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
1. TCR EDITORIAL – AN OPPORTUNITY TO SAY
SOME THINGS, PART 2:
The 20th Editor of The
I want to finish up Part 1 of this editorial before moving to Part
2, so I need a minute or two with the presiding elders.
Presiding elders are middle managers and their ministry is extremely
important and it is imperative that they understand all of their duties, but it
is important that they understand one of their most important tasks.
Collecting funds for the Connectional budget or apportionment is a
necessary part of the job. It is an important part of the presiding elder
ministry. It’s not the most important
part, because somebody else could do that task. Any preacher on the district
could be tasked with collecting and collating the funds for the annual
It is important for the presiding elder to know pastors and
possess detailed information about each charge in his or her district.
It is important because, in a perfect world, the presiding elder makes
recommendations to the bishop concerning the pastoral appointments. Making
recommendations about pastoral appointments is an extremely important part of
the presiding elder's ministry because it is so closely connected with the
lives of pastors and their families. Presiding elders have to “know” and be
intimately aware of a pastor’s ministry, gifts and graces and what’s best for
the local church. A presiding elder’s relationship with his or her pastors is
important. We certainly don’t want to think that a presiding elder is making
recommendations on pastoral appointments based upon insufficient data or an
“old boy" or “old girl” network. Getting to know and analyze a
pastor’s performance takes time, wisdom and a bit of godly judgment.
Presiding elders need to be fair and impartial with those for whom
they have supervisory responsibility. “Fair and impartial" is
also an attribute needed by presiding elders. When they are elevated to the
presiding eldership, they cease to be “one of the guys” or “one of the girls.”
The presiding eldership is a sacred office and should be treated as such.
The biggest and most important job of a middle manager in any
profession is that of leading and managing subordinates and providing
resources; and in the case of ministry, providing resources for ministry.
If a pastor says, “Elder I do not have my budget assessments," it is not the job of the
presiding elder to “run” to the bishop and “squeal” on the pastor and recommend
that the pastor be removed from that pastoral assignment. It’s not for
the elder to bad-mouth the pastor.
The work or ministry of middle managers, read “presiding
elders,” is to provide guidance; and more importantly, resources. If a
pastor says, “Elder I do not have my budget assessments” or discloses some
other shortcoming, that’s when a presiding elder starts earning his or her
salary. The presiding elder sits with the pastor and together they strategize a
plan to resolve the problem. A presiding elder is expected to have experience
that a pastor might not have. Middle managers provide resources. Presiding elders
should see their mission as assisting pastors to navigate through the
“sunshine” and the “storms” of the ministry.
A presiding elder should be available to the preachers on his or
her district because the presiding eldership is a ministry of leadership and
Well, enough about the duties and responsibility of presiding
Your election and consecration did not invest you with some
magical powers of instant increased knowledge and wisdom. You have been elected and consecrated for
awesome responsibilities. You stand at
the helm of a great institution that needs your 100% attention. You do not have
time for mistakes and missteps because you hold the keys to the lives of so
many individuals and their families.
With your signature, without saying anything or consulting anyone,
you can change a person’s zip code, promote or demote an individual and by
extension, his or her family; and that’s power!
If anyone should depend upon godly judgment and prayer, it is the
responsibility placed on those who serve in the episcopacy.
In my opinion, the most important episcopal task and ministry is
that of being a “gatekeeper” for the AME Church. You are the “gatekeeper”
for people coming in the ministry, remaining in the ministry and for ministers
receiving pastoral assignments.
In The Order for the
Consecration of a Bishop, you are asked, “Will you be faithful in ordaining
or laying hands upon others?” Every
elected and consecrated bishop answered in the affirmative!
The care and supervision in ordaining or laying hands on
applicants for the ministry is serious business.
If you know a candidate is not academically, theologically,
psychologically, mentally or socially qualified for ministry, don’t give
“breaks and hope for the best” - Just say, “No.” Please take more care in
the oversight of vetting candidates for the ministry in the African Methodist
Please do not keep ordaining folks if there is not a ministry for
them. We need to tighten the ministerial qualifications to get the best
applicants for ministry who will remain in the active AME ministry over the
Anecdotal evidence seems to show that a number of ordained clergy
defect to other denominations, seem more prone to activate lawsuits against the
AME Church and support disaffected churches that want to withdraw from the
vet and select qualified presiding elders
The United Methodist hymn historian, the Rev. Dr. Ernest K.
Emurian, wrote a song about the selection of district superintendents in the
United Methodist Church, entitled, “Flip-Flop
to the Top” in which he parodied the notion that district superintendant
positions were filled by pastors the bishop didn’t know what to do with and the
result was, “low-functioning pastors flip-flopped to the top.” I hope the UMC
has corrected that perception.
Appoint presiding elders you trust and who you know are efficient,
competent, and fair and will function superbly in the job and ministry of being
an outstanding presiding elder.
Trust the presiding elders you appoint. If you don’t trust them,
don’t select them.
Train your presiding elders and do more training with them; stress
and demand professionalism. They should look, act and be treated as
professionals. And, please don’t fill
the PE slots with folks you don’t know what to do with.
