Augusta, Georgia – The 3rd annual Pastoral Leadership Conference took place on Saturday at the GRU Health Sciences Campus. The conference provides clergy members with access to medical staff for checkups and health evaluations. News Channel 6 attended the event, where leaders of different religious backgrounds discussed issues in the community.
Event organizers say the conference was created for the clergy because they take care of others before themselves, but they say the best way to care for others is to take care of yourself first.
“My greatest assignment is how I can help my fellow man who is not me.” Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis said.
Mayor Davis was the keynote speaker of this year’s Pastoral Conference. The event was created to encourage local pastors to lead healthier lives.
“The clergy have attended this event and they have been evaluated on health and wellness stations and discovered things that are going on with them that they could have addressed by medical professionals that has enhanced or improved their lives. And had they not attended this they wouldn’t have known,” said Brennan Francois, Associate Director of Pastoral Care.
For these religious leaders to help others find their voice, organizers say they should be in outstanding health, but this event wasn’t just about wellness.
“The notion of social justice is what brings us here today.” Mayor Davis said.
The Mayor challenged the clergy at the event to stand as one Augusta, and speak up about social justice. Something that these religious leaders encourage in their communities.
“It’s our hope to bring the varied faith communities throughout Augusta together and recognize the common ground that we share in reaching the Greater Augusta area.” Francois said.
As these conversations are happening at several major cities across the country, this group will now take it back to their churches.
“Not every city can have this conversation, but Augusta is a historic city. These conversations took place in the 1800’s. They took place during the civil rights movement. They need to take place now.” Jeff Flowers, Director of Pastoral Care told WJBF News Channel 6.
On November 7th the group is holding a precious lives memorial at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia.They will join families and staff to remember the lives of children gone too soon.