FFTP Clergy Speakers’ Convocation 2022: Prepare Ye The Way
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (June 13, 2022) A delegation of nearly 40 interdenominational clergy speakers from across the country gathered in South Florida June 7-9 to participate in the Food For The Poor Clergy Speakers’ Convocation 2022. After three years of no in-person clergy gathering due to COVID–19, this year’s hybrid event was at FFTP headquarters.
The annual convocation allows FFTP’s Church Alliances Clergy Speakers to break from their daily lives in their parishes and ministries for a three-day connection through small group discussions of creative ideas and best practices.
“It is unusual for any organization to stop what they are doing and reflect on anything. But here we have, as a Christian ministry, the opportunity to reflect on the work we do,” FFTP CEO/President Ed Raine said in his welcoming remarks.
The convocation’s intent was for the speakers to leave energized by the presenters and delighted in the outcome of their individual and collective contributions to ending poverty.
The “Prepare Ye The Way” themed event began on Tuesday, June 7, with a Day of Reflection, led by Bill Mitchell, Senior Pastor of Boca Community Church. He spoke about the importance of finding solutions to daily challenges through faith, love, and hope.
“I have an incredible hope and we, as believers, have the opportunity to show that when people are living in fragmented situations,” Pastor Mitchell said.
Lutheran Bishop Roy Maack, 90, shared that serving in the mission at FFTP has given him even more reasons to love, embrace and reach out.
“Jesus encourages us to do it when he says, ‘When you feed those little ones, those in need, you are feeding me,'” Bishop Maack said.
FFTP Clergy Episcopal Speaker Deacon Federico Garza of Richmond, Va., reflected on his life as a broke, lonely and hungry homeless man. Afraid and desperate for a change, Deacon Garza was encouraged through the Gospel to reach out to those who are in great need.
“At Food For The Poor, we not only serve those who are desperately without a roof, or food, or education or work. We serve those who are desperately spiritually poor, without meaning or purpose or hope in their lives,” Deacon Garza said.
The convocation culminated with the commissioning prayer service, where the newest clergy speakers were recognized, affirmed, and encouraged in their call and their wish to become part of the FFTP family to preach on behalf of poverty-stricken children and families.
“It is through these clergy and their gifts, that Food For The Poor, with God’s blessings will continue its great work of embracing the poorest of the poor wherever we serve,” said Michael Chin Quee, Executive Vice President/Church Alliances.
FFTP CEO/President Raine expressed words of encouragement to all clergy speakers for their dedication to speak on behalf of the destitute.
“Sisters and Brothers, you have faithfully served the Food For The Poor family and the poorest of the poor by courageously speaking on their behalf throughout the U.S. for months or for many years,” Raine said. “I personally, and in the name of the whole Food For The Poor family, thank you for your love and dedication and ask you to reconfirm your commitment to the work and ministry of Food For The Poor.”
FFTP’s Clergy Speakers program was created to raise public awareness about poverty in the developing world and to serve as a ministry that gives Christians the opportunity to respond directly to the needs of impoverished families. FFTP’s Church Alliances staff manages the program’s national outreach, organizes church and school mission projects, secures engagements with churches, and arranges speaker schedules.
To request a speaker, click here: www.foodforthepoor.org/churchalliances
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.