Make the Most
Getting The Most Out Of The Williamsburg Conference
This is a Spiritual event. Before the conference, find time to pray about the practical (safe travel, not arrive too exhausted or sick or upset or distracted) and the spiritual (help to empty our minds of all that distracts, and help to focus on the talks and discussions and to keep our “free” time spiritual also).
It is hard to “flip the switch” and become spiritually focused the day you arrive. Take some extra time to prepare yourself ahead of time. Weed out (at least temporarily) some of the “worldly” stuff that hinders your focus. Spend time focusing on the greatness of God and Jesus. Use music, prayer, meditation, spiritual discussions, bible reading, listening to recordings of spiritual talks, etc. For many, the long trip to arrive at Williamsburg can be a trial… attempt to make it a preparation instead.
Exhaustion is an enemy of spirituality. Get to bed at a reasonable hour, and be considerate of those who went to bed before you.
Choose not to participate in any activity or conversation that will distract from the spiritual focus. These distractions are too varied and numerous to list, but you know what they are for you. Don’t go there!
Eat a meal with someone who will be good for you spiritually. Bring the conversation back to a spiritual focus again and again, if necessary. Actually this is a good practice for all conversations.
If there is something troubling you, find a wise counselor and ask them if you can discuss it with them confidentially. Open your heart.
The Conference is a good place to assess your past year, and to devote your coming year. Take time for this self-examination and set one or two spiritual goals for the new year. Write them down in the front of your Bible and revisit them prayerfully throughout the year.
Be a friend. Someone is new, alone or newly alone at the Conference. Open your eyes and heart to see who needs you, then sit with them or invite them to a meal or find some other way to be a friend.
There have been many baptisms over the years at the Conference. Perhaps this will be your year. It’s good to be sure those dear to you, including your Ecclesia know it is happening and are supportive. Talk to one of the Conference directors or an Elder from your Ecclesia if you want help getting this organized.
Service is a great spiritual exercise. Can you help organize the “missing you” cards for those who would have liked to be here? Can you help with the young children? Can you contribute in other ways? Can you show up on time and sit quietly, thus encouraging others to do the same? One thing that makes a BIG difference is if those with skill as a Facilitator volunteer to help with the afternoon sessions. God may not have given you those skills just for your work.
The new location can handle at least 100 more people than before. Perhaps this is the year to encourage a friend to attend the Conference. Maybe they could ride with you, or you with them… then the talks along the way become part of the Conference!
Every good thing comes to an end. Brethren in the Williamsburg and Richmond area have welcomed Conference participants for years to lovely New Year’s celebrations… or you can have your own. Set a tone that carries the Conference spirit forward.
Pray that Jesus comes and makes the whole idea of a conference obsolete!
Slow down! Conference attendees have the option of staying at this Clarion Hotel for one extra day before or after the conference, for a discounted rate. By coordinating with others, this can add quality time with loved ones, or you may prefer to simply relax and tour the Williamsburg area.
Your conference experience can be better than ever, if you take the time to prepare and be wise in your choices. May God bless each of us!