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Northwest Focus Retreat Ends

May 20, 2004

Whew! I’m bushed tonight and am writing from a hotel in Seattle following the conclusion of the Northwest Focus Retreat which was held Monday, Tuesday and today at Camp Clear Lake near Whites Pass.

The crowd at the retreat was fairly small–about 18, I think–but we had a wonderful, wonderful time. It was an excellent mix. There were many of the experienced pastors such as Greg Howell, Dave Marksbury and others.

There were some wonderful young men–including James and Jason Holt from the Philadelphia Urban project and several other young pastors and interns.

And we had some great laymen from Washington churches–men with wonderful stories of how God has changed their lives, how He is using them, etc.

And we had a couple of house-church planters–Rich Hagler from Portland, Oregon and Doug Lee from Southern California. Doug led the music–and it was great to mix with these guys and get a glimpse of their philosophy, their approach to church-planting and more.

We topped off the retreat with a little sightseeing (Mt. St. Helens and a Mariners game) and now I have only four hours to sleep before catching the shuttle for SeaTac and O’Hare. But the Clear Lake setting was gorgeous (saw about 20 elk in an early-morning walk today with John Teevan and Tom Avey) and yesterday the lake was glassy-smooth as we spent some private time meditating on 2 Corinthians passages.


As many Brethren know by now, Mel Taylor from the Goldendale, Washington, church passed away this weekend at age 58. He served on the Grace College & Seminary board, had been a pastor, and was well-known in Brethren circles. Pastor Greg Howell will send the full obituary, and I’ll share it later.


Jesse Deloe, my helpful partner and sidekick in the business of Brethren Missionary Herald Company, returned Saturday night from two weeks of teaching in seminaries/Bible schools in Ukraine and Moldova.

I haven’t actually seen him, as he was a bit ill when he returned and I left for the Northwest on Sunday. But early reports indicated that his teaching time went well and that he was a blessing to pastors-to-be and young theologians in these two countries. I will be so glad to have him back at the office, however! Praise God for safety in all our travels.