We were finally able to gather together in the usual way: This weekend’s event was the first in BCC since the COVID restrictions were lifted. The program includes faith building, activities for children and young people, and a very special missions feast.
By Johanne Reiersrud – Photo by Andreas Lehmann
This weekend 4100 participants from 60 churches gathered together at Oslofjord Convention Center. Many people are rejoicing over the fact that we can finally get together, almost like we did before. There were many thankful participants at the opening meeting on Friday, and several had travelled quite far to be there.
Steinar Riise, the director of BCC’s events department, says there was tremendous support for the event after the corona restrictions were lifted in Norway on September 25.
“Suddenly we were able to open up the registration for quite a few more participants, and we saw that many wanted to come, from other countries as well. That’s really gratifying, and it shows that it means a lot for us to be able to get together to be strengthened in our faith”, says Riise.
Those who aren’t able to travel and be there physically can watch the various programs via streaming. The event is translated to a variety of languages, and distributed all over the world via BCC’s channels.
The Mission Feast as a high point
It is the Mission Feast on Saturday evening that most people are looking forward to this weekend. The feast will commemorate the 150th birthday of BCC’s founder, Johan O. Smith, and will focus on his life and work, and the significance that has had for BCC, right up until today. The theme will be highlighted via various films, music, speeches, and panel conversations on the stage.
“This is a day worth commemorating, and we will remember J.O. Smith with thankfulness and reverence”, Kåre J. Smith said on Friday evening.
BCC has a mission feast semi-annually, and each time a different local church takes responsibility for the content. The main reason that the churches want to take part in these gatherings is the content, which has a different theme each time. The feasts have also played a crucial role in the financing of mission and church work in BCC, and are followed by regular mission collections.
READ MORE: Missions event 2021: oru digital future
Friends of all ages get together
For two evenings running, participants from 16 countries gather in the large hall at Oslofjord. While the adults come to hear the gospel and meet fellow believers, the children and youth get involved in activities, sports, and having a good time with friends. BCC has collaborated with the children’s and youth associations ActivityClub and Xercize, amongst other things, to offer a varied program for different age groups.
This is the program for the weekend:
- Opening meeting Friday evening
- Sunday School online Saturday morning
- Mission Feast Saturday evening
- Activity Park and Sports School for children
- «Open hall» and sporting tournaments every day
- «Youth hub» in the evenings
More BCC events are lined up
This is the first of two “Brunstad weekends” in BCC this fall. Steinar Riise tells us that the idea for this came during the corona pandemic, as an opportunity in addition to the regular larger conferences.
“After half a year of very limited events, we want to enable the churches to be together again. We need to gather around our faith, and we need to have arenas for children and young people to meet and flourish. We believe that these weekend events fill an important need, so they are something we will continue to organize in the future”, he says.
The next Brunstad weekend will be in December, and it will be richly atmospheric, with Advent and a Christmas concert as the central points. But before that happens, BUK and BCC are working together to organize the BUK Fall Camp, in addition to BCC’s regular autumn conference, which will be held in November. We will follow those events here on bcc.no.