General Assembly 2019, Abiding in DOC

Left to Right: Jaclyn Oden-Peace, Mady McColm, Bonnie Osei-FrimpongLeft to Right: Jaclyn Oden-Peace, Mady McColm, Bonnie Osei-Frimpong

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I found General Assembly to be an incredible experience. One thing that was really exciting to me about General Assembly was getting to attend the business sessions and seeing what the Disciples of Christ denomination was involved in. I got the privilege of listening to trans individuals and allies rally for further inclusion in the church, pastors who talked about being arrested for the work that they do helping refugees, and Disciples Women discussing the progress they’ve made in helping victims of human trafficking. I could see that the larger Disciples Church is alive and at work in our local and international communities.

In addition, hearing Rev. William Barber II speak was life giving for me. If you haven’t had the privilege of hearing him speak before, check out the compelling message that he delivered at the final worship service at General Assembly. After his speech, we were invited to join Rev. Barber at a rally for the Poor People’s Campaign held outside the state capital in Des Moines. I was asked to read part of the speech for the National Benevolent Association at the rally. Standing in front of the microphone, campaigning for something that matters to me, was so inspiring. General Assembly lit a fire underneath me and reminded me that we can do something to help our communities, and the larger world.

I believe that through Disciples of Christ, I have found a community dedicated to social justice that is well connected and making tangible change all around the world. I have found my people, who are beautiful and all colors of the rainbow and who want the best for me. General Assembly renewed my faith in the future of the institutional church and reaffirmed the good that can come from a community of people who believe in good.

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As the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers to create communities of compassion and care. Founded in 1887 by six women responding to the needs of the day and on their doorsteps, for more than 130 years the NBA has continued to serve “the least of these.” Learn more at