Promotion of pastors to larger churches and promotion of pastors
to the position of presiding elder should not be entirely based on past
performances or upon what they have done, but on their potential to serve in a
higher position. Promotion should not be a reward for past ministry. Promotions
should be based upon potential.
A person who is a successful pastor of a large congregation and
oversees an enormous budget and an effective religious program might be
functioning at his or her level of competence. They might not be suited to be a
presiding elder, general officer or bishop; or promoted to a larger
“The Peter Principle” is a management theory that explains why
some organizations fail. They fail
because a person is promoted as a reward for his or her past performance to a
level of incompetency. A person does well in his or her current job and
decisionmakers reward him or her with promotions and eventually the person is
promoted to a level beyond his or her competency.
For instance, a person might be an outstanding classroom teacher,
but might be a horrible principal.
Classroom skills are different from administrative skills.
The Peter Principle" got its name from Laurence J. Peter who
co-authored a book in the late sixties: The
Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong with Raymond Hull. The authors
suggested that a person tended to be promoted until he or she reached his or
her "level of incompetence."
When you interview persons to be a presiding elder ask them if
they are competent in the area of technology and ask them if they know how to
use MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. Ask to see their cellphone or
smartphone. If they show you a flip phone or don’t have an email address,
that should be the end of the interview.
In today’s world, presiding elders need to be well-versed and
up-to-date with the use of technology.
Get all of that straight upfront. Tell your clergy that technology
will be what you and future bishops will be looking for when selecting
presiding elders; now and in the future.
Be clear with guidance and let subordinates know what you expect.
Reinforce your expectations in writing. Insure that your presiding elders are
excellent writers and effective communicators.
And please before talking to pastors who call you to complain
about something, ask them if they have spoken to their presiding elder. Don’t
let pastors or church members “skip the chain of supervision.” Problems should
be handled at the lowest level. Trust your presiding elders to handle conflict
at their level of supervision.
Bishop, women are here to stay, they are not going anywhere.
Most women are competent and fully trained for ministry.
Promote men and women who have the potential to be outstanding
pastors, regardless of gender. It might
be that you or the presiding elder needs to visit churches and explain the
“facts of life” of women in ministry. The day should be far past when churches
have the nerve and the audacity to say they don’t want a woman pastor. Treat
women with respect and equal consideration in terms of pastoral appointments.
Sometime in the future we are going to experience the reverse
problem when churches will say they want a woman pastor. You should not
tolerate either of those expressions of gender bias.
Ask potential presiding elders about their hobbies. Are they well-rounded? What books have they read? Have they taken
the time and opportunity to broaden their lives? Have they taken any courses? What do they do for relaxation? Where did
they go on their last vacation?
while you are asking potential presiding elders all of those questions, you
should ask yourself the same questions to insure yourself that you are being
well-rounded and that your life is being broadened with activities other than
one more thing, you have a management function too. You have the responsibility
to provide resources, especially for your presiding elders and sometimes for
pastors and local churches.
Oh, and another thing, an old saying
once often heard, "50 million Frenchmen can't be wrong." Well 50 parishioners may not be wrong when
they complain to the bishop and presiding elder that a pastor is neglecting his
or her duties, misappropriating funds, behaving sexually improperly, or
otherwise violating his or her duties and responsibilities to detriment of
their church. Act promptly and swiftly
upon receipt of properly drafted and signed complaints, to refer the pastor to
the proper ministerial efficiency or judicial committee and get those
wrongdoers out of the church. Make
certain that you appoint members to those ministerial efficiency or judicial
committees who are properly oriented and trained to conduct fair and impartial
proceedings. Do not let misbehaving
pastors remain in a church for 4 to 8 years, until they have chased away most
of the membership to the Baptist or COGIC or nondenominational church “down the
The ministry of a bishop’s job is hard
because you can never please everybody.
Almost every decision you make will please a few and anger the rest.
To be continued in the next issue – Part 3.
Editor’s Comment: I need to practice what I preach and Charlotte and I need a
vacation. I have planned a week’s vacation; no preaching, no computer, just
need a rest. I will plan to post the next issue of TCR Online on August 28. Continue to send messages and I will read
and respond to them when I return to Nashville.
TCR Editor’s Comment: We will provide coverage of the
funeral of the late General Officer, the Rev. Dr. Anderson Todd in the next
issue of TCR Online
2. TCR OP-ED - THE COURAGE TO LEAD:
Rev. Dr Timothy E. Tyler is the pastor of Shorter Community AME Church in
one who served the St. Louis area for seven years, I have been reflecting on
the incidents of the last few days in Ferguson, Missouri. I keep coming to the
same conclusion: this is the Church's opportunity, specifically the African
Methodist Episcopal Church's opportunity, to find the courage to lead. The
shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown has been a horrific and terrorizing blow
to our community. It has engendered fear and uncertainty, and our people are
wondering, "Will the prophets speak? Will the Church step up? Is there a
word from The Lord?"
historical significance of St. Louis and Ferguson is not apparent to most
members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, but nevertheless, the
history is significant. Missouri is the gateway to the West for our
denomination. St. Louis has always symbolized leadership for our church. St.
