Sankofa Journey: Senior Associate Attends The Historic 125th COCHUSA Anniversary Commemoration Convention
On the morning of July 23, 2022, Bishop-Elect Dr. Glake Hill Jr. texted Senior Associate, Anthony D. Bobo, Jr., “I will meet you all at 11:30 at the Firebird restaurant.” Little did Bobo know he was in for more than a meal, but a meeting of the minds.
As part of the Sankofa Project, Bobo and Bishop Dr. Robert Owens (Rivers of Life) attended the Church of Christ (Holiness) USA (COCHUSA) annual convention. The Sankofa Project (sponsored by Influential Global Ministries) looks back at the history of the African American Church to glean ideas for reimagining the future church, Bobo and Owens attend the 125th Commemorative Convention to interact with one of the oldest black denominations in America.
Bobo reflects on the lunch meeting that morning between Owens and Hill, “Bishop Owens, with his roots in the black church and years of experience in the evangelical church, asked questions of Bishop-Elect Hill… Hill, with his rich history in the Holiness Movement and understanding of systems because of his background in science would respond and then ask questions back…” It was like sitting at a tennis match watching, listening, and laughing as these two leaders shared their theology of the church.” “I felt so blessed to be able to gain understanding from these men who have given their lives to Christ and serving the people of God.”
Bobo and Owens attended the Sunday morning service that started with great pomp and circumstance. Many of the church leadership and committee members marched down the aisle while we all stood to our feet while the choir sang a hymn of the church in the background. After praise and worship and church administrative type announcements, the Senior Bishop of the COCHUSA, Bishop Vernon Kennebrew was announced as the speaker of the hour. The sermonic song sang by the spirit filled choir and energetic musicians before he spoke manifested an overwhelming presence of God in the room. He could hardly speak over the Saints “giving vent to the Spirit.” Kennebrew’s message for the morning was, “The Mission Has Not Changed.” With authority, he informed the congregation that the mission of the church has not changed, but methods in which we minister must change. As Kennebrew explained that holiness is a “way of excellence,” he encouraged his hearers to do everything (including living our lives) in the spirit of excellence for God.
That night, we returned and the highlight for Bobo and Owens was witnessing their friend and brother consecrated to the bishopric. The consecration service was filled with great excitement because it had been over a decade since the last bishop was consecrated and this night two bishops would have the oil poured on their heads. What a sight to see him and his wife as he stood wearing his robe while members of the South-Central Diocese presented them with gifts of love.
The trip to Birmingham, Alabama took Bobo and Owens back to the historic black church… while allowing them to see the future of the black church, as it adapts to methods to save a dying world.
Mark Bobo (Associate, The Joseph Factor Group) was announced as a member of Leadership Columbus Board of Trustees. Leadership Columbus provides education and training for emerging and existing leaders in the Columbus area.
Help us congratulate Mark...
Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, “Your knowledge, expertise and diligent service has provided support for special events and new initiatives, and garnered increased resources for Maryland’s State Park system.”
Anthony D. Bobo, Jr. (Senior Associate, The Joseph Factor Group) has served on the Maryland Park Advisory Commission (Commission) for over 8 years. The Commission was one of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources civil groups providing expertise in the area of parks and recreation.
Secretary Haddaway-Riccio shares more of Bobo’s contribution, “In all, your service has strengthened the conservation mission of the Maryland Park Service and has enhanced our department’s ability to connect all people to the natural and historical resources preserved in our public lands.”
We are elated over Bobo and his hard work in the areas of advising, influencing, and leading in the area of natural resources. “My most proud moment of the work with Maryland Parks is the Employee Mentoring effort that I led with some of the Park Service staff. To set up a process for enhancing employee engagement, empowering leaders and staff, and influencing organizational culture in a meaningful way means so much to me.” Mark Spurrier, Manager at Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks and Mentor Program Lead, comments on Bobo’s work with the team, “I found working with Anthony Bobo to be very helpful. His experience provided an outside perspective as our committee developed the mentoring program for the Maryland Park Service. His feedback was honest, thoughtful and positive. It was obvious that he had a true passion for developing leaders in the field of natural resources management.”
While Bobo's term with the Commission is over, his work with Maryland Park Service continues. “I enjoy being outdoors! And I will not just cut the friendships I have developed with the many Park employees across the state. I will be out there on foot, on my bike, or on a scenic drive visiting my friends and enjoying God’s creation.”
