On the Western Front


By Roger Ross

I logged nearly 2,300 miles today and didn’t leave the country! Who knew Portland was so far away? Of course, most people don’t go to Dallas first. :) Thankfully, I had plenty of time to finish an excellent book I’ve been reading by Charles Duhigg called, The Power of Habit. (You’ll hear more about that down the road.)

I felt a little like Lewis and Clark (without a canoe) as I entered the Northwest territory for the first time. I was immediately impressed with the beauty of the city and the friendliness of the people. After settling into my hotel, I went exploring. The Oregon Convention Center is a 13 minute walk from where I’m staying. All the Plenary sessions for our General Conference as well as the legislative and committee work will take place there. It’s an exquisite setting and a state-of-the-art facility.

As I walked through the building, you could feel the sense of anticipation. God is clearly stirring in his church. For a moment, I peaked in the massive auditorium while the worship band rehearsed for tomorrow’s opening worship service. I know from previous General Conferences that this is a must-see experience.

The Conference officially begins with a grand worship experience including people from many tribes, tongues, and nations. It’s a foretaste of the vision in Revelation where John sees a great multitude that no one could count from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb (Rev. 7:9).

If at all possible, you’ll want to rearrange your schedule so you can be there, too, through the internet. A live stream of the opening worship service will begin at 4:00 pm Central Time at this site: http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/general-conference-2016-live-video-stream-english

I hope to see you there on Tuesday. That’s all for now. This explorer needs a good night’s sleep.