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Columbus to welcome thousands of Christians

Thousands of attendees will “Soar” at the 2015 Christian Church’s Disciples of Christ 2015 General Assembly to be held July 18-22 at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center.

“We welcome the Disciples of Christ to Columbus and to our facility. The Church of Christ’s covenant of encouraging diversity within its own church family mirrors the pride Columbus has in being an ‘open and smart’ community,” said John R. Page, general manager, Greater Columbus Convention Center.

“We have a large membership base here and are excited to be here,” said Sharon Coleman, assistant vice president for operations, The Christian Church.

“The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is pleased to hold the 2015 General Assembly in Ohio, a state with more than 180 of our congregations,” said Cherilyn Williams, assistant vice president for marketing and communications, The Christian Church’s Office of General Minister and President. “Our attendees like to make a difference wherever we meet. Our local missions committee has arranged for everything from knitting scarves for the homeless, sorting food for distribution to local pantries and helping out at the Habitat ReStore. In addition, our youth and adult women are going to be working on sleeping mats for the homeless. Disciples like to ‘get our hands dirty for Jesus.’”

The event will feature nationally known speakers in the evening worship services, which are open to the public. Monday evening will include Rev. Amy Butler, first female pastor of The Riverside Church in New York City, presenting her remarks. Rev. Adam Hamilton, author and pastor of the Church of the Resurrection in the Kansas City area, will speak on Wednesday evening.

The event is known for “powerful preaching, uplifting music and sharing the Lord’s Supper.” The worship themes of comfort, prepare, call, challenge and the fresh strength to soar are based on Isaiah 40:31, which reads, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

The conference includes worship sessions, after-worship sessions, meal events, gathering music, learning communities and mission activities. Exhibit hall hours are:

  • Saturday, July 18 – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 19 – 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Monday, July 20 – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 21 – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 22 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

As part of the Church’s philanthropy, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Local Mission Team will be joining the Society of St. Andrew for a “crop drop” by gathering more than 60 volunteers on Monday, July 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. to help distribute 42,000 pounds of potatoes at the Fourth Avenue Christian Church located at 296 W. Fourth Ave., at the corner of Fourth and Neil Avenues.

The Disciples of Christ is an American-born denomination with roots in the Stone-Campbell Restoration movement of the late 1800s that included parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. About 700,000 members participate in 3,600 congregations across the U.S. and Canada. Upon her election in 2005, the Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, general minister and president, was the first female head of a mainline denomination in the United States. Disciples have a congregationally governed, non-hierarchical structure where congregations, regional church organizations and general (national) organizations work together in covenant.

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