While the faith community traditionally encourages generous tithing as a gift to the church, the leadership of the New Millennium sees it also as one strategic finance tool for building the giver’s personal legacy portfolio – a kind of mutual fund.
Earlier this month, that kind of thinking pervaded the 3rd annual Women in Leadership Lectures (WILL) empowerment conference, organized by The Reverend Barbara A. Lucas for clergy and lay leaders. Women of all ages exploded into cheers and applause as speaker after speaker illustrated how discipline is at the core of both strong faith and solid finance management, with success and destiny manifested as the results. “If we die with no property, we leave behind poverty,” said one leader.
“Our Women’s Economic Development programs create educated, well-informed individuals who prepare their financial portfolios, early in life, through personal savings and investments,” says Rev. Barbara, pastor of Agape Tabernacle International Fellowship, Inc.
“This year’s program was designed to arm women leaders with the information needed to economically strengthen their faith-based and community-based organizations, reduce debt, choose the most effective finance packages, become home and property owners, and, in the process, stay both physically and spiritually healthy.”
Rev. Barbara’s Women Organizing, Mobilizing, and Building (W.O.M.B.) brought together women clergy and lay leaders from around the country to present powerful insights and strategies for enhancing personal lives, families, and communities through strategic financial planning. WOMB develops and supports women-friendly financial programs that promote financial security among women throughout their lifespan, and that help foster women.
For this year’s conference, WOMB partnered with five powerful women to develop a comprehensive agenda that encompasses community-based funding strategies, spiritual and physical wholeness, homeownership, and real estate procurement.
Amens echoed throughout the hall, creating a revival atmosphere at the JP Morgan Conference Chase conference room at Metrotech in downtown Brooklyn; but the key directive to the audience was, “Let’s teach, not preach.”
“The lectures provided clergy and lay leaders a rare opportunity to network, to collaborate, to partner and to reflect, as they work together to develop an enhanced purpose and vision for their personal lives, their professional ministries, and their communities,” said Rev. Barbara, in a pre-event interview.
“Going into my mid-life years I realize more the importance of us, as older women, reaching out to our younger sisters and mentoring them about the importance of home- ownership and/or purchasing a piece of property-which should be part of every woman’s personal plan.
“Also, another challenge we as a people are faced with that precludes us from home- ownership is our low savings rate-I read somewhere that our savings rate is minus 2%. This oftentimes prevents us from coming up with the required down payment for property. Our people must come against this spending mentality that consumes our body and spirit, and prevents us from becoming the head and not the tail.
“In speaking with many friends and/or members of my congregation, there appears to be a problem within NYS as it relates to closing fees. Members of my congregation have often come against hefty additional costs at the time of closing. All costs relative to the property should be provided to the prospective owner prior to closing. No one should be confronted with large monetary surprises at the point of closing.”
As a response to a call to mobilize, in 1996, Rev. Dr. Barbara Austin Lucas founded Women Organizing, Mobilizing, and Building, Inc. (WOMB) – a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, purposed to assist women and their families through creative and needful programming and to improve their quality of life by the fulfillment of their destinies.
WOMB services thousands of women annually in the programming of five (5) service areas which include HIV/AIDS Prevention; African Women of The Diaspora Link-Up (A.W.D.L); Motivating Ourselves and Our Children: A Joint Agenda (M.O.J.A.); Sisters Strengthening Our Sisters (S.S.O.S.); and Women and Economic Development (W.E.D.).
Rev. Barbara has effectively established and co-founded ministries and programming that have been internationally recognized as models of vision and change. WOMB also sponsors several national and international initiatives such as The Annual Manifest Destiny Conference Series, The WOMB Investment Club, The Women in Leadership Lecture (WILL) Series, and The Destiny WalkT.
The Women in Leadership Lectures is a precursor to the four-day Annual MANIFEST DESTINY Conference, which will be held this year July 19th- July 22, 2007. For more information, contact: 718-237-4612, W.O.M.B., Inc., 2152 Ralph Avenue, PMB 501, Brooklyn, NY 11234 or visit the Web site at www.wombinc.org.