Linda Necker of Community Christian Church in Tempe, Regional Moderator, responds to what “Celebration, Celebración! Christ Among Us!” means to her, and all of us at our upcoming 2016 Regional Assembly, Asamblea Convención Arizona.
What this 2016 Regional Assembly/Asamblea Convención Arizona Means to Me
I believe this Assembly/Asamblea is a step forward in our desire as Regional Church to encourage Arizona Disciples to be in Celebration/Celebración in one place, as one body, one Church. It will give us all the opportunity to meet, eat and worship with Disciples who are similar and diverse. Our keynote speakers exemplify this diversity—male and female, clergy and lay, young and young at heart, and people of color—and the body of Disciples attending and sitting in the pews will portray this same diversity as all of our Arizona churches join in this event.
I believe that this Assembly/Asamblea will give us all the opportunity to share the traditions of Arizona Disciples. It will begin with the Kermes on Friday night when we will be treated to a wide variety of Hispanic foods and festive music. We will share in two worship services, beginning our time on Friday evening and ending our time on Saturday afternoon. At meal times we will share conversation with those we know and those we have just met. Listening and learning about the joys and the concerns of another brother or sister in Christ can expand our minds. It can strengthen our understanding of God’s love as witnessed here on earth and how we show that love for one another. Learning another’s story can give a face to a people and, I believe, it is difficult to discount a person when you know their story.
I believe that this Assembly/Asamblea will give us all the opportunity to experience unity with other Arizona Disciples through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. By being in worship and sharing the Table of Communion with one another, we begin to remove the boundaries that separate us. Boundaries can keep us from building relationships. And relationship is the basis for our belief in God. It’s becomes a circle and we want that circle to include everyone. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body…and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
Finally, I believe that this Assembly/Asamblea will be a time of growth and learning. Our keynote speakers will challenge us. Our fellow Disciples will engage us. Our worships will send us out equipped to do God’s work in our communities. And Christ will be among us.