The North American Division Ministerial Department hosted its second CALLED Pastors’ Family Convention in June of this year. CALLED was more than just a conference. It was a gathering of friends, a retreat, a place of learning, and most of all, a space to connect with God. This year’s conference featured and impacted many Southeastern California Conference (SECC) pastors.
From the music team to the keynote speakers, SECC was well represented. Andrea King, communications director, kicked things off by being a co-host of the convention. Keynote speakers, like Adriana Perera, worship pastor at Loma Linda University church, Tara VinCross, Azure Hills senior pastor, and Tim Gillespie, Crosswalk senior pastor, shared messages that challenged audiences and pointed them to Jesus.
CALLED also provided an uplifting space for worship that allowed pastors to leave all their struggles and cares at God’s feet. It gave pastors front row seats to a spiritual feast that lasted for days. Amazing musicians, like David Hernandez, Escondido associate pastor; Isai Moran, Crosswalk associate pastor; Jason Decena, La Sierra University chaplain; and K.C. Hohensee, Loma Linda University chaplain, led the audience to the throne of God through worship. The praise team embodied the church’s diversity in providing different worship styles. They did a fantastic job covering the spectrum of music that SECC churches enjoy.
There were inspiring seminars to help pastors become better equipped to serve this generation. There were dozens of seminars that provided professional and relevant information on topics such as mental health, ministering in the cities, and technology.
For some, reconnecting with old friends was one of the best parts of attending this convention. Pastors rarely get the opportunity to connect with colleagues, so they enjoyed touching base with colleagues and catching up on each other’s families and ministries. It served to remind pastors they are not alone but are part of a more significant movement.
Melinda Mauia, sole pastor of the Santa Ana and New Hope Samoan district, was also blessed by the experience. “CALLED was meaningful, especially as a new pastor. We are called and worthy to serve in spaces that are uncomfortable and different. Praise God for the CALLED Convention. I am looking forward to the next one.”
By Robert Abdul-Karim