Covid-19 has caused many of our traditional and beloved activities and events in 2020 to be cancelled. Although it had alterations, the Annual Iron Man Conference was not one of those events.
Albeit it was altered to a one-day event we thank God we were able to hold the 9th Annual Iron Man Conference. Instead of a weekend event we held a Sunday only event in San Clemente. It was a celebration of Faith and Friendship with the Union Rescue Mission Men and our faithful friends at Pacific Coast Church. Our unique 2020 theme was: United We Stand: 6’ A-P-A-R-T! In an effort to be responsible and exercise caution all the men wore masks and practiced social distancing.
It may have been shorter in length but it was larger in scope. We had the largest turnout of URM men ever to worship together at Pacific Coast Church. Over 75 men rode the buses from Skid Row in Los Angeles to the church in the beach community of San Clemente.
We worshipped together in an outdoor service and reflected on the Good Samaritan story that teaches us that the Litmus Test of Christianity is to have compassion for the needy and hurting without limitations and discrimination.
A hearty lunch followed on the lawn. The men like to eat. It’s a very powerful expression of hospitality and the church provided a satisfying spread. Afterward, some of us went to the Miramar Hotel to hold a brief prayer vigil for unity in the community and to memorialize Mr. Kurt Reinhold whose life ended in that spot a couple weeks prior. Everyone deserves a memorial service including those experiencing homelessness.
At the beach we enjoyed the fellowship and fun of the water. To wrap it up we headed to the waterfront and celebrated 18 URM men who wanted to be baptized to memorialize their commitment to Jesus Christ. That’s the largest group to be baptized in our nine year history! People all along the beach witnessed the public display of faith and many cheered each man as they came up out of the water. It was pretty cool!
Thanks to all the volunteers at the church who made it possible to keep the Iron Man Conference alive and well. Thanks to all the Iron Men at the church who live out the theme verse from Proverbs 27:17… “As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.”\