Unification News for June 2005

Women in Ministry Banquet in Detroit

by Art Roselle

Detroit was honored to host the first Women in Ministry Banquet and conference on Friday, April 29, at the Holiday Inn in Dearborn, Michigan. This was a blossoming of the new and upcoming women’s branch of the American Clergy Leadership Conference. The conference, designed as a networking event, nearly packed out with 115 in attendance. Through the spiritual leadership of Bishop B. H. Weeks of Detroit, the event attracted women from a wide range of religions and cultures that brought the conference to life.

We were blessed to have in attendance Mrs. Reiko Jenkins and Mrs. Debbie Taylor from Washington DC National Headquarters. Our women leaders from Chicago, Mrs. Kathleen Sometani and Mrs. Maria Hudson, came to support the program. From Philadelphia, Mrs. Tania Edwards, wife of ACLC Board Chairman Rev. Jesse Edwards, came as well.

The audience was warmed by the harmonious voices of the Michigan Japanese Missionary Choir and a solo performance by Jennifer Young, a Detroit area professional singer. With the colorful traditional gowns and equally colorful accents, the women’s testimonies brought both laughter and tears. The evening was emceed by Pastor Pauline Linscott who traveled 2 ˝ hours with 8 other guests. One of the many speakers Pauline introduced was Talia Zeer, whose husband is president of the Chaldean Federation of America. Her personal story told of the horrific conditions she and other Iraqi families, specifically women, had to experience during the Saddam regime. In her conclusion, she called up onto the stage two women dressed in military uniforms. They were Col. Terry Mazzarese and SSgt. Crystal Whittaker from the local Selfridge Air force Base. Mrs. Zeer embraced the airmen with tears as she spoke of the appreciation all Iraqis have for the sacrifices America has made. Col. Mazzarese and SSgt. Whittaker also reinforced the necessity of their involvement in the Middle East and expressed their gratitude in having served in Iraq.

Some of the speakers also had display tables set up on the perimeter of the room. There were a total of 9 tables displaying their books/CDs, mission organizations and services. As the evening came to a close, Rev. Reiko Jenkins led everyone through the Holy Wine ceremony, ending with the Middle East Peace Song. The program was attended by reporters of 2 Muslim magazines and was recorded for Television 68, a local cable station.

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