I am happy to announce through much prayer, meditation, and consultation, the following are some of the upcoming actions for the Commission to Love Community (C2L).
New Release of Commissioned to Love (https://iamintercultural.com/commissioned-to-love)
We have been in conversations with the publisher about a new edition of Commissioned to Love. This new release will feature a section in memory of Pastor John P. Perkins' life. We are so grateful to God for his leadership, love, and commitment to community development. We believe this book is one of the ways his life is honored.
We thank those of you who have purchased the book, used them for Bible Studies, and leadership training. We ask that you still support the C2L Community through the purchasing of the current edition of the book and we will have a look forward to announcing the new edition. Royalties are going to John's estate and supporting his family.
The Aaron, Hur Pastors, and Leaders Cohort (https://www.rolm.life/the-cohort)
John was one of the lead facilitators of the Cohort. He believed in investing and equipping leaders so they could engage in community development. This Cohort is one of the ways we keep supporting leaders he invested in, find up and coming leaders to impact communities, and serve churches across the country through training their leaders.
Many of the leaders participating in the Cohort would not be able to be apart if we were not able to give out scholarships. At the close of this Cohort in December, we will officially name the scholarship "The Pastor John P. Perkins Emerging Leader Scholarship". We believe that the scholarship will continue to provide opportunities for leaders to be supported as they do the work of Christ in community.
John and I have worked on several offerings of training, lectures, and courses of the book Commissioned to Love. Our team is working to post snippets weekly in this Community to encourage, inspire, and engage us as we work for Christ in community. We know there are hundreds of posts that you get weekly, we pray that this Community can be added to your list of places to receive refreshing, reviving, and relevant communication to cool our longing soul.
Be A Part of The Team
We have a small team that is working with us to keep this community together, helpful, and relevant. If you would like to be a part of the team, please email me @firstname.lastname@example.org! We would welcome your assistance.
Thank you again for being a part of this Community and walking this journey with us.
Senior Associate Leads Discussion at The Sankofa “Change for Revitalization and Flourishing” Webinar
On the evening of May 12, 2022, at 8pm ET, the gathering started with PJ Morton blasting singing “The Better Benediction” while the accomplishments and announcement for The Sankofa Project played on the screen. The night began with a sense of hope, and that was just the start…
Mark Bobo (Associate, The Joseph Factor Group) welcomed the participants and assured them this was going to be a night to remember. Mark outlined the lineup for the night:
The Sankofa Project journey helps us understand the African American experience and acknowledges where we have been as a collective people. It allows us to open our hearts and minds to not only the pain and sorrow, but also to the hopes and accomplishments of our ancestors. It centers our spirituality deep in the Black church experience and opens our hearts and minds to the reconciliation and the healing God is calling us into. The message of Sankofa has found its expression in sermons and Negro Spirituals that speak to the pain and suffering, and the hope we find in God’s word to the Church and the people of God. As we learn from our past, we can forge a present and a future for our communities as we reimagine how the church can become more relevant, connected, empowering and transformative.
The Sankofa Project will explore specific dynamics within the cities where these congregations are located and help congregants learn from the African American church tradition and how it is both a refuge of empowerment and a force of social transformation. Congregations/groups will leave this journey better understanding (or needing to refine) their mission and values and how they are fueled by their rich faith tradition. In keeping with the theological tradition of the African American church, congregations will look at five key areas of the life of their church and assess their congregation’s strengths and weaknesses: (1) preaching (2) building communities (3) worship (4) evangelism (discipleship).
The Sankofa Project “Change for Revitalization and Flourishing” Webinar is to engage pastors and their lay leaders in reimagining how churches healthily navigate the realities of generational shifts, gentrification, growing multiculturalism, and emerging questions on the church’s role in justice considering movements such as black lives matter and mass incarceration. This webinar will not only state the issues, but established practitioners will share real life experiences, challenges, and successes to allow the participants to leave with tools for implementation and change.
HERE is the link to the entire webinar experience!
Senior Associate Participants In Evangelical Covenant Church, African American Ministers Association, Peer Mentoring
On October 11, 2021, leaving Washington, DC at 5:30 am, Anthony D. Bobo, Jr. boards a plane for Sacramento, CA to attend 2021 Peer Mentoring. “I am excited to meet with African American pastors and leaders from around the country to discuss the challenges of ministry, how we are leading during the pandemic, and how we will aid the universal church in dealing with biblical justice in the times in which we live,” shares Bobo. Little did Bobo know that he would experience that... and so much more...
