It was a beautiful, sunny summer morning when BCC celebrated the opening of the new “Festival Plaza” at Brunstad. This year, we can finally see the results of the large construction project that both BCC and the local congregations have contributed to.
By Johanne Reiersrud – Photo by Kristijan Socak
Happy musicians, dancing mascots and glorious sunshine welcomed children and adults, as BCC marked the opening of the large new Festival Plaza, which we could enjoy for the first time this summer.
This day was also a celebration in the spirit of fellowship. We have just concluded several weeks of summer events, where we have been able to come together physically for the first time since the corona pandemic, even though some infection control measures were in place.
Swipe right for more pictures of the celebration (photo: BCC):
The Festival Plaza has become a gathering place in the heart of the new conference area. It was marked with songs of thanksgiving, speeches, an orchestra, as well as ice cream and sweets for the children. A film was shown, telling a bit of the history of this very spot. Just a few years ago, the place that has now become an open plaza, where many thousands of participants can come together, was a small, forested, rocky hill, where children’s feet have run and played during summer conferences since the 1950s.
Kåre J. Smith spoke at the opening. He reminded us that we have a lot to thank God for when we use this wonderful place. Because the entire construction project, which BCC has initiated and helped to make possible, will soon be completed.
A huge effort in fellowship
The place called Brunstad has a long and rich history for BCC and its members. And even though we now come here as tenants at Oslofjord, which runs the conference center, we still feel strong ownership of this place, where we have held all our conferences since 1957.
This is also the reason why BCC and the local churches have contributed with building loans that have financed large parts of the development here in the last decade. Together, we have helped secure a place for the church to gather for conferences several times a year; a place which also has room for the new generations growing up. For those who want to read more about the financing model for the development project, this can be found at the Brunstad Foundation’s website.
The value that Christian fellowship adds to Christian life was also discussed on stage this morning, in a conversation between the chair of the board of BCC, Berit Hustad Nilsen, and Geir Morten Nilsen, general secretary of the Christian Democratic Party in Norway (KrF). He come to the BCC event to talk about religious freedom.
A look back at the last decade continued in the Brunstad Magazine
In the evening, we continued looking back at the last decade’s construction project. In the Brunstad Magazine, we heard interesting stories from both the contractor and developer, about their experiences working with such a large project. We also heard how an unshakable faith in God has enabled the project to be funded by the church community. Providing facilities and a good framework for children and young people har been the motivation since the start.
Swipe to see more pictures from the Brunstad Magazine (photo: BCC):
Financial status and further plans for using the property
Tore Aslaksen provided an update of the overall finances. He showed an overview of financial developments after the corona pandemic struck, and further forecasts for the next five years. BCC has solid finances, and we are working steadily to have good plans and good control of the finances so that all the important work we want to do can continue.
Samvirk, a consumer cooperative that offers savings programs for young people who want accommodation at church events, also provided an update. They launched their new program earlier this year, and so far more than 1,500 young members have expressed an interest.
An active autumn – with a 150th anniversary as the main event
At the end of the broadcast, information about upcoming events in BCC was provided. Four gatherings are planned at Brunstad this autumn, and one of these will mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Johan Oscar Smith, BCC’s founder. A selection of his writings, which in recent years have been published in unedited form, will be discussed in the event.
In the early 1900s, Johan O. Smith was already concerned with work for children and young people. He was conscious of the fact that if he was to win more souls for Jesus, he had to start with the youth. This way of thinking still characterizes BCC’s priorities today, and that is precisely why the day became a worthy and festive celebration, which had a unifying effect for our church.