The One Project Hosts a Gathering in Atlanta (Part 3: Attendee Impressions)

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The One Project Hosts a Gathering in Atlanta (Part 3: Attendee Impressions)

PC: Attendee discussion at the first mini gathering of the One project in Boulder, CO. Photo by Rajmund Dabrowski / Rocky Mountain Conference via Flickr

Impression #1

I’ve enjoyed it so far. Overall at this point I think it is in line with what I believe, and the way I try to live my life. I agree with the concepts of it. It’s just been a few things that I feel like people need to be careful with. The way they touch on the subject, giving it importance, but not going overboard. Like in regards to the whole racial thing: talking about the concept of it, but not getting so specific.

It’s important for us to come together as a people, as a whole, as a Christian community across the board. But during the talk, all I really was hearing was reference about blacks, when this is a world-wide issue, just as we talked at the table. Every race has the problem in some way. There is even racism against whites. We need to talk about it, because it is important, but not make it about one specific race. Because then I feel like that is the way you can reach everybody.

As a white, or Hispanic, or Asian, they can look into their lives and be like: Well, I had this experience when I felt discriminated because of my race. And not to create an issue that did not exist already, but for every person in every race to recognize the validity in their situation. – Anonymous


Impression #2

Hello, my name is Wyatt Justus. I was offered a chance to come to The One project by my youth pastor at the Fletcher Seventh-day Adventist church. I have had an awesome time so far. I have learned so much already. For example, even though we humans have sinned, God has said we are not guilty because of His love, mercy, and great and never-ending kindness. I am looking forward to the rest of my time here. God bless. – Wyatt Justus, Fletcher Academy, North Carolina

Impression #3

My name is I Dale, and I attend Fletcher Academy in North Carolina. I am from Charleston, SC. This was my first time attending this meeting, and I have had a very positive experience this weekend. I think, out of everything this weekend, I really enjoyed hearing the different opinions of the problems with the world. I highly recommend coming to these events. It is a blessing and a great opportunity! The pastors and speakers are God’s gifted workers, and I hope they continue to share His word! – Dale McCants Jr., Fletcher Academy, North Carolina

Impression #4

This is my second time attending The One project conference. Personally, I find it Christ-centered and spiritually refreshing. I also find encouragement from the fact that the leaders of The One project are prominent, committed Adventists who want to stay inside the church—to make it more Christ-centered, authentic, and spiritually healthy. The spirit that I find within The One project gatherings is the antithesis of the bullying, controlling behavior, and insistence on uniformity that I have experienced from the Adventist power structure. – Kay Henderson, Walla Walla

Impression #5

I am very grateful for movements like The One project within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is good to see that Jesus is being lifted up. I can see that this is, and has been, the main thing with The One project.  Honestly, it’s wonderful to see that that “cat is out of the bag” (i.e. people are catching on that ‘Permission is Powerful, but Freedom is more Powerful—an idea that Tim Gillespie articulated).

Jesus affirms people—especially the oppressed. This is an uneasy feeling if you are more concerned about policy and a top-down organizational structure.  Let the freedom of Jesus fill my heart, let it fill yours—all of ours.  The world needs Jesus; Christendom needs Jesus; the Seventh-day Adventist Church needs Jesus. So although they say that this is the last year of The One project, I sense that the movement will go on in our individual lives, in our homes, churches, and communities. – David Escobar, Somerset, KY


Impression #6

I’ve attended The One project since 2012, and each year it’s given me new perspective. It’s been refreshing to go to a gathering where the attendees are asked to share their stories, their experience, and discuss what God has laid on their hearts and in their communities. The gathering allows the laity to engage in better theology and become empowered to be the priesthood of believers they are Biblically called to be. – Rebecca Murdock, Berrien Springs, MI

Impression #7

It has been an incredible experience being part of this intimate gathering of fellow believers. After two days of listening to speaker after speaker deftly delivering the gospel, boiled down to the basics of loving others and delighting in our God, I feel allured, inspired, and humbled. I want the experience I have with God to be absorbed by my children as tangible, critical, and to be desired above all else. I feel like The One project has further encouraged and equipped me in that direction. – Amy Cummings

