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Ken Shigematsu to Speak at Inspire 2021

October 21, 2020
Ken Shigematsu

Contributed by Ken Shigematsu

Ken Shigematsu, an internationally known Canadian speaker and writer, has just been announced as one of the plenary speakers at the Inspire 2021 conference planned for August 5-7, 2021, in Chicago, Ill.

Shigematsu, senior pastor of Tenth Church in Vancouver, B.C., is the author of Survival Guide for the Soul: How to Flourish Spiritually in a World that Pressures Us to Achieve and God in My Everything: How an Ancient Rhythm Helps Busy People Enjoy God.

In his plenary address, Shigematsu will speak on survival habits for the soul, exploring how we can live with joy and fulfillment in God rather than seeking happiness through being or doing more.

“We falsely believe that our achievements will help us overcome our sense of not-enoughness. . . . filling the emptiness and making us happy,” he writes in Survival Guide for the Soul, but “this ‘if-then’ perspective cannot be supported by science, because each time our brain experiences a ‘success,’ it moves the goal posts of what success looks like. If you got good grades, you now have to get better grades. . . .” Shigematsu encourages people to embrace the infinite, unconditional love of God to find rest and fulfillment in him rather than in what we can achieve.

At Inspire 2021, Shigematsu will also present a workshop on silent meditation and centering prayer. In God in My Everything, he encourages readers to consider a monastic tradition — a “rule of life” — which he describes as “simply a rhythm of practices that empowers us to live well and grow more like Jesus by helping us experience God in everything.”

“This focus is especially timely, as prayer and spiritual practices are a focus of Our Journey 2025, the new ministry plan of the Christian Reformed Church in North America,” said Kristen deRoo VanderBerg, director of communications and marketing for the CRCNA and a member of the planning team for Inspire 2021.

Inspire 2021 is planned for Aug. 5-7, 2021, at the Tinley Park Convention Center in a suburb of Chicago, Ill. If gatherings are not permitted by next summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference will take place in an online format.

Martin Contant, a participant at Inspire 2019, said, “At Inspire, plenary speakers challenged the church to tackle difficult issues by promoting intergenerational conversations that seek unity and biblical understanding.” Inspire 2021 organizers hope to continue those conversations and have chosen the theme “Inspired to Be One” for next summer’s conference, inviting participants to come together in Christian unity with God and their neighbors.

Inspire 2021 will be the third biennial denominational conference of the CRCNA, bringing people together from churches across the denomination for three days of worship, fellowship, and learning. Over 80 workshops and discussion groups will be offered on a variety of topics for anyone involved or interested in church leadership or service.

Registration is scheduled to open in January 2021.