Years ago, several churches in central Oregon would gather together for a weekend of fellowship, worship, and support for one another in an event called the Central Oregon Adventist Convocation. Now, the beloved weekend event is coming back! Pastor Randy Folkenberg shared this: “When I arrived here in central Oregon and began pastoring the Redmond and Madras churches, I spent a lot of time visiting with members to get to know them. Over the course of those conversations, one constant refrain was people missing the opportunities to connect with fellow Adventists in the area that happened through Convocation. They really missed that experience and hoped it would come again. I heard that so many times that we brought it up at our local pastors’ lunch that we do with all the Adventist pastors in central Oregon about once a month––and we started planning for it.”
Pastor Randy shared that there are a lot of great things he believes will come out of starting Convocation again. “I think in our central Oregon community, our churches have tended to operate in their own bubbles with very little overlap. As awesome as each of the local ministries and each of our churches are, I personally believe that we are better together than we are separately. It’s really special to create more moments and provide more opportunities where our local churches can come together and be part of something bigger. Camp meeting is that opportunity for a lot of people in the Oregon Adventist community, but camp meeting isn’t always as accessible to central Oregonians as it is to those living in the greater Portland area. So I see Convocation as a time for our local Adventist churches to come together and see what God is doing in the broader community here––so that we can sense that we are all part of a bigger family that’s making a difference. We’ll get to support each other, encourage each other in prayer and share our testimonies, and plan for the future here.”
Beginning Friday night, October 7th, at 7:00 PM, the Central Oregon Adventist Convocation will feature pastor David Asscherick as the keynote speaker, but that’s not all that will be going on. “In addition to having an excellent speaker, David Asscherick, sharing messages I know people will be blessed by, we’re incorporating two more things. In each of the sessions we’ll be incorporating testimonies of what God is doing in central Oregon––highlighting evangelistic initiatives, church plants, creative ministries, and sharing what God has been doing on the Native American reservation. We’ll be highlighting what’s been happening in our schools and our upcoming Journey to Bethlehem. I think most people will know about one or two of these things, but no one is going to be aware of just how many great things God is doing through our community in all these areas. Instead of asking a specific church to lead for one session and then another to lead at the next, we’ve opted to put together a worship team made up of musicians from various churches to lead music throughout the weekend. It’s a really cool opportunity for partnership within our local area churches.”
The Central Oregon Adventist Convocation is a free, family-friendly event taking place at the Bend Adventist Church, October 7-8. Friday, October 7th, 7:00 PM with Pastor David; Sabbath School on October 8th, 9:30 AM; Worship Service at 11:00 AM. A potluck lunch will follow the worship service on Sabbath.
Bend Adventist Church is located at 21610 NE Butler Market Road in Bend, Oregon.