When future disciple Nathanael first heard about the Jesus the Messiah, all he could say was, “Nazareth? Can anything good come from there?” You might have had a similar reaction when you heard that the CRCNA was hosting its first-ever bi-national gathering, Inspire 2017, in Detroit, Michigan.
Although Detroit has at times gotten a bad rap, the city is in the middle of renaissance. Detroit has countless great things to offer, many of which you’ll have the opportunity to experience if you visit in August. As Detroit-area residents and pastors, my friend Mark Van Andel and I have put together a quick list of reasons you can’t afford not to come to Detroit for Inspire 2017:
- Beautiful natural surroundings. That’s right, the industrial gem of the American Midwest also has nature! The conference center opens onto Detroit’s Riverwalk, a three and a half mile waterfront promenade punctuated by ponds and gardens. In addition, Belle Isle – a 983 acre island park – is a five-minute drive from the hotel.
- Great accommodations. You’ll enjoy all the amenities of the Renaissance Center – a world-class hotel and convention center – at an extraordinary conference discount. Without a doubt an improvement over sleeping on a church basement floor.
- Arts and culture. The Renaissance Center is within striking distance of great restaurants, venues for live entertainment, museums and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
- Easy access. Many Detroit attractions are within walking distance of the hotel. Those that aren’t can be accessed by riding the People Mover or the new Qline commuter train.
- Be part of history. This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Uprising. Learn more at the Detroit Historical Museum, and share in a moment of reflection and remembrance during our Friday night worship gathering.
- Experience binationality. Detroiters pride themselves in speaking American and Canadian fluently. By the end of the conference, after mixing it up with participants from both nations, you will too!
- Meet great people. You’ll get a chance to hang out with Mark (local CRC church planter), me, members of our congregations, and friends from across our denomination.
- Tell your grandkids. When Inspire becomes legendary, you’ll be able to tell your grandchildren you were at the very first one. It’ll be like saying you were at Woodstock.
When August 6th rolls around, we are sure you’ll have your own list of reasons why Inspire 2017 was not to be missed. Until then, take our word for it! We can’t wait to see you here, in Detroit, at Inspire.