Posts Tagged ‘Winter Conference’

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Winter Conference Report; Looking Forward

January 25, 2013
'Ice fishing'! (see the overhead projection screen)

Indoor ‘Ice fishing’! (see the overhead projection screen)

Worship Time

Worship Time

Thanks so much for your prayers for our Winter Conference.  Now that the conference is ‘in the books’, I wanted to provide a short report on all that God did.

More than anything, the conference provides space for our busy students and professionals to come away and be alone with Christ and each other.  As we can all attest, the craze of daily life often makes it hard to slow down and connect with God as we want to.  Through our speaker, times of worship, and plenty of space for quiet and community, our retreat is designed to be the perfect remedy for a busy life and heart.  For many, I really believe that the theme of ‘Reverse Course: Going Backward to Move Forward’ was realized.

The highlight for me – as always – is the undistracted space I have to connect with those who come.  In many ways, the weekend is like one long, wonderful conversation.  To give you a flavor, here are some quick highlights:

  • A conversation with a recent student (new professional) where we discussed a painful relational breakup he recently experienced.  I had the chance to offer understanding, as well as a challenge to not shut down his heart toward the Lord or future risks.
  • A brief interaction with a student from NY who would like to hold a ‘Doubt Night’ (skeptics and seekers express, and receive responses to, their doubts about Christianity) at her campus.  We’ve already followed-up via email, and I look forward to seeing what the Lord does through the event!
  • A conversation with a physician about her struggles to be a witness at work and beyond when members of her own family are not walking with Christ.  Mainly, I was able to be a listening ear and let her know I would pray.  In this case, I think that’s all she needed.
  • I organized a late-night ‘Denny’s run’ with about 20 from Philadelphia, something that’s becoming an annual Winter Conference tradition.  In this more laid-back setting, it’s wonderful to start seeing a new side of the students and connecting with them more personally.  We covered everything from ‘best summer ever’ to ‘what you learned from the speaker’.  I also had a great time with one of our key leaders at Penn during the car ride there and back.

Thank you for your prayers.  We are so thankful for what God did and trust that He will extend the value far beyond our weekend together.  Your prayers are such an important part of that.

With Christ’s love,

Bryan & Sharon

PS Please pray for:

  • God to help us live out what He taught us over the weekend.
  • God’s blessing on our men’s brunch this coming Saturday.  We’ll start looking at key men from the Bible in an attempt to better follow Christ.
  • Sharon & I as we provide relationship mentoring for a key student couple.  Also, for wisdom as we evaluate the need for a seminar on relationships.
  • God to add members to our ministry ‘council’ (group of folks who minister alongside me, and help provide direction for the ministry).
  • God to provide new student leaders as our existing leaders transition out (March-April), and, that He would give me wisdom in assisting them in this process.
  • God to create a deepening sense of dependency on Him, and as a result, a greater commitment to prayer among our healthcare community.  We tend to be self-reliant but want to keep growing in this area!
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God’s Work at Winter Conference

January 19, 2010

Thanks so much for praying for my time at Winter Conference.  It was truly one of the best conferences I’ve ever been part of.  Here’s why:

  • the speaker challenged everyone who came to step back to think and pray about God’s specific purpose for their lives.   With medicine being so intense, this “bigger picture” praying and thinking is absolutely critical.
  • the weekend for me was essentially one big conversation with many students and physicians!  I was able to have in-depth, undistracted conversations with nearly every one of my key students who were able to come.
  • during our campus group times (where we process what God is showing us as a campus fellowship) with Drexel and PCOM, God was clearly at work.  Here are a few snapshots:
  • [Through tears] “I can’t believe that I’m going to be a real doctor [upon graduation] in just five months, and I haven’t thought through all the ethical issues Dr. Stevens mentioned in his talks.  I’ve really got to work and pray through those issues.”
  • “I’ve been so lonely as I’ve been away on rotations.  I can’t tell you how good it is just to see you all here again!”
  • From a student who knows the Lord, but has been disconnected from Him, and the campus fellowship: “This weekend has been really good for me.  I’m going to be more involved with the fellowship back on campus now.”  I also had the chance to speak about this student with his father, a physician who was attending the conference.
  • I led a communion service on Sunday morning that God blessed richly.  It was a wonderful way to seal God’s work in us throughout the weekend.
  • God used the many interactions I had with students throughout the weekend to get many excited about our medical bible study and dinner, hosted in our home, coming up this Saturday.  We expect our largest crowd ever!

As you can see, God was at work in powerful ways, no doubt largely due to your prayers.  Please pray for me as I encourage the students to live out what they learned, as well as for our bible study and dinner this Saturday at 6pm.

Thanks so very much for your prayerful partnership!

Bryan & Sharon Stoudt

PS  Please pray for Sharon and the kids, who were unable to join me due to illness.

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Winter Conference This Weekend!

January 15, 2010

Dear partners in Christ’s work,

In just six hours, 160 students and healthcare professionals from all over the mid-Atlantic region will be coming to Sandy Cove Conference Center for our Northeast Regional Winter Conference.   Always a highlight, they come to hear great teaching, participate in small groups, enjoy fellowship, and relax.

With the Chesapeake in the background, the sun sets at Sandy Cove.

This year’s theme is “If Anyone Would Come After Me: A Call to Consecration, Commitment, Conscience, and Commission”.  It gives healthcare professionals a chance to step back and ask themselves questions like, “Who am I in Christ?”, “Why am I in healthcare?”, and “To what has God called me as a follower of Christ?”  Since their typical pace of life is so frenetic, the conference is an essential opportunity for much-needed reflection and redirection.

With this in mind, please keep the following requests in prayer:

  • for God to powerfully meet with, impact, and refresh, each student and healthcare professional who attends.  In particular, that He would help them re-ask the sort of “big” questions I mention above, and then help them to make any changes He’s calling them to.  We’re aiming for long-term transformation!
  • for our speaker, CMDA CEO Dr. David Stevens.  He’s a tremendous speaker, and yet he needs the Holy Spirit to empower his messages.
  • for Sharon and the children, who will join me on Saturday.  Pray for the many interactions Sharon will have with the students, and that God would use our family to give the students a tangible ‘portrait’ of what a Christian family can look like.
  • for me, as I talk with students throughout the weekend.  Our conversations are opportunities for me to encourage and challenge them, and give me many prayer and ministry concerns to follow-up on later.  Pray also that the messages would help me help the students in this regard.  Finally, pray that God would bless my administrative and worship-leading roles over the weekend.

Thank you, friends, for standing with me during the weekend.  Let’s expect – and pray for – God to do great things!

Grace to you,

Bryan