CCA Pastors’ & Leaders’ Conference 2021

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Tender Prayers and Bittersweet Goodbyes

Story & Photos by Tom Price, Editor, Calvary Chapel Magazine

Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship. Acts 20:37-38


From the Editor

How wonderful it was to be with the brethren at the CCA International Pastors’ and Leaders’ Conference this past week. But departing, knowing that we might not be together again this side of heaven, is always bittersweet for me. There were many friends whom I only saw from a distance through the lens of my camera, and some I didn’t even run into until the last day. So, I always leave with a tinge of regret, while at the same time (thankfully) inspired by the task of sharing God’s amazing stories with renewed vigor.

"The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace." Numbers 6:24–26

Pastor Chuck Smith was adamant from the magazine’s inception in 1999 that I attend every national pastors’ conference, even when only the senior pastors were invited to the Bible college at Murrieta Hot Springs, CA. I always realized how fortunate I was to experience that privilege. Knowing the pitfalls of overseeing a magazine dedicated to telling the stories of Calvary Chapel, Pastor Chuck wanted me to understand the heart of this amazing movement of the Holy Spirit. What wisdom and insight the founder of Calvary Chapel always demonstrated!

But maybe the sadness I experience when departing is natural. The Lord didn’t put us together, make us who we are, only to experience a taste of heaven and joyfully leave it behind. We can only imagine what God has in store for those who live their lives to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. We know and trust totally in His plan for us and that our future will far surpass our earthly imagination. When we reunite in heaven, our reunion with our family of believers will be even grander and will last for eternity.

We are grateful for the CCA leadership for their powerful teachings through the Book of Acts and for all who took the time out of their busy lives to make the effort to be part of this conference. All of us, including those who could only experience the event online, offer many thanks to the Calvary Chapel Golden Springs staff who worked endlessly to make the conference such a wonderful experience. Raul, Sharon, Wade, Sean, Scott, and everyone at CC Golden Springs, we love and appreciate you all.

Love in Jesus,
Tom Price, editor and founder, Calvary Chapel Magazine

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Revelation 22:21

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Pastor Bobby Hargraves (right) of Calvary Chapel of the Hudson Valley in Poughkeepsie, NY, says goodbye to several friends.

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Eric Tribble (center) prays for Pastor Brenen Beeler of Regenerate Church in Orange County, CA.

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Friends pray before leaving the CCA conference.

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Several ladies gather to pray as they leave each other, while two men behind them also pray together.

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Kerry (youth pastor at CC Honolulu, HI) and Kat Taylor (left) say goodbye to Pastor Ron and Yani Hindt of Calvary Houston, TX.

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Pastor John Milhouse (center) of CC Moreno Valley, CA, says goodbye to a longtime friend.

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Pastors Joe Focht (right) of CC Philadelphia, PA, and Bill Luebkemann (of CC Marlton, NJ) chat before leaving.

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Pastor Raul Ries of CC Golden Springs receives thanks from attendees for hosting the conference.

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Pastor Joe Focht chats with a young friend.


All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2021 Calvary Chapel Magazine (CCM). All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.