Webinar, Learning Lab Look at Changing Times

 We can’t go back to a post-COVID church “doing things the same way” was one of New Saint Paul A.M.E. Church Tampa Pastor Rev. Roderick J. Stephens’ messages at the WCCLO Annual Convention on August 29, 2020.

By Joyce C. Pink

For almost every organization that attempted to stage a traditional convention, this year will go down in history.

The WCCLO annual convention event was postponed twice. The venue changed from a church to the now-familiar Zoom platform, and although the settings were different, the Conference model of excellence remained.

The weekend started on Friday night with An Evening With the Elders, a webinar featuring Presiding Elders Jimmy J. Thompson (Lakeland), James O. Williams (Tampa) and Joyce Moore (St. Petersburg, who is now retired). The focus was on adapting to change in uncertain times. Topics included COVID-19 and civil injustice. The event was moderated by Eleventh Episcopal District Young Adult Representative Ashley Blakley. 

Saturday’s Zoom room included our own Bishop A.J. Richardson, Jr.; Bishop E. Earl McCloud, Jr., Lay Commission Chair; and Cheryl Hammond Hopewell, president of the First Episcopal District Lay Organization

Saturday’s Learning Lab also focused on adapting to change while marching “Onward to Greater.” It was presented by Rev. R.J. Stevenson of New St. Paul A.M.E. in Tampa. “Pastor RJ,” as he is affectionately known, led attendees through several exercises using a single sheet of paper that showed how situations change and how we respond to those changes.

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