When I arrived at Council 2015 in Long Beach, one of the first people I talked to was an Alliance worker who had fallen on some hard times. After years of fruitful ministry, a series of discouraging events over the past year had left him struggling physically and financially and without work. When I asked him why he came to Council, he said he sensed God would meet him there and give him fresh hope, vision, and direction. He was not distraught over his circumstances, but beaming with joyous anticipation over what God would reveal to him that week.

Peter BurgoMeanwhile, a dear, old former missionary was starting day three of her five-day drive from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Long Beach. Although traveling by herself, she was not alone. It was just “the Lord and me,” she delightedly announced on her arrival at the convention center. Why would an 87-year-old saint embark on such a trek? Being together with her dear Alliance family was all the reason she needed.

These two stories defined Council for me. Like the struggling worker, The Alliance has experienced some hard times in recent days. But rather than arriving distraught, we came together with joyous anticipation about how God would orchestrate the next chapter of our movement. President Stumbo presented the reality of where we are with great clarity and then proceeded to show us how we can begin to dream again of a renewed future. And like the elderly woman on the marathon road trip, though we know there’s nothing more precious than being alone with Jesus, there’s something divinely fulfilling about being together as His family. We were steeped in His Spirit, awakened in worship, challenged by prophets, enlightened by poets, stimulated by artists, lifted by musicians (from bluegrass to mariachi!), and buoyed by one another’s presence.

When I was 12, I saw a bright star that seemed misplaced among the familiar constellations. I carefully aimed my telescope toward the object and brought into focus the bold, majestic rings of Saturn. I was in such awe that I ran around knocking on doors to share the glorious glimpse with anyone who had eyes to see. I remember feeling disheartened that only a few came out to experience the wonder.

I felt similarly disheartened when I learned that only 29 percent of our churches were represented at Council this year (though others participated online). For those of us who were there, let’s share the wonder. And for those who weren’t, it’s not too late! You can catch some glorious glimpses—and download them for your church—at legacy.cmalliance.org/council.

Burgo Signature

Peter Burgo, Editor-in-Chief

3 responses to Together

  1. I, too, was disappointed to learn that only 29% of Alliance churches were represented at Council 2015. In this day and age particularly, we need to stand together strongly to resist the nearly overwhelming cultural tide–pray together and encourage one another in the truth. Perhaps a scholarship fund could be established to send a representative from C&MA churches who could not otherwise afford to attend Council??

  2. Thank you so much for the special council edition of the Alliance Life. I was not able to attend council and heard it was one of the best ever. Since reading this edition and watching messages online I have been moved to do a preaching series on Serving Together. Much of the material is from Alliance Life and Council videos. To enhance this call I would like to order 75 copies of the Special Council edition for our church families. Please help contact me so we can arrange this.

  3. Thank you for the Special Issue 2015 of the Alliance Life with so many pictures from council, so many wonderful articles. As soon as I got it in the mail I read it from cover to cover. I felt like I was in the midst of council a little. I felt the Holy Spirit talking through the articles. It is so encouraging. I have listened to some of the messages on-line, too. I’m challenged to continue to share Christ with those around me, with those younger than me, to pass His love and tell them the truth. Thank you!!

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