Impression #8

It’s humbling to be surrounded by so many wonderful followers of Jesus. I love the thought-provoking commentary of the speakers. It’s important that we challenge ourselves with new perspectives that are founded in Scripture. The One project has given me an opportunity like none other to share with and learn from others who are earnestly seeking a closer walk with Christ. – Brian Cummings, Newnan, GA

Click here to read all reports from The One project gathering in Atlanta

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About the author

Adelina Alexe is a Ph.D. student in systematic theology at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. She loves God and enjoys nature, arts, and meaningful conversation. Her special research interests are narrative theology and hermeneutics.

  • Isela Muzquiz

    I find the comment of impression number 2 disconcerting: “For example, even though we humans have sinned, God has said we are not
    guilty because of His love, mercy, and great and never-ending kindness.” We are not guilty? Uh…yes we are. We are all sinners because the bible clearly states that not one of is good (Rom3:10-12). There needs to be more clarity in this statement. We are guilty, but if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins AND to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Also, we love him in consequence of Him loving us first, enough to die for our sins while we were yet sinners. And that love produces the works by faith.
    Actually all the impressions are lacking. They are only saying they “feel ” good about the event, but there aren’t any specific details mentioned. And we also know what the bible says about feelings don’t we? Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is decietful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
    Impression number 4 sounds negative. Is this truly the Christian spirit talking?

    A Christ centered message is one with truth about our condition and about what Christ has done with us to help us overcome sin on a daily basis. It is righteousness by faith not by feeling. There are days when we won’t feel “happy” and good, and that is when faith has to kick in.

    I don’t know, but i will stick with what my bible says before being “allured” (impression #7) by some presentation aiming at the emotions…whatever it is because i have no idea what was said, but one can easily imagine.

    • Adelina Alexe

      Hi Isela! Thank you for your honest thoughts. Generally, impressions about an event are very personal, and often not comprehensive. I have not asked the attendees to give us a critique of the presentations (though they were free to do so if they wished). Your reflection on these impression is just as valid and interesting to me as their thoughts about the conference. I always appreciate knowing what people think! 🙂

      My guess is that impression #2 refers to the freedom found in Christ’s sacrifice and forgiveness… Knowing our state as sinners is important, as you point out; but being plagued by constant guilt is not a mark of a healthy Christian life. Some of the confusion may be semantics. Also, the attendees were of different ages, which may also explain some lack of clarity or of a “thorough” theology (or expression of it).

      As for #4, I will just comment that IMO disagreeing (even in strong terms) with the church leadership’s attitude and approach does not necessarily have to mean negativity (though I can see how from a different perspective it can be seen as such). I think it is important to be able to express disagreements, and this doesn’t automatically amount to exhibiting a non-Christian spirit, though it certainly can. But I respect your impression of these impressions. I do agree with you that since they are not very comprehensive, they can be a little difficult to digest.

      This article is part of a series of articles about the conference, and you’ll probably get a fuller picture of it if you can read them. The first two (summaries of most presentations) have already been posted, and may give you some context in which to understand these impressions. ( and The last article will be my own critique/reflection, which will be published on the website soon. Meanwhile, I will agree with your statements about sin, salvation, and faith. Thanks again for sharing.

      • Isela Muzquiz

        You have some valid points there. Perhaps, though, it would be better to actually write about what is being said at this event instead of just reading about peoples’ impressions of the event. I actually don’t understand why write about impressions without adding what is actually being said at the event. All the impressions seem to promote the event but what is actually being said. Is there an article on that out already? I admit I haven’t read the other links, this link only popped up on my facebook newsfeed and i got curious but i only read impressions.

        • Adelina Alexe

          Isela, yes, two other articles have been posted before this one, both summarizing the content of the presentations. Feel free to check them out at the links I included in my previous comment. Thanks for your interest!