I want to share how God’s hand was at work at our women’s retreat regarding racial reconciliation within our denomination. Joyce Howell was the speaker, not because we thought this was a good idea due to racial issues, but because God put her on a few of the planning committee member’s hearts as the best person to speak on this year’s theme, “Chosen”.
When Joyce brought her culture with her, through ladies doing interpretive dance and singing, the whole body of women enjoyed, celebrated, participated, and supported the invitation to join in. Joyce didn’t mention anything about racial tensions, we were just one heart learning about the truth that we are all chosen by God to live and fulfill our calling.
A couple months before, after hearing Pastor VanHook speak at our church regarding how to come together through racial reconcilliation, God placed it on one of our member’s heart to set up retreat sponsorships for some ladies at his Oakland church. Two ladies graciously accepted the sponsorships and attended. Traycee, our women’s director, connected and continued in conversation with them for weeks, telling them how excited we were to be with them and inviting them to our “night gatherings” in our room. They joined with us and we had the best time laughing and praising God.
After retreat, attendee Kris Lindsey said, “I’m so proud of the Wesleyans for their heartfelt, inclusive spirit!”