Conference Launches Festival of the Word

The Upper Columbia Conference held the first Festival of the Word on Feb. 26 at the Crestview Christian School in Moses Lake, Wash. This conference-wide event was designed for both children and adults and focused on the biblical book of Acts. Participants attended a series of five mini seminars that lasted for 20 minutes each, focusing on various aspects of the book of Acts. Topics covered by the seminars included music, history and geography, miracles, worship, and conflict resolution.

Eric Barber, conflict seminar teacher and member of the Wenatchee Abundant Life Church, divided his classes into two groups and put each group at opposite ends of a large rope. He explained how “hot issues” in the church can set up tug-of-war scenarios that divert the church from its mission. This seminar went on to explore how early Christians dealt with differences and conflict in the first century as described in the book of Acts.

More than 300 children and adults attended the event that included an afternoon activity where participants hand-copied a portion of Acts. In a matter of 30 minutes, the group was able to reproduce the entire book, illustrating how we can accomplish a lot more if we work together.

At 2:30 in the afternoon, the Pathfinder Bible Bowl took place with a large number of clubs participating from around the Inland Empire. Like the Festival of the Word, the focus of the annual Bible Bowl was the book of Acts. Adults at the event were amazed at the Pathfinders' knowledge, and glad that they were only watching and not having to answer the extremely difficult questions.

The idea for Festival of the Word came when conference leaders realized that more should be done to help adults focus on serious Bible study like the Pathfinders are experiencing with Bible Bowl. Many of those attending expressed appreciation and are looking forward to next year’s gathering.