MONTEREY, Calif.—Ministry leaders of the California Association of Regular Baptist Churches came together for fellowship, encouragement, and refreshment at the association’s 70th Christian Workers Retreat. The event was held Jan. 1618 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Monterey.

Each speaker focused on the theme “Family Life.” Pastor Ken Doan of Orchard Avenue Baptist Church in Vacaville spoke the first evening on the “Essence of a Godly Family,” emphasizing the heart attitude of godliness in the home. Pastor Chips Ross of Westwood Baptist Church in Fresno surveyed the family of Jacob in his session on “Communication,” challenging attendees to walk with Jesus as the key to righteous communication.

Bruce McLain, CARBC state representative, shared a strategy for raising children in ministry. Pastor Jay Underwood of First Baptist Church in Weaverville took attendees to the Song of Solomon in his message on “Stoking the Flames,” handling this topic with humor and practical insight. Pastor Robin Montgomery of Crest Avenue Baptist Church in Riverside discussed the mostly American phenomenon of the empty nest, noting that though all have experienced different degrees of the empty nest, we are never alone. “Your Presence Matters” was the topic of Pastor Pete Austel of Madera Baptist Church. He focused on the two pictures of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2, nursing mother and disciplining father, and challenged everyone make time for their families both physically and emotionally.

“God gave us two beautiful days in Monterey between the storms that have saturated California this year,” Bruce McClain says. “We are thankful for rain and the sun, the blessing of ministry in our churches throughout the state, and the time to come together to be refreshed.”