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ICWF Fall Conference – A Bold New Idea!

InScribe's FC 2019

InScribe’s Fall Conference 2019 took place from September 19 – 21. The theme, ‘Come to the Well’  and key verse from John 4: 14 “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life,” (NIV) were beautifully embodied by the individual wishing wells on each table, and a larger wishing well full of scripture verses where attendees could ‘draw’ a verse that had been prayed over by the prayer team.

There are so many highlights, but the biggest for me was the sense that we met with God during this weekend, and that was something special. From the amazing worship provided by teams from North Pointe Church, to the deeply moving and thought-provoking morning devotionals by Charity Mongraine and Ron Hughes, to the wonderful sense of camaraderie that took place… it was a great weekend all around.

Thank goodness! The planning committee went out on a limb this year with a new idea: ‘Open Space Technology’. Basically, it is a conference with no set topics or workshops – just attendees who come with ideas that they would like to learn about or share. To say that some attendees were a bit skeptical would be an understatement!

Colleen McCubbin led the attendees in the ‘First Gathering’, where she explained the principles of ‘Open Space Technology’, and encouraged people to write out topics that they would like to discuss or learn more about and then put them up on the schedule. Colleen was such a gentle but knowledgeable guide to the whole process, that the board filled up in no time, something she says she hasn’t seen before! We ended up with a wide variety of sessions. With more than a dozen to choose from over the course of the conference, there was truly something for everyone. At the end of the day, we gathered again as a large group to share what we’d learned. Everyone was enthusiastic and pleased by the end of day one!

We did have a guest speaker at the banquet and awards night. Sigmund Brouwer is a humorous, engaging, and thought-provoking speaker, and was definitely a highlight. His main point? Story is everything!

Then on Saturday we did it all again! Our final ‘News Gathering’ of the day was the icing on the cake. After going around the circle and sharing one takeaway, we sang the doxology as a group. It was moving and powerful, highlighting perfectly the sense that God was in our midst.

‘Open Space’ turned out to be a huge success. Even the skeptics were pleasantly surprised, judging by the feedback we received after the event. It was such a success that we will probably do it again, or at least incorporate aspects of this format in future events.

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