Today, my first day home following our convention in Covington, Kentucky, my heart is filled with many different emotions. Relief. Loneliness for friends I won’t see for a while. But my foremost emotion is gratitude.
I’m incredibly grateful to God. Throughout the past four years, there have been moments of great sadness, near despair, significant uncertainty, and wake-you-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night fear. And those are just my responses to situations concerning convention contracts I’m responsible to sign! Yet God graciously granted my and others’ requests of Him, resulting in the amazing convention we’ve just enjoyed.
I’m grateful for our many volunteers. The Planning Committee, led by Mary Jean Knoll, deserves special recognition. These wonderful brothers and sisters signed on to help plan our 2021 convention, but then continued another two years when it had to be cancelled. Additionally, our 2023 convention staff consisted of at least eighteen different teams of volunteers, each team covering a different area to serve our attendees. Of the over one-thousand people who attended the 2023 convention, I would not be surprised if somewhere between one hundred and two hundred of them (10-20 percent) volunteered in some capacity during the week.
I’m grateful for a number of “new friends” — staff of the Northern Kentucky Visitors and Conventions Bureau, the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, and the various hotels we inhabited during convention week. The Visitors and Conventions Bureau alone provided tens of thousands of dollars to help us cover our convention needs and obligations.
Finally, I’m grateful for everyone who attended our GC Convention. They worshipped, learned, fellowshipped, conducted business, and left behind great impressions of Christ and our church. The “new friends” who served us would love for us to return!
It hasn’t been decided where or exactly when we will hold our 2025 Convention, but it isn’t too soon to begin planning to attend. If you do, I’ll be grateful.
— Loren Stacy