NORTH CHARLESTON—The Diocese of Charleston will host this year’s Archbishop James Patterson Lyke Conference from June 23-27 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and convention center, 5055 International Blvd. The theme is “Lord, I Want to be a Christian.”
The liturgical conference is designed to enrich worship, spirituality and vocations in the African-American community, according to Kathleen Merritt, director of the Office for Ethnic Ministries and coordinator of the event.
The national gathering offers something for everyone, particularly couples, youth, parish leaders, vocation directors, and religious. Workshops will cover topics such as marriage and weddings, music, stewardship, returning young adults to the church, evangelization, and falling in love with the Eucharist.
According to organizers, the goal of the conference is to provide participants with the ability to enrich their own parishes with the spiritual gifts of their culture, inspire youth to recognize and share their time and talents in fostering Christian values, promote leadership and evangelize all communities.
A roster of well-known speakers will include the return of Jesuit Father J-Glenn Murray, director of the Office for Pastoral Liturgy for the Diocese of Cleveland, and a national lecturer on liturgy and culture; Father Bryan Massingale, an associate professor of theology at Marquette University specializing in moral theology; Father Tony Ricard, pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea in New Orleans and an instructor of church doctrine for the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans; and others.
Local speakers will include Merritt, Judge Arthur McFarland, St. Mary of Namur Sister Roberta Fulton, Franciscan Fathers Patrick Tuttle and Ferdnand Cheri III, and others.
Several events will take place before the conference including the Clarence Rivers Music Institute, directed by Father Clarence Joseph Rivers, a pioneer in bringing African-American music into the liturgy; the Liturgical Dance Institute directed by Ayisha A. Morgan-Lee and Ju.B.Lation Spirit Filled Feet dance company; and the Arusi Marriage Institute coordinated by national marriage ministry leaders, Andrew and Terri Lyke.
A special youth track for ages 13 to 18 will comprise a significant component that includes multi-media workshops for children, an evening social center for teens, a basketball tournament, a Christian service activity, and the sacrament of reconciliation.
The conference is named for the late Archbishop Lyke of Atlanta who was known for his devotion to Catholic liturgy. He was born in Chicago to a Baptist family, and attended Catholic schools, eventually becoming a Franciscan priest. He was an auxiliary bishop of Cleveland, then apostolic administrator, and archbishop of Atlanta. He died in 1992 at age 53. He coordinated the African-American Catholic Hymnal “Lead Me, Guide Me” published in 1986.
Registration before March 1 is $150, $170 until May 1 and $200 after. The fee includes the presentations, conference materials, a T-shirt, and two meals, including lunch on Friday and Saturday. Institutes have separate fees.
For information or registration, contact the Office of Ethnic Ministries at (864) 242-2233 ext. 214, or visit www.lykeconference.com.