DISTRICT 16TH LAY CONVENTION
RENAISSANCE PORTSMOUTH-NORFOLK WATERFRONT HOTEL
425 WATER STREET, PORTSMOUTH, VIRGINIA 23704
November 2-3, 2016
“Prepare to Elevate” was the theme that guided the Lay Convention of the Second Episcopal District in a series of workshops and worship services. The District’s Convention planners did not stray from the Mission of the Lay Organization: “to teach, train and empower its members for lay ministry, and meet the objective – to encourage the laity to support the total program of the church in the local congregation.” An ambitious and informative agenda was planned for the two day convention. Keynote speaker, Congressman James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, advised the group to take the 2016 election seriously for the results of this election could set America back, or continue economic growth and social change for everyone. It is important to preserve the advances that the Democratic Party has set forth, such as Social Security, Medicare, voting rights, and the Affordable Care Act. These programs will be in jeopardy under Republican control.
The second part of the agenda was “A Dialogue with our Servant Bishop.” Bishop Davis was most engaging as he responded to questions from Second District Lay persons. The audience was impressed with his openness and clarity of expectations for the conference year. He reported that his plan to reduce the number of conference meetings is out of budgetary concerns.
The LAY Awards gala introduced the Lay Persons of the year for each conference. The Honorees were Dr. Alvin R. White for the Baltimore Conference; Maria A. Wallace for the Washington Conference; Valerie G. Terry and Ashley S. Williams for the Virginia Conference; Bernetta L. Ghist for the North Carolina Conference, and Kenneth R. Woods, Sr. for the Western North Carolina Conference. The person selected as District’s Lay Person of the Year is North Carolina’s Bernetta Ghist, who will represent the Second District at the Biennial Convention in Columbus, Ohio in August, 2017.
The workshops complemented the convention and included “2016 General Conference’s Impact on the local church,” by Sister Selerya O. Moore, who served on the Connectional Revisions Committee. She reported on the status of Legislation that came before the Quadrennial delegates. Starr Battle, Esquire, reported on the Connectional Lay Constitution and By-Laws, and President Valerie Bell, who served on the Statistics and Finance Committee, gave a thorough report on the General Budget Assessment.
Workshop II, Accountability and Transparency in the Local Church” was presented by Mrs. Cynthia Gordon-Floyd. The workshop revealed how important transparency is in collecting and reporting funds raised in the local church.
Rev. Dr. Darlene James unpacked information on the topic “Simple Evangelism-Discipleship Training – What AME’s Believe.” Rev. James, Christian Education Director of the Washington Conference reviewed what we believe about Jesus, Holy Spirit, and Spiritual Growth, and explained Evangelism through “Ministry in a Bag.” Rev. James may be contacted for speakership at firstname.lastname@example.org