Southeast churches gather for annual convention

Eduardo Llanes, bishop of the Southeast Conference, with his wife, Jill

—Last week, hundreds of BIC pastors, lay leaders, and church members of all ages from the Southeast Conference gathered in Miami, Fl., for La Convención Anual Hispaña de los Hermanos en Cristo (Annual Hispanic Convention of the Brethren in Christ Church).

Coordinated by the Southeast Conference of the BIC Church, this year’s convention was hosted at Vida Abundante BIC (Miami) and held October 1–3.

The convention focused on the theme “Come, Lord Jesus” from Revelation 22:17: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

Vibrant worship played a central role in the convention.

Eduard Llanes, bishop of the Southeast Conference, describes the conference as “a time to encourage the churches, to allow the Spirit to minister to our needs, and to celebrate and worship our God.”

He also sees the yearly gathering—which has been held annually since 1991—as an opportunity for fellowship among leaders and members, and as an opportunity to showcase the work of the sister BIC congregations in south Florida.

To that end, each convention includes—among other activities—evening worship sessions and a sermon, special youth activities, and a dinner for pastors and their wives.

The Thursday night session, held especially for youth and including musical worship performed by the youth, included a sermon from Jeffrey de Leon, who addressed the postmodern view of truth and the Christian response. Llanes estimates that approximately 700 young people attended.
 
Friday’s evening speaker—Alex Alvarado, pastor of La Ciudad de Dios BIC Church (San Jose, Costa Rica)—challenged the crowd “to be faithful and be ready for Jesus’ coming, even in the midst of angry voices propagating a gospel of health and wealth,” says Llanes.

The Saturday evening speaker, Ana Soto de Alvarado, focused her sermon on the call “to savor, worship, and bring glory to the name of God,” says Llanes.

More than 90 pastors and spouses attended the special dinner, which was held Saturday night.

Overall, says Llanes, “We left with a great sense that God wants to do greater things for us in the future among the Hispanic people through our churches—both here and overseas.”