Legacy Conference 2015 in Chicago wrapped up its first day of scheduled activities yesterday. In case you were unable to attend, here is a brief synopsis of the activities that have taken place so far.
H.B. Charles Jr. opened up the morning at the general session with a sermon regarding the importance of treating the church as a body. After a period of worship, Charles showed the differences between a body of believers and a community of believers, ultimately pointing out the necessity of the church to act as one body — each part doing their share to ultimately promote the kingdom. Other topics that were touched on by Charles were the importance of rooting ourselves in Scripture, as well as an emphasis on Biblical fatherhood.
Following the general session, attendees broke off into smaller groups to attend one of the many workshops that were available. One of the more popular workshops was that of Jackie Hill Perry’s regarding homosexuality in a biblical context. Some of the things discussed were her rocky past with her father, her personal journey as a lesbian, as well her coming to Christ and allowing God to free her of her homosexual desires. Hill Perry then went into a Biblical study regarding homosexuality, emphasizing the perfection of God’s design and how deviating from it in any way is rebellion against God.
During the lunch break following the first session of workshops, attendees were treated to an outdoor concert at the Moody Bible Institute Plaza. The lineup for the afternoon included UK-based artist Serene, Shopé and Natalie Lauren. Serene opened up the show with a variety of songs from his most recent project, Different Strokes Volume 2: Mending Broken Strings, as well some older songs of his, ultimately closing his set with a performance of “Take it All” featuring a special guest performance by S.O.
Shopé then took the stage, bringing along yet another accompanying artist, Dru Bex. Shopé’s set included songs “#Follow” and “Better” and thoroughly engaged the audience as he ran through the crowd throughout his performance. Lastly, Natalie Lauren took the stage, bringing the most unique stage set up of all the acts. With two accompanying musicians behind her, an interesting use of keyboards, MIDI controllers and guitars were played as Lauren covered the vocals. She ended the concert by rapping over a remixed version of Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” bringing a fresh energy to a crowd fatigued by the hot Chicago weather.
After lunch was the second workshop session. For this session, one of the more popular workshops was a discussion held by Thi’sl regarding his personal experience with the Ferguson and Baltimore protests. He shared about his personal relationship with Michael Brown’s father and then went on to explain how he feels that city’s planning for the area and consequential demographics contributed to the area’s outbreak of violence following the death of Brown. Thi’sl also discussed how the church should function in a post-Ferguson world, ultimately emphasizing that “Fergusons are being created all around us”.
During a break for dinner, a poetry slam featuring seven poets from all over the nation took place in the Alumni Auditorium. All contestants previously submitted a video to apply for the competition, and were chosen by a selection committee to perform at the conference. The winner of the slam would perform later on at the general Storytellers session held in the main auditorium. All seven poets brought their best material, performing in front of an esteemed panel of judges including Ezekiel, Preston Perry and many others. Poem topics ranged from hypocrisy and hurt within the church to the power of the tongue, but the winning poem centered around praising God in the midst of our suffering, written and performed by St. Louis based poet Ciara Jones.
The evening general session centered around a panel held for the purpose of discussion about diversity within the church. Panel members included Elicia Horton, Joe Thorn, Lecrae and Soong-Chan Rah. The panel started out their discussion analyzing the roots of racism. As Rah pointed out, racism should just be treated as any other sin, and therefore, the roots of it merely come from human nature.
Lecrae detailed his personal experience with hearing contradictory messages from churches with widely differing demographics and the consequential hate it made him feel toward his own race. As the panel progressed, the members shifted focus toward the importance of embracing the diversity of the church, using it to gain highly needed input from multiple different lenses.
The night was finished off with the annual Storytellers spoken-word showcase. Ciara Jones, the winner of the poetry slam competition, opened the night with her winning poem. The show featured notable poets such as Blair Linne, Joseph Solomon and Ezekiel. Perhaps the biggest performance of the night was that of Jackie Hill Perry and Preston Perry with their poem entitled “The Fall.” The husband and wife duo depicted an argument between Adam and Eve following their consumption of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, showing the strain it must of placed on their relationship after they betrayed God.
Today has many more exciting events to look forward to at Legacy Conference 2015, including more workshops, a rap showcase and a concert featuring Bizzle, Beautiful Eulogy, Dream Junkies and more. Stay up to date with what is happening at Legacy by checking back each day for a daily recap of the events.