The Right Reverend T. Larry Kirkland -
Chair, Commission on Publications
The Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr.,
The Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III,
the 20th Editor, The Christian Recorder
-- Advent ends Wednesday,
December 24, 2014
-- Christmastide, Christmas
Eve - January 5, 2015
-- Epiphany, January 6 -
Sundays after Lent through February 15, 2015
-- Lenten Season: Ash
Wednesday, February 18 - Saturday, April 4, 2015.
-- Easter Sunday: April 5,
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year
from all of us at the AMEC Sunday School Union and
1. TCR EDITORIAL – A POTPOURRI OF THINGS I
WANT TO SAY BEFORE GETTING TO FAR INTO 2015:
20th Editor of The Christian Recorder
has arrived like “a rocket!” Where did
2014 go? What happened to 2013 and
2014? Am I the only person overwhelmed
by the swiftness of time?
were so many things that I wanted to say in 2014 and so many things I wanted to
be sure our readers knew, but time got away from me.
here is a potpourri of things I want to say and make clear as we traverse 2015.
few years ago, there was a movement to take the “X” out of Christmas and people
were encouraged to not use the term, “Xmas,”
but apparently those who supported that notion did not realize what looked like
an “X” was not an “X,” but the Greek
letter “Chi,” which looks like an “X” to
those who do not understand that it’s the Greek letter “Chi,” which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός
(Christos), which in English is translated, "Christ."
early Christians used the symbol of “Chi”
as a secret way of identifying themselves as Christian during the Roman and
Jewish persecution; it was a way Christians covertly identified each other.
“Chi” is an abbreviation for “Christ,” thus “Xmas” is a shorthand way of writing “Christ-mas” and “Xtian” is a short-hand way for writing
“Christian.” The Greek letter “Chi,” which looks like an “X” was never
meant to be confused with the “X” in our alphabet.
The term “holy catholic church” has nothing to do with the “Roman Catholic
Church.” I wish pastors would have taken the time to explain this to
parishioners instead of changing the language in the Apostles’ Creed.
guest preacher of another denomination was visiting an AME Church and strayed
off-point that when he explained that he had heard a preacher on television
embracing Catholicism by reciting the phrase, “the holy catholic church.”
the service I wasted some valuable time and breath that I might need at the end
of my life by explaining that the preacher was not embracing the Roman Catholic
Church, but was referring to “the church universal.” The guest preacher wouldn’t hear of it, he
said, embracing the highest level of ignorance and a refusal to learn, “The
preacher on television said ‘catholic’ and that means the Roman Catholic Church
guest preacher was in error, the “holy catholic church” or “church universal”
in the Apostles’ Creed predates the Roman Catholic Church and the two are not
Stay in place until
the prayer response is finished
I was taught that preachers and those who pray should remain in place until the
“prayer response” is finished because the prayer response is a part of the
have recently noticed several occasions at the end of the prayer when the
“Amen” was stated; the person who prayed got up and moved to his or her seat.
People in the congregation should not be moving
about during the prayer response and ushers should not allow people to come
into the sanctuary during the prayer response.
prayer response is a part of the prayer and closes out the prayer. The prayer
response is a time to petition God to hear our prayer and it is a time for
parishioners to commit themselves to be obedient to the petitions of prayer.
Preachers and parishioners should be in a prayer posture during the prayer
No business after
the sermon or after Holy Communion
The Sermon and Holy Communion are sacred acts of worship that should not be
preempted by frivolity, announcements or business.
a sermon, parishioners should be reflective in accepting Christ in their lives,
recommitting to Christ-like behavior, or motivated to serve and be a disciple
of Christ. After every challenging sermon there should be commitment or
recommitment. A sermon is not an ordinary conversation or another speech.
Communion, too, is a sacred act and after Holy Communion, parishioners should
be in a posture of commitment or recommitment in living lives of harmony with
the “Body of Christ.”
to “push the envelope” a little further, I would go so far as to say, ideally,
we should not have ANYTHING after the worship service on the First Sunday, not
even an afternoon program and no business meetings after church, especially on
The AME Church is a connectional church, but we are not a “one-size-fits-all”
takes different skills to pastor different churches. Specific skills are needed to pastor large
and mega-churches and specific skill sets are needed to pastor small
small church cannot be pastored as one would pastor a large or
mega-church. Parishioners have reasons
for joining large or mega-churches and parishioners have reasons for joining
styles are different in different locations.
A worship service in an inner-city church might be significantly
different than in a church located in suburban or rural areas. In other words, “one size does not fit all”;
not in worship or in pastoral styles of providing ministry.
is understandable if a large or mega-church pastor did not regularly visit
every sick and shut-in member and it would be acceptable if clergy or staff
members made pastoral visits. Pastors of large churches can sometimes get away
with being inaccessible because
they are doing so many things. In large settings, strong administrative and
interpersonal skills are admirable traits.
a small church of less than 200, pastors are expected to make pastoral
visits. People associate with small
churches because of the closeness of knowing and interacting with fellow
in small churches need to have strong interpersonal skills and must know how to
navigate familial “landmines” that can quickly derail ministry in small church
settings. Pastors of small churches need to understand the importance of a
strong pastoral ministry of visiting the sick and shut-in members, and
providing a “ministry of presence” at significant events involving the lives of
parishioners. In smaller churches, a
“ministry of presence” and getting along with parishioners are significant
size does not fit all,” but, we are a connectional church and episcopal
leaders, pastors and parishioners need to be mindful of the AME brand. There
should be a distinction that we are AME, whether a mega, small or large
Watch Meeting Night
-- Watch Meeting Night
Service is a Methodist tradition and the revisionist account that it started in 1862
is a myth and misinformation. I am certain that the night of December 31, 1862
had a special meaning for the slaves. But as an aside, President Lincoln’s
Emancipation Proclamation did not free all of the slaves, only the slaves in
the slave-holding states, but I am also certain, for those who took advantage
of the emancipation order, December 31st remained a significant day
in their lives and in the lives of their descendants. Watch Night service
didn't begin in 1862; it began many years prior to that date.
Watch Night Service reportedly began with the Moravians in Germany and was
picked up by John Wesley who incorporated the service in Methodism. In
England, Europe, and in America, the early Methodists and other religious
groups also observed Watch Night services.
America, Watch Night services were held at St. George Church in Philadelphia
where Richard Allen and other blacks were members. We can be certain that
Richard Allen celebrated Watch Meeting Night services at St. George Church and
it would follow that Watch Meeting Night services were held at Mother Bethel in
version of The Doctrine and Discipline of
the African Methodist Episcopal Church- 2012
-- The electronic
version of The
Doctrine and Discipline is so convenient and easy
to use. If you order the electronic
version of The Doctrine and Discipline, you
will receive it on your device, i.e., Smartphone, Tablet, and computer
immediately. It can be ordered on Amazon or from Kindle.
are probably some pastors like me who are asked about a couple of pesky items
of a christogram, a
combination of letters that form an abbreviation for the name of Jesus
Christ just when I am experiencing a
mental block or a senior moment. Here are a few that we most often see in our
The acronym INRI is an inscription
that we see on altar hangings. Most
pastors know that it is a Latin acronym for "Iēsus Nazarēnus, Rēx Iūdaeōrum," which in English represents
the Latin inscription, "Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews." The Latin and Greek alphabets do not have
"j" and thus the altar hangings use the Latin acronym, INRI. Please do not pronounce the
acronym as "Inri," instead
memorize the Latin, "Iēsus
Nazarēnus, Rēx Iūdaeōrum."