Paul AME Church, the oldest AME Church west of the Mississippi, has elected
nine Bishops out of her walls. That's more elected Presiding Prelates than any
other congregation in our Zion. This fact alone establishes the culture of
leadership of the AME Church in Missouri.
uprising in Ferguson is long overdue. The St. Louis area is one of the few
major African American populated areas in the United States never to have
experienced a major uprising. Back in the 1960's, when Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. visited St. Louis, he came only to preach. He didn't lead a movement. He
didn't protest. He preached. We are now experiencing the shifting of history
where people no longer want preaching alone. They feel the call to protest.
generation of African American young people watched in real time on CNN and
Facebook as a young child was gunned down in cold blood by a yet to be named
police officer. We watched as one of our babies lay lifeless in the street for
four hours. The next day, church leaders gathered to pray in front of the
police station. Not too long after the prayer, the preachers scheduled a
meeting and left and the community began to commence the uprising.
people criticized the actions of the protestors, but I couldn't help but feel
that the response of the crowds on that night was a critique of the failure or
hesitation of the church to lead, truly lead. Sometimes leading means
acknowledging the anger and hurt of the people first, then, at some appointed
time later, holding the proverbial prayer meeting. The courage to lead means
leading in reaching healing and helping with community hurts long before the
big event occurs. I contend that, if the Church doesn't take the time to
encourage and give hope in times of peace, then we lose the moral authority to
criticize and shame the community for how they respond in times of upheaval.
are many progressive AME Churches and Progressive AME pastors and lay people in
the St Louis area. This is our moment and our time as a denomination to pick up
the mantle of prophetic witness and lead. It made me proud to see AMEs
protesting in Ferguson just a few days ago. As we move forward in the days
ahead, let's keep up the fight. Let's protect our children, come up with
initiatives to curb police violence and be the church of Richard Allen.
African Methodist Church worldwide must join in the fight in Ferguson and
wherever injustice exists. I am certain that the community will not come
looking for us to lead. They will not recruit or send us an invitation to lead.
If African Methodism desires to survive and live out her claim to be a
reconciling and liberating church, then we will have to first find the courage
to lead. And then, we will have to lead.
Rev. Dr Timothy E. Tyler is the pastor of Shorter Community AME Church in
3. TCR OP-ED - THE TIME IS ALWAYS NOW: REFLECTIONS ON MICHAEL BROWN’S DEATH:
Rev. Dr. Anne Henning Byfield
murder of Michael Brown and the subsequent civil unrest in Ferguson is
disturbing at best. One does not have to
condone riots or like them to understand the level of anger and hurt in the
human spirit. While there are some
persons who do not mean well, we are watching persons who are tired of being
mistreated while black and seeing friends killed.
has been painful to watch and comprehend from many levels. Yet, in the midst of
it all, we have seen local preachers, many of them African Methodists, taking
the leadership in bringing some level of sanity to a desperate measure. Rev. Traci Blackmon, a former AME has most
often been seen along with Rev. Spencer Booker, Rev. Renita Lamkins, Rev. Karen
Anderson, Presiding Elder Brenda Hayes, Presiding Elder Edmund Lowe, and many
others whom we do not know to name. We
salute them and pray for their wisdom, strength, and leadership. We thank them for demonstrating courage in
the midst of chaos.
night, while disobeying the police to leave, Rev. Renita Lamkins was shot with
a rubber bullet. She refused to leave
because she saw the escalation of emotion and violence, and knew someone had to
speak calm to the residents. Rather than
allowing her voice to be utilized for peace, she was shot. In the words of Rev. Lamkins, “I am fine but
sore, and there are times a soldier has to be wounded for the cause.”
light of Michael Brown’s death, the Rev. Lamkins’ shooting pales. In view of the way police have handled the
murder, unrest, pastors, and reporters, her shooting should outrage us. We may not be in St Louis, but we are
comrades in ministry, and we denounce the escalating violence and the
escalating reaction by the police.
prayer, I hope, is a given, I implore the AME Church in general, and especially
the Women In Ministry to respond to those on the front lines, and those working
behind the scenes. Let us cover them,
mobilize in our areas, and in the least, focus our worship services and
congregations on the healing of Ferguson, which means the healing of our nation
us not work to simply still the anger, but still the vicious acts of terrorism
continued against people of color. As a
church we must seize this moment to truly bring in the reigndom of God, and to empower and protect all of the new Michael
and Michelle’s, Eric and Erica’s, Trayvon and Trina’s. We must empower and
protect our sons and daughters from genocide of any kind. Let us certainly raise our voices in a roar
against what is happening in Ferguson, and what has happened to Rev. Renita
Lamkins. The time is always now.
Rev. Dr. Anne Henning Byfield is the Presiding Elder, North District Indiana
Annual Conference of the 4th Episcopal District, AME Church
4. TCR OP-ED - BLACK LIFE IS EXPENDABLE:
Rev. Dr. Michael W. Waters
day, another unarmed Black man killed by police. We grieve their loss and pray
God's strength for their families:
Garner, 43, strangled to death on a Staten Island sidewalk.
Crawford, 22, shot to death in a Beavercreek Walmart.
