I was truly excited to attend the 19th Quadrennial of the Women’s Missionary Society as a delegate. The Quadrennial opened with a worship service. The message “One Table or Two” was delivered by Bishop Henning-Byfield. Her message encouraged us to be inclusive. After worship, quick lunch and change of clothes, the Plenary Business Session was opened by the International President, Shirley Cason-Reed. During this session the Tanner-Turner Memorial Service was held. This is a service of remembrance of deceased Bishops, Supervisors and District Officers since the last Quadrennial. Quadrennial Committee and Connectional Officers’ reports were given. The Third Districted hosted a banquet “Celebrating the Arts” on the evening of day one.
Day two started with the Districts Breakfast where we were greeted by our very own Bishop James L. Davis and Supervisor Arelis Davis. Breakfast was followed by Plenary Session II which included a Sickle Cell presentation and District reports. The session was followed by The President’s Luncheon which celebrated the Dynamic Leadership of the International President of the Women’s Missionary Society, Dr. Shirley Cason-Reed. After lunch, Plenary Session III included additional District Reports and the 2nd Reading of the Constitution and Bylaws Amendments. The evening event was The Documentary: Emanuel.
Day three started with the Sunrise Worship Celebration of Word and Sacrament at 6:30 a.m. Bishop Frank Madison Reid, III delivered a mighty message, which I titled “Called or Career.” Bishop Reid referred to a book he read in which the author questioned preachers as to whether they were called or making a career out of preaching/pastoring. He stated the same could be asked of the missionaries. Plenary Session IV was held after service. Presentation from the Mercy Ships were given. Mercy Ships is a hospital that provides free lifesaving surgery for people where medical care is nearly non-exist. Dr. Reed gave her final Quadrennial report. The afternoon Plenary Session V included additional District Reports and the Adoption of Proposed Constitution and Bylaws Amendments and Resolutions.
Day four Plenary Session VI included a presentation by AME SADA. SADA is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving life in Africa and the Caribbean. Their mission is to help people help themselves. This session also included Recognitions and Awards. The election of Connectional Officers was held in Plenary Session VII. The new International President, Deborah Taylor King ran unopposed. Connectional Officers from the Second Episcopal District who also ran unopposed were Chandelle Ivy, Treasurer; Margaret Maske, Promotional Magazine Director; and Wanda Simms, Parliamentarian. The evening event was a Recognition of Retiring Supervisors.
The final day of the Quadrennial included the pinning ceremony of the new officers. Also recognized were the Mighty Men of Missions. The Closing Worship message, “Stay Salty” was delivered by Bishop John White. Bishop White stated by staying salty you will be able to spread joy and love wherever you go. In his message he used the analogy of when you finished eating dinner at the family table and the table was cleared; you were asked to keep your fork. Keeping your fork usually indicated dessert was going to follow. He told the missionaries to “keep your fork” because something good is going to follow.
This was my third Quadrennial; however, the first as a delegate. As a delegate, there was very little down time, but it was a wonderful experience and I truly enjoyed it. I thank the Washington Conference for voting for me to serve as one of your delegates.