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Carla Sunberg Concludes California Conference with Clarion Call

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Church of God Convention, Western

By Carl Stagner

Thursday, the 28th of April 2022, was the third and final day of the Regional Conference of the Church of God in Fremont, California. As often is the case with conventions and camp meetings in the Church of God, the closing session seemed to come far too soon; didn’t Destiny Christian Fellowship just welcome pastors and leaders from across the country to their campus only moments ago?! But the finale session did come, and it certainly was grand. Featuring the 43rd general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene, the Thursday morning session was the quintessential wrap-up to a week of worship as Carla Sunberg concluded the California conference with a clarion call.

“Culture is challenging us as a church; we need to embrace our true identity in Christ, and that will only begin when we release any identity tied to this world.”

Wow. Now there’s a clarion call from one who Church of God Ministries general director Jim Lyon calls “a friend of the Movement and a terrific voice for Jesus and his people.” Carla’s words resonated with attendees of the Regional Conference in California in the context of a culture at odds with Christianity on several significant fronts. On the heels of Paul Sheppard, Brian Bennett, Mark Matlock, and a host of panelists addressing the topic of identity from various standpoints, Carla Sunberg’s message clarified that Christ-followers can’t have it both ways—after all, we are crucified with Christ and he is now our identity.

“True identity continues to be a threat to the enemy; to accept [his] lies will result in our loss of freedom.”

Carla’s stern warning to the Church of God expounds on her clarion call—there is only one true identity for believers to claim, and it matters that the negative influences of the culture do not distort that identity. It also matters that those who represent Christ don’t simultaneously (sometimes intentionally, sometimes unwittingly) take on, and thus represent, identities, affiliations, figureheads, fads, and ideologies of a temporal world. Any of these extraneous identities, no matter how they’ve manifested, must be let go.

Of course, Carla’s message to the Movement was replete with much more great content, but Regional Conference registrants with sights set on Anderson, Indiana, this June anticipate hearing what she has to say firsthand. Those who aren’t yet registered—what are you waiting for?

Details and registration for the remaining Regional Conference experiences this year are available online at www.chogconvention.org.

Feature (top) photo: Carla Sunberg speaks at the Regional Conference in Fremont, California, on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

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