I had been a minister for less than a year when I went to my first ANTN conference in October of 1997. To say I was a bit intimidated to be with a group of "seasoned" ministers is a gross understatement. But then I walked into the main meeting room at the UCLA Conference Center in Arrowhead. It was a cold afternoon, and the room was aglow with warm because of a roaring fire in the stone fireplace. At least I thought the warmth was coming from the fire, but then I realized it was more than that. The warm glow was coming mostly from the people in the room. This was confirmed when Dr. Ari Smith-Cortiz walked over to me with open arms, enfolded me in a hug and welcomed me to ANTN. And, I have felt that way about ANTN ever since. It is a big, safe, warm hug, welcoming me home! I am proud to be a member of ANTN and am so grateful to the leadership over the years who have ensured that it remains a warm haven to come home to.
Dr. Michele Whittington, Creative Living Fellowship