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COMMISSIONED TO SERVE by Sonia E. Paul

The South Central Conference hosted its 15th Biennial Women’s Retreat on November 15-18, 2018, held at the Cohutta Springs Convention Center in Crandall, GA, themed “Commissioned To Serve”.  The theme encouraged the women to make a difference in their church community by getting involved in serving and meeting the needs of others in the simplest way.

Guest speakers were: Nicole Brise’, retired former Director of Southeastern Conference Women’s Ministries Director, Bessie White of South Central Conference, Mytonia Newman of the Potomac Conference; and Shari Loveday who challenged the women to “Nail It!’ when they returned to their church communities

The Thursday evening session began with opening speaker, Nicolle Brise’, who challenged the women to consider that “God Has a Vision for You.”  She encouraged the women to prayerfully seek God’s vision for their lives.

Each day began with the early morning prayer on-line prayer Ministry, Morning Manna at 6:00 am followed by a 45 minute brisk exercise “Move It!” with Coach Pruitt, the celebrated Health Educator in the Atlanta Public School system, who, incidentally received the Michelle Obama “Move It Award” in 2015.

Seminars were titled in conjunction with the theme of Commissioned To Serve, such as, “Setting the Table While You Wait”, while Bessie White revealed a new Approach to Bible Study: Parts I and II.  To enforce the theme of the weekend, A Spiritual Gifts Inventory was conducted by Nicole Brise’, who encouraged us to “bloom where you are planted” by reminding us that we are all gifted by the Holy Spirit, and that there is a ministry for everyone!

The weekend activities culminated with the Saturday Night activity A Ministry Fair.  A simple how-to displays of various ministry ideas were presented, from Sunshine Seniors, (a card sending ministry), Lunch & Love (a ministry that provides weekly lunches to the homeless population); SPA Day collecting hotel toiletries and distributing to the homeless); to a Pop-Up-Boutique (adopting a public housing community and hosting a boutique of free/gently worn clothing and accessories.) Each ministry was furnished with free take-home” How To” implement this ministry.

Following the Ministry Fair, the women were excited as they selected/won gifts from Bessie’s Bazaar, while being served hot dogs; popcorn, hot apple cider and nachos. The weekend’s purpose was fulfilled in an effort of utilizing one’s creativity and using it in service to the “least of these”.  By prayerfully utilizing our talents and spiritual gifts, indeed there is “…a ministry for every woman!”

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