On some altar hangings we see “IHS” or “IHC.” IHS
represent the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus, IHΣΟΥΣ, "Iesous" - iota-eta-sigma, or ΙΗΣ, which in English would be “IHS.”
The capital form of "eta" looks like a "H." The Greek letter, “sigma” at the end of a
word looks more like a “C,” which is why some christograms list “IHC”
or “IHS.” And, let me say here, being associated with a
fraternity was helpful in seminary because I already knew the Greek Alphabet when
I took Greek (Thank you Lampados Club of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity).
don't want to get too "deep in the woods," but "IHS" is sometimes interpreted as
meaning Iesus Hominum Salvator ("Jesus,
Saviour of men" in Latin).
And sometimes we see what looks like "X" superimposed on a
"P," which represent the Greek letters, "Chi Rho," the first two letters of the name of Christ. The
Greek letter the "Ch" looks
like an "X," and the Greek letter, "Rho" looks like a "P" and thus what looks like an
“X” superimposed on what looks like a "P" is “Chi Rho,” the first two
letters in the name of Christ,
I said, sometimes parishioners ask questions about christograms when our brains are not functioning. I hope this is a reminder.
TCR Editor’s Comment: Modified versions of TCR Online will be published during the Xmas holidays
2. THE COUNCIL OF BISHOPS STATEMENT ON A NEW ERA OF DIPLOMACY WITH CUBA:
Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church celebrates the
normalization of diplomatic relationships between the United States and
Cuba. We salute President Obama,
President Raúl Castro and
other political and religious leaders who labored to bring us to this
point. We thank God for this giant step
toward greater peace and understanding.
The work of the AME Church in Cuba
has been disrupted for over fifty years.
This stride in diplomacy will allow a reconnection of historic roots and
enhance spiritual and humanitarian interaction.
We support the call of the National Council of Churches in ringing bells
and offering special prayers of thanksgiving.
Let us pray for the people of both the United States and Cuba. Let us also pray for Bishop John White and
the AME’s who work in the region for the resources to support ministry in this
3. NEWS AROUND THE AME CHURCH:
Video clip of Black Lives Matter segment on Arise America
Bishop Bryant featured on
Arise America. Appended below is the full coverage of the topic. Bishop Bryant's interview starts about 1
minute, 50 seconds into the segment (if you want to fast-forward).
- To the Bishops, General Officers, Connectional
Heads of Organizations, General Board Members and all Leadership of African
“Greetings to you in the
Name of Jesus Christ”
As we close the year of
2014, we have had many challenges in our great Zion and as a people. We have been heart-broken with the struggle
of Morris Brown and now the urgent need for Wilberforce University-where it all
began. However, through faith we have
made it through. We have raised
assessments, made special contributions and yes we have prayed without ceasing.
I am always reminded of the
statement: “Sometimes you have to step
back to move ahead.” I am asking as the
leadership of the Church, Bishops, General Officers, Connectional Leaders and
all that love God and the African Methodist Episcopal Church to consider two
Having the rest of our
smaller Connectional Meetings in an AME owned property. In 2015 and 2016 we will have several smaller
meetings in preparation of the 50th General Conference that will be held in
Philadelphia. We will have the CONVOs,
Lay Executive Board Meetings and several other Connectional events. We have several venues that we could use and
reinvest the money back to the institutions (of course we would need hotels for
First Episcopal District
Wilberforce University –
Dayton, OH 20 miles away
Allen University – Columbia,
Paul Quinn College –
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Edward Waters College,
Shorter College – Little
Morris Brown College –
The Daniel Payne Complex –
Several of our Larger
Churches that have the meeting facilities
There was a time we were not
able to meet in the hotels and we had to use our colleges and universities to
have our Bishops Council, Lay Biennials, Connectional Christian Education
Conferences and other meetings of the church.
Development of the remaining
Morris Brown College property into a School of Hotel Management and a
Conference Center for various meetings is an excellent idea, which would keep
in place the agreement of Morris Brown as an educational institution, with the
added benefit as a conference center for training of those who could eventually
manage a full service conference center for the African Methodist Episcopal
As a “younger statesman” of
the Church, I encourage our leadership at all levels to “think outside of the
box” for the next two years and beyond and recycle our dollars back to our
Let us go back to our roots
and rise again as a Phoenix.
God Bless you and God Bless
the African Methodist Episcopal Church,
From the Personal Pen of:
Former Connectional Officer
Director of Lay
Activities-Fourth Episcopal District
5. THE YOUNG BLACK MAN IS DEAD:
*The Rev. Lanxton L.
From Ferguson Missouri to
New York City to Phoenix Arizona to Cleveland, Ohio, and to South Carolina,
young black men are dying!
Think about Trayvon Martin,
wearing a hoodie and skittles, young black men are dying
Think about Michael Brown,
with hands up don’t shoot, young black men are dying
Think about Eric Gardner, I
can’t breathe, young black men are dying
Think about the young black
man in Phoenix Arizona reaching for his medication and getting shot, young
black men are dying! Yes, young black men are dying.
There was 12 year old, Tamir
Rice, Cleveland, Ohio with a toy pistol and when the police arrive within a few
seconds, a young black boy is dead.
In South Carolina, a police
chief shot a Black man who is sitting in his car; our young black men are
Yes, our young black men are
It could be Philly,
Pennsauken, Camden, New York, Los Angles, or Atlanta, DC. It could be anywhere
because the justice system looks at us differently. Our young black men are dying!
Our lives are worthless,
that is how they look at our young black men.
Yes our young black men are dying!
40% of all African-American
men under the age of 30 have had some encounter with the police/prison system.
Yes, our young black men are
A young black man is an
endangered species because he looks or dresses differently and makes the
majority population feel fear; our young black men are dying.
Our young black men are
incarcerated where others are given house arrests. What’s the worth of the life of a young black
Yes our young black men are
Soon a young black will be
extinct because young black men are dying, but, the young Black man will rise
Yes, our young black men are
dying, but we will do what we have to do stop our young Black men from dying.
-- Composed by the Rev.
Lanxton L. Washington with special contribution by Presiding Elder E. Anne
*The Rev. Lanxton L.
Washington is the pastor Bethel AME Church in Pennsauken, New Jersey
6. WOOING AND PURSUING THE BLACK BEING WITH LOVE - BLACK
you ever approach me and ask me what I’m doing.
