The speaker for the day was Rev. Dr. Robert Truesdale, “The Preacher in the Hood,” who spoke on Empowering our Youth with Biblical Principles. First, Pastor Roland Latimer testified to Rev. Truesdale by reading a letter from Pastor Roberts, from the veterans’ group Now Vets. He commended Rev. Truesdale’s efforts to meet the people in need in the street, to go where they are and administer to them outside of the church, especially veterans. He even serves gang members in southern Washington, DC.
Rev. Truesdale then spoke on how to reach out to young people by getting up from our comfortable pews, leaving the pulpit and go to the streets to find those who need to find God. He said, “Like the Jehovah Witnesses who go door to door, we’ve got to go out too. Get out and bring souls to Christ.” He said many of us just congregate at church but those who are stuck out on the streets need us to go out to meet them and testify to Jesus. He often uses rhymes to reach the youth, he said, “Don’t get lost in the hype, talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words. Jesus is the season.”
Many heads nodded in support of his timely words. MC Rev. James Stewart said, “We do need to go out and save our young people. Go throughout all the streets, highways and byways to find one righteous person.”
Forty ministers and guests attended the May 24, 2018 prayer breakfast in the sanctuary of New Hope Family Church. MC’s were Rev. James and Minister Tilly Stewart, Baltimore Family Church. The opening prayer was offered by Re. Patra Kidwell.
Rev. Dan Stein introduced the American Clergy Leadership Conference to the audience with a short power point. A special treat was experienced by all with the performance of worship songs offered by Elder Poe and The Singing Deacons of Washington, DC. Everyone felt energized by the wonderful music.
Minister Eva Ozaki led the ACLC’s prayers for the Family, Community, Nation and World. As the focus of this prayer breakfast was on the Youth, Simi Kidwell, daughter of Rev. Patra, relying on Acts 13:31-34, and Genesis 2: 18-19, offered prayers for the family, Minister Eva Ozaki offered a prayer for the Community and Juron Cuffie, grandson of Rev. Frances Cuffie, Temple United Church, offered a prayer for the nation and the world. He quoted Psalms 33:10-12 and Matthew 18:18-19. It is wonderful to hear the prayers of ardent young people when many of our nation’s youth struggle to find their way to a healthy lifestyle focused on God.
Round table discussions followed, as is customary at ACLC meetings, to find common ground in our understanding of the topic: What does the Lord say to you, when the pastor says, “Get up and get out”? Or What do I do when I am challenged? Reports from each table were shared with the group.
Some comments were: What goes on before community? Failure to honor the parents. Family needs faith, education, government and business institutions to guide the children. All need to teach respect for parents and elders.
A young woman said, “We hear it all the time, listen to the Holy Spirit and be physical, save souls by following the spirit.”
Pastor McClurkin, First Christian Community at the Cathedral in Jessup, MD, said, “Being challenged means when someone cries ‘help’ we need to help feed, clothe, encourage, and serve them; even help tear down some of their barriers.” He continued saying that this requires action, both physical and mental with heart. “Help through why, when, and how for both young and old.”
An older single man, Tom, said it isn’t good to stay home and be lonely. He continued, “We should go out and talk with people you’ve never met before seeking companionship.”
Pastor Lloyd Fennell, of DC Family Counseling, said, “At the sea of Galilee, Jesus looked for “fishers of men,” he didn’t ask for qualifications, just the answer ‘yes’ when he said ‘follow me.’”
Another comment offered responded to the question of What do I do when I am challenged? “This is a chance for the freedom to change myself, what does the future hold? Out with the old and into the new, press forward and seek God.”
Rev. Vandy Kennedy, of Walker Mill Baptist Church, said, “There is a spirit of fear, but God said I am with you, (Matt. 28:18-20) Our Heavenly Parent will guide you. Faith without work is still dead. Get up and go, the Holy Spirit will guide you. Remember, God didn’t give you the spirit of fear. Acts 1:8 says you will receive power if you do something first, then the Holy Spirit will come. God will speak to you outside your comfort zone.”
A love offering was collected for the Singing Deacons and a deep Unison Intercessory Prayer was offered by all as hands were held and hearts prayed as one.
Submitted by Rev. Susan Fefferman, ACLC-MD