Saturday at Good Samaritan. Once again, Good Sam folks proved themselves and our church to be a welcoming and hospitable place!