Today we loaded two big vehicles with boxes and banners, books and brochures, and oh, so much more. The Inter-Varsity office in Toronto feels a little empty, and I’m feeling like I need to follow those vehicles as soon as possible. Destination: St. Louis, MO. and the Urbana 12 Student Missions Conference.
But, first, we need to pause for Christmas.
During what we call ‘an Urbana year’, it’s easy to lose sight of what happens just days before the conference opens. It’s easy to miss the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, even though he’s a central character at Urbana.
In fact, at Urbana, we’ll be focusing on the parables of Jesus, as told by Luke, the gospel writer. All the passages are related to the theme, The Great Invitation. Main session speakers, seminar leaders and worship and drama teams have all been preparing to help us figure out what Jesus has in mind when he offers us an invitation.
But that’s a few days away. Urbana begins Thursday, Dec. 27, when more than 16,000 young people will make their way through the registration lines in the America Centre in downtown St. Louis. Hundreds of Inter-Varsity staff from Canada and the United States will be there to welcome each and every one of them.
A day earlier, we’ll have pulled into the city, unpacked our boxes, set up our banners and put books and brochures on display. We’ll be eager for everything to begin.
But, first, there’s Christmas. First, we pause and welcome Jesus into the world once again. Then, we head to Urbana.
Merry Christmas. I hope I’ll see you at Urbana. (Registration is still open!)