Annual Congress Theme

Theme: In consideration of what is going on in the world, our country, and our churches, the Executive Board of Congress of Christian Education has chosen as a theme for this year’s Annual Session, “Best Practices of Ministry During the Pandemic and Preparation for the Post-COVID-19 Church.” 

Background:  On Sunday, November 20, 1983, more than 100 million people, in nearly 39 million households, watched a movie broadcast on ABC called, The Day After. The film was made during some of the most nervous times of the Cold War (1947-1991). The Day After depicted a nuclear first strike by the Warsaw Pact nations (the Soviet Union controlled countries) against NATO (Britain, Western Europe, and North America). The apocalyptic event happens near Fort Riley, Kansas.

The actors were engaged in normal daily life routines when the unthinkable happened. The town was bombed, and town’s residents were thrust into the horrors of nuclear winter. The film, which generated extraordinary responses around the country, centered on what life would look like in the American Midwest—after the devastation of a nuclear attack by foreign enemies!

The “Day After” became a recognized expression about those epochal moments in time that transforms human society. The film enticed viewers to contemplate life before the event, and life after the event.

We have lived through several such real-life events that carried a “day after” effect. Notably,

  • September 11, 2001, the attack on our impenetrable Pentagon, and the Twin Towers in New York City;
  • December 7, 1941, the invasion on Pearl Harbor, just before 08:00 AM on Sunday morning;
  • November 22, 1963, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, on that Friday at 12:30 PM, in Dallas, Texas;
  • Thursday, April 4, 1968, the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. at 6:05 PM while standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

These days became points of reference: life before, life after. So, yes, if it is God’s will, COVID-19 is going to have “a day after.” Most of us intuitively understand that COVID-19 has changed us.

This year, our Congress will explore how much COVID-19 has changed our lives, our country, and our church.  We will also explore best practices of ministry during the pandemic and preparation for the Post-COVID-19 Church.