Inspirational Seminar for Summer 2018

For BCC members around the world, summertime and the conference at Oslofjord Convention Center is the high point all look forward to. This weekend, around 100 representatives from local churches were invited to plan the conferences occurring in summer 2018, which is excpected be the best conference to date.

Author: Johanne Reiersrud – Photographer: Randi Hutt

The summer conference has been held annually at Brunstad since 1957, and the last 12 years BCC has held two conference events each summer to ensure there is enough space for all members who wish to attend. “Summer 2018 has been chosen as the launch season for a new conference model,” says Bjørn Nilsen.

He has attended all 60 summer conference events held at Brunstad since he was a child, and his best childhood memories are from these times. Now he is excited to be along in the development of future church events and conferences.

To Greater Heights

“We are building on the same spiritual content as when I was a child, even though the structure and organization are being updated,” continues Nilsen. “There are always greater heights that can be achieved and that is why we have gathered today. We want to strengthen the cooperation between the organizers, which are local churches, and Oslofjord Convention Center, as the hosting locale. We have a slogan, and that is ‘Brunstad to Greater Heights!’” he says, enthusiastically.

Bjørn Nilsen conveys his enthusiasm and vision for summer 2018. Photo: BCC 

What unites us 

The theme for this gathering is the overall structure, as well the options we wish to offer during our conferences, but what has brought us together all these years is the spiritual dimension we experience here,” says Trind Eriksen during his welcome speech.  “Even though it is our faith teachings and the Christian gospel that brings us together for conferences, it is also our goal that those who choose to invest time and money to come to Brunstad have a good experience here.” 

Eriksen pointed out that Oslofjord Convention Center has the main responsibility to fulfill these expectations, in cooperation with BCCs event department.  In addition, BCC has challenged the local churches to contribute with program elements to create depth and variation.  

Trond Eriksen welcomes the assembly, including representatives from Brunstadstiftelsen, Oslofjord, BCC, and 37 local churchesPhoto: BCC 

Conference weeks with varied content 

Among other changes, the new event plan combines what was previously two summer conferences into one long conference period containing days with faith gatherings, free days, and activity days, as well as days combining all three of these concepts.  The summer conference will be arranged with meetings and activities for different target groups spread through the whole conference period so that the whole family has an enjoyable experience while at Brunstad. 

Cooperation with local churches  

To accomplish more than three consecutive weeks of conference activities and events, BCC is depending on assistance from the local churches in addition to cooperation with Oslofjord Convention Center which is hosting the event.  It is for this reason that BCC invited representatives from 37 local churches in 9 countries to an inspirational weekend to brainstorm and develop a program. 

“We are mobilizing efforts for a broad plan.  Summer 2018 is going to be the best summer conference held at Brunstad so far,” says Lise Larsen, who runs the BBCs event department. “There will be nothing missing for children, youth, adults and seniors during this period, and we want to increase the interest level for coming here.  We want to have something for everybody and have many high points scattered throughout.” 

Lise Larsen and BCCs event department working hard on the plans for the summer conference at Brunstad. Photo: BCC 

New Facilities that allows for new plans 

The structure of the center is also under development, and the ongoing construction at Oslofjord Convention Center will increase opportunities for enjoyment for guests visiting the area in future years. 

The assembly started with an exciting presentation of Oslofjord Convention Centers new activity center opening next winter and was followed by information, inspiration, and presentation of the weekendtasks for the upcoming summer conference. Tore Jørgensen, administrative director of Oslofjord Convention Center, presented the plans Oslofjord Convention Center is developing in line with BCCs goals for its conferences. 

Local involvement and projects to bring home

Sunday morning, the work continued in groups, where local representatives chose some ideas for further development. Before the assembly was concluded on Sunday afternoon, the groups presented their ideas and plans to one another.  There were many enthusiastic representatives who wanted to include their local churches in brainstorming ideas for new program elements for the summer conferences. 

Local churches work together on their suggestions for program elementsPhoto: BCC 

Contributing what we can 

One person who was looking forward to taking vacation at BCCs conferences in Norway was Lucy Savage from Didcot, England. 

“We are two local churches in England, and we want to contribute to a positive experience with musical shows for the whole family,” she says.  “We have many resources in this area, and we could hold a concert during the conference.  So now we are going to go home and ask our members if this could be our contribution to this summer,” she smiles. 

Lucy Savage from Didcot, England is motivated to develope the suggestion further in her local church. Photo: BCC  

Berit Gangsø from Sandefjord was one of the Norwegian participants, and one of those who really wants everyone to feel a warm welcome to the conference.  “We have the advantage of living near Brunstad and would like to arrange a welcome party for all international friends.” 

Expectations for the summer conference are high 

Lise Larsen says that the representatives, who were very enthusiastic participants in the planning of the conference weeks, will go home and develop their projects further together with the members of their local churches. 

As a representative for the arrangement, she is very satisfied with the outcome of the weekend and all the suggestions that have been submitted so far.  If one can judge the upcoming conference by the enthusiasm of the seminar, then none of the expectations for this Summer Conference 2018 will be disappointed. 

The weekends seminar created expectations for the upcoming summer conference 2018. Photo: BCC