Every time a Family Conference takes place, we rejoice in the messages that are given, the fellowship that takes place, and the lives that are impacted for eternity. The 2018 Sacramento Family Conference occurred July 3-7, and provided that special opportunity once again. The Family Conference that is held on the West Coast has the familiar feel of a large family reunion. Many attendees have been participating since the first “West Coast conference” was held over twenty years ago. Each year, families look forward to seeing friends, meeting and encouraging newcomers, and enjoying time together as a family as they hear dynamic messages from God’s Word.
Several speakers joined us live this year in Sacramento, including Dr. Jobe Martin and his family. It was wonderful to see their whole family serving, sharing, and caring for each person that crossed their paths. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar also came and shared in the main sessions, with Michelle speaking as part of a ladies’ panel to a room filled with interested mothers. The ladies were obviously encouraged and appreciative to be able to share their parenting challenges as well as glean wisdom from others’ experiences. Other live speakers included Gabriel Cleator, Tim Levendusky, and David Waller. A report of the Sacramento Conference would not be complete without mentioning Brian and Sue Fox. Brian is an anticipated part of the yearly conferences held on the West Coast. Attendees welcome his enthusiastic song leading and his faithful dedication in working with the student choir and orchestra. This produced a God-honoring choir and orchestra arrangement of several hymns in closing out the time together.
The Sacramento conference had a memorable “incident” occur. Midway through the week, the video message by Dr. Larry Guthrie entitled, “Lessons That Come in Strange Wrapping Paper,” was presented. In one part of the message Dr. Guthrie shares about burning some leaves which led to a larger forest fire, eventually burning down his neighbor’s house. In his attempt to stop the spreading fire, he described a “flapper tool” which was designed to light field fires. His own efforts were fruitless, however, as the blaze became too large to handle with his flapper tool.
With drought conditions in California, the following afternoon a small fire was reported spreading in the neighboring field of grass and trees, which provided shade for many of the attendees’ vehicles. The midweek session was temporarily stopped, and an announcement was made for people to move their vehicles before the fire spread to the cars. On the way out, one attendee, remembering the previous day’s message by Dr. Guthrie, cried out, “Bring your flapper deallies!” The Fire Department quickly arrived at the conference site and extinguished the flames before any costly damage was done. This interruption, however, did provide a vivid way of remembering Dr. Guthrie’s message that had just been shared the day before!
One more Family Conference remains for 2018—the Northwoods August Family Conference, taking place August 28–31. For more information, visit familyconferences.org or call 630-323-2842. We look forward to seeing you there!