Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
That pretty much sums up the resolve of Empower director, Dr. Wanda Walborn, and her program leadership team. Through the partnership between Alliance Theological Seminary and the Metro District of The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA), delivering monthly classes via livestream was completely feasible when the 2020-2021 academic year began in September. But a retreat for women located nationwide and around the world? That was uncharted territory considering restrictions on travel and the capacity for in-person gatherings imposed by the global pandemic. While some cohorts met virtually, others met in-person adhering to safety protocols of being physically distanced and wearing masks.
The event planners could have been overwhelmed by the sheer limitations and logistics of the retreat. Inspired by the theme, “Joseph’s Wilderness Experiences,” execution of the planning proved they saw all the trees, but they saw the forest, too. Like the outcome of Joseph’s various experiences chronicled in the book of Genesis, everyone who participated emerged from the new delivery format of the retreat fully persuaded that God was with them.
The livestream of praise and worship, teaching by Empower professors, Dr. Wanda Walborn; Mrs. Michelle Park (founder of ReEnvision Marriage and Family Therapy); and Mrs. Lisa Plunket, Pastor of Spiritual Life (Risen King Alliance Church) was broadcast from Newbridge Church in Morristown, NJ.
The two-day retreat also included a full roster of Zoom meetings in breakout rooms for students and their lead and assistant mentors. EmpowerProclaim students demonstrated their public speaking skills already honed in the last few months by delivering powerful testimonies, dramatic monologues and comedy skits.
Ahead of the weekend event, 210 boxes filled with symbolic gifts were mailed to the EmpowerOne U.S. and international students. In the closing hours of the final day, these tokens became focal points of prayer for significance, for stillness to dream, for release and for healing and anointing. This sacred segment of the agenda provided space for mentees to receive prayer facilitated by lead and assistant mentors.
Empower retreat 2021? The will and the way merged! The outcome? Women were empowered…worldwide! An international retreat will take place February 26-28, 2021 for women in Israel, Palestine, Hong Kong, Africa, Spain, France, Thailand and Lebanon.
Prospective students can participate in an open class on April 17, 2021. Registration for Empower 2021-2022 also begins in April. Learn more about Empower.