It’s All in the Details

It’s All in the Details

It’s All in the Details

By Sheri Clemmer

As I write this article, I am aware that by the time you read it, the 60th General Conference Session in San Antonio, has passed into the archives of our church history. The massive group of attendees has sung the last rendition of “We Have This Hope.” The international flags from the March on Mission have been packed away. The last of the delegates have returned home. Newly elected church workers have assumed their roles. The exhibit halls are quiet. The colorful sights along the River Walk are a memory. And, the Session Planning Committee is taking a brief hiatus before beginning work on the 61st session, which will be held in Indianapolis the summer of 2020.

Volunteers from San Antonio greeted the Seventh-day Adventists arriving for the General Conference session.

Volunteers from San Antonio greeted the Seventh-day Adventists arriving for the General Conference session.

Attendees won’t realize all the preparation that went into creating a productive, enjoyable and memorable experience. This prep includes site visits, finalizing details—from lodging to meals to city welcome crews (pictured) and everything in between—pulling permits, arranging contracts, securing technical staff, addressing security concerns, attending committee meetings and communicating through thousands of phone calls and emails.

Session guests won’t know about the preparations made by the host city to notify local restaurants of our unique dietary requirements or that we don’t purchase alcoholic beverages, or of the requests made of the local hotels that extra coat hangers be placed in the rooms for our guests who come from far distances, with their families, for a 10-night stay. Attendees won’t be aware of the 16-hour workdays of the technical staff during the event. It is the Session Planning Committee’s hope that, instead, guests left San Antonio with fond memories of an unforgettable experience communing together as one body of Christ.

Planning a Heavenly Event

At this very moment, another event is being planned and lodging accommodations are being made. This event will exceed in every way our own quinquennia, and will be held in a faraway land with a river that flows from the thrones of God and the Lamb. It will include a reunion with friends and loved ones we may not have seen for some time. There will be no night there and no need for light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be our light. There we will be face to face with the Master Planner.

Planning for this event has been underway for centuries, since the beginning of our world when the Creator offered to make the ultimate sacrifice. Many thousands of people have worked alongside Him to share the invitation. They have sacrificed time, careers and other things counted valuable to the human race. Some have even given their lives for this cause.

What will be the reward for those who have co-labored with the Master Planner? It will be the words we all want to hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant … enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Luke 25:23).

Sheri Clemmer, a daughter of the Columbia Union who attends Potomac Conference’s Beltsville (Md.) church, is associate session manager for the General Conference in Silver Spring, Md.

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