By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president


Does your family ever have annual reunions? My family traditionally gathers together in July. Every second weekend of July, we would visit with one side of my grandparents' family and the third weekend we would visit with the other side of my grandparents' family! This was a pretty big deal for my family!

My grandmother was one of 12 siblings in her family and my grandfather was also one of 12 siblings! At one point my father counted all his first cousins and came up with 126! He didn’t even want to count how many second cousins he had. So, when family reunions came along there were lots of people there. And it seemed to me to be organized chaos.

As a child, it was great. There were lots of other children there to run and play with, and the adults would sit reminiscing on old times and catching up on the happenings of the past year. Of course, there was a table laden with a variety of food, potato salads, and everyone’s favorite dish. I still remember one aunt who would bring a scrumptious fresh strawberry pie every year.

Thinking back on those times, I’m amazed at the variety of people that were there: Lawyers, doctors, and teachers all mingling in with farmers, welders, and manufacturing workers. In their normal day-to-day life, they came from completely different worlds and circles of society. Yet they were family. At the family reunion they easily mingled, laughed and talked. They all contributed to the feast and to the cleaning up after the feast. They helped each other with their children. The interaction between them would pick up like they had never been apart. They were all together and totally involved as a family.

In Romans 8:16-17 it states, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children then heirs-heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Romans 8:16-17

Washington Conference is made up of all sorts of people. We have 12 different languages in our churches. We have churches that are made up of many professionals and others that are made up of many blue-collar workers. Many of our churches are made up of a wonderful mixture of individuals and the good news is that we are all heirs of God. Jesus Christ died and we join Him as an heir to the kingdom of Heaven. That is good news!

As heirs of God, we need to gather together and be totally involved as a church. Each heir has different gifts to contribute to use in service as part of the family. Just as in a family reunion when everyone pitches in and does their part, we as a church full of heirs of God can pitch in and be totally involved in ministry to our community.

I encourage you to become fully aware of your part in God’s family. Most of all, I encourage you to get involved in your church and your community to share the wonder of being a part of the family of God.