“In the early church there was danger and disunity. But we must make every effort to keep the unity among us, prevent things from dividing us. In practice we sometimes allow secondary things to divide us. If you don’t have love on the inside, you can’t keep that bond of unity… Let us do our part by building that unity not only in the church but also in the wider community…. Jesus revealed that God’s whole effort through human history has been to prepare the way to bring us back into the Garden, to bring marriage back into the Garden.”
This was part of a keynote message from Archbishop Dr. Sulanch Lewis-Rose, ACLC WIM national co-chair, one of three keynote speakers at the ACLC Women In Ministry event on May 20, 2017, at the Life Center Church of God in Christ in Chicago, under the gracious auspices of Pastor T.L. Barrett Jr. and First Lady Barrett. Arch. Lewis-Rose
Also speaking was Archbishop George A. Stallings, Jr., who illuminated the True Family Values lecture “What Went Wrong?” “It’s about purifying ourselves so we can recapture that lost identity, that real identity that occurred in the Garden of Eden.” He gave us a clear explanation of the symbolism surrounding the Fall in the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Life, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, etc. using many anecdotes. Arch. Stallings
A moving True Family Values presentation was given by Dr. Tanya Edwards, entitled “Why Do We Marry?” She wove her own family story into a message which focused and prepared us for the celebration of Marriage Blessing ceremony. Dr. Tanya Edwards Rev. Jeff Schmidt and Rev. Kunihiro Sagisaka moderated, as couples gathered on stage representing all, and Pastor and Mrs. Barrett officiated the ceremony. All the guests participated and afterwards were invited to receive a certificate of this Blessing.
Coordinated by Evang. Greta Myers, a dynamic program filled with a diverse blend of 80 presenters and guests was offered. Our Mistress of Ceremony, Min. Fannie Smith did a fantastic job of keeping us on schedule and infusing the program with energy.
A highlight of the morning was the Appreciation Awards ceremony. Thanks to the inspired vision received by Rev. Marilyn Kotulek and the diligent efforts of Evang. Rita Pritchett, we honored First Responders from the police, fire, and emergency medical team departments from the city of Chicago with lovely plaques expressing our respect. In addition, the President of the Firefighters Union Local 2, Mr. Dave Quintavalle, presented our ACLC Women In Ministry with a generous gift.
The luncheon featured time-honored favorites, lovingly prepared Ms. Joan Barrett and the kitchen staff. A special award presentation was made by the Women In Ministry national co-chairs, giving a recognition plaque on behalf of the ACLC Women In Ministry to our dedicated leaders, Rev. Helen Cooper and Evangelist Greta Myers.
Ms. Melishia Bansa, the daughter of Bishop Connie and Emanuel Bansa, who have been involved in ACLC over 30 years, beautifully introduced our keynote speaker, Archbishop Dr. Sulanch Lewis-Rose.
We are grateful for the collaboration of our local ACLC leadership, Rev. David Rendel and Rev. Kunihiro Sagisaka., the seminar welcomed the ACLC Women In Ministry national team- Archbishop George A. Stallings Jr., Min. Reiko Jenkins, Rev. Marilyn Kotulek, Rev. Tanya Edwards, and to for a grand celebration.
Afterwards, we formed a circle and Bishop Connie Bansa shared invigorating words for us all. Evang. Greta Myers closed out the event. Cutting the congratulatory cake we all felt the value of a job well-done.
Many thanks to our guests such as Sis. Claudette Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, and everyone who contributed to the planning and of this year’s event, especially the invitational committee and decorating team.
Contributed by Patricia Fliginger, Chicago Women In Ministry