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Kids to blaze ‘Frontiers of Faith’ at new SBC Children’s Conference

PHOENIX (BP)–Children attending the 2003 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting with their parents will explore the Wild West during a new SBC Children’s Conference.

“Frontiers of Faith,” a new format from the previous years’ day camp, will provide teaching and activities for children in grades one through six from Monday through Wednesday, June 16-18, in Phoenix.

Working as a team of cowboys and cowgirls, children will lend a hand in a rough-and-tumble town out on the range, Lawless Gulch, where the townsfolk have just been introduced to the Ten Commandments.

The children’s conference has been specially planned to complement the SBC’s first-ever Kingdom Family Rally on Monday evening, June 16, featuring such family advocates as Dennis and Barbara Rainey of Family Life Today, singer Steve Green and his wife, Maryjean, and Tom Elliff, chair of the SBC Council on Family Life, and his wife, Jeannie.

“The new children’s conference is another step to support and encourage the entire family to attend the Kingdom Family Rally and the Southern Baptist Convention,” said Jack Wilkerson, vice president for business and finance for the SBC Executive Committee and convention manager.

Elliff said it is the goal of SBC Council on Family Life, the Pastors’ Conference, LifeWay Christian Resources and other SBC entities “to ‘put Southern Baptists on the map’ as being good for every community because we are good for the family.” Elliff is a former SBC president and pastor of the Oklahoma City-area First Southern Baptist Church in Del City.

“Having a great family attendance in Phoenix,” Elliff said, “will make a bold statement to the world at large — a world of people desperately seeking answers for their own families.”

Participation in the SBC Children’s Conference will entail a $45 per child fee. A non-refundable $10 registration fee is to be paid by May 30, and the remainder may be sent or is due upon arrival at the conference. Registration forms, including a medical release form, may be obtained at www.sbcannualmeeting.org.

Participants will need to bring a Bible, tennis shoes, a pen and a notebook. Cowboy hats, boots and other western wear are optional. To prepare, they should pray for the other children who will attend and read Psalm 119:9-18.

To assure a place in the on-site children’s conference, applications and fees must be submitted promptly as the openings fill quickly. Once the completed form and registration fee for each child is received, a confirmation e-mail consisting of a parent information letter, letter to children, security information and procedures for check-in and check-out will be sent.

The postmark deadline for children’s conference registration is May 30. Parents desiring to register their children after May 30 may print the required information and bring it to the conference, where they will be registered on-site on a space available basis.

The Monday evening Kingdom Family Rally, meanwhile, in addition to the Raineys, Greens and Elliffs, will include testimonies from various SBC leaders and Baptist families; conference leader and author Gary Chapman; and video segments from James and Shirley Dobson of Focus on the Family and Bible teacher and author Beth Moore. The rally will be part of the Pastors’ Conference, which will be devoted in its entirety to the family. The conference is open to church staff members’ families as well as laypeople interested in bolstering marriage in America.

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