I will certainly and unashamedly tell you: I am constantly, ceaselessly wooing
and pursuing loving the Black Being.
all I want to be doing
Is loving the Black Being
So that I can better be seeing
How to love all others, including my enemy,
The one or ones who seek to devour and
destroy me and all others like me and the beauty, boldness and
Blessedness of our Blackness.
So yes, I’m loving, loving that which has
been attacked, shackled and chained, rejected and despised, enslaved, raped,
lynched, brutally beaten, even mercilessly set on fire,
Left to die a slow, agonizing death, left
to relinquish the very last breath without dignity, without pride.
But No! It will never, ever be so because
we were created to reproduce, multiply and grow, Love.
And so I’m loving. I’m loving that which
has been falsely accused and wrongfully misused as well as immorally abused
repeatedly, relentlessly throughout most of history.
I’m loving that which has been negatively
stereotyped, caricatured and labeled with pictures, words and names that have
sought to “de-sacralize” and defame
Who we really are as a God-created and a
I’m loving that which has been
discriminated against and oppressed
By folk who fail to honor and heed God’s
commandment to love and thus, instead, are obsessed
With holding the Black being down and back,
Too unwilling to give the Black Being much,
if any, leeway or slack as they have availed themselves
To be cruelly used as instruments for
But yet, they seemingly don’t dare to let
themselves let go, so that they can too know God’s love.
So I’m loving. I’m loving the Black Being
until we are completely, absolutely freeing ourselves
From the false and detrimental images and
likenesses that are not our essence;
Until we fully comprehend that the presence
of God does dwell within our temples,
Just as God created us in the very
beginning of time – a time before the destructive tendencies
And proclivities of unenlightened humanity
sought to warp and distort our minds.
So, I need to and I must tell you that I am
L-O-V-I-N-G- loving the Black Being until the fragmented parts and dismembered
pieces of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls are brought together and are
again made whole;
Until we are healed from this pernicious
malady called racism and all other isms that have
Wreaked havoc by causing dissensions,
divisions and schisms between, within and amongst us all.
So yes, I am loving. I am loving the Black
Being until we stop hating ourselves and one another
And are instead honoring, respecting and
joyfully greeting all as sisters and brothers in an extended embrace
Of peace and love that holds and sustains
us all – assuring that no one – no, not one of us, stumble or fall
Out of the grace and glow of God’s sacred
and holy Light.
I am loving until we only know love as our
divine birthright and we get right
Our need to be loved and to love.
So please, yes, ask me what I’m doing so I
can certainly and unashamedly tell you:
I am wooing and pursuing the Black Being
Why? Because Black Lives Matter!
7. PLEDGE FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN BOYS:
I (your name) know that God
will order my steps throughout my life.
I must make good decisions
in order to be successful.
Therefore I will listen and
obey my parents, grandparents and other relatives because I know they love me and
want what is best for me.
Therefore I will obey and
abide by all rules and regulations when I am at school; I will listen to all of
my teachers and other school officials.
I will not cause confusion or be a disruption at my school.
Therefore I will treat all
of my classmates and friends with dignity and respect. When I meet someone new I will also treat
them with dignity and respect.
Therefore I will display a
good attitude at all times and will maintain high levels of self respect and
respect for others.
Therefore when I am in my
community and other communities I will obey all rules and regulations. I will not have any verbal or physical
confrontations with the police or any other authority figure. I will follow their instructions and will not
talk back to them.
Therefore as I am growing
into manhood I will be mindful of the fact that I have a responsibility to help
other boys and to be a service to other people.
I have a bright future ahead
of me so I know that I can, I must and I will succeed.
Author- James B. Ewers Jr.
8. ALLEN CHAPEL AME CHURCH CELEBRATES THE BIRTH
OF JESUS WITH PRODUCTION OF “FOLLOWING
YONDER STAR – A NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM.”
It was a joyous occasion on
December 13th, 2014, when Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church located at 2518 Fairland
Road in Silver Spring, Maryland, where the Rev. Alan M. Gould Sr. is pastor,
fulfilled a vision by presenting a Christmas play and celebration, titled
“Following Yonder Star – A Night in Bethlehem,” at the John F. Kennedy High School
Auditorium, also located in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Various ministries of Allen
Chapel captivated the audience with awe and appreciation. The Kipaji, Swahili for “talent or ability,”
Ministry provided a theatrical performance, titled “A Night in Bethlehem,”
written by Sharon Kay Chatwell and produced under the direction of Brother
Charles Clyburn. This play used
contemporary dialogue from the perspectives of a narrator, Mary, Joseph, an
Innkeeper, Shining Stars, Angels, Shepherds and Kings, to describe the night of
our Savior’s birth. Within the
performance, Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church Christmas Choir provided
spiritual-themed music, under the leadership of Sister Angela Burgess. The Divinity Mime Ministry, under the
direction of Sister Nicole Gould, performed to the songs “Joy,” “No Greater
Love,” “Something about the Name,” and “Bow Down,” using their talents and
gifts to give praise and glorification to our Redeemer. Praise Dancers uplifted the spectators through
colorful ribbons and flags, giving Jesus admiration and veneration. Sister Roberta Marsh, Sister Phyllis
Henderson, Brother Jason Gaskins and Brother Gordon Lewis also blessed those in
attendance with powerful solos and instrumental performances. The Culinary Ministry, guided by Sister Christine
Wilson, provided a pre-production meal for the program participants. The evening also featured a silent auction,
vendors, door prizes and an advertisement section within the program, which
provided support and encouragement, both locally and as far away as
The talented artist, Brother
Michael Spears, created the background used on stage by hand. This setting included twelve different
panels, 9’ x 4’ in size, including three that highlighted angels showing
reverence and devotion to the newborn King. Sister Patricia Owens coordinated
the vibrant costumes for the theatrical component of the production and
provided the printed copies of the detailed souvenir program booklet. Stagehands, prop supervisors, lighting
coordinators and microphone operators were all available, ensuring a flawless
Through hard work,
perseverance, prayer and faith, various individuals worked diligently together
to create this show. The program chairperson was Sister Burgess and she was
assisted by the Production Committee: Brother Clyburn, Sister Saundra A.
Sidbury, Brother Spears, Sister Owens, Sister Isa Freeman, Sister Dollie
Wallace, Sister Alfreda C. Johnson, Sister Marsh, Sister Hattie Abner, Sister
Loretha Dennis and Sister Monica L. McGill.
The Rev. Gould remarked that
we needed to go and tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere that
our Savior, Jesus Christ, is born. He
reemphasized Allen Chapel’s Motto: Loving God, Loving People and Loving Community. He thanked everyone in attendance and
encouraged everyone to continue to be a vessel for the Lord.
Truly, God’s presence was
experienced that night, as we all remembered, through theatrical work,
pantomiming, singing and praise dances, A Night in Bethlehem!
Mr. Frederick D. Wallace IV
9. BISHOP VASHTI MURPHY MCKENZIE ISSUES CALL TO
ACTION IN SUPPORT OF BLACK LIVES MATTER:
Bishop Vashti Murphy
McKenzie, presiding bishop of the 10th Episcopal District of the African
Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, recently held a news conference to announce
the district’s participation in National Black Solidarity Sunday, because Black
Lives Matter! The event was held in the District Headquarters’ chapel in
Richard Allen Plaza in Dallas, Texas.