Brown, 18, shot to death, reportedly with arms raised, on a Ferguson street.
often must we drink from this bitter well?
disturbing nature of the frequency of recent news reports in which unarmed
Black men have been killed by law enforcement officers is only exceeded by this
fact: the act itself is deeply embedded into the racial fabric of our nation.
Fifty years removed from the Freedom Summer murders of James Chaney, Andrew
Goodman, and Michael Schwerner -- a conspiracy allegedly enacted by Neshoba
County sheriff Lawrence A. Rainey -- we still face the difficult reality that
for generations unarmed Black men have met their demise at the hands of those
sworn to serve and to protect all citizens.
the night of June 21, 1964, a year after the brutal assassination of Medgar
Evers, three courageous young men were also killed in Mississippi. The two
white men, Goodman, 20, and Schwerner, 24, died of a single gunshot wound to
the heart. The lone Black man, Chaney, 21, was tortured, then tied to a tree
and beaten with chains, before ultimately being shot three times. Here, even
amid brutalities, a clear distinction was made concerning the value of Black
life, the white lives ended immediately, with diabolic mercy, the Black life
made to suffer greatly before finally being terminated. In the search for these
three men after their disappearance, eight more Black bodies were found having
been discarded like rubbish across Mississippi lakes, forests, and plains.
Undoubtedly, law enforcement had a hand in these deaths as well, Sheriff Rainey
notorious for intimidating and killing Blacks.
is not an indictment of all police officers. There are many men and women who
put their lives on the line for the public good each day. Some I have been
blessed to call mentor or friend. Many officers themselves have lost their
lives. I honor their memories and ultimate sacrifice even as I offer gratitude
for those who continue to work with great integrity to keep us safe.
unquestionably, there is cause for great concern as I believe that a critical
mass of law enforcement officers find Black lives expendable. Towards this, I
see this likely cause: there is a racially-motivated culture of fear that
over-assigns threat to Blacks, especially, but not exclusively, to Black males,
even when no justifiable threat is present. Recent findings from the American
Psychological Association supports this fact stating, "Black boys as young
as 10 may not be viewed in the same light of childhood innocence as their white
peers, but are instead more likely to be mistaken as older, be perceived as
guilty and face police violence if accused of a crime."
Black bodies have been considered expendable and easily replaceable. Tens of
millions of Africans were brought to this nation as slaves because Black life
was considered expendable. If an African became gravely ill or died while in
forced voyage to the "New World," they were just thrown into the sea.
While Black life was considered expendable and the supply of other Africans on
the continent was considered inexhaustible. Other Black bodies would substitute
for any losses in future voyages.
American slavery, Black babies and children were used as bait to lure
alligators from the swamps for capture. This sometimes resulted in the maiming
or death of these Black children because Black life was considered expendable.
The United States Public Health Service used Black men to test the impact
of untreated syphilis from 1932-1972 resulting in the death of many Black
men and in the infection of their partners because Black life was considered
racism places the urban poor near landfills and factories that cause increased
rates of cancer and other diseases because black and the lives of the poor are
considered expendable. Levies in New Orleans were poorly maintained and
constructed near poor Black communities resulting in massive flooding after
Hurricane Katrina because Black lives are considered expendable. Blacks receive
harsher penalties for the same crimes, and, according to a recent Stanford
University report, the disproportionate rate of Black imprisonment may actually
encourage white support of racially-driven tactics such as stop-and-frisk
because Black lives are considered expendable.
expendability of Black life also extends to our national foreign policy.
America's response to acts of genocide, religious persecution, and the spread
of infectious disease on the continent of Africa today is oft times delayed, if
acted upon at all. When it comes to foreign policy, African Black lives are
especially considered expendable, their difficulties rarely considered our
course, Black life is not expendable! No life is, for all life has great value.
Yet, the treatment of Black life as expendable reveals our deep and abiding
malfeasance. We often fail to see the face of God in the face of our neighbor,
especially if that neighbor is darkly pigmented. Since all human life was
created in the image of God, we are guilty of no less than the desecration of
God's image when we ignore the brutalization of our neighbors, who we are
commanded to love as ourselves (Mark 12:31).
was while traveling the road to Damascus that Saul had an encounter with the
resurrected Christ, himself a victim of fatal brutalities at the hands of law
enforcement. To Saul, Jesus posed this powerful inquiry; "Why are you
persecuting me?" (Acts 9:4)
the recently fallen, Jesus surely weeps and asks his question, anew; "Why
are you persecuting me?" Maybe it is because we see Christ as we increasingly
see each other, and Black life; as expendable.
Rev. Dr. Michael W. Waters is the Founder and Senior Pastor of Joy Tabernacle
A.M.E. Church in Dallas, Texas
5. READER RESPONSE
TO EDITORIAL AND OTHER ISSUES:
sadness in your leaving, and my gladness in your assuming the Editorship are
the same: Your impeccable integrity, and the audacity to speak truth to
power(s). This ability was enhanced by
your many years of commendable service to our country as a military chaplain.
editorials and the responses to them are a blessing to African Methodism, in
that there is an air of openness.
stories of Paris, Kentucky and the Kentucky Annual Conference bring fond
you remain a formidable voice in our Zion, even in retirement.
until the General Conference of 2016, may you continue to "Speak the
pray that the next Editor will bring a strong pen.
