event set for gathering in nation’s capital
By John W.
Kennedy (March 9, 2003)
Assemblies of God General Council, convening in Washington,
D.C., this summer, will conclude with a “Turn
America, Pray the Way” worship and prayer service
on the National Mall. The biennial gathering from July
31 through August 3 will be the first for the Fellowship
since 2001, before terrorist attacks, troop deployments
and multiple financial scandals rocked the nation.
believe the time of uncertainty and spiritual decay
is the most fitting time to seek the Lord’s help.
more than ever we need to turn to God, as a nation,
as a Fellowship and as individual Christians,”
says General Superintendent Thomas E. Trask.
It will mark
the first meeting ever for the Assemblies of God in
the nation’s capital, and the Fellowship wants
to make the most of the gathering by conducting the
Sunday afternoon service, August 3, that asks God for
forgiveness and to heal the nation.
The 2 1/2-hour
Turn America service begins at 4 p.m. on the National
Mall and will feature a time to pray for government
leaders, including President Bush, who has been invited
to the event. “Those called by God to serve in
an elected office face great challenges,” Trask
says. “It’s up to each of us to lift these
men and women up in our prayers.”
makes a huge statement to our nation about our church,”
says Potomac District Superintendent Robert Rhoden.
“It also encourages those who serve in government
who identify with our community of faith.” Among
the invited guests are A/G members Attorney General
John Ashcroft and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vernon
will be held on the Mall where Martin Luther King Jr.
delivered his “I have a dream” speech 40
years earlier, in August 1963.
can be a time when we can say the future is as bright
as the promises of God,” Rhoden says. “We
can offer hope to our nation about what it really means
to rely on the Lord and to show that our trust and confidence
ultimately are not in human systems but in the Creator
of the universe.”
prayer will include three Assemblies of God members
who are serving in the U.S. Congress: Rep. Todd Tiahrt
of Kansas, Rep. Jo Ann Davis of Virginia and Rep. Marilyn
N. Musgrave of Colorado.
nation is at a very critical time in our history,”
says Musgrave, 54, a member of First Assembly of God
in Fort Morgan, Colo. “It’s entirely appropriate
for believers to come here and specifically pray that
God will preserve our nation.”
didn’t expect to be in Congress when raising four
children and running an agricultural business with her
husband, Steve. But her concern for conservative values
led her to serve first on a local school board in 1990
and then in the state senate, where she sponsored a
marriage preservation initiative. She began her first
congressional term in January.
as Christians are to affect every area of our lives
and culture,” Musgrave told PE Report. “It’s
important to have people with a Christian worldview
in elected office.”
is in his fifth congressional term. “General Council
is a wonderful time to fellowship and to meet with people
of common faith, remembering that we’re all part
of the Great Commission,” says Tiahrt, a member
of Valley Center (Kan.) Assembly of God. “That
this year’s convention is in Washington, D.C.,
emphasizes the need for us to be involved in our nation’s
government at whatever level. America’s quality
of life has been diminished by Christians not being
more active in government.”
asked A/G pastors in the Potomac District to gather
at the National Mall with members of their congregations
in lieu of holding individual services that Sunday evening.
The A/G Fine Arts Festival celebration service will
precede the prayer rally on the National Mall.
be the keynote speaker at the July 31 family gathering
that kicks off the General Council. He will preach a
message on “Pray the Way,” recognizing dependence
on God’s power and help.
L. John Bueno,
executive director of A/G World Missions, will host
an August 1 missions celebration that begins with a
parade of nations and includes the premiere of The
Time Has Come, a musical under the direction of
J. Dan Smith.
Gill, national director of the Division of Christian
Education and the commissioner on discipleship for the
Fellowship, will speak August 2 on “Equipping
America — Sunday School and Discipleship Emphasis.”
youth convention will be held July 31 to August 3 in
conjunction with the General Council. Ambassadors in
Mission will hold an outreach in the metro area during
the period in conjunction with Convoy of Hope and youth
from across the nation.
held before the churchwide gathering include a district
Women’s Ministries and Missionettes leadership
seminar, church leader seminar, church worship conference
and Christian school leadership symposium. Outreaches
such as HealthCare Ministries, Mission America, Chi
Alpha Ministries and Single Adult Ministries will have
special functions during the General Council.
A/G members who attend will have fond spiritual, cultural
and political memories of the visit. He notes that most
of the historic monuments, museums and government buildings
in Washington, D.C., have free admission.
for the 50th General Council is available at http://ag.org/.
The Web site includes housing and registration information
as well as an updated schedule of events.