Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:
Thank you, Zion, for your attendance at Zion University @ Birmingham. It is my prayer that each of your arrived home safely! God is truly an awesome God, isn't He? Commencing with the Weekend College experience, where individuals had the opportunity to attend courses offered by Clinton College, Hood Theological Seminary, and Christian educators; powerful workshops were held by Zion Clergy Women's Network, under the leadership of Rev. Robyn Anderson, which celebrated the vision of the founder, the Reverend Dr. Kathryn G. Brown. To further celebrate the launching of this ministry, Bishop M. Bonnie Hines and Bishop Dennis Vernon Proctor, Chairman, Board of Christian Education, attended the session and gave powerful tributes to the life and service of Dr. Brown.
Upon the arrival of students to Zion University, after we were assured all had a place to sleep and transportation to and from the off-site dormitories, students could not wait to attend the courses, workshops, powerful worship experiences Good Morning ZU, and Town Hall sessions at the Sheraton Hotel, the main campus of ZU, which were taught and moderated by credible, committed Christian disciples. These sessions were deliberately designed to prepare all for their particular roles, interests, and functions in the church and community. Did we not have a spiritually uplifting time, despite the challenges? Together, we were able to "trample" all challenges under foot, as we know our God is an awesome God! As Sister Maranda Curtis shared, our God is a "Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness." It is to God we give all thanks and praise for the Elevation Experience we had in Birmingham.
As the mission and purpose of Zion University is to re-tool church leaders to serve, thrive and impact the present age, the mission, as we are well aware, is ongoing. We must now apply what we learned and will learn to our lives and continue to prepare ourselves and others for the work of fostering the development of credible, committed Christian disciples. We have a leader's opportunity and a shepherd's responsibility.
We extend our thanks to our dynamic Board Chairpersons, Bishop Proctor, Bishop Moore, Bishop Jarrett, Mrs. Swinton, CED Board members and the Episcopal Directors for their support, service and encouragement!
We are very fortunate to have such a committed and phenomenal program design team, led by Rev. Patrick Barrett, II. We give God the glory for Rev. Barrett, Rev. Tamika Jackson, Bro. Dominique Turner, Bro. Cesar Alavrez, Sis. Cleo Chaney, Rev. George E. McKain, Mrs. Jennifer Armstrong, our most efficient and hard-working Office Manager, and our website manager, Ms. Jennifer Ruffin. This is truly an outstanding Team! We celebrate our entire CED Team. You are awesome! Thank you, Bishop and Mrs. Lartey, esteemed leaders of the Alabama-Florida Episcopal District; Dr. Sondra Coleman, Chairperson, the Site Partners' team and host Pastor, Rev. Joshua. Johnson.
We are looking forward to Truthville 2018 which will be held at the Marriott Hotel, Market Street, in Downtown Philadelphia, PA, December 27-30, 2018. Program details will follow. YOU WILL NOT WANT TO MISS TRUTHVILLE 2018! I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE! WE WILL CONTINUE TO EXPECT THE GREAT!
Peace and Blessings,
Brenda L. Galloway Smith, Ed.D., LHD