2023 Conference Recap
by Rev. Dr. Peg Gordon
Sometimes we must listen and let God. As a ministry, there was some apprehension about getting back to an in-person conference. Spirit guided this conference from the very beginning. When the decision from the Board was to wait, some ministers spoke up. Many ministers felt it was time to not let fear keep us from getting together. Others felt it was too soon and would be a challenge. Our ministers understand the power of vibration and Love when we come together. Some ministers said they missed being together. I had signed up for the Conference Committee and since I’ve worked on several conferences, I knew the challenges. The suggestion was made that we do both an in-person and virtual. I was a little overwhelmed, but Spirit spoke. I listened and asked for help.
Reverends Laurie, Estelle, and Julie Ann were also guided to sign on to create the conference. The theme Reflection was chosen. Grateful to Spirit, I now had three heartfelt loving ministers who also felt the need. The in-person Committee was formed. Laurie signed on as the Chairperson. Our first challenge was the virtual and finding a place to have the in-person conference. We had two successful conferences at the Franciscan, but they were doing renovations and were not available. We looked at several places, and prices had increased since Covid. One place we picked that wasn’t super pricey had a fire, second challenge. Once again, I asked Spirit for guidance. Everything lined up when I was looking for places. When looking at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, the banquet area on the first floor was booked. Spirit guided me to visit the hotel anyway. And the banquet manager was available to talk to. He said they were finishing a new banquet area on the second floor. Everything was booked out until late next year, but the second floor had an opening for the last weekend in August. Grateful once again.
Our Committee still needed to accommodate the request for a virtual. Rev. Tony (Brother Tony) volunteered. Brother Tony and I suggested we video the conference, he would edit it and present it to the ministers on our website. It was requested that it be videoed in real time. Tony stepped up to the challenge along with Rev. Liliana, who joined the Conference Committee. They did an amazing job. It was so much fun to watch the love and friendship they formed while creating an event in real time. We had done recordings but never real time. We had been quoted a few thousand dollars to produce and record the conference, but Tony and Liliana took that task on.
Rev. Miche Restaino lovingly joined us and took on the task of budget with Laurie. Miche lovingly sold raffle tickets and made it so much fun. The raffles were a huge success. Thank you to all those who contributed.
Rev. Arlene Zivitz arrived with her suitcase full of decorations. She should write a book on decorating on a budget.
That theme of working together continued throughout the planning and during the conference itself. It was an honor to work with all the folks who participated in the planning, those who presented and those who were present in-person and virtually. We all added to the energy and Love for our ministry.
We opened the conference with our Sacred Opening Ceremony led by Rev. Dr. Laurie, who led us to leave it all at the door. We greeted and honored each person present.
Rev. Tony presented the video of the history of The Alliance of Divine Love featuring our founders, Rev. Dr. Selwa and Rev. Dr. Hanshaw. I believe the video needs to be listened to by all our ministers. Those who attended said it was an eye opener. They had a better understanding of who and what our ministry is. Rev. Tony facilitated the National meeting and By-laws review. Rev. Colleen Haney and her beautiful smile presented changes to our Mentor Manual for the Education Committee.
Rev. Dr. Karen Turek and Rev. Dr. Peg Gordon conferred our two new Doctors of Divinity in Metaphysics and Spirituality, Rev Dr. Jewel Alexander and Rev. Dr. Kristi Miller.
As the conference created itself, Laurie, Estelle, Julie and I discussed the next 50 years of the ministry and what folks’ vision was for the future. We hadn’t quite figured it out, but once again, Spirit guided Rev. Janet Olson to call and ask about the conference. We discussed her coming into town and the future of The Alliance of Divine Love and folks sharing their vision. I asked her how my friend Kara was doing. Rev. Janet called and said she and Rev. Dr. Karalee Hawkins would present the vision quest journey. Once again, that was confirmation this conference was spirit guided. I was over the moon knowing the powerful Love and energy they would bring to this Vision Quest and future of our beloved ministry. The powerful drumming, flute music and Kara’s beautiful song. They opened the vision and the journalling for the weekend. It was so powerful. The rain clouds opened over the Old Port. The ferry to Peaks Island didn’t work out, but it was a great time to mingle and many of us met in the lounge for a late snack and to talk about the powerful Vision for our ministry.
Rev. Vickie Spray was a guiding light for our ministers with her encouragement for ministers to be brave enough and healthy enough to pursue their dreams and be abundant. Vickie is a wonderful example and resource. I so recommend taking one of her classes.
Rev. Julie Aziz spoke about plant medicine. Rev. Estelle Thibodeau spoke about Chess and contemplation through time. I learned so much from each of their presentations. Both did an amazing job and answered questions from our audience.
Rev. Liliana Barr not only assisted Brother Tony throughout the conference, but she also blessed us with her presentation and showed us her ability with her beautiful crystal swords. Beautiful Rev. Dr. Jewel Alezander did her dissertation and spoke to us about the I AM Love. Rev. Dr. Kristi Miller presented her sound healing and invited some folks from the audience to participate.
We finished the evening off with a reception and snacks. It was great to gather together and discuss and ask questions from the presenters. Many friendships were made. Guests shared a desire to learn more about our ministry.
Rev. Dr. Kara Hawkins led us in song, drumming and flute music by Rev. Stumbling Deer. During the vision quest, Kara had asked the participants to journal. Some shared what they had journaled and their Vision from their vision quest.
The week prior to the conference, our founder Rev. Dr. Selwa requested that I do an Angel Squad meditation during conference. We honored her request to send Love and kindness to the earth and each other.
Rev. Dr. Laurie Anderer closed the conference by reading and showing the video by Kate Nowak “May You Be Blessed.”
Thank you to all who participated and added their Love. During my vision quest I sat by the reflection pond with my spirit animal as we threw stones into the reflection pond. It produced ripples of hearts. I believe our ministry is going to grow and be more prosperous. I got to work with 4 of our Board members on the conference. Our Committee worked hard and each volunteered their time and energy to bring this conference together. They each expressed their Love for our ministry. I am grateful to each and everyone of you. If you were able to join us in-person or from your home, please share your vision. Here’s to the next 50 and beyond!
Love and Appreciation,
Rev. Dr. Peg Gordon