Ann Clay-Joyner, M.Div.
Elder, Tennessee Annual Conference
TCR Editorial, "An Opportunity
to Say Something"
want to compliment you on your recent editorial in The Christian Recorder. It was so true, so well-stated, and a
most timely message. It contained so many things that I believe are
necessary for the AME Church to meet the challenges of the 21st
Century. Your words are targeted focus that all AMEs need to hear.
absolutely agree with you that we cannot/should not say everything that comes
to mind and this is particularly true for those in the ministry. But what you
said needs to be said and re-said. The best way to get your message
across and imbedded is I believe for it to be included in the curriculum for
training new ministers and for a series of workshops to be developed and
presented across the AME Church. Even if there are naysayers, your
editorial needs to be wide-spread and discussed.
you for holding your tongue, but being empowered to speak it now.
TCR Editorial – An Opportunity to Say Some Things
thing pastors need to understand and remember is that the church is also a
business, but so often churches forget they are businesses.
pastors don't like people, maybe the “call” to ministry is not their calling.
is a people business. My former pastor, the late Rev. V. L. Brenson loved
people. He was one among millions.
6. SOME CHURCHES
MAY HAVE UNCLAIMED MONEY:
Christian Recorder has received information about AME Churches and other
churches of other denominations that might have unclaimed funds. There are several websites where one can get
started. http://www.missingmoney.com/ or simply
Google “www.unclaimed money for, and
list the state.
also searched for lost income for myself and have found some in the past and
see that I have unclaimed money in Hampton, VA and Lake Ridge, VA.
your church and do your own personal search for unclaimed funds.
testimonial: Every state has an unclaimed property section. I also looked
up Georgia and found 30 churches.
states are not allowed to spend unclaimed money. Search and you may find your
7. “THE COLLEGE
CORNER” A NEW COLUMN FOR THE CHRISTIAN
in October 2014, The Christian recorder will introduce the column, “The College
Corner.” This new and exciting column will feature campus news and articles
submitted by AME students attending institutions of higher learning. Readers will have an opportunity to read the
latest campus, news, sports, and activities and to read about “just plan ol’
college life written by one of our very own students.
are interested in participating in this new venture as column-writers, have
journalism experience, or are interested
in becoming a AME College Corner support staff person can contact Mr. Joe
Turner, coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org or Editor Sydnor: email@example.com
8. THE SOCIAL
ACTION COMMISSION OF THE AMEC RESPONDS TO FERGUSON, MISSOURI SHOOTING DEATH OF
11, 2014. The Social Action Commission of the AME Church has been in
communication with the AME Churches in the St. Louis area that are working
collaboratively with the NAACP, United Methodist Church and other community
stakeholders to obtain a fair and impartial review of the circumstances around
the shooting and death of Michael "Mike" Brown. "The quick response of the pastors and
laity in our St. Louis area churches is evidence that we take seriously our
legacy of speaking truth to power and being a champion for those whose voices
are not being heard," says Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Presiding Prelate of
the 5th Episcopal District which includes the Ferguson, Missouri area.
AMEC Social Action Commission is also encouraged by the statement of US
Attorney General Eric Holder.
Elders, the Rev. Brenda Hayes and the Rev. Edmund Lowe said, "We, the
Missouri Annual Conference of the AME Church concur and agree with the FBI
involvement in the investigation of this incident. We will continue to be engaged and peacefully
vigilant until justice is done."
Rev. Spencer Booker, pastor of St Paul AME Church in St Louis issued a plea on
behalf of the Brown family, “We encourage any witnesses or anyone with
information to refuse to be intimidated by coming forward to shed light of this
designated by the AME Church, the Social Action Commission stands ready to
undergird our AME Churches in the St Louis and vicinity area as they advocate
for justice," concludes Bishop Reginald T Jackson, Commission chair.
by Ms. Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Director of the AMEC Social Action Commission
9. STATEMENT BY
ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER ON RECENT SHOOTING INCIDENT IN FERGUSON, MISSOURI:
Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement Monday regarding
the shooting incident that took place Saturday afternoon in Ferguson, Missouri:
shooting incident in Ferguson, Missouri, this weekend deserves a fulsome
review. In addition to the local investigation already underway, FBI agents
from the St. Louis field office, working together with attorneys from the
Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office have
opened a concurrent, federal inquiry. The federal investigation will
supplement, rather than supplant, the inquiry by local authorities. At every
step, we will work with the local investigators, who should be prepared to
complete a thorough, fair investigation in their own right. I will continue to
receive regular updates on this matter in the coming days. Aggressively
pursuing investigations such as this is critical for preserving trust between
law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
10. NAACP STATEMENT
ON THE DEATH OF 18-YEAR-OLD MICHAEL BROWN OF FERGUSON, MISSOURI:
DC) – The NAACP has released the following statement on the death of
18-year-old Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri
From Cornell William Brooks, President & CEO, NAACP:
prayers go out to the family and friends of 18-year-old Michael Brown of
Ferguson, Missouri. The death of yet another African-American at the hands of
those sworn to protect and serve the community where he lived is heartbreaking.
