Sunday, September 30, 2012


The conference venue in Seneca Falls, New York, was so first-century--with the exception that not many people wore togas. During my opening remarks on Friday night, I told the congregation, "I think Paul would have spoken at a place exactly like this." Then I added, "In fact, I think Paul did speak here on his way from Corinth to Ephesus." 

Last night was a first. The organizers, Len and Lenny, scheduling no formal speaking slots Saturday night. Instead, we opened the podium to those wishing to share their testimony. Never before had I seen a 7-11 p.m. time slot on a Saturday night, but this proved to be Len and Lenny' stroke of genius. Who sticks around until 11 pm? Everyone. Forty people became a family in a large, rustic living room with a roaring fire. Time disappeared as people shared their lives and trials. Not one person consulted a watch. No clock on the wooden walls marked beginnings or ends. The podium soon became irrelevant, and men and women spoke from their seats. How does it happen that people you have never met become, in so short a time, members of your family? It is the spirit of God, and the intimacy of membership in the body of Christ.  

Here is a slow pan of the well-peopled conference "hall" on Saturday afternoon, as the sun streamed into the east windows. A chill threatened the room, beaten back by the steadily-stoked fire. Clyde read an opening verse for Dan Sheridan as I hit "play," and Dan was quite pleased with the proceedings, as you can see. 


Greetings, everyone. This has been one of the most unique conferences ever. There is no way I could possibly tell you everything, here, now. I'm sitting at the kitchen table in the middle of the gorgeous a.m. cacophony of nine people readying themselves for the last sessions this morning. There is a light rain now on the lake, but even that can't help being beautiful.

Many of those in attendance this weekend, I have never met. Many things have happened at this conference, that have never occurred at any other. If I start writing now, I'll fail to properly capture the times and moods. For now, I will share some photos. This evening, look for a video that will communicate the feel better than 1,000 words. I'm running out of time this morning, so I will label these photos later. Please stop back.


Grace and peace,


(Click on photos to enlarge.)
Clyde Pilkington III, Harsh, Aaron Locker, Andre Sneidar, Nathan Pilkington.

Conference site

Nathan Pilkington

Steve Hill, Aaron Locker, Nathan Pilkington

Cayuga Lake, one of the five "finger lakes" of upstate New York.


Jon Krause

My sister Kelly and Clyde Pilkington

Len Paganelli, Kelly, Lenny Pappano

James Huff, Wallace Barnett

Clyde Pilkington III, Clyde, James Huff, Wallace Barnett
Aaron Locker

From the back porch of our house

Steve Hill

Dan Sheridan

Jon Krause

Steve Hill, and Kelly