It was the 27th Annual Seminar in the Rockies, conference in Estes Park, CO. July 29 – Aug 4 2001. Staying true to tradition set by founder Cam Floria and carried on by GMA’s president Frank Breeden, the conference once again served up cutting-edge classes, competition, concerts, worship and fellowship! Performances by some of Christian Industry’s finest; Jaci Velasquez, ZOEgirl, Avalon and Plus One, to name a few. Artists mingled, taught and sat in classes with registrants. For all who made the trek up to this mountain high and for whatever reason, you could not help but get caught up in this intimate setting! Those aspiring to be artists, writers and actors saw first hand what it takes to succeed in these areas of ministry. The preverbal veil was lifted revealing sincere children of God.. “successful” in their arenas, but who still deal with real life, struggles and emotions! Out of all the lessons learned at Estes Park, this reality of “true success in ministry,” and all that comes with it, is the most valuable thing registrants can walk away with.
On the lighter side, this is unlike any other conference, with sought after accommodations not being the usual; cell phones, credit cards or laptop computers but, A $2.00 BOTTLE OF WATER, A $4.00 CUP COFFEE and OXYGEN! These are three things you could not get enough of during GMA?s Seminar in the Rockies. You are on the top of the world, yet the things you take for granted anywhere else, seem to be the things that are highly prized. It was kind of like a Christian Artists’ “SURVIVOR” in the Rocky Mountains! The Seminar’s “Survivors” discovered throughout this week the importance of; good padding on a chair, modern ventilation, a long lasting deodorant, comfortable shoes, an available bathroom, a good parking space, an emergency brake that works and the ability to locate and read your schedule book while walking up or down a steep incline.
While stress, pressure and emotion are hanging heavy over this mountain, if you stop long enough, anyone….from registrant to judge can find humor running a muck! Where else do you have the opportunity to see adults running around like dogs, name tags dangling around their necks…stating all the information about them pertinent to the weeks activity…..it’s pre-segregation at registration ..a colorful tagging system! Your tag determines where you will eat, sleep and where you can sit for all the concerts. Before any conversation is started, you check to see if you are speaking to a green or purple tag. Your whole identity summed up in a tag around your neck and conversation’s dictated by the color above your name! You can hear a whole group of green tags change their tone when a purple tag walks by.
At the beginning of the week, registrants fixate their eyes at tag level…but by the end of the week, though all they are worried about is making it to the top of the hill, without passing out! Oxygen becomes of utmost importance, registrants seem to be less taken in by Industry tags, but the truth is …they just don’t have the breath and are too tired to start a conversation to push their CD!
One way to sum up the week is…. the green tags sit in classes and go through agonizing critiques all week long just to learn how to become a purple tag some day….many walk away with the realization that they are ?still very, very green?!
All humor aside, the registrants are climbing more than hills. Hopes and dreams in tow, individual peaks are draped by the cloud cover of God’s will. Some to break through to their mountain peak of success, while others break through only to find a steep climb yet to come! It is a week full of physical, emotional and spiritual ups and downs..valley?s and peaks! True success not always to be found in the winners circle. To those who are earnestly seeking and listening, they will return home closer to what God has for them personally and for their individual ministry. A week full of tremendous opportunity for all who participated!
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