Joining her in ecumenical
unity was Senior Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick III, presiding bishop of the
Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church; Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III, pastor
of Friendship West Baptist Church; the Rev. Barbara LaToison, pastor of St. Mark
African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church; and the Rev. Dr. Vanessee J.
Burns, pastor of Christian Chapel Temple of Faith CME Church and others
representing the four denominations. In addition, more than 40 AME presiding
elders, clergy and lay leaders holding signs of protest slogans filled the
chapel to overflowing.
Bishop McKenzie opened her
remarks with James Weldon Johnson’s poem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” as a
metaphor for the road towards justice and equality for African Americans. She noted that Johnson wrote the poem in 1900
for his 500 students to introduce Booker T. Washington in a celebration for
President Lincoln’s birthday.
“More than a century later
in 2009,” said Bishop McKenzie, “the Rev. Joseph Lowery used this same stanza
to introduce his benediction at the inauguration of the President of the United
States, Barack Obama. In between there
has been the tyranny of lynching, Jim Crow, Separate but Equal, integration and
a Civil Rights Movement. Today, we say stony the road we trod to remind us that
we will continue to lift every voice and make every effort to confront the
brutal biased Grinch’s of our time.
“This stony road has been
marred by a lot of potholes that have damaged the undercarriage of justice,”
Bishop McKenzie said. “Civil and human
rights are caught up in a traffic jam with racial profiling, police brutality,
Stand Your Ground Laws, poor public education, the lack of a livable wage and
the public school to prison pipeline. There have been unexpected detours such
as unfair sentencing practices and the privatization of the penal institutions.
“Many biases,” she said,
“including the stereotyping of black men and women have now created a toxic
environment where a child in a hoody walking home, a teenager in the back of a
car with too loud music, or walking in the middle of the street or a child
playing with a pellet gun is somehow an evil menace that must be shot and put
down like a rogue horse.”
Bishop McKenzie said the
African Methodist Episcopal Church is issuing a national call to action. “We
cannot be silent while the lives of too many men and women are being hijacked
by a biased criminal justice system, social and cultural fears and phobias.
“We’re not standing here
saying we’re just going to wear black on Sunday. We will wear black on Sunday
as a sign of solidarity. We’re not saying we’re just going to pray. We are
going to pray because we are communities of faith and we know God can do things
that we cannot do individually, but we are also now asking that this nation
take a critical look at the criminal justice system and we’re calling for an
overhaul of this justice system.
“We insist on the training of law enforcement
persons, including prosecutors, in diversity and racial cultures not just to
sensitize them, but to change their minds and ways of thinking. Whether that
person works behind a desk or on the streets, regardless of race creed or
color, we want them to understand the rich heritage and diversity that makes up
this community and our country,” said Bishop McKenzie.
“We want to build better
relationships between law enforcement agencies and the community. We need to
create open dialogue by working together. We want special prosecutors to be
assigned to cases of police shooting/killing of unarmed citizens, excessive
force or police brutality; someone to bring in an objective, fair and
“We want better
communication and community outreach between law enforcement and our young
people, creating programs that don’t just talk at them, but rather help law
enforcement to see how to participate in our community in a positive and
productive manner. We must encourage parents and guardians to have honest
dialogue with young people about how to protect themselves against those who
are charged to protect and to serve them,” she said.
“We need to continue our
steady beat working for voter’s rights, fair voter registration legislation,
justice and equality. We’re not just here to say we’re going to wear black and
pray on Sunday, but we’re calling for a boycott of corporations who demonstrate
overt and covert prejudicial policies. We are not going to spend our hard
earned money with those persons who are not good community stewards,” declared
Bishop McKenzie. “We are going to continue to apply the pressure necessary to
demonstrate that Black Lives Matter and that we will not be silent!”
AME churches and those of
other denominations across the state wore black on National Black Solidarity
Sunday and spoke in support of Black Lives Matter. Media coverage included
television news, newspapers and blogs.
10. LOVE IS
ESSENTIAL FOR EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP
Rev. Timothy Sands, MScM, M.Div.
leadership is ineffective in the secular as well as sacred world for numerous
reasons. I believe one of the reasons
and the missing link is the lack of love.
Thus, for a corporation and yes, the church to survive love is
once reading the Rev. Dr. Sydnor’s comments about New Year’s Resolutions in The Christian Recorder, I had to share
some particulars on the importance of incorporating love into his or her New
when visitors arrive, he or she should know immediately, this church is about
love. They will be able to leave and
tell their family members, friends and others in the community the ambience
there is love.
is no hatred toward the pastor about the connectional budget (especially in the
African Methodist Episcopal Church) if his or style of preaching and the
theology are sound.
visitors know everyone is working together,
and if there is any strife, it is minimal.
In other words, he or she knows love not only is mention during the season of Advent but every tenth of a
second. Further, they know the shepherd
is leading and not dictating as everyone is in collaboration on the goals.
day everyone is lifting one another up with his
or her spiritual gifts and understands if evil arise he, or she can face it with love. The aforementioned usually means an effective
leader is in place. Thus, I am reminded
of John 13:1 which states, “it was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to
leave this world and go to the Father.
Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full
extent of his love” (New International Version).
when love is portrayed the disagreements
that do emerge will not result into negativism.
Also, this deters gossip because everyone is held accountable to be
positive and know it is okay to agree to disagree in love. Once everyone realizes everybody is alike in
God’s eyes; all tasks, as well as goals, are met
or exceed expectations. Therefore, at
the end of the day, everyone is on one accord because of God’s love. Hence, “Leadership is not an affair of the
head. Leadership is an affair of the
heart.” ~James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
Rev. Timothy Sands, MScM, M.Div. is the Senior Pastor at Camp Hope AME Church
in Macon, Georgia
11. HE HAS DWELT AMONG US – PART 2:
*The Rev. Dr. Rebecca R.
“In the beginning was the
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.”
“The Word became flesh and
blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” (The Message Bible)
Mary had a baby. They called “HIS name Jesus.” – Luke 1:31
Jesus the Word, the Christ
of God, lives within the house, the personhood of every believer, as the Holy
Spirit of God. (Rivka)
We come now to the text:
John 1: 14: “And the Word was made flesh,
and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten
of the Father) full of grace and truth.”
1) “And the Word was made
flesh,” ... clears the whole matter up now – of God in man. The incarnation of
Spirit in matter is more comprehensible. It makes the historical birth personal
for us because the Word became Jesus, a human being like you and me - yet more.
Jesus is the God-man. Physician Luke records Jesus’ incarnation in Bethlehem. “And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb,
and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name Jesus.” (Luke 1:31). The Word is
Jesus; The Logos, the Mind, Purpose and Agent of God’s Self-Disclosure. The
world has portrayed God wrongly. He is not a cruel, vengeful Creator who runs
rough shod over the human race. Jesus revealed God as love and life, joy and
2) “And dwelt among us.” -
Christ has come to this lowly world with all its corruption and sin. He who
knew no sin put Himself in the position of sinful man. He could have dwelt with
angels but He chose us that we might learn of Him and model His nature.
