Despite the decision a couple of years ago by the leaders of the One project to suspend their popular gospel weekend retreats in various cities around the world, they “tested the waters” by trying a new format February 16–17, 2020 (a Sunday and holiday Monday), in the Boulder SDA Church in Colorado. By any gauge, it proved to be a major success — so much so that at the end of the event, the leaders announced the next One Project will take place in Sydney, Australia, this coming October.
Chapter One of the One project (2010-2018) began with a prophetic voice and shifted to a pastoral movement. Chapter Two (beginning with the Boulder conference) returns with a prophetic voice. The theme of the Boulder meetings was “The Great Disruption: Jesus’ Unprecedented Confrontation with Politics, Theology, and Belonging.” The exploration of these three timely topics was evenly spread across the two days.
Sunday morning was devoted to “Politics” when Japhet De Oliveira, Tim Gillespie, and Alex Bryan led out. “Theology” was covered on Sunday afternoon by Paddy McCoy, Tacyana Nixon, and Andreas Beccai. “Belonging” was addressed Monday morning by Iki Taimi, Lisa Clark Diller, and Sam Leonor. “Voices of Hope” interviews took place Monday afternoon, first with a series of young professionals (Ashok Willmott, Emily Ellis, Katie Wagner, Tommy Tamaleaa, Niq Ruud, and Angel Castillo) who felt called to ministry, followed by a panel of the nine main speakers over the two days. They responded to questions posed digitally by participants.
Each day’s segment began with a call to worship led by praise teams from either Forest Lake Church in Florida or Kettering Church in Ohio.
The church was packed with over 300 enthusiastic participants who had come from all over the United States. There was standing room only. Some were One project veterans but it seemed that at least half were new and younger.
As expected, each of the sermons were masterfully executed by the presenters who had done their theological and historical homework, sometimes with appropriate humor. A new feature was a huge electronic screen that covered the front wall of the church used effectively with PowerPoint slides, Scripture quotations, and appropriate illustrations that kept audience attention. These screens were used very effectively during the praise worship portions of the meetings, encouraging active audience participation. Many times I was brought to tears by both the touching messages and the accompanying visuals.
Each participant was given a forty chapter devotional book, “Living God’s Love,” published by Adventist Health and introduced by Alex Bryan. Anyone interested in getting all nine of the Boulder messages plus the music, pictures, stories, etc., can pre-order a digital resource for $150 that will be available March 31, 2020, at 9 a.m. (ET), for a one-year streaming period and can be watched on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast. Check out the One project website or order from the One project at 1312 17th Street, Suite 753, Denver, CO 80202.
Lawrence T. Geraty is President Emeritus of La Sierra University.
Image credit: the One project Facebook page
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