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A Taste of What’s to Come: Inspire ‘Light’ 2021

June 9, 2021

When the Inspire conference had to be postponed to next year because of challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers envisioned Inspire “Light” 2021 for this summer. The series of online presentations is planned as a time of encouragement and a preview of next summer’s in-person event.

“While we couldn’t offer the full Inspire experience this year, we didn’t want to completely skip it either,” said Kristen deRoo VanderBerg, one of the event organizers. “The pandemic caused us to miss out on so much in the past year. We didn’t want to add Inspire to that list. With Inspire ‘Light’ we hope to provide at least a taste of Inspire that can encourage people until we can be together in 2022.”

The presentations, featuring four speakers over four days, are scheduled for Aug. 3-6, 2021, the week originally booked for the larger, in-person Inspire 2021 event.

From 12 to 1 p.m. (Eastern), participants can tune in for the free virtual sessions, each of which will include worship, a plenary speaker, and an opportunity to network with others and discuss the day’s topic.

Katie Ritsema-Roelofs will begin the series, speaking about music as a spiritual discipline. Roelofs is a commissioned pastor in the Christian Reformed Church in North America and serves as a worship catalyzer with the office of Worship Ministries. She also serves as a minister of music and worship at Washington, D.C., CRC.

Rick Zomer, executive director of ThereforeGo Ministries, will speak on the second day of the event, with a reflection on “Empathetic Listening: Why Posture Matters When Engaging with Youth and Emerging Adults.”

On Aug. 5, Reggie Smith, director of Diversity for the CRCNA, will speak on why diversity matters. Drawing on his years of pastoral ministry and service with the CRC’s offices of Race Relations and Social Justice, he will reflect on the impact of diversity on communities and churches.

Beth Fellinger, a commissioned pastor and regional mission leader for Resonate Global Mission in eastern Canada, will bring the final presentation of Inspire “Light.” She will share a message titled “The Ugly Couch Cafe Goes 3D,” encouraging participants to a life of mission and sharing the gospel.

While Inspire “Light” is an online event, the networking element means space is limited. People can learn more about the event and register for presentations at Video recordings of each day’s session will also be posted for viewers unable to attend.

A much larger, in-person gathering, Inspire 2022, is planned for Aug. 4-6, 2022, and will take place at the Tinley Park (Ill.) Convention Center near Chicago. Registration will open in January 2022.