We couldn’t make it – God
and man. Jesus had always dwelt among His world as the Christ revealing Himself
through the prophets, but we couldn’t understand. We needed a role model in
human flesh, a God-man with whom we could identify.
Christ has come in flesh
into the world. This places an honor on both the body and the world. It
encourages us to be willing to abide in the flesh while God has work for us to
do. For Christ dwelt in this lower world, bad as it is, till he had finished
His work, until His hour had come.
Jesus has dwelt among us. He
dwelt among the Jews and others though many were unkind to him. Sometimes we
must pitch our tent among those including family (our supposed calling and
environment) that are not kind to us. Jesus gives us hope and courage to tarry
on. He dwelt among us not as a wayfaring sojourner, but he had a long
residence. He dwelt not in a palace but
in temporary housing, for he had no where to lay his head. The homeless have a friend in Jesus today who
knows all about their destitution. Our children and loved ones far from home
have a friend in Jesus.
3) There is the suffering
Savior for the poor. He “dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as
of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth).” (John 1:14) Those
of us, who are intimate with Jesus, who lean upon His breast, know that as we
get closer to the Lord we see the Beams of His Divine Glory darting through the
Veil of His flesh. We see Him as God and
we behold His Glory. “For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead
bodily.” (Colossians 2:9)
Coming from the
fountain-head is the Word made flesh and He has dwelt among us full of grace
and truth. Grace, God’s grace, marvelous grace, unmerited favor to pardon and
cleanse from sin and grace to cover all of our needs. And Jesus reveals the
truth of our identity that we are like God, created in love, beauty, peace and
There is divinity in John’s
argument, and authority and majesty in his style. Therefore, we have problems with the
contention of Corinthus and others that Jesus was not God at his birth.
We have no problem with
Isaiah 9:6: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the
government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”
We have no debate with Job 19:
25 -27: “For I know that my redeemer
liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though
after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”
He has dwelt among us. The
Spirit does subdue the deeds of the flesh. We know of the amazing working of
the Holy Spirit in our own lives, exalting valleys, bringing down hills and
mountains, making crooked places straight and
rough places plain, revealing the Glory of the Lord. (Isaiah 40:4-5)
Jesus has dwelt among us in
the flesh and we beheld His holiness, miracles, purity, goodness and
compassion. “To the praise of the Glory of His Grace.” (Ephesians 1:6) All
believers can give witness that Jesus Christ has dwelt among us. We are
redeemed from the slavery of sin because the Word was made flesh and tucked in
our bosom. Christ Jesus through the dispensation of the Holy Spirit is in the
world today. He dwells among us, taking care of His own.
*The Rev. Dr. Rebecca R.
Rivka is (ret.) Professor of Psychology, Norfolk State University and member of
Saint John’s African Methodist Episcopal Church, Norfolk, Virginia.
12. THE VERDICT AND
Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith
1951, the poet Langston Hughes asked the question “What happens when a dream is
deferred?” The questions that follow in the poem suggest pain, anger, and rage
can erupt when dreams are not achieved or are deferred.
August 1963, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist
Church in Montgomery, Ala., stated he had a dream of a beloved community not
only rooted in the American dream, but a dream that was primarily grounded in
Christian faith and in biblical texts such as the Lord’s Prayer that states,
“thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Dr. King and other dreamers of the time, like
those in the student non-violence movement, had a vision that would bring the
dream closer to my generation and subsequent generations of today. They prayed,
acted, and gave so that subsequent generations would see the end of injustices,
violence, hunger, and poverty for all people.
A vision that would remove the scourge of racial and class bias.
it is true that public policies at the federal, state, and local levels have
reformed some unjust laws, today’s protests and public prayers make it clear
that these past victories are only the start of true reform.
was not enough to pass executive actions in the first decade of the 2000s
addressing the concerns of our Latino/Latina “Dreamers.” They too believe their
generation should have an opportunity to pursue a good education and a life
without violence, poverty, and hunger.
The president’s executive order on immigration reform has been a huge
step forward, but much work remains. Some of these dreamers have joined the
“hands up, don’t shoot” campaign in their fight for social justice.
year marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. The tragic loss of
black lives this year reminds us that the dream of the beloved community is
still deferred. A disproportionate
number of African-Americans continues to suffer from hunger, live in poverty,
and are incarcerated in mass numbers. The tragic deaths of young,
African-American men like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner, who
died at the hands of police engagement, remind us that justice is still not
protests surrounding these issues demonstrate that this generation has not
given up on the dreams of their parents and grandparents, a dream grounded in
peace and justice. We are witnessing
signs of hope as people stand up and lie down (die-ins) to say that a deferred
dream of a more just and peaceful community, that respects and loves black lives
can move us closer to the dream of beloved community.
13. NCC CELEBRATES
MOVES TOWARD US-CUBA NORMALIZATION
National Council of Churches rejoices in the steps taken by President Obama and
Raul Castro to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba. In
addition, the NCC celebrates the return of Alan Gross, imprisoned for five
years in Cuba, to the United States, and for the humanitarian release of three
of the "Cuban 5."
news that Cuba and the United States are now ending a half-century of hostility
is welcome indeed during this season of Advent,” said National Council of
Churches General Secretary Jim Winkler. “I salute Presidents Obama and Castro,
and express thanks to Pope Francis and all those who helped bring this moment
to pass. I ask local churches in the United States to follow the example of
churches across Cuba and ring their bells in thanks and celebration!"
Chair Roy Medley also stated: “We thank God for this wonderful news of these
significant steps toward normalization of relations between our two nations.
The NCC has long advocated for this day and we know our partners at the Cuban
Council of Churches are as jubilant at this moment as are we."
National Council of Churches has a deep history of advocacy for normalization
of U.S. - Cuba relations on the basis of its long-standing friendship with the
Cuban churches. Recent advocacy includes a delegation in December, 2011 in
which members visited with Alan Gross just before meeting with Cuban President
Raul Castro. Delegates were able to report on Gross’s condition and call for
his release on humanitarian grounds.
NCC member communions have maintained ties to fellow Christians in Cuba through
these difficult years. Some have been active in advocacy efforts culminating in
is a great day for the people and churches of Cuba,” said NCC Associate General
Secretary Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos. “We
have long affirmed that economic engagement is crucial to reform. Engagement, communication, travel, and
commerce will transform Cuban society more effectively than will our years of
sanctions and boycotts.”
NCC has known of the situation of the churches through the years of the
embargo, and the vibrant faith that has flourished despite the communist
regime. The seminary in Matanzas has
been a force in the region in theological scholarship. Also, the NCC witnessed a thawing of
anti-religious rhetoric with the opening of the Greek Orthodox cathedral in
2004, to which a delegation was sent to accompany the Ecumenical Patriarch
Bartholomew when he traveled there to celebrate the establishment of the
cathedral. The NCC, along with Church
World Service, has constantly worked with the Cuban Council of Churches for the
humanitarian and spiritual well-being of the people of Cuba.