Michael Brown was preparing to begin college, and now his family is preparing
to bury their child – his life cut short in a tragic encounter with the police.
the NAACP’s Missouri State Conference and St. Louis Branches seek answers about
the circumstances surrounding Michael Brown’s death, the National office will
remain vigilant until accountability and justice are served for the countless
individuals who lose their lives to misguided police practices throughout the
country. Even as we call for accountability by those charged with protecting
the community, we call on the community to act--collectively and calmly until
we secure justice for the family of Michael Brown."
11. AME PASTOR SHOT
WITH RUBBER BULLET:
Rev. Renita Lamkin, an African Methodist Episcopal church pastor said she was
"standing in the middle of the street, with people behind me, and the
police were in front of me. And then there was a pop!" she said, as a
rubber bullet struck her stomach.
of her injuries have added to protesters' questions about the use of such
projectiles, which can cause serious wounds.
12. KKK RAISING
MONEY FOR POLICE OFFICER WHO SHOT AFRICAN-AMERICAN TEEN:
-- This article
appears in the Southern Poverty Law Center Blog.
one thing the racially charged and besieged city of Ferguson, Mo. does not need
or want to add to the combustible mix of rubber bullets, snarling police dogs
and clouds of tear gas that have filled its streets for three days is the Ku
the Klan –– desperate for publicity and any opportunity to spread hate and
terror –– is climbing atop the powder keg that Ferguson has become following
the police killing of an unarmed college-bound black teenager last Saturday.
confront police during an impromptu rally on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, following
the shooting of Michael Brown, 18, by police in Ferguson, Mo.(Photo: Sid
South Carolina-based New Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan says its Missouri
chapter is raising money for the still unidentified white police officer who
shot and killed Michael Brown, 18, who was scheduled to begin college classes
are setting up a reward/fund for the police officer who shot this thug,” the
Klan group said in an email. “He is a hero! We need more white cops who are
anti-Zog and willing to put Jewish controlled black thugs in their place. Most
cops are cowards and do nothing while 90% of interracial crime is black (and
non-white) on white.”
a Tuesday editorial about the case headlined “The Death of Michael Brown:
Racial History behind the Ferguson Protests,” The New York Times expressed hope
that the FBI will be able “to answer the many questions surrounding the death”
of the teenager” while focusing on St. Louis’ history of racial problems.
doesn’t take a federal investigation to understand the history of racial
segregation, economic inequality and overbearing law enforcement that produced
so much of the tension now evident on the streets,” the editorial said. “St.
Louis has long been one of the nation’s most segregated metropolitan areas, and
there remains a high wall between black residents – who overwhelmingly have
lower incomes – and the white power structure that dominates City Councils and
police departments like the ones in Ferguson.”
–– dressed in shorts and flip flops –– was reportedly shot multiple times in
broad daylight after he and a friend were confronted by the officer for walking
in the middle of the street in Ferguson, a predominately African American
suburb of St. Louis. Police officials say Brown assaulted the officer and tried
to wrestle away his gun before fleeing and being shot. At least one shot was
fired in the police cruiser during the struggle, police say.
friend, Dorian Johnson, 22, told a radically different version of events. He
told reporters that he and Brown were close to their destination when
confronted by the officer, who angrily told them to get out of the street.
Suddenly, the friend said, the officer grabbed Brown by the neck and tried to
pull him into the police car. Brown broke free and both young men began running
away when Brown was struck by a bullet. He turned and raised his hands in
surrender only to be shot several more times, dying where he fell.
body lay in the street for several hours as police gathered evidence and the
neighborhood’s shock turned to rage. Three days of protests, some of it
violent, followed. A gas station/convenience store was burned. There was some
looting. Police in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a
crowd of mostly angry African Americans. But there were whites marching in some
of the protests as well, holding up their hands in surrender as Brown had
reportedly done, chanting, “Don’t shoot.”
one thing everyone seems to agree on is that Brown was unarmed, a fact that
prompted President Obama to call Brown’s death “heartbreaking” while urging
calm. The Justice Department has begun an investigation into the killing.
social turmoil that has erupted around Brown’s death has proven too appealing
for the Klan, which in recent weeks has been quick to capitalize on a series of
racially charged news events. Last week, for example, a Klan chapter in Arizona
called for “corpses” in response to a feared influx of children seeking asylum
as violence in Latin America forced their families to send them northward. But
about St. Louis, their rhetoric has turned vile and predictable.
know that Michael Brown was nothing more than a punk. The media and others are
painting him out to be a ‘good son’ and ‘great kid.’ The blacks of Missouri are
showing their love of him by rioting, attacking and shooting people. Nothing
new,” the chapter wrote on its blog.
requests to Imperial Wizard Chuck Murray on Wednesday were not answered.
in St. Louis, however, have been focusing on calming tensions. There were two
separate rallies for peace and justice held in the area Tuesday night,
according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. At one, attended by about 400 people,
including a large number of local ministers, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon told the
standing-room only crowd, “Justice must not simply be pursued, but in fact
other rally was held by Rev. Sharpton, who told Hatewatch there were about
1,500 people in attendance at the Greater St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church
just east of Ferguson. At one point, Sharpton asked for 100 young men to
volunteer and join what he’s calling the Disciples of Justice –– the DJs –– “to
do our own unarmed patrols.” At least 170 men signed up.
told Hatewatch today that he has found, especially among the young black
students in Ferguson, “a lot of outrage, a lot of it could have been me, a lot
of, this was an execution.”
said he was returning to New York City today to prepare for a march in the
borough of Staten Island to protest the death there of Eric Garner, 43, a black
father of six, who died after a white police officer applied a banned chokehold
even as Garner pleaded 11 times, “I can’t breathe.”
cannot have racial profiling as a police strategy and not end up with this as a
result in Ferguson and Staten Island,” Sharpton told Hatewatch.
