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Friday, 15 June 2012 08:48


Four of the men who were honored, along with some of The Society of St. Dismas Chaplains

      From June 12th to 15th, Bridges of America and the Society of St. Dismas were actively involved in the 14th Annual International Fatherhood Conference in Fort Lauderdale.  Under the leadership of Dr. Jeffery Johnson and The National Partnership for Community Leadership (NPCL), this conference attracts government leaders, agency executives and nationally known professionals from around the country.  We were invited to participate and five of our men honored as “Favorite Fathers”.  Bridges of America brought teams from Corporate, The Broward County Bridge and The Turning Point Bridge to collaborate with these Fatherhood leaders.

      Father Charles Brown and Father Ginery Twichell were part of the conference kick-off Prayer Breakfast, where faith leaders were asked to pray for the Conference and the work of fatherhood and family reconciliation.  The Breakfast was a powerful time of prayer, as God was moving, touching, and inspiring us all to reach farther than ever before.  We know that fatherhood is important to God, as his last words of the Old Testament are:  “He turned the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers”.  We are called to this ministry to be the restorers of the breach. 

      The first night of the Conference was a time to honor Favorite Father Essay Contest winners from South Florida, as well as five of our program participants.  These men volunteered to complete a Nurturing Parenting program and demonstrate the qualities of a responsible father. One of the men is now a grandfather.  Our men received certificates from Broward County and the NPCL.  They received a tremendous ovation as everyone realized how much had gone into this transformation from where they were to being honored in such a special forum.       
      It has become more and more evident that Fatherhood, Healthy Marriages and Families are essential to full restoration for those in our care. While we went to the conference to learn and meet other leaders, we were blessed to meet so many people who wanted to know more about what we do and are interested in future collaboration.  This was an exciting experience and we know there is much more to come.