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Houston Area Conference Debrief

It was a beautiful morning in which God's presence and our presence came together for a holy experience. After some introductions, reconnections, and breakfast, Psalmist Gigi Jones led us in a beautiful praise and worship experience. Reverend Anita Greene led a panel discussion with Minister Krystal Berry, Reverend Debra Bell, and Reverend Brianna Childs Davenport. We were reminded that it is God who gives affirmation and equips women as they go in ministry.

Reverend Childs Davenport said, "You can't be what you cannot see," in reference to never feeling like she could be called to ministry because she did not see women in ministry. This is something that all panelists agreed to, having experienced themselves, and we many of us can claim the same. Isaiah 43 was brought into the conversation with verses like these.

1But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."

It was emphasized that God had called women out and anointed them for ministry. The panelists discussed how it is God who makes space for your gifts. Through the panel discussion, it has been unveiled that we need to pause and see the good works to continue positive movements and get excited about what will be celebrated. May we celebrate the abundance mentality. Women in ministry are called into collaboration, not competition.

Reverend Aisha Davis preached a sermon entitled Cut Out to Carry Out. She spoke about Luke's participation of women. She used the story of Mary and Elizabeth to emphasize that women can and do handle the big things. We are empowered to share God's truths. We are empowered to tell the truth. God chose you and prepared you, Reverend Davis emphasized.

As the speaker for the event, Reverend Jewel London shared a tapestry that was messy when looking solely at the back. This was from the weaving process. Yet, when looked at properly, it is beautiful. She explained how God knows how to put things together in your life because God has woven you. This was a reminder of how God calls, prepares, and cultivates women for ministry. God, Reverend London, reminds us, is always present and working within us in our ministry journey.

The joy and love of God filled our hearts and our lives. Through the fantastic panelists, the preacher, the speaker, through song, and the simple yet beautiful community, we were led to embrace further the wondrous mission God has called every one of us. We were healed, restored, and prepared for service. Through a beautiful morning, we were drawn deeper into the hopeful plans of God.

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