by Gerald Christian Nordskog
Shortly after 9/11/01, the Lord began to work on my heart about the country’s need for repentance. I began reading some of Richard Owens Roberts’ and Coalition on Revival (COR) materials. The burden got heavier during the autumn as I continued to pray about it. I asked for prayer and got confirmation (through Jackie Yockey’s High Adventure Ministries holiday event to honor founder George Otis [now deceased]). My wife Gail and I discussed it at our home (our annual Christmas-New Years’ party with close personal friends) and prayed over it, and it was again confirmed to immediately pursue a genuine Solemn Assembly.
Quickly, with a few friends, we formed the sponsoring group “Ventura County Council of Pastors & Leaders” (similar to the Coalition On Revival’s Northern and Southern California groups from the ‘80s-‘90s). The small initial steering committee (now the elders of Trinity Home Church) set a name for our event: “Solemn Assembly Summit and Celebration — Seeking God for Ventura County 2002.”
Since we had many Christian contacts in our county, from years of chairing the National Day of Prayer (and other events) in Ventura, after setting goals and a plan, we began contacting ministry leaders throughout our county to participate. As of first of January we set an aggressive date of Saturday March 23. Basically, we had less than 90 days to organize, publicize and implement the Solemn Assembly. The urgency of the day after 9/11 and the Lord’s overwhelming burden on my heart said to do it soon and before Passion week.
Our sub-theme was: “A Cry for Holiness in the Ventura County Church, ending a 40-day season from Ash Wednesday February 13 to Palm Sunday March 24, of Fasting and Praying, Reflecting and Repenting, asking God for Restoring, Reviving, Reforming.” Along with our planned full day of repenting and praying (and celebrating God’s forgiveness and blessings at the end of the day), we distributed The Waymakers booklets for believers in our area for fasting and praying and to prepare all of our hearts on a daily basis leading up to the Solemn Assembly.
It was no small task (but we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us) to organize the 2/13 to 3/24 preparation season of praying with fasting and particularly the 3/23 full day of confessing our county’s, state’s, nation’s and the Church’s sins before our Lord, pursuing repentance, seeking His forgiveness and blessings.
We established a logo of a father, mother, and child praying together, and emphasized the need with Scripture on our posters and flyers and invitation letters distributed through the community, at churches, Christian book stores, schools, etc.:
“Be holy, for I am holy, says the Lord”
“If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways… then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land.”
The day’s seeking God went from 8:00 a.m. to after 4:00 p.m., an all-day focus, and included forty brothers and sisters, repenting, listing sins, giving Biblical historical precedence for Solemn Assemblies, leading in praise and worship music, and including a time, led by my wife and me, of having the countywide church in attendance, being led into and signing a Declaration, Commitment, Covenant to God pledge, in an Act of Contrition and Humble Repentance before our Lord.
I believe the Lord, by His Providence in the ensuing years, recognized our humble sincerity of bowing before Him in this manner in reducing the crime rate of our county and electing Christian civil servants in key positions, among other of His mercies and grace.
For more information on how to organize a Solemn Assembly in your community, please contact the Coalition On Revival’s Solemn Assembly Committee for assistance. Please prayerfully consider establishing your own event expeditiously. God bless you.