As we approach the summer months, I invite and encourage each of you to join us July 26-30 in Independence, Mo., (north Kansas City) for USMB Gathering 2022. Make plans now to attend the biennial National Pastors’ Conference for pastors and spouses July 26-28, and the national convention for everyone July 28-30.
The theme is “Increasing Impact: Reaching the Lost” with a focus on evangelism and outreach (Luke 19:10)—as we strive to make a real difference for Jesus in our communities, nation and the world.
The guest presenter for the pastors’ conference will be author and speaker Gary Comer. Comer is the founder of Soul Whisperer Ministry, an organization dedicated to helping churches develop missionally. He has planted/pastored two churches and has served as an adjunct professor at Talbot Theological Seminary. He is the author of six books, including his signature works Soul Whisperer: Why the Church Must Change the Way It Views Evangelism and ReMission: Rethinking How Church Leaders Create Movement. He is known for his energetic style of presenting, which includes considerable interactive opportunities for attendees. Comer will also provide the opening address for the convention portion of USMB Gathering 2022 which begins Thursday evening, July 28.
It’ll all take place at Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center, just a few miles down the road from the stadium of the Kansas City Chiefs. In 2019, Stoney Creek Hotel received the “Certificate of Excellence” from TripAdvisor. It has a lodge-type feel thanks to its large wood beams, outdoor themes and modern rustic decor. A lake, waterfall, park and walking trail provide a beautiful backdrop to the hotel and will provide a small oasis for our gathering. The conference center, located at one end of the hotel, is on one level, and there are several near-by places for shopping.
USMB Gathering 2022 is something that we do together to build strong bonds and relationships. It’s been way too long since we’ve been able to gather in person. There’s just something really good about being together for worship, sharing meals, listening to quality speakers, doing a little business and talking in the hallways that just can’t be replicated through Zoom. It’s something Mennonite Brethren have done for decades.
One reason for choosing the Kansas City area is that it is relatively close or within driving distance for many in our constituency. The Kansas City airport is also close for those needing to fly in. We’ve intentionally worked at keeping the cost down for those attending. Even so, we do realize that it is an investment. It’s an investment I hope you’ll make!
The various speakers we have lined up, in addition to Comer, will share from their perspective about how we can faithfully be used by God to passionately spread the Good News to more people. We’ll hear stories of life transformation, and we’ll praise God together under the guidance of the worship team from Ridgepoint Church of Wichita, Kansas.
Many of our churches will send their pastors, but I sincerely hope that many others will attend as well. When we gather in this collective way, we build up one another and uphold relationships. We need one another and we need to simply be together at times.
So, I’m asking you to consider this gathering as a priority. Pastors and ministry leaders, please encourage your church family to attend. Come to north Kansas City prepared to intermingle with others. Come prepared to worship with those who make up this marvelous larger family of believers—as we join God in fulfilling his vision for us. Come prepared and inspired to learn how we might have increasing impact: together! For registration information go to https://usmb.org/gathering2022
Don Morris is the USMB national director. He and his wife, Janna, live in Edmond, Oklahoma, where they attend Cross Timbers Church.