I just returned from an incredible weekend at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. This is my seventh year attending, and each year I return home inspired and awed.
This year was the first time I had the pleasure of attending the opening ceremonies. The theme of the event was Hope: A World Afire, and this ceremony was rightly named. There were over 40,000 people in attendance, 15 thousand were youth. There were 17 countries represented, and almost every state in the US was in attendance.
As I sat in this huge convention center waiting for the event to start, I realized I was surrounded by several different languages. In front of me, was a sign language interpreter. Each of us was intrigued by the events that were about to start, and hopeful for a day that would celebrate the wonders of God. The opening message was of hope, an inspiration to set the world afire portrayed through music, dance and poetry. What a great way to kick off a religious congress. I was excited!
The purpose of this event is for the development of faith, but I think this event is much more than that. It is an opportunity to celebrate God and the love of his people. It is also a great opportunity to be inspired and informed and perhaps even transformed.
To my friends, I call the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress the Love Fest. There are people hugging, laughing, and a general sense of well-being at this convention. After all, isn’t that what God wants for us, to share in his love, to offer hope and support to one another, and share our gifts with each other? I think so, and I can only hope that I too help in my small way to set the world afire.