NCC plans to send a delegation to the Assembly of the Cuban Council of Churches
National Council of Churches and the Cuban Council of Churches celebrate this
day and asks Congress to move forward with full normalization between our two
14. THE TRUTH IS
Rev. Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr.
on Biblical Texts: Luke 2:7 – “And she
brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid
him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
record shows that more than two thousand years ago, a very uncommon birth took
place. It was that birth taking place that literally changed the world.
a physician thought it noteworthy to record the birth of Jesus in, of all
places, an unsanitary manger in a filthy stable. Luke points out that Jesus is
introduced to the world having spent the initial moments of His earthly
existence in a manger, in a stable “because there was no room for them in the
no doubt, just like many of us who have come to know who Jesus is and the
Salvation work that Jesus came to accomplish, was secretly appalled at the
thought of His conditions. I submit that
as shocking as these paltry conditions were, there should not have been
anything surprising or seemingly untimely about it. As a matter of fact the
Bible reminds us that it was the prophet Micah who told the Jews 400 centuries
ago that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
fact, throughout the Old Testament, the birth of Jesus Christ was clearly
predicted and not just the place of His birth, but also His Name and His
position. The Bible says, “Thou shalt call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14) The
Bible says, “And the government shall be upon His shoulders, and his name shall
be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The
Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) The Bible says, about Jesus’ purpose, “thus
shall He deliver us” (Micah 5:6)
what shall He deliver us? Life under Roman rule was a far cry from the covenant
relationship God established with David in Jerusalem so many centuries before.
The Promised Land no longer in the hands of Israel was now in the hands of a
heathen power. The Prince no longer appointed by God, was now empowered by
Rome. Judea was no longer ruled by God but by a descendant of Esau, Herod the
Great. The Temple was no longer inhabited by God and was at this point being
misused by heathens. Lamentably, the Priests of God, the Sadducees and
Pharisees, were no longer the ministers of God.
Now they were not only in the world, they were of the world. It is safe
to assume that many folk had all but given up the hope of ever seeing their
you think about it, it really does make sense that no one noticed when Mary and
Joseph came into town for the census, riding on a donkey as it was the common
transportation for most every visitor in Bethlehem that day. It makes sense
that no one noticed that this was the same Mary who got pregnant out of wedlock
and had to be hidden away for nine months to spare her reputation. It makes
sense that there were so many Jews in town that as pregnant as she was, Mary
was just one in a crowd.
can imagine Brother Joseph walking up and, knocking on the door of the Inn.
Joseph, weary from his travels and concerned for his pregnant wife asked the
innkeeper “Sir, may I have a room for myself and my wife who is about to
deliver?” All he wanted for his wife was a clean mattress stuffed with fresh
straw and a little bit of privacy.
instead of the warm welcome he had hoped for all Joseph got was a cold “there
is no room.” There is no room inside the inn, but “you can use the stable”. As
Joseph stood on the stoop, pleading with the innkeeper for a space, he must
have been able to hear the drunken Roman soldier’s voices coming from the
inside. He, no doubt, could hear the loud voices of the public officials sent
by Caesar Augustus to record the census. There was room for them, but no room
for the Jesus.
truth is we are all guilty of beautifying the manger scene. We envision a clean
swept barn and a place with fresh hay and straw. We have even portrayed the
animals as calm and submissive softly baying in the background. We see a
serene, quiet, sanctified tranquility with angels sweetly singing heaven’s
visualize angels ministering to freshly shaven shepherds in flowing robes, as
Mary gently rocks her newborn in the cradle awaiting the arrival of three
regally dressed Wise Men bearing expensive gifts. Maybe it is because we can’t
take the whole truth.
whole truth is, if we were to walk through the stable that day we would be
wading through manure and straw inhaling the nauseating smell of the animals.
Jesus Christ came all the way from heaven to wallow in the filth of a stable
like this, just for us! We beautify the story of Jesus’ birth, and all the
while we forget that He lay, not in a rocking cradle, but in a feeding trough
for filthy animals.
it because it just makes for a better story? Or is the real truth we clean it
up so because we can’t bear the thought that God Incarnate was subjected to
such abuse and scorn? I know we love Jesus. I submit that our love for our
Savior might cause us to ask the question, “Why didn’t God Himself make room in
the Inn for His Only Begotten Son?”
when I think of the goodness of Jesus and how He has loved us. When I think
about how far He has brought us. How could any room be sufficient enough to
hold the Savior of the World? Is there any place on earth that could contain
want Jesus to know that I am convinced more than ever, “All heaven and earth
cannot contain You, for You made them and me in them.” There is no room in an
inn, no room in a manger, no room in the world that can contain our Lord. And
yet, Jesus wants to inhabit us!
after looking down and seeing our sad predicament, left His home in glory and
came down to us, to save us. He left the comfort of Heaven to sleep in some
filthy manger. He came, not to be rocked like a little baby, He came to knock!
He came down to knock on the door of our heart so that we would let Him in. He
came to knock on the door of our heart that if we would let Him in we could be
elevated to Him.
the question is not, “Why was there no room in the inn for Jesus?” The question
is, “Why is there no room in our heart for Him?”
Joseph traveled to Bethlehem with Mary, I am sure he did not envision the
problems he would encounter. With his wife being in such a delicate condition,
it never dawned on Brother Joseph that anybody could possibly turn him away.
But the Bible tells us that there was chaos and confusion throughout the city.
The hustle and bustle in the overcrowded city filled every hotel room. People
poured in taking up every nook and cranny of Bethlehem’s accommodations.
contend that far too often, that’s the way it is with us. We get so caught up
in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas festivities. We engross ourselves in
the parties and planning. We get all tied up in the tinsel and mistletoe. We
get so lost in the garland and gifts that we forget to make room for the
Christ-child. Jesus is still waiting for us! Jesus is still waiting for us to
make room for Him in our lives. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice and
opens the door, I will come in to Him and will sup with Him, and he with me.”
is coming this Christmas but the scene is not the serene, tranquil nativity
scene of Mary rocking Jesus in a cradle. In other words the picture we should
have this Christmas is not of Jesus rocking. The scene we should have etched on
our mind this Christmas is that of Jesus knocking. Jesus is knocking on the
door of our heart, but we have to make room for Him. The door to our heart can
only be opened from the inside. We have to open the door of our life to Jesus.
made room for us at the cross. Christmas is a great time for us to make room
for Him. We should let Him in, right now. When we let Jesus in, Jesus will
quench our thirst with Living Water and satisfy our hunger as the Bread of
Life. When we let Him in He will remove the shame of our hidden past and cure
the pain of our troubled present.
Christmas Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart will you make room for
Rev. Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr., is the pastor of Morris Brown AME Church in
The Getting to Zero Column, penned by Dr.
Oveta Fuller, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Faculty of
the African Studies Center at the University of Michigan and adjunct faculty at
Payne Theological Seminary will resume in January 2015.
