ACLC WIM Seminar: Standing in the Gap
On Saturday, March 19, 2016, the American Clergy Leadership Conference’s Women in Ministry (ACLC WIM) began a second series of “Standing in the Gap for Families” Seminars at the New Life Center Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in Chicago, IL.
The Standing in the Gap seminars take their inspiration from Ezekiel 22:30, in which the prophet Ezekiel reveals to the people of Jerusalem that God is seeking for good, true, and truly loving representatives to can stand up for and right the wrongs of their people and their city: “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land…”
We were honored to receive a keynote address on this theme given by Sister Donna Farrakhan, daughter of Minister Louis and Mother Kadijah Farrakhan. Sister Donna said that God tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9, “My thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways.” We can’t close the gap between our families, our cities, or our nations and God without God’s help. We need to close the gap with God’s Word. She went on to say that we have to strive to become perfect in God. Sister Donna was humble but strong, and lovingly challenged us to become perfect in God in order to stand in the gap. It was a very beautiful message that really touched our hearts.
Mrs. Cleopatra Barrett
Mrs. Cleopatra Barrett, National Advisor for ACLC WIM, gave a warm and gracious introduction to Sister Donna. Mrs. Barrett, together with her husband, Rev. T.L. Barrett, pastor of the New Life Center Church, opened the New Life Center fellowship hall for ACLC WIM’s special Saturday seminar.
Rev. T.L. Barrett
Rev. Barrett gave a very warm welcome to commence the program, testifying how True Parents had healed his marriage and how he was so inspired by True Mother’s leadership. “I feel so moved by Mother Moon as she is going through all the incredible historical pressure to lift this world out of darkness into the era of Blessed Families.” Since the first meeting of ACLC with Minister Farrakhan was held at Rev. Barrett’s church, it was especially meaningful to have his daughter address ACLC WIM there.
This is the second year ACLC WIM is holding these one-day seminars in four cities, starting with Chicago. The Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) of Chicago joined ACLC WIM as co-sponsor of the program, which was additionally given strong support from Love Train Ministry, ACLC of Chicago, and the Chicago Family Church.
Over 120 participants were in attendance and the program went from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In addition to Sister’s Donna’s keynote address, we listened to two presentations, watched entertainment, and engaged in worship together.
The Community Youth Ensemble choir “Voices of Hope,” comprised of youth from the Nation of Islam, led us in songs such as “We are the World,” bringing joy to all of us.
Rev. Mama Joy Sigur-Ramza (above) and Rev. Rosemary Bookstein
Rev. Mama Joy Sigur-Ramza and Rev. Rosemary Bookstein each led an ACLC True Family Ministry presentation. Their presentations on “God’s Original Ideal” and “What Went Wrong” provided an excellent chance to review the Bible verses and True Father’s words explaining God’s blueprint for humankind at the beginning of human history and how we deviated from it.
Later in the day, a Marriage Blessing Ceremony was also officiated by Dr. Michael Jenkins, ACLC Chairman Emeritus, and his wife, Minister Reiko Jenkins, Co-Chairwoman of ACLC WIM.
To conclude this deeply moving day, Coordinator of the Chicago ACLC WIM, Evangelist Greta Myers, closed the event with special thanks to all those who had made the program possible. We then joined hands in a prayer circle and Evangelist Greta gave a closing prayer, sharing a heartfelt moment of gratitude with our Heavenly Parent. The members of Love Train Ministry, which Evangelist Greta initiated two years ago, truly deserve recognition for their hard work and for continually building on the foundation which True Parents have made here in Chicago.
It was a beautiful and blessed event. We really felt the unity of all the women made the foundation for its success.
Minister Fannie Mae Smith
“True Mother was in the house Saturday, definitely, because I felt her love, her kindred spirit, her kindness and her thoroughness.” -Minister Fannie Mae Smith
“I really felt the feminine side of God on Saturday. I could see how powerful the feminine side of God really is, and how much that part wants the women of the world to really unite together.” -Sister Carrie Tonkumoh
Sister Carrie Tonkumoh
“We want to rebuild families, restore the community and renew the nation, and I believe we help with the world. Today people felt relieved. That was the main thing. The people who came today wanted relief. Those people were relieved when they left on Saturday, and I believe God stepped in.” -Evang. Greta Myers
Submitted by Min. Reiko Jenkins and Rev. Marilyn Kotulek, ACLC WIM National Co-Chairwomen, with contributions from Evang. Greta Myers and Patricia Fliginger – WFWP Chicago Chairman