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Portland, Oregon 2021
Westward Leading

The 2021 Convention was meant to be an in-person event.  Covid-19 had other plans.

On November 6th, as a gentle rain fell in Oregon's Valley where Portland is located.  87 people joined us on a zoom call.

Neil Allen - Event host - scrolled through some of his thousands of photos, showing his own and portions from other collections as the guests arrived.  

At 9 am the 2021 Convention began with the business of Friends of the Creche was intertwined with each of the board members and presenters sharing their favorite or nearby sets.

Neil Showed his ostrich egg nativity.  One of two made for him by Ruth McCool of Muncie, Indiana.  He described how the first carved egg had slipped from his hands and struck a ladder (shattering into many pieces) had nearly broken his heart in the process.  However, Ruth made him a second egg (the last of her eggs - she no longer owns these magnificent birds).  Neil said, "It reminds us that not everything we do goes according to plan, and so we must pick up the pieces and move forward.   He was talking about an egg- but really about the 2021 Convention which was a huge challenge through a pandemic.

Thanking his team members Neil turned the celebration to Helen Holder who offered a cleaver spoof based on our 20 years as an organization.  

Three presenters added their "My Nativity Story" to the fun.  Patty Harringer shared her harrowing story of losing her collection, house and treasured memories during the 2020 Wildfires.  She reminded us that life is a journey not a destination.  Enjoy the trip!  There were few dry eyes on the screen.

Carol Williams was introduced as the 2022 Annual Meeting Host, and also shared her Nativity Story.  The 2022 Event will take place on November 12th at the Moore Methodist Museum, located on St. Simons Island, Georgia.  The museum is now host to the Upper Room's collection.  They are in the process of remodeling and adding sets to the collection.  

Our Guest Speaker was Patti Rokus, a..k.a. "The Rock Lady" who shared her passion for the nativity, song and wonderful videos.

Our BIG NEWS on the 2023 Convention slatted for Washington, DC wound up in two major computer failures.  Undaunted we trudged forward.  That video is available on our Webpage and Facebook page.

Neil Allen

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