The congregation streams forward in a show of expectant faith in response to the divine worship appeal, singing “Turning Around for Me.”
The congregation streams forward in a show of expectant faith in response to the divine worship appeal, singing “Turning Around for Me.”

GLAR (Greater Los Angeles Region) convocation is the one time a year pastors and lay members from 19 churches in this region gather for a weekend of dynamic worship.

“Our theme again this year was ‘Refocus on the Family,’” said GLAR Director Royal Harrison. “We are intentional about equipping and strengthening our families, which in turn, we believe, will strengthen our churches and help impact our communities in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The weekend began Friday night with an opportunity for attendees to show off their Bible knowledge during GLAR’s annual Quiz-a-Rama at Los Angeles Adventist Academy. The event continued Sabbath morning at White Memorial church with programs geared toward children, youth, young adults, and adults.

Emil Dean Peeler, pastor at Capitol Hill church in Washington, D.C., and S. Eliot Brooks III, pastor at City Temple church in Dallas, Texas, were the guest speakers for Sabbath morning worship. Donavan Childs, associate pastor at University church, coordinated the children’s church program that included singing, crafts, games, storytime, snacks, and a wild science show. 

Peeler’s sermon, entitled “We Have More Than Enough,” was inspired by 2 Kings 4:1-3 and implored the congregation to give what little they have to God, knowing He can use what they have to turn their situation around. “Whatever little bit of faith you have is more than enough,” Peeler emphasized.

Brooks spoke to the youth and young adults with a message centered on Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4:35-41. “Sometimes we face situations that we thought we were in control of,” Brooks said. “We have to trust Him when we don’t know, and even when we think we’re experts in an area.”

Brooks ended with both an appeal and a challenge: Think about what you’re afraid to give to God, then write down what you are giving up to God daily and watch the transformation.

The Sabbath afternoon and evening programs were equally moving. Edward Woods III, minister/director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Lake Region Conference, led a community impact seminar. Professional gospel saxophonist Mark Bunney, whose performance Harrison described as “simply breathtaking and spirit lifting,” gave a special concert. The Skit Guys showed the gospel through humor and relevancy. The weekend of events concluded with sports, food, games, and family fun.

“The music was inspiring; the evening programs were just as inspiring,” Harrison reflected. “Overall, the convocation was a great time for fellowship, spiritual enlightenment, and a look toward the future.”