ICHURCH SCHOOL LESSON BRIEF FOR SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2014 - GLORY TO GOD IN THE
HIGHEST - LUKE 2:8-20
Bill Dickens, Allen AME Church, Tacoma,
On July 8, 2010, the basketball world and
sports aficionados waited with baited breath concerning where NBA superstar
LeBron James would be playing in the upcoming NBA season. Will it be his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio? Will it be Chicago, Illinois? Will it be New York or Miami?
Seen by many hoops experts as the “Anointed
One,” the final decision was made public through an exclusive ESPN special
broadcast known simply as "The Announcement." After months of no
indications about what NBA team would be home to his unique talents, the
announcement was finally made and the "King" decided to “take his
talents” to South Beach, aka, Miami.
The Adult AME Church School Lesson for
December 21, 2014 looks also looks at an "Announcement." This announcement is unrivaled in
history. Luke Chapter 2:8-20 chronicles
the key events leading up to the birth announcement about Jesus, the Savior of
the World! Verses 8-9 describe how the
shepherds were occupied with their normal work duties in watching over the
sheep from predators when suddenly a bright light lit up the sky. Understandably the young men were terrified
at the sight since it appeared unexpectedly.
An angel of the Lord provided comfort to the shepherds. The words of Peace and good news help to ease
the shepherd’s fears. They had no reason
for fear since they were about to witness the most significant birth in the
history of the human experience.
The angel provided pinpoint and precise
directions and instructions where the baby Jesus would be born. Jesus will be born in Bethlehem, the City of
David, in a manger, typically the residential domain for domesticated animals
Despite this unorthodox resting place, God
is pleased. The angel proclaims
"Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all men and women."
The shepherds proceed to Bethlehem to see
the Christ Child. Upon their arrival,
they see exactly what the angels had announced.
The shepherds, once griped with fear, have been transformed from terror
to joy to testimony about the Glory of God.
News is quickly dispatched to all in Bethlehem about the Savior by the
first evangelists (shepherds).
The announcement of the birth of Jesus has
no equal in the annals of human history.
With no social media, CNN, cable news or broadcast TV news, the
announcement of Jesus’ birth stands alone as the greatest announcement ever
recorded. The birth was much anticipated
and during the advent season we see its fulfillment. "Go Tell It on the Mountain... where
Jesus Christ was born!" It may be
an overused church cliché, but during Advent season this is truly the
"reason for the season." Glory
to God in the highest!
17. MEDITATION BASED ON I CORINTHIANS 1:10-18
*The Rev. Dr.
Joseph A. Darby
- Divisions in the
10 I appeal to you, brothers, [a] by the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among
you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it
has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you,
my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or
“I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ
divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that
no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the
household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone
else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and
not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its
Christ the Wisdom and Power of God
18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are
perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. English Standard
Churches are often
big on symbolism, and I got two symbols of my present “middle management”
ministry assignment in the mail today - Presiding Elder lapel pins. They’re specially designed for Presiding
Elders in the AME Church and are a good way to identify other Presiding Elders
at large, international denominational meetings.
I ordered those
pins to replace the pin that I bought a year and a half ago, when I also bought
my blue and white Presiding Elders robes - the pin that I subsequently lost
three months ago. One of my new pins is
a “spare,” since I lose lapel pins fairly easily. I like the pin, but losing my first one
didn’t stop me from functioning in my present ministerial role and didn’t stop
people from calling me “Elder” - something it took me a while to get accustomed
to after my appointment!
That lapel pin and
the robes that I now wear are nice symbols of my present position, but they’re
just symbols that really don’t define me or my work. The work that I strive to do to the best of
my ability - and humbly seeking God’s guidance - is hopefully what makes me a
Presiding Elder in the AME Church.
I offer those
thoughts about symbolism to you in the midst of this Advent season that leads
up to the season of Christmastide, when we’re surrounded by symbols of the
season. We adorn our homes, business and
churches with ornamented Christmas trees, colorful lights, wreaths, holly,
poinsettias, mistletoe and other delightful reminders of the season.
All of those
symbols are nice, but Christmas is about more than symbols. Christmas is about a child born in a barn,
whose first cradle was a rough bin used to hold animal feed, because His young
and un-influential parents of modest means couldn’t find other lodging in a
crowded town of Bethlehem. Nothing about
His birth suggested to the world in symbolic ways who that child actually was -
the Christ and Savior who came into this world to take away our sins and grant
us access to everlasting life.
Remember that child
and remember the lack of impressive worldly symbolism surrounding His
birth. This world is big on symbols, but
if we focus on symbols and not substance, then our lives can become empty,
stressed and meaningless. Enjoy life’s
symbols of status and influence, but live your life working for the Lord Jesus
Christ. You’ll then find peace of mind
and new appreciation for the words of a wonderful hymn of the church - “Only what you do for Christ will last.”
This Meditation is
also available as a Blog on the Beaufort District’s Website:
Get Ready for
Sunday, and have a great day in your house of worship!
*The Rev. Dr.
Joseph A. Darby is the Presiding Elder of the Beaufort District of the South
Carolina Annual Conference of the Seventh Episcopal District of the African
Methodist Episcopal Church
18. CLERGY FAMILY CONGRATULATORY ANNOUNCEMENTS:
-- Freestyle by Dr. Michael W. Waters wins two USA Best
The Reverend Dr.
Michael W. Waters' debut book Freestyle: Reflections on Faith, Family, Justice,
and Pop Culture, with foreword by Bishop John Richard Bryant, Senior Bishop of
the A.M.E. Church, is an Award-Winning Finalist in the 2014 USA Best Book
Awards in two categories: Religion: Christianity and Social Change. The
publisher's press release of these awards may be found at the following link:
Dr. Waters is the
founder and Senior Pastor of Joy Tabernacle AME Church in Dallas, Texas.
The Rev. Dr.
Michael W. Waters
Founder and Senior
Joy Tabernacle AME
-- Jonathan Weary Summa
Cum Laude graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore
graduated University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a Bachelors Degree in
Rehabilitation Psychology, Summa Cum Laude. Jonathan is the son of the Rev.
Willie and Mrs. Jackie Weary, pastor and first lady of Peters Chapel A.M.E.
Church, Muskogee, Oklahoma. Jonathon also serves as the Nominating Chairperson
of the Connectional YPD.
responses can be emailed to:
-- Joshua C. Sylvester receives a Bachelor's Degree in
Mass Communication from Southern University A&M College
On Friday, December
12th, Joshua C. Sylvester received a Bachelor's degree in Mass
Communication from Southern University A&M College, Baton Rouge
Louisiana. Joshua is the son of the
Reverend Kecia A. Lewis, Pastor of St.
Paul AME Church in Lake Charles LA and brother of Miss Zacchea Lewis the
Central North Louisiana Conference YPD President.
can be sent to:
19. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
It is with
heartfelt sadness that we request your prayers for the Rev. Dr. Joanne
Browning, co-pastor, Ebenezer AME Church, Fort Washington, Maryland in the
passing of her mother. Details will be
shared once arrangements are made. In
the meantime, please send words of comfort to the church.
