You are invited to the 2022 Florida Clergy Convening which will be begin on Monday, November 14 at noon and will conclude at noon on Tuesday, November 15. The convening is hosted by the Florida Council of Churches and presented by Pastors for Florida Children. The event will be held at the Florida Hotel & Conference Center (1500 Sand Lake Road Orlando, FL). Because space is limited, please call and make your room reservation as soon as possible at the following number: 407-859-1500 or use this link. While there is no registration fee for the event, rooms are $120/night.

In addition, please register for the event using the following link or the QR code on the flyer above: Be sure to register by close of business on 11/10/22 . A link to the virtual convening will be emailed out to registrants a few days prior to the event.

Our American culture is sailing into a strong spiritual headwind. The current election cycles are like warm water to hurricanes. Rapid intensification suddenly appears at the slightest remark on human well-being. The polarization now has been matched only when violent splits in national identity occurred. The natural pastoral instinct is to avoid controversy in consideration of the variety of opinions in the pews yet this moment in history offers new possibilities not seen before and it’s ripe for the Gospel. How shall we frame a new conversation that welcomes God’s future coming towards us? One voice alone cannot do that. It will take our combined imaginations.

Hear Ecumenical Officer of the AME Church, the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey Nathaniel Leath, on the spiritual challenge before us and Dr. Norin Dollard, author of the annual Kids Count survey, on the state of child welfare in Florida. Other speakers will address student mental health, strengthening teachers, supporting inclusive curricula, and confronting Christian Nationalism in civics instruction.

“How Are the Children?”

(Swahili translation – Kasserian Ingera)

The theme for this year’s convening is, “How are the children?” This is the translation of the traditional greeting among the Masai people in Africa. The greeting, which is spoken daily, acknowledges the high value that the Masai place on their children’s well-being. The traditional answer after hearing the greeting is, “All the children are well.” The answer shows the priorities of their society in protecting the young who are the most vulnerable among them. They understand that their very reason for being urges upon all the responsibility to ensure that all of their children are well. What would it mean in our society, and specifically within our state, if we were to put such a high value on caring for and educating all our children? As people of faith, if we kept children at the forefront of our thoughts and worked diligently upon ensuring their well-being, we would see the tide turn in the realities of how children are cared for in Florida communities.

For more information, contact:

  • Rev. James T. Golden (
  • Rev. Dr. Russell Meyer (
  • Rev. Rachel Gunter Shapard (

Draft Agenda

Monday, November 14

12:00 PM Convening Check In Begins
1:00 PM Welcome, Prayer and Devotional
1:30 PM   Session 1 – Christians Against Christian Nationalism, Dr. Julie Ingersoll of University of North Florida and Rev. Dr. Pamela Cooper-White Of Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University
3:00 PM   Session 2 – Kids Count: The State of Children in the State of Florida, Norin Dollard of Florida Policy Institute
4:00 PM   Break
4:15 PM   Session 3 – Mental Health for Children in Florida Communities, Dr. Marni Stahlman of Mental Health Association of Florida
5:15 PM   Dinner Break
7:00 PM   Centering Fellowship, The Right Rev. Jeffrey N. Leath, Keynote Speaker

Tuesday, November 15

9:00 AM   Welcome & Opening Prayer Time
9:15 AM   Session 4 – Economic Justice on Predatory Lending, Rev. James T. Golden and Rev. Rachel Gunter Shapard of Pastors for Florida Children
10:15 AM Break
10:30 AM Session 5 – Faith Focused Legislative Priorities from FEA, Florida PTA & SPLC
12:00 PM Adjourn
Our keynote speaker for the Florida Clergy Convening is Bishop Jeffrey N. Leath, the ecumenical officer for the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Bishop Leath was elected and consecrated the 128th Bishop of the AME Church in July 2008 in St. Louis and has been assigned to serve in the 13th Episcopal District in Kentucky and Tennessee. He previously served the 19th Episcopal District in South Africa. Bishop Leath is a child of the parsonage. He was born in Huntington, New York and has lived in Norwalk, Connecticut and Inwood, New York as his father served in those places. Dr. Leath is a graduate of Yale College, Yale Divinity School (Master of Divinity) and United Theological Seminary (Dayton, Ohio) – Doctor of Ministry.