Carrying its tradition of mobilizing individuals and churches for mission into a second century, the 106th New Wilmington Mission Conference (NWMC) will be held at Westminster College here July 23-29. All events are free and open to the public.
About 900 participants from at least 36 states and 34 countries will gather for a week of Bible study, spiritual enrichment, mission challenge, and Christian fellowship. It is estimated that another 800-1,000 regional residents will attend some portion of the conference.
The theme verse for the 106th NWMC is “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Romans 9:17).
The purpose of the conference is to deepen the missionary spirit in the church. Speakers will urge attendees to follow Jesus Christ more closely and lift up the call to take the good news of Jesus to those who have not heard or received it. Missionaries and leaders from the global church will share some of the great things God is doing in the world and challenge participants to join in this mission calling.
The NWMC is a multi-generational and family conference, yet it is distinctively youth-focused and oriented. NWMC began as a Presbyterian mission conference for young people in 1906. and has retained its Presbyterian roots and connections while promoting the broader Christian witness in the world.
NWMC also celebrates 51 years of sending out a Summer Service team of young adults some place in the world for six weeks. This year five college students and their leader, Kang Na, professor at Westminster College, are in South Korea. They will tell about their experiences twice during the conference ― on Monday, July 25 at 9:15 p.m. and Friday, July 29 at 7:45 p.m.
The leadoff speaker on Saturday evening, July 23 is a leader from a Chinese house church in Beijing.
The Rev. Hunter Farrell, director of World Mission for the PC(USA), will preach Sunday morning at the New Wilmington Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. At the same time, York Moore, National Evangelist for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, USA will preach in Anderson Auditorium on the Westminster campus. He will speak again Sunday evening at 7:45 p.m..
Exhibits on Sunday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. in McKelvey Student Center will allow visitors to learn about and get involved in the work of numerous missionaries and mission organizations.
Shane Bennett, a speaker and writer for Frontiers, an organization focused on extending God’s blessing in the Muslim world, will be keynote speaker throughout the week. He speaks Monday through Friday at 11 a.m., except Thursday (July 28) when he will speak in the evening at 7:45 p.m.
The Monday evening (July 25) speaker is Alexander Kharitonov, who has served as the president of Christian Camping International/Russia since its founding in 1994. Since 2009 Alexander has also served as president of Narnia Center, a Christian publishing house in Moscow focused on fiction for children and youth.
The Rev. Bryan McFarland, who is this year’s young adult speaker, will also share a special hunger presentation and concert on Tuesday evening, July 26.
Wednesday evening (July 27) all missionaries will be recognized for their years of service, followed by a reception in their honor in the Field House Lobby.
The Rev. Kenneth Bailey, author and teacher from New Wilmington, will teach daily adult Bible study at 9 a.m. Bailey and his wife, Ethel, served for 40 years in the Middle East.
The other adult Bible study will be taught by the Rev. Ray Hylton, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Evanston, Ill.
The Rev. Esther Wakeman, vice-president of Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Caroline Kurtz, who has served as a missionary in Ethiopia and Sudan and is currently on the staff of Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship, will be the adult mission study leaders daily at 10 a.m.
The Rev. Jen Haddox, associate director of the World Mission Initiative at Pittsburgh Theolocial Seminary, is the daily high school speaker.
Many other speakers and programs will be offered throughout the week. For more information, visit the NWMC Web site or call the NWMC office at (724) 946-9770.