On July 11 and 12, the 4th annual Called to Lead Conference hosted by Dr. Tim Gray, Sarah Christmyer and myself and held at the Diocese of Metuchen Pastoral Center, saw over 160 people come together on fire to further their training in how to bring the Word of God to others through The Great Adventure Bible Study programs. From the moment the conference began Friday morning, it was evident that this was a Catholic conference like no other! The deep sense of community and fellowship was ever present, and the work of the Holy Spirit palpable. Celebrating the opening Mass on the Feast of St. Benedict, Bishop Bootkoski did an excellent job inspiring us to read and meditate on the Sacred Scriptures and Dr. Tim Gray's Keynote address, Scripture in the Life of the Church, beautifully followed the Bishop's message and set the tone for the conference.
On behalf of The Great Adventure team, I would like to thank not only all those who volunteered their marvelous talents and precious time (on a beautiful Saturday in July) to make the conference a success, but also all those who came to New Jersey open to the call to grow as a leader and to make disciples for Christ. We were all amazed at the stories behind each of the studies and truly honored that so many of you, from so many corners of the world, shared your journey with us at The Great Adventure. You have inspired us greatly at this conference and we look forward to working with you in the future to help you organize, run, nurture and grow your Bible studies and your community. As we left on Saturday, we felt like we were saying good-bye to family, but the wonderful thing about that is found in knowing that this feeling is indicative of a strong bond; for, we know we are united in the Body of Christ, and that we will meet again and support each other as we work for His Kingdom!
Thank you everyone for your kindness, your passion, your enthusiasm! You have certainly inspired The Great Adventure team and have given us reason to say, "We were part of a Catholic conference that was like nothing we've ever been to before... and we can't wait to do it again!"