Spiritual Summit Initiates Minister’s Vision

Reverend Darlene Strickland’s visionary leadership as Senior minister at Unity of The Blue Ridge in Mills River, NC is garnering national attention. With family roots in Goldsboro, NC, and business roots as a Senior Executive working with BRIO Toys and TY Inc., Rev. Darlene’s dozen plus years of ministerial experience, from the Midwest to Hawai’i, have resulted in tripled membership at Unity of The Blue Ridge in Mills River in two years.

Rev. Darlene Strickland

Now her experience and vision are combining to create a global movement in consciousness, heart and action – one that influences and guides individuals and communities.

The goal of this initiative is to inspire, connect, and equip people to “Stand Up, Speak Up, and Show Up” as practitioners of the Golden Rule.

Rev. Darlene’s desire to model a way of being, and lead an initiative that honors the sacredness in all life and inspires engaged spirituality and Love in Action, is what inspired her to start making phone calls. The response from national speakers coming from as far as Hawai’i to support and engage in this effort has snowballed into the first event in this burgeoning movement.

On June 10, 2017 a Spiritual Summit will be held at the Crowne Plaza Resort Expo Center in Asheville.

Marianne Williamson

Headlining in her first ever appearance in Asheville is internationally acclaimed, best-selling author and lecturer, Marianne Williamson. Marianne has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose & Bill Maher. Seven of her twelve published books have been New York Times Best Sellers. Four of these have been #1. The mega best seller A Return to Love is considered a must-read of The New Spirituality. A paragraph from that book, beginning “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…” is considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers.

Ms. Williamson is the founder of Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS within LA. She also co-founded the Peace Alliance, an alliance of organizers and advocates throughout the United States taking the work of peacebuilding from the margins of society into the centers of national discourse and policy priorities. Its network includes volunteer grassroots teams in cities, towns, colleges and high school campuses across the nation. She serves on the Board of Directors of the RESULTS organization, working to end the worst ravages of hunger and poverty throughout the world.

Rickie Byars Beckwith

At the Our Love is Power Summit, Williamson will discuss the power of love and its implications for both personal and global transformation. According to A Course in Miracles, “miracles occur naturally as expressions of love.” A ‘Q & A’ and book signing will follow her presentation.

Rickie Byars Beckwith is one of the 21st century’s most revered singer-songwriters whose transcendent music opens the heart, touches the soul, and uplifts the spirit. Byars Beckwith will speak on ‘The Beloved Community’ and perform a concert of her original songs at the Summit.

A natural and self-taught musician born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, Rickie’s extensive music catalogue is heard on the radio and on soundtracks for movies and television. She has performed in five sessions with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, at Green Festivals across North America, and at countless Peace Concerts that promote unity and the principles of non-violence.

Reverend Jack L. Bomar

In Culver City, California, Rickie is the Music and Arts Director of the Agape International Spiritual Center, in partnership with Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith, where she directs the 200-member Agape International Choir. Backed by some of the most accomplished musicians from Los Angeles and beyond, the Agape International Choir is heard daily throughout North America, Europe, Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, India – and all places in between. Featured guest artists who regularly perform with the Choir include John Legend, Will.I.Am, Stevie Wonder, Niki Haris, Brenda Marie Eager, and Tim McAfee-Lewis.

Reverend Jack L. Bomar is a native of Tennessee and founder of Blessing Hands USA, INC., a non-profit humanitarian organization established to revive, restructure and revitalize communities.

Rev. Jack was inducted into the Morehouse College, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers in 2008. He was a member of the USA delegation committee for the Parliament of World’s Religions 2009 Conference in Melbourne, Australia. He is an accomplished author of two works that reached number one on Amazon’s Best Sellers List, “Heaven Revealed: Discover The Truth About God, Heaven & You” and “God & Money: How to Manifest Your Divine Riches.” He presently serves as Lead Pastor at United Church of Jesus Christ in Beaufort, South Carolina and provides spiritual leadership for Unity of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Rev. Jack has traveled abroad providing pastoral and mission support to communities worldwide, and has led delegations of interfaith/intercultural leaders, community leaders, chiropractors, and volunteers on trips to Hermanas Mirabal Province, Dominican Republic, and Haiti to provide medical aid, food supply, resources, hope, blessings and prayers of healing to thousands of men, women, and children.

Lei’ohu Ryder and Maydeen ‘Iao

Lei’ohu Ryder, and her partner Maydeen ‘Iao, are native emissaries of aloha and advocates for the indigenous soul in all people. Their love and knowledge of Na Mea Hawai’i, help us connect with our selves, with spirit, and be pono (balanced in right alignment). They are native wisdom keepers who travel the world sharing ancient Hawaiian teachings, songs, hula, and the practice of Ho’oponopono (a process to make things right and restore harmony).

Lei’ohu Ryder is a revered Hawaiian spiritual leader, visionary, healer, singer/songwriter, and educator who has shared her gifts all around the world. She has received the Gandhi-King Peace Hero Award, the Peace Educator Award from the United Nations, the Woman of Honor award from Women’s History Month, the Educator Award from the Peace Corps, and the Malama Ka’Aina Award from the Sierra Club.

The Our Love is Power Summit will be a full day of music, speakers, and practical actions, resulting in inspiration, motivation and collaboration – affirming and honoring the common Spirit in all – that will build bridges, connections and partnerships to ignite inspired Love in Action.

According to Rev. Darlene, “We are here to be the Presence we wish to see. We are here to gather community around a common cause and higher purpose. Love connects us through our common spirit and emboldens us to actively live as a Beloved CommUnity. Love unites us in Peace, Compassion, Generosity, and Respect for the sanctity of humanity, Mother Earth, and all creation. Our Love is power and empowered love is greater than any authority or influence acting in service of prejudice, greed, divisiveness, hatred, or violence.”

This will be the first of many events for the purpose of building the Our Love is Power movement, encouraging a call to action based on the guiding manifesto and pledge that came to Rev. Darlene last November.

I stand as an Ambassador, Advocate and Activist for the sanctity of all life.
I AM my brother’s keeper, I AM my sister’s keeper, I AM keeper of the Earth and all sentient beings.
I commit to TURN UP the volume of Love, Dignity and Respect for All.
I commit to STAND UP and TAKE LOVING ACTION as needed. I will not become numb or disconnected… or pretend I don’t see the harm or wrongdoing. I will not remain silent when Love needs a voice.
Not only do I proclaim a belief in inclusivity and love…
I AM now actively involved in championing our emerging world of a Beloved CommUnity.
I Pledge MY Love In Action!

Information on the Our Love is Power Summit and tickets are available at www.Ourloveispower.org. Information on Unity of The Blue Ridge is available at www.unityblueridgenc.org.

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker