In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we have an exciting Training planned for 2017. We're planning to visit the historic Lutheran Heritage Center and Perry County Museum in Altenburg, MO. We've got some great speakers and workshops in the works. Our daily Bible Studies will focus around the Biblical certainties that give rise to our witnessing methods. And we'll really be focusing on training and equipping youth and adults to be prepared to share and lead in their local OAFC groups.
October is Reformation time. And OAFC is excited to be celebrating this upcoming year as the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. What began as a university debate soon spread throughout the country and the world because ordinary people thought the Gospel was too important not to share. At OAFC, that's what we think, too.
OAFC New Years in Champaign, Illinois
Where: St. John's LCMS, Champaign, IL
When: December 29th, 2016 – January 1st, 2017
Who: 5th Graders with assigned Adult, mature 6th grade and up
How much: $30
Registration will be through the OAFC Website
Our theme for this 500th anniversary celebration year is Absolutely Certain, from our Assurance of Heaven tracts and witnessing method. We're going to focus all the more on training youth and adults to be confident about sharing the certainty of eternal life because of Jesus.
Sharing our Witnessing Resources Internationally
In 2017, Pastor Peter Kirby is leading a group of OAFCers on a mission trip with Lutheran Hour Ministries to Mongolia. For more information, follow Pastor Kirby's updates on the OAFC Facebook group.
We've had weekends in north Texas, south Texas, central Illinois, Nebraska, and Minnesota in the last month. Please keep all of our groups in your prayers and check out our SCHEDULE for upcoming weekends in your area.
Follow the link to hear more about what OAFC did in partnership with Rev. Mark Wood and the Witness, Outreach, and Revitalization ministry of the LCMS at the 2016 National Youth Gathering as part of the Witness Academy.
The Synod Convention in Milwaukee, WI has had some exciting decisions that show that we need what OAFC does as a Synod, as local churches, and as the world. Here's just a quick look.
1) Delegates adopt new mission priority, resolutions on youth and family - The Synod is publicly saying that we need ways to get youth and their families engaged in the mission of the Church. We need to create opportunities and resources to help youth defend their faith, stand firm in the faith, and share the faith. Sound familiar?... That's what OAFC does!
2) The Licensed Lay Deacon decision - at the convention discussion and in the reports that were sent out ahead of time, the Synod was clear to say that we need to continue to equip congregations (not just pastors) to share the Gospel. Much of the discussion of the Office of the Holy Ministry at Convention has ensured that we are very clear as a Synod that lay people need to be trained to share the Gospel with people in their communities. Sound familiar?... That's what OAFC does.
3) Lutheran Identity - There were a number of resolutions focusing on our Lutheran identity. In our education, worship, and relationships with other people, the Convention affirmed that we need to act like and sound like Lutherans. OAFC has always been committed to proclaiming the Law and Gospel message that Lutherans are known for, while constantly seeking to make our evangelism efforts about connecting people to Word and Sacrament ministry in their local community. We strive to be Lutherans. We strive to engage in mission and evangelism. That's what OAFC does!
4) National Missions resolutions - nearly 75% of the delegates approved the new Synodical evangelism program "Every One His Witness." In talking with the coordinator of this program, Rev. Mark Wood, it's clear that the goal of this Synod-wide program is to do exactly what OAFC has been doing for 46 years, now: train lay people, young and old, to share their faith in everyday situations. The heart of that program is a Listening, Asking, Seeking, Sharing, Inviting, and Encouraging process (L.A.S.S.I.E.) that puts into practice exactly what we do when we take our religious survey during OAFC weekends. We've already been teaching this, latently, and we look forward to actively partnering with Every One His Witness in the future to do this more. That's what OAFC does!
All in all, the Convention demonstrated a great awareness that we, as the LCMS, need to be doing more evangelism and training our members to evangelize. It showed that we need especially do this with our youth to strengthen their faith against the assaults of the culture. It commended all of this to be done as Lutherans in Lutheran ways. Sound familiar?... That's what OAFC does!
OAFC is a youth evangelism RSO of the Missouri Synod that exists to grow faith in LCMS youth by sharing The Faith with the unchurched through regional outreach weekends and national training conferences.
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