It is with a heavy heart that I announce the postponement of the 2020 Denominational Celebration in Charlotte. We have deliberated among the Managers, sought counsel from our Superintendents, and been in constant prayer. So, in the best interest of our global family, we have determined that postponing the gathering to July 2021 is the right thing to do.
We have included a letter from Pam Morgan, Operations Coordinator, explaining the details for all who have registered and the procedures for getting your refund. We are extremely grateful to the 900 plus people who registered early and displayed enormous enthusiasm about coming together to celebrate the hope we have in our Lord Jesus. Please hold onto that enthusiasm and we will celebrate with exuberance in 2021.
To give you further input as to why we have made this hard decision, allow me to share insights from three of our Superintendents.
“The Denominational Celebration is about four months from now. In between, some countries will hit their peak of coronavirus infection while some will be at the tail end of infections and others will have just recovered. The global bell curve will cover all of us to one degree and another. What will follow, as you know, are the effects of this aftermath. There are too many uncertainties with this rapid spread of Covid-19. With the current situation, attendance for the July 2020 Denominational Celebration will be negatively affected. Therefore, calling off 2020 celebration to July 2021 has more probability for Covid-19 to have run its full course. Your hard work with Home Office managers is appreciated.” – Kalengule Kaoma, Superintendent Africa
“Today we have entered our Church fast here, and our love and prayers are with you and the Home Office, trusting He will guide you in all things. It’s just a month ago that you and Susan were in Australia, and all the members were so encouraged by your presence and your messages of love, faith and hope – the grace of Jesus. We did not realise what was ahead at that time, but more than ever before, as the normalities of life are being stripped away with the uncertainties and ever-increasing restrictions over our lives, we hold on to the assurance of where our lives are anchored, in the love, faith and hope we find in Him, the true Vine – can’t help thinking of how we are all attached across many miles, and one in spirit in Christ. Since my last update, the number of infections has almost tripled, and we see the beginnings of the spike in Australia now. Travel bans are in place indefinitely, with estimates ranging from anywhere up to 6 months for things to be cleared. It’s difficult to pin a timeframe, but we are praying for God’s intervention and our prayers are with you all, for His love, guidance and protection as we face these challenges together.” – Daphne Sidney, Superintendent Australasia
“Some years ago, we had to cancel an All-African conference on short notice due to a threat related to terrorism. Many of our delegates had saved their own money in order to buy their airline tickets and were not able to get a partial or a full refund. The estimate at the time was that maybe as much as $40,000 had been lost collectively in airfares for African delegates. I don’t know where everyone is re whether tickets are bought already or not, but, perhaps, the more notice given, the greater the likelihood of some kind of refund; or, if tickets not bought yet, then not much spent internationally so far? Just to say that since the last update, the situation in Europe has intensified, and a complete lockdown is planned in some areas for up to three months at least. This makes advance planning of any sort extremely difficult.” – James Henderson, Superintendent Europe
These accounts paint a very clear picture that the responsible decision is to postpone. In my thinking, how could this gathering be a true, impactful celebration if so many of our international brothers and sisters were unable to participate? Therefore, we will continue to plan for an amazing, inspirational denominational event with the caveat that it will take place in July 2021 and the expectation that we can meet as a collective family.
We apologize for any inconveniences this has caused you, and we appreciate your patience. Thank you for your prayers and your faithful support during this long season of challenge, and may we all continue to rest in the assurance we have in Jesus.
President Grace Communion International