USA: 24th National Assembly
USA 24th National Assembly
DECEMBER 5, 2016
Compassionate, Sustainable Leadership: Women Making an Impact
Under the theme of "Compassionate, Sustainable Leadership: Women Making an Impact;" over 220 guests gathered on Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12 to be empowered, educated, uplifted and inspired by a paradigm of leadership based on "reconciliation, compassion, love, service, and sacrifice."
The Friday evening banquet and Bridge of Peace Ceremony opened with an awards ceremony in honor of our nation's veterans. Fourteen veterans from various wars, as far back as WWII, were honored that evening with special awards from WFWP USA and profound appreciation from the audience. After a deeply moving testimony of forgiveness from a mother and the beautifully healing voice of renowned soprano, Seiko Lee, the Bridge of Peace commenced. Women and men representing conflicting backgrounds-Caucasian and African American, Veteran and Government Official, and Christian and Muslim, to name a few-crossed the bridge in the name of healing and forgiveness. In an unexpected and spontaneous moment, many audience members also came forward to cross the bridge and share in taking a step toward reconciliation.
The Saturday morning program was jam packed with education, knowledge, and insights from experts in their fields who spoke on the Global Women's Peace Network Panel, or presented in the hands-on breakout sessions. Through the panel discussion, four powerful women leaders spoke on such topics as how to lead with compassion, women and mothers as leaders in the family, and how to combat real issues plaguing society, such as pornography. Many deep questions came from the audience in response during the panel Q&A. Many also commented this was the best GWPN panel they have seen yet at an Assembly. After a delicious lunch, participants chose from five breakout sessions where they could delve deeper into learning how to use their own gifts and talents to bring peace in their families and communities.
The day's event culminated in the first ever national Schools of Africa and Other WFWP Projects Benefit Gala. There was much celebration and vibrancy in the air as participants enjoyed several moving performances and testimonies. Some of the highlights of the evening included a testimony from one Japanese woman who helped start the WFWP school in Rwanda; a beautifully melodic performance by a world renowned koto player; an African drumming group which inspired many ladies and men to jump up and dance; and an overview of WFWP's service projects both abroad and in the US. Throughout the evening, participants showed a generous heart to support the Schools of Africa project as well as disaster relief in Haiti especially through the silent auction.
The weekend's events culminated in the Marriage Blessing Celebration at Clifton Family Church on Sunday, November 13. Four couples rededicated their marriages to God and renewed their commitment to each other. It was a beautiful ceremony in which even the audience felt hope and inspiration for strengthening families in America. The Assembly this year embodied the spirit of hope and promise for women to truly make our impact through reconciliation, compassion, love, service, and sacrifice.