After months of anticipation, at 7:30pm on Thursday, August 30, 2012, women and men from around the country gathered in the South Ballrooms of the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel to officially open the Phenomenal Women's Summit 2012. Following a music medley by Rev. Dolly Pankey including "Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand", "Thank you, Jesus" and "What a Fellowship", Bishop Teresa Snorton, Presiding Prelate of the 5th Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and Summit Program Chair asked, “Are there any Phenomenal Women in the house?”
Snorton then recounted the story of the group of women meeting at the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Alabama to plan the Summit. "Meeting at that location was not a coincidence nor an accident, it was intentional," she expounded, "we chose that site because of the significance of the woman, Rosa Parks, the phenomenal woman she was." Snorton goes on to mention that Summit's goal is to answer two questions and achieve one milestone: 1) Where are we? 2)Where do we go from here? and 3) Sharing each other's stories. Each presenter has been asked to share their story; likewise participants are asked the to also share their story; all parties are asked to fully integrate themselves into the experience. In addition, Snorton is asking for participant to complete 10 quilts for the Children’s Hospital before the end of the Summit; no prior quilting experience needed.
The Greeting was then given by Dr. Wanda Levine, the District 6 House of Representative, of the city of Birmingham and Pratt city. Prayer for the evening was offered by Belinda McCain, Mayor Elect of Sipsey, Alabama and the Scripture, Jeremiah 18:1-4, was read by Rev. Sharon Mitchell. A recitation of Maya Angelou's poem, "Phenomenal Woman" was done by Ms. Lilly Davis. Rev. Mildred Watson, who also served jointly as the evening's worship leader introduced the speaker of the hour, Rev. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, professor of Homiletics and Director of Black Church Studies at Emory University (see article "Diva Rehab"). Rev. Rosalyn Brown offered the Invitation and Commitment before ending the service.
Pictures to follow!