Doug Goulding describes two shocking incidents he witnessed at the recent NCS National Retreat in Orlando that reveal the need for racial reconciliation even among NCS brudders. After transparently confessing the anger he felt when they occurred, Doug goes on to explain three keys that he believes can help bring racial reconciliation among followers of Jesus: knowing our true identity, awareness and forgiveness. In sharing these keys, Doug vulnerably describes some of hurtful experiences with racism that he has experienced or witnessed in his lifetime.
With extraordinary vulnerability, humility and courage, Chris York shares his battle with the generational brokenness of addiction, as well as the victory that has set free his children and generations to follow. In describing that battle, Chris reflects on the damage done to those he loved and on what he has learned about himself. He also explains his strategies for freedom and highlights how his wife’s remarkable forgiveness and NCS brotherhood were key components in the victory.
With the humility of a man who has been broken, the authenticity and faith of a man who has been re-made, and the charm and wit of a man who was the first Connecticut governor to be elected to three terms since 1784, John Rowland shares the journey that led him to work for Prison Fellowship Ministries.
Rowland explains how life’s crises, including his two experiences with incarceration and the loss of a child to an opioid overdose, led him to consider the words of Chuck Colson, “God has to break us to re-make us.” Rowland found himself reflecting on what he had done with the hardships and what God’s purpose and plan was for him–asking, “Now what do I do?”. Rowland also shares the moment when, facing the prospect of returning to prison, he felt hopeless and how one simple sentence from his daughters made all the difference.
Finally, Rowland tells about his realization in prison that he had many blessings waiting for him when he returned home–a family, finances, friends, a home–and that many of his fellow inmates had none of these. Rowland shares about his commitment to do something about their situation and how he trusted God to steer him in the right direction after he was released. God steered him to Prison Fellowship.
Paul Plouffe shares, with extraordinary transparency and authenticity, the story of his life in three stages he calls “Building the Box”, “Maintaining the Box” and “Dismantling the Box in Christ”. In “Building the Box”, Paul explains how he created an identity in a family environment that included a father and an uncle who were boxers. He shows how our identity is a reflection of what we see in those closest to us–parents, relatives, friends, community. We select or de-select features that we want to emulate or avoid as we create a “me”. Plouffe then explains how he struggled to “maintain the Box” through life in the face of tension, opposition and new challenges. Finally, he shares how he has been exchanging his identity, piece by piece, at the Cross for a new identity–an eternal identity in which each of us is “just anudder brudder”.
Below is the Plouffe Family Mission mentioned in Paul’s talk as well as a link to a document he shared about Christian meditation.