|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on September 27, 2019 at 10:00 PM|
What I Learned at the 2nd Annual Forgiveness and Wellness Conference
The 2019 International Day of Peace and the 2nd Annual Forgiveness and Wellness Conference have taken their places in the history books and participants are slowly returning to their lives. But alas, the outcome of the conference is just beginning to manifest itself. So, what did anyone learn at the conference and what outcomes can one expect? I am glad you asked.
The 2nd annual conference was envisioned as an opportunity to bring forgiveness allies, the man in the street, and other stakeholders together to talk about the issues of trauma and forgiveness. With the theme, “moving to the light of forgiveness after life’s trauma”, participants were in for a day chock full of sessions that addressed a variety of traumatic life experiences, adverse childhood events, racism, discrimination, etc. The conference used a variety of learning opportunities, including, lectures, roundtables, discussion groups, etc. Speakers from public health as well as from faith-based organizations came together to pour into attendees that day. As might be expected, the conference started with prayers, the peace bell, and a moment of silence in honor of a registrant who was buried the day before the event, and countless men and women across the world that have lost their lives and or still live in dispeace.
The training sessions started with presentations that focused on why someone should come to the light of forgiveness, the power of forgiveness from God’s perspective, the impact of adverse childhood experiences and ones’ health, and ended with a session that looked at the connection between forgiveness and mental health, a forgiveness cleansing ceremony, and Holy Communion. Throughout the day, many could be heard crying, seen wiping tears, praying for and encouraging one another or just excited that they took the time to invest in their spiritual growth. In fact, our attendee that had traveled the farthest to attend the conference came all the way from New York. This was a journey of faith, but this sister had a need and realized that she could get help if she traveled to Atlanta, and so she did
Because of the excellent program and faculty, many attendees are already reporting significant outcomes from the conference. For instance, one church member reported that church service the following day was on a higher plane, and she could sense that prayers and praise, and worship were more free-flowing and to “an audience of one”, and not forced. Others are reporting breakthroughs in their personal lives and in their relationship with man and God, as they feel like they left their burdens at the conference. One individual called to report how at peace she felt, but that nothing else in her life had changed (bills were still behind and the kids were still misbehaving). However, she was experiencing an almost supernatural calm and peace that makes no sense in the natural. God had invaded many lives and the results of the conference will not be known for years to come. But we know that they will be there. Our prayers are that this “seed” will fall on fertile soil and bring in a harvest.
But what were some of the key take-aways from this conference? Again, I am glad you asked. Here are some gems that I picked up throughout the day.
• Forgiveness is a choice that you do for yourself not for the other person.
• Seeking God’s help as you forgive is critical for success.
• Physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual health are all connected to forgiveness.
• Unforgiveness is not a word.
• More than 50% of Americans have experienced one or more adverse childhood events.
• Forgiveness in marriage, divorce, after abuse, etc. is critical for personal growth and reconciliation, if that is one’s goal.
• Forgiveness is not avoidance and does not mean that one has to have a relationship with the transgressor.
• Mismanagement of money, mindless eating, self-abuse, etc. can all be symptoms of unforgiveness.
• Completing a forgiveness assessment can help one to find a place to start the journey to true healing and forgiveness.
• The church should be a center of hope, forgiveness and restoration in our community.
We can all agree that this conference was one of a kind and life-changing. But, what were your key takeaways? What differences have you already noticed in your life? We would love to hear from you, if you have a story to share. Also, if you have videos or pictures from the conference, please send those our way to our Facebook page or via email to email@example.com or send a message on our website at forgive4health.org
I am so glad that you attended the conference if you did, if not, mark your calendar for September 18, 2020 for our 3rd annual conference. Hope to see you there.
In His service!