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    September 2010
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Awana Simulcast – My Thoughts

From the beginning, when Cindy Craig opened the Simulcast Conference, you felt and knew that you were a part of something big. While Cindy seemed out of place and kind of stiff in the beginning, she did appear more at ease as the day progressed. But then what do you expect? It’s not like she is in front of the cameras for a simulcast everyday. Cindy was a good host.

The emcee was an interesting selection. It was Dennis Lee, a ventriloquist with several “assistants”. Personally, I am not a big ventriloquism fan. He did a good job and the dialog between himself and his puppet/dummy was used well to set up the next portion of the conference. So the conversational aspect was good, but again, personal preference, I am not a ventriloquism fan. I am sure that others really enjoyed it and felt it enhanced the conference.

A simulcast can be fairly impersonal as the “live” component is in another city. I felt that Awana did a good job of trying to make it interactive by using Twitter and FaceBook to try to get interaction. Several people participated in that portion of the conference. I tweeted throughout the simulcast as did AwanaHQ and a few others. I even commented on the shirts being worn by Larry Fowler, Shawn Thorton and Art Rorheim seeking thoughts and I was pleasantly surprised to have Shawn Thorton respond to that tweet. That was the first time I had a conversation with Shawn.

The general sessions and workshops were quality and had good information (my rough notes have already been posted). The final session really showed the impact Awana is having worldwide and hearing from Art Rorheim about the beginning of Awana and why he believed God has continually blessed Awana were eye opening and a great way to share for the many who did not know the “bigger picture” of Awana.

Depending upon the location you were at, you may have had different experiences, but overall, it was a very good day for the very first simulcast that Awana has held for a conference.

Many do not know the challenges that Awana faced and had to overcome over the last month or so to make sure the simulcast happened. With all of that pressure, Awana produced a premiere event. If you were unable to attend, you really missed a historic moment and a great day.

Well done Awana!


2 Responses

  1. I was on-site at Grove Avenue Baptist, so I’ll add my observations from that perspective.

    One thing that we saw that was very prominent there that the other sites may not have seen was the rather impressive and stunningly beautiful stained glass window that overlooked the main stage. (See http://groveave.net/sanctuary.htm) From the re-broadcast of Pastor Thorton’s Ambassador message it looked like all that was shown was the stage proper and the conference backdrop. For me, the window served as a powerful reminder of Our LORD watching this. How fitting it was then for Art Rorheim to passionately recite Isaiah 53 with this reminder of The Suffering Servant.

    Before the event, I thought the ventriloquist thing would be awkward, but it seemed to serve three purposes: 1) It kept us connected with the Kid oriented nature of our organization, 2) It elevated the level of the event with the constant “Generation to Generation” rehash and reminder that this broadcast thing is a very big deal. It had the effect of very much reminding us on-site that we were ‘live’ – which you could almost feel. 3) Mr. Lee’s routines really served well to introduce each section.

    In addition to Mr. Lee, the musicians really added to the air of excellence of this event. The flute performance greatly focussed my sense of worship there. Again, these performances served as a reminder and challenge of excellence, which was hit at by Falwell (“If it’s Christian, it ought to be better”), Fowler, and most notably in Eggar’s address.

    Larry Fowler hit all of our hearts. I very much hope this presentation was captured and will be made part the Basic Training material. I know that a new studio polished recording could be made, but I do hope they incorporate this exact session as a sustaining tribute to this event.

    For us in the Virginia area, this was also a key demonstration of how things have turned around is a couple of years with our new missionary, Ken Lorow (http://www.awana-eva.org/).

    It is incredible to me now that I almost gave in to work, chore, and lesson pressures and would have missed out on this historical event and unique chance to worship.

    I second the claim – Well done Awana!

  2. I thought that it was a very good conference. The speakers really hit a nerve with me and my leaders. The challenge to step up our game and realize that Awana is not a verse memorizing contest but teaching God’s Word to the boys and girls was what needed to be said.

    I wish that there would have been more celebration. I nice PowerPoint highlighting the 60 years of Awana would have been nice. I believe that it is important that today’s leaders know where Awana started and the journey that God has led it on.

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