I finally went through my pictures from the GEMS conference last weekend! It was in Ft. Collins, Colorado at Colorado State University. I think I’ve blogged most of the stories from the conference that I want to tell, but maybe as I post pictures I’ll think of more stuff…
Colleen & Grace and The Unity Band – our awesome praise & worship leaders
The Local Conference Committee – they served us well!
Friday’s speaker: Lisa Harper. She is so easy to listen to and so thought-provoking. She inspired us in our roles as mentors to the girls in our clubs.
The beautiful campus. The weather was really pretty good while we were there. We arrived & left with thunderstorms, but otherwise had sunny skies, and warm but not hot temperatures.
Ray VanderLaan spoke twice on Saturday and once on Sunday. He has so much knowledge about the Bible and the history and the culture in which it was written – SO many things I didn’t know. He’s spent literally YEARS of his life in Israel studying and teaching. If you EVER have a chance to hear him speak, take it. Or if you have the opportunity to watch his video series, “That the World May Know”, take it. You will learn so much.
He’s so entertaining to watch also. He was kind of like a caged animal up on the stage, pacing back and forth and back and forth, over and over. Every time he eventually ended up down on the floor where we were all sitting, just because he was so emotional and passionate about what he was saying.
I don’t think Tami knew I was taking this picture. I was fixing the settings on the camera so that someone could take a picture of the two of us and she was pretending to model, and I took the picture. Turned out cute! She looks just like a model!
Spotted this butterfly on these wonderful smelling trees. I think they might be linden trees, but I don’t know. They were all over the campus, though.
The picture of us on campus didn’t turn out very well, so we have this one out at Old Town Ft. Collins. Also not the best, but it’s us and we’re there.
All in Old Town, Ft. Collins
Had to get some Ben & Jerry’s while we were there!
That’s Colleen, doing her piano thing on the old piano in downtown. Many people stopped to sing and enjoy the evening with us – and look – there’s men! They’re not even GEMS counselors, or even GEMS Counselors’ husbands! They’re random tourists and locals! We heard from a lady in a nearby shop that she has never seen such a gathering of people, let alone a gathering singing songs like “Amazing Grace” and “Oh, When the Saints!” It was a awesome experience and a great evening.
As part of Sunday morning worship, the Tableau team portrayed the story of the Prodigal Son. Tableau, or staging of Scripture, is a worship element I have never seen before. A narrator reads a portion of Scripture while the worshippers close their eyes. At the end of that portion, a bell is rung, and the people open their eyes. There on the stage is the frozen scene. After a few minutes, the bell is rung again, the worshippers close their eyes, and the narrator reads the next scene. During this time, the Tableau team is moving to their next spot and when the section of Scripture is read and the bell is rung, the worshippers open their eyes to see a new frozen scene on the stage. It was surprisingly moving and powerful. I was impressed. It is not showy. It is not a performance. It is thought-provoking and it brings Scripture to life, with no movement at all. I hope that people from our church, especially the Worship Man, sees this and considers utilizing it in a future service at our church. I loved it.