WHILE ATTENDING THE QUADRENNIAL AME WIM CONFERENCE:
Rev. Dr. Timothy E. Tyler
attending the Connectional AME Women in Ministry Conference in Charleston, one
of the preachers walked up to me and said, "You've been hanging with us a
long time." My response to her was, "I've been hanging with Women in
Ministry all my life." Of course I was referring to my upbringing in the
house of one of the early members of AME/WIM, Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry.
the Quadrennial Meeting of Women in Ministry was a catalyst for helping me put
into perspective how my firsthand look at the joys and sorrows of a female in
ministry has shaped my theological approach to ministry as well as my
relationship with a liberating God.
am thankful that, in the early days of AME/WIM, my mother allowed me to
eavesdrop on many of their strategy meetings to gain equal recognition and
participation in the life of African Methodism. I don't think it was ever more
than ten or twenty women in those meetings. As I sat in the balcony of St.
Peter's AME Church in Charleston, observing a capacity crowd of female
preachers, I couldn't help but praise God for how He has rewarded the sown
seeds of Jarena Lee, Jaqueline Grant, Lillian Friar Webb, Carolyn Tyler Guidry
and countless others.
I reflected on the theme of the conference, "Take Thou Authority," I
couldn't help but reflect on a time when my mother's authority was taken away.
I can remember it like it was yesterday how the Annual Conference celebrated
when my mother became the first woman in the Connection to be appointed to a
major pulpit, Walker Temple AME in Los Angeles. However, the joy of this
appointment was short-lived.
1991, when it was time to elect delegates to the General Conference, my mother
was informed that her church, which was traditionally a delegate church, had
lost that designation when she was assigned there. A clergy woman had never
been elected as a delegate to the General Conference from Southern California,
and it was apparent that it was not going to happen that year.
saw my mother cry in disappointment that night. She spent most of the night
before the election making phone calls and trying to amass enough last minute
votes to be elected as a write-in candidate. Needless to say, her efforts were
unsuccessful. She was slated to be first alternate, but because she was not
seen as a team player, she was elected last alternate delegate.
obvious takeaway from this one of many heartbreak moments is that my mother
went from being shut out of the delegation to becoming a Bishop in the greatest
church in the world. As I listened to her speak and interact with the
up-and-coming women clergy, I could conclude, without a doubt, that God has
favored my mother and has blessed her life fourfold.
up in the home of a preaching pioneer woman doesn't make me an expert
concerning the sufferings of my preaching sisters, but it certainly has given
me a bird's eye perspective on a God who empowers God's servants to make bricks
without straw. Even as I sit here writing these thoughts, the women of God are
going forth in praise at this WIM worship service. The sisters have solidified
for me the Bible truth that "weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes
in the morning."
doctoral mentor, Dr. Samuel Dewitt Proctor, used to tell us that our lives and
our futures, good or bad, were determined by who happened to be in the room at
the time of our birth. My time here at the AME/WIM meeting has served to remind
me that I am who I am and that I have what I have because a called woman of
determination and faith was in the room at the time of my birth. Thank you,
sisters, for allowing me to eavesdrop long enough to reconnect and to remember
the experiences that have shaped my relationship with God. =
Rev. Dr. Timothy E. Tyler is the pastor of Shorter Community AME Church in
14. “EXCELLENCE IN
MINISTRY: GETTING, LEADING & STRETCHING””
Rev. Dr. Charlotte Ann Blake Sydnor
2014 AME/WIM Quadrennial Conference of the Connectional Women in Ministry got
off to an exciting start under the dynamic and competent leadership of Bishop
Clement W. Fugh, Presiding Prelate of the 14th Episcopal District
and Chairperson for the Commission on Women In Ministry (WIM); Bishop Richard
F. Norris Host Bishop and Presiding Prelate of the 7th Episcopal
District and Episcopal Supervisor Mother
Mary Norris; the Reverend Kimberly L. Detherage, Esq., AME/WIM Connectional
President; and the Executive Board Officers.
atmosphere for worship was exciting and set the tone for active participation
by all who attended the conference. No stones were left unturned” in welcoming
everyone to the Palmetto and Pecan State.
three words best describe the explosive preaching and learning experience at
the 2014 AMEWIM Quadrennial Conference held in Charleston, South Carolina? -
“Engaging, Equipping and Empowering.”
kicked-off with high energy with its theme, “Positioned to Lead, Take Thou
Authority; The Mission is Possible!”
