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C.E.D. Winter Meeting 2018: Truthville ‘Thrives’ in Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA – “THRIVE: Strengthening Families and Developing Leaders,” was the theme for Truthville 2018.

Zionites young and old traveled from near and far to be equipped and retooled for the work for kingdom building. The Christian Education Department (CED) is tremendously blessed by the visionary leadership of Board Chairman, Bishop Dennis V. Proctor, as evident in the choice of Dr. Brenda G. Smith as General Secretary-Treasurer of CED. Dr. Smith and the program design team provided an experience that left attendees feeling refreshed and inspired. December 27-30 is a time always filled with prophetic preaching, impactful teaching, and transformative worship. Bishop and Mrs. W. Darin Moore and the members of the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District were very gracious host and left no stone unturned.

A pre-convention activity, Movie Night, took place on Wednesday night, December 26, 2018, where attendees were favored to view the documentary entitled “Issac Pope: The Spirit of An American Century” chronicling the life of Zion’s very on, Mr. Issac Pope. This film received a rousing response as well as impassioned dialogue following its viewing. Dr. Paula Kaplan, producer of the film, was on hand to answer questions and encourage members to bring the film to their respective local churches. She also thanked the Star of Zion Communications Department for their work and partnership in bringing the film to the mid-winter meeting for viewing.

Thursday, December 27 begins with CED round tables for every role in CED ministry. The leadership labs covered a plethora of topics relevant to the theme. Any leader at any level had opportunity to be retooled for a thriving ministry. Rev. Alyce Walker Johnson, Pastor of the Clinton AME Zion Church in Rockville, MD was the preacher for the Thrive worship service. The late evenings are usually filled with rehearsals of all sorts: the YACM Choir, Step Team, Liturgical Dance, and Drama to name a few.

Zion is always excited to welcome guests and their presence always enhances our conference. This year Bishop Millicent Hunter, Presiding Bishop of the Worship Center Worldwide Fellowship of Churches, was the guest clinician for the morning pulse check. Bishop Jason Nelson blessed the conference as guest artist, who held a debut performance at the college rally luncheon.

Friday the focus of the workshops shifted from leadership to a family focus. Topics ranged from “how to deal with bullying” to “parenting a child with special needs,” which were very insightful to those in attendance. This new Commission on Family Life was spearheaded by Rev. Robyn Anderson, Pastor of Blackwell AME Zion Church in Hartford, CT. The decision to provided a curriculum focusing on family life was applauded by registrants. Some of Zion’s top pastors and lay leaders were presenters throughout the duration of the conference.

Parallel to the entire meeting are the business sessions of ACE, YACM, and VICYC. The YACM Steering Committee held its election of officers, and during the Victory night worship service, these officers along with other CED officers, were installed utilizing a new installation litany, developed just for the Christian Education Department by Mr. Joseph King Davis, Jr, Central North Carolina Conference. Mr. Davis also designed the new Presidential Medallions that were presented to the leadership of each arm of the Christian Education Department. Rev. Dairl Scott, Jr. Pastor of Center Grove AME Zion Church in Tobaccoville, NC brought a soul stirring message!

Saturday was another day filled with workshops and great worship. Focusing on family and leadership, attendees wrapped up the day with an evening of worship in arts with a gospel concert with special guest artist Bishop Jason Nelson performing.

The conference closed on Sunday morning with a climactic worship experience. The Rev. Brandon Fisher, Pastor of Kyles Temple AME Zion Church in Sacramento, CA, bringing a word straight from Heaven! The Christian Education Department looks forward to sharing with all of Zion and its guest at Truthville 2019 in Washington, D.C. December 27-30, 2019!

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