Fort Washington, MD
20. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
We regret to
announce the passing of Sister Pamela Martin Jenkins. She was the daughter of
the late Presiding Elder Charles E. Martin, former President of the
Connectional Presiding Elder Council and Sister Jean Martin. The following
information has been provided regarding the funeral arrangements.
celebration of Life will be held Saturday, December 20, 2014, 12 noon
The Rev. Theresa
Condolences may be
In lieu of flowers,
the family welcomes monetary donations.
Please keep the
family in your prayers.
21. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
It is with great
compassion we share the news of the passing of Brother Charles E. Freeman, the
father of Rev. Ronald Freeman, Pastor of St. Luke AME, Accomac, VA and the
Second Episcopal District Marshall.
December 27, 2014 at
Condolences can be
The Rev. Ronald L.
22. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
We are saddened by
the passing of Rev. Isaac Jackson (former Pastor of St. Michael AME, Meadowview
AME, and St. Paul AME Danville). Please keep his wife, Mrs. Doris Jackson and
the Jackson family in your prayers.
Wake: Tuesday, Dec.
16, 2014 at Miller's Funeral Home
4 p.m.-7 p.m. the
family will be present from 6-7 p.m.
Funeral will be:
Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 12 noon at St. Paul AMEC, Danville, VA.
Send words of
23. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
announce the passing of The Reverend Jeremiah January, Retired Itinerant Elder
serving in both the Third and the Fourteenth Episcopal Districts and, after his
retirement, served as an Associate Minister at Lee Chapel, Cincinnati. He
leaves to mourn his passing (wife) Mrs. Thelma January, 9 children and a host
of family and friends.
Services will be
held Saturday, December 20, 2014
Home Going Service
at 11:00 am
Telephone: (513) 871-5885
The Reverend Kevin
Condolences can be
C/o Lee Chapel
& Jordan Funeral Homes
Please remember the
family in your prayers.
24. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
announce the passing of Stanley Godhigh, the brother of The Reverend Eugene
Godhigh, Pastor of Christ Our Redeemer, Cincinnati, OH, brother-in-law of Mrs.
Clara Godhigh, President of the South Ohio Conference WMS, and uncle of The
Reverend Michele Godhigh, Pastor of Wayman Chapel, Hillsboro, OH.
Services will be
held Thursday, December 18, 2014
Home Going Service
at 12:00 noon
Church of Christ
Condolences may be
25. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
We regret to inform
you of the passing of Reverend Andrew Dawkins, a retired pastor of the 9th
The Reverend James
E. Arnell, Pastor
Margaret D. Graham, Eulogist
Services Entrusted to:
Condolences may be
26. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
We regret to inform
you of the passing of Johnny Lee Gunn, the brother of the Reverend Wallace
Gunn, pastor of Saint James AME Church, Covington, Kentucky.
Johnny Lee Gunn
passed on Thursday, December 11, 2014.
December 20, 2014, 11:00 a.m.
sympathy may be sent to the funeral home, information above, or emailed to:
email@example.com (Reverend Wallace Gunn).
Wallace Gunn, Pastor
27. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
We are sadden by
the passing of Brother Clyde Hunter, father of Presiding Elder Cordell E.
Hunter, Sr., Eastern District, Baltimore Conference and son of the late Rev.
Murray Hunter who served as pastor in the 6th Episcopal District for almost
five decades. A Celebration of Life
Service for Clyde Hunter will be held in New York.
Please keep the
Presiding Elder Hunter and the Hunter family in your prayers.
Send words of
28. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
Episcopal District sorrowfully announces the passing of the Rev. Keith M.
Lemmons, brother of Presiding Elder H. Michael Lemmons, Michigan Conference.
The services for
the Rev. Keith M. Lemmons are as follows:
Family Hour: 10:30
am - 11:00 am
The Rev. Dr.
Mickarl D. Thomas, Sr., Pastor
sympathy should be mailed to:
The Rev. Dr. H.
29. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
We regret to inform
you of the passing of William Timothy Thomas, Jr., brother of the Rev. Deborah
Dennie, PhD, retired Itinerant Elder at New Tyler AME Church, Memphis,
arrangements for William Timothy Thomas, Jr:
December 19, 2014, 5-7 p.m.
December 20, 2014, 11 a.m.
Services are entrusted
sympathy may be sent to:
The Rev. Dr.
30. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
We are saddened to
announce the death of Mr. Elton Keith Farmer, brother of the Rev. Dewey and the
Rev. Derrick Farmer. Please keep the
family in your prayers.
Dec. 19, 2014 5 - 7: p.m. at the Westside Funeral Home, Tabor City, North
Saturday December 20, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.
Words of comfort
can be sent to:
4052 Joe Brown Hwy.
Fax number: (910)
The Rev. Derrick
31. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
We regret to inform
you of the passing of Mrs. Cheryl Bivins of Valdosta, Georgia. Mrs. Bivins entered into eternal rest on
Tuesday, December 16, 2014.
Mrs. Bivins is the
wife of Mr. Winston Bivins, the sister of the Rev. Carolyn E. Brailsford and
sister-in-law of the Rev. Dr. Ronnie E. Brailsford, Sr., pastor of Bethel
African Methodist Episcopal Church, Columbia, SC, Columbia District, Columbia
Annual Conference of the Seventh Episcopal District of the AME Church.
Celebration of Life
for Mrs. Bivins:
Condolences may be
The Rev. Dr. Ronnie
and the Rev. Carolyn Brailsford, Sr.
32. CME GENERAL OFFICER BEREAVEMENT MESSAGE:
for Ms. Vernice Harris, mother of Dr. Clifford L. Harris, General Secretary of
the Department of Lay Ministry, are as follows:
Viewing: Sunday, December 21, 2014, 2:00
Sunday December 21, 2014, 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.
1414 North Norfolk
Celebration: Monday, December 22, 2014,
Arrangements Entrusted to:
1414 North Norfolk
condolences can be sent to the Harris family at 1619 North Atlantic Court,
Tulsa, OK 74110.
Please continue to
keep Dr. Harris, his wife Johnetta and the Harris family in your prayers.
of the Ninth Episcopal District
Bishop Marvin F.
of the Second Episcopal District
Department of Lay Ministry
Dr. Jeanette L.
Investment Factor: A Changed People, Changing the World"
33. BEREAVEMENT NOTICES AND CONGRATULATORY
ANNOUNCEMENTS PROVIDED BY:
L. Easley, Administrator
Clergy Family Information Center
(615) 837-9736 (H)
(615) 833-6936 (O)
34. CONDOLENCES TO THE BEREAVED FROM THE
Chair of the Commission on Publications, the Right Reverend T. Larry Kirkland;
the Publisher, the Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour and the Editor of The Christian
Recorder, the Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III offer our condolences and
prayers to those who have lost loved ones. We pray that the peace of Christ
will be with you during this time of your bereavement.
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