As the Rev. Judi Wortham-Sauls, first lady of Holman United Methodist Church, addressed Women’s Empowerment Weekend held on June 27-29, she recalled the words she saw recently on a plaque: “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain.”
Preaching to women of all ages gathered Friday evening in L. L. White Hall, she said, “So many times when trials come our way, we stop trusting God,” the Rev. Judi said.
“If God didn’t know how resilient we are, what prayer warriors we are, God could not trust us with trouble. Even in the midst of the storms of life, God is calling us to choose joy.”
On Saturday, more than 100 women participated including Holman members, friends, and ladies from a local shelter. The morning began with a gentle yoga class taught in chairs. The leader Martha Watson ended the stretches with a prayer.
Two workshops targeted ages 12-17 and ages 18-24. ‘Mirror, Mirror’ focused on self -esteem. Another session, ‘#Virtues’ explored the dos and don’ts of social media. The facilitators included Zaneta Smith, Rachel Hill, Alisha Elliott and Pat Barnett.
‘Diva Women Dancing in the Rain,’ was reserved for women, 25 and over, and led by Holman member, Dr. Gail Wyatt. She began with how to manage your life in spite of all the burdens, barriers, struggles and tremendous losses like the death of her daughter in January. Throughout her presentation she emphasized taking care of physical and mental health.
“Be an expert on you,” she advised. “Stop being somebody that somebody else wants you to be.”
Trainer Eric Tucker provided a blueprint to a better lifestyle. “Learn to say no,” he said, to unhealthy food, large portions, breaking a commitment to exercise, living at a break-neck pace and skimping on sleep.
For the older participants, the Rev. Neema Cyrus-Franklin facilitated a very interactive 'Diva Women in Pursuit of Joy.' “We must respond to our trials with a sense of hope,” she said.
On Sunday, the participants worshiped at the 11 a.m. service. The Rev. Dr. Najuma Smith-Pollard linked her message to the World Cup as she described a game-winning strategy that also applies to life.
“Maintain possession,” she said, explaining how soccer players strive to control the ball. “Maintain possession,” of your faith, she urged. “God, like any good coach, will make us run some drills. We are tested and tried. Things come up in our life,” she preached.
“The Lord has been sending these drills in your life to see how you maintain your faith and hope…. to see how you maintain possession.”
As the service concluded, Pastor Kelvin Sauls paid tribute to the women’s weekend. “Let your joy rise,” he said, “through service.”