Peer Mentoring as described by the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), African American Ministers Association (AAMA), “...has been valued by many because it is a space where African American clergy and leaders can be human without worrying about the dynamics of shepherd and sheep. African American pastors, ministers, and leaders in Covenant congregations and institutions - along with their spouses - are welcome to attend.”
This year, it was hosted by Pastor Efrem Smith and Midtown Church in Sacramento, California. Along with encouraging devotionals and connecting social time, topics discussed, and special guests were: "Weight of Racial Tension;" "Acknowledging Bias/Building Bridges"-Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn; “Leading in a Post Pandemic World;" "Self-Care;" "Casting Vision in Digital World/Building a Virtual Community." There were visiting pastors and leaders from the Sacramento area. Truly a time of fellowship, refreshing, and fun.
“You have those moments in life that you know you will never forget,” Bobo reflects, “...and this is one of them for me. I did not just meet friends, I met brothers, sisters, mentors, colleagues that will be lifelong relationships.” Bobo was invited by the host, Pastor Efrem Smith and Dr. Robert Owens (retired ECC Superintendent and CEO of Rivers of Life, Atlanta, GA). “It was a blessed time, and I am grateful for Drs. Smith and Owens' invitation,” Bobo proudly exclaims.
The host and ADR Roundtable lead opened the dialog, “A few months ago when we started to plan today’s discussion, we didn’t know that we would be doing so not only on June 19, 2021, but on Juneteenth – and the first time for this day to be recognized as a national holiday. For those who do not know, Juneteenth commemorates that day, June 19, 1865 that the last slaves were freed in Texas.”
The ADR Roundtable invited Anthony D. Bobo, Jr. (The Joseph Factor Group-Senior Associate) and his co-author of “Commissioned To Love”, Pastor John P. Perkins (Common Ground Church- Lead Pastor) as panelist for a discussion focused on mediation – specifically, mediation through the lens of social justice. Anthony and John leaned on their collective years of experience in community organizing, public service, community development, and relationships to address the questions.
There was a participant from the west coast, she shared, “I'm in Orange County, California. A small group of us are trying to find a way to strengthen ethnic minorities. However, Orange County is very conservative. So, I'm looking for ideas.” Anthony answered with some basic sound mediation advice, “At its core, bringing people together to work on issues of social justice is mediation/collaboration 101… moving people from position to interest. When we seek the interest of the community, we can move forward and make a collective change.”
The host asked, “What qualities will the next generation of leaders need in order to carry forward a spirit of conflict resolution to resolve social justice issues?” John reflected on the response given by Anthony and added, “Yes, we have to listen to those in the community. We call it listening and addressing the “heart-felt need”.”
The discussion acknowledged the challenges of addressing issues of social justice while encouraging practitioners to keep pressing forward to make a difference. On reflection of the event, Anthony shared, “We have to keep looking for and making these small wins. The collaboratives that are addressing several social ills and not looking for the silver bullet. We have to stop thinking we can do it alone.”
The Joseph Factor Group continues its commitment to transforming nation through the power of collaboration and the strength of community.
To get more information on the ADR Roundtable and to see their list of future events, email email@example.com.
This week, Anthony D. Bobo, Jr. (Senior Associate, The Joseph Factor Group) was a guest at the ARC Launch Intensive in Birmingham, AL. The ARC Launch Intensive is for church planting couples who are on their journey with the association to launch a church.
On ARC’s (Association of Related Churches) website they share “We are an association of relational churches working with church planters and church leaders to provide support, guidance and resources to launch and grow life-giving churches.” “ARC’s model has been proven through the launch of hundreds of churches, with large launch day attendance and long-term success that exceeds national averages. When you choose to launch with ARC, you have access to all the resources that make this possible.”
Bobo attended as the Plant4Harvest, Harvest Institute, Director. He talks about the ARC Launch Intensive, “It was an eye-opening experience to be a guest at the training. It made me realize (even more) the importance of relationships and resources when planting a church. It also allowed me to get a better understanding of the “ARC Launch Large” model and other aspects of a sustainable model for church success.”
Plant4Harvest and ARC are discussing partnership. Both are seeking ways to launch churches, equip leaders of color, and impact this world for the kingdom of God.
We anxiously await and work to see what God will do among us.