Final registration going on now for biennial Summit on the Black Church

COLUMBIA—United Methodist clergy and laity from across South Carolina will head to Columbia this month for the biennial Summit on the Black Church, a three-day event designed to celebrate and equip African-American congregations in this state.

The event will be Oct. 2-4 at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton, 2100 Bush River Road, Columbia.

Registration ends Sept. 29.

This year’s Summit has a theme of “Being in Ministry with the Poor” and features as keynote speaker Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, resident bishop of the Western Ohio Annual Conference.

“The Summit on the Black Church celebrates the presence and ministry of African-American congregations in South Carolina and provides resources and training to further strengthen, equip and empower local congregations to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” said the Rev. Jeffrey Salley, congregational specialist for African-American Ministries for the conference, noting this is the conference’s third Summit since it started in 2010.

He said the 2014 Summit aims to equip and empower congregations to impact the variables that cause poverty in their local context.

The gathering features keynote worship addresses, several plenaries, a banquet and practical workshops for clergy and laity focusing on leading effective ministry in the local church. Plenary speakers include the Rev. Rudy Rasmus, author and senior pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church, Houston, Texas; the Rev. Romal Tune, author and founder of Faith for Change; and Bishop Kenneth Carder and Dr. Carolyn Prince, of the Campaign for Children in Poverty.

Case studies will be presented by Wesley UMC, Columbia; Edisto Fork UMC, Orangeburg; Bennettsville-Cheraw Area Cooperative, Bennettsville; and the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council. The case studies will focus on various ministries such as feeding the hungry, HIV/AIDS and children in poverty.

Workshops include “Where Have All the Prophets Gone? Reclaiming Prophetic Preaching in your Context,” Dr. William Bobby McClain; “HIV and AIDS Awareness,” the Rev. Paul Gasque; “How to Help your Church Engage its Community,” Jada Charley; “Strengthening Children and Families,” Dr. Carolyn Prince and Joan Johnakin; “Building Relationships with Schools in Your Community,” Dr. Debbie Rice and Robert Maddox; “The Evolution of Housing Solutions: A Habitat Perspective,” Stefanie Barnette, the community outreach director for Habitat for Humanity of York County; “Finding the Voice of Advocacy,” Bernie Mazyck; and “Creating Healthier Communities,” Lee Porter and Birley Wright, Children’s Trust of South Carolina.

Two workshops, “Identifying Opportunities for Ministry with the Poor in Your Community,” will be led by Dr. Sheila Elliott, Mazyck and General Board of Global Ministries’ Regina Henderson and Mary Ellen Kris.

Summit will also have two poverty simulations facilitated by the Rev. Beth Templeton.

S.C. Bishop Jonathan Holston will lead the closing worship service and sending forth celebration.

To register or for more information, click here.

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