With all there is to do these days, it took some finagling with time and responsibilities to plan a night out.
I was one of 5,100 registrants for this year’s Mission ConneXion Northwest, number 16, held in nearby Tualatin at Rolling Hills Community Church.
We were warned by email we should carpool if possible because we’d be turned away once the parking lot was full. So my across-the-street neighbor Julie agreed to let me ride along with her and Grace; Marilyn shared the backseat with me. We arrived in plenty of time but still waited outside for 20+ minutes due to a bottleneck getting our name tags, which turned out to be an empty lanyard!
Didn’t matter! My friends Ridgely and Wally recognized me in a moment! Such a serendipity to bump into them in the crowd of strangers!
How much more unlikely, then, to bump into Jeff and Christine (and the Phelans, who took our picture). That’s Marilyn, Grace, and Julie in front with me. You recognize me, right? Even without a name in my lanyard?
The main draw for me was a chance to see and hear Francis Chan in person. I highly respect this man’s teaching and communication of truth and have watched many videos of him.
Between our early dinner and the plenary session we were given a choice of workshops. No contest for me; I wanted to attend the Q&A with Francis Chan! By the time I arrived it was standing room only in this relatively small room. I managed to score the perfect spot on a high stool by the entrance.
I had to resist the temptation to shout AMEN throughout the Q&A. This man speaks my mind!
“Are there going to be people there?” Yes, Mauri, there will be people there. Even if he wasn’t housebound (three weeks now!) with back issues, he would have declined attending this event. There were definitely people there. I waited in this sardine crowd for the doors to the worship center to open.
Another powerful message, although Chan made me “nervous” about one theological viewpoint we seem to not share. It gave the four of us something to talk about on the drive home. Also with Mauri, since he watched the whole thing on live streaming. How cool is that? He didn’t even have to leave home to enjoy a night out with me.