of clergy women, and yes, some brave brothers came from across the African
Methodist Episcopal Church from Episcopal Districts 1-20) to celebrate and
commemorate women in ministry at the Embassy Suites Hotel Area Convention
Center on August 6-9, 2014.
expectations could be felt throughout as the Holy Spirit unfolded and revealed
“herself” to move forward with joy.
worship songs sung, old and new, such as, “Praise Him,” “My Hope Is Built on
Nothing Less,” and “We Need to Hear from You” stirred the hearts of the
whoever penned the lyrics to the hymn “Blessed Hersurrance” (Tune of Blessed
Assurance) and “Her Faith Keeps Pressing On” marked a new beginning in hymnody
in the AME Church.
new songs touched on the heart, faith and fight of “Women in Ministry.”
first night, the ballroom-Sanctuary was filled to capacity with standing-room
only as the 7th Episcopal District AMEWIM Choir lifted up worship
with powerful music.
Rev. Michelle Goodloe, Presiding Elder of the Shreveport-Monroe District of the
Central North Louisiana Annual Conference of the 8th Episcopal
District was the preacher for the Wednesday Evening Opening Worship; and she
set our hearts on fire. Her text came from 2 Kings 7:3-9 with the subject: “Desperate Times Breed Desperate Measures;
Let’s Do Something!” She told how,
“The Lepers left their “camp of desperation,” discovered their own faith and
were inspired and committed to share and tell others about the good news of
their deliverance.” She exclaimed,
“Let’s Do Something!”
following day, the 8:30 a.m. Morning Prayer assembly ushered in the presence of
God and set the tone for morning worship with another creative-written hymn,
“Her Faith Keeps Pressing On.”
Preacher for the day was Bishop Bonnie Hines, the 98th Elected
Bishop of the AME Zion Church. The words are hard to explain and write about
the energy and powerful preaching of this preacher. All can be said is,
“Awesome!” The texts were: Jer. 1:4-10,
Mt. 3:13-17; and Mk. 1:9-13. The sermon title was, “You Can Stand Because He Went Under.” The preacher said, “When we are unsure of our
identity because of what others think of us, remember God has given us an
identity. Herod’s identity crises came when he met Jesus and became threatened
by Jesus. Jesus was sure of His identity and encouraged John the Baptist’s
identity when John the Baptist began questioned himself about baptizing
Jesus.” She went on to say, “All we need
to do ‘Church, Women and Men of God’ is do what God has already called us to
do. Encourage one another! God has given
us Godly-identity, which has been revealed to both the world and to the devil.
We are nothing without God.” The sermon put the “house in order!”
mornings and afternoons were filled with Life Classes - “Getting in Position” –
“A Heart to Heart” dialogue with Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the 117th
Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the AME Church was instructive and
in full force discussions focused on mentoring, building relationships and
networking brought about meaningful dialogue between personal life experiences
of women in ministry. The metaphor of “swimming upstream like salmon, in spite
of bears and other predators waiting on the edge of the rivers waiting to catch
the salmon was a constant threat was used to demonstrate the challenges of
ministry. The salmon keep going upstream in spite of the dangers. It was shared that ministry takes “God, grace
attendees were encouraged not to “burn Bridges,” but to maintain relationships,
and demonstrate another way; the right way! No matter the challenge, dedicated
preachers must risk the journey!”
Life Class led by Bishop Teresa Snorten, the 59th Elected bishop of
the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church focused on, “Leading them, without
losing Me,” introduced a much-needed pastoral care model: “The Mathematics of
Snorten’s presentation was a practical and relevant model for all clergy. Her
presentation was based on Exodus 17:8-13; 18: 1-9, 13-26. Bishop Snorten began
sharing her personal story of the need for self-care (rest, relaxation,
health). She said, “Self-care is not selfish. Like Moses, you will need help in
creating balance and valuing the whole-person.”
She went on to share, “Don’t allow the clergy identity of who you are;
be your whole identity. Use the mathematics of self-care: Subtraction – Reduce
and don’t replace. Look at what you can subtract by prioritizing and
organizing; Addition- See who is on your team by matching a leadership style to
match the work and the people and by asking, “What is your work? Division: Ask,
‘what I am doing that could be delegated to other team members?’ Be aware of
who is being left out! It takes time to teach people! Multiplication: Trust God
for the results. Do not be satisfied with the status quo!” She closed out
with, “Don’t worry! (Luke 2:25-56). Do what God asks! (Acts 2:42-47). God gives
the increase! (I Cor. 3:6-9).”
finale for Thursday evening was a Cultural Event with presentations given by
Ms. Vera Maniqault, “Sweet grass Basket Maker.” She is a preserver of the dying
art of basket-weaving and sewing.
Gullah Geechee Explosion Performance by Chorales Music Club of Charleston
founded in 1959 provided a full program of Gullah music and skits. The event
shared stories, art work, musical performance and laughter.
history of the state of South Carolina is rich with black history and the
African American religious experience in America.
morning started with prayer.
Class discussion sessions were held with Presiding Elders from across the
Elders Ann Henning-Byfield, 4th Episcopal District; Michelle
Goodloe, 8th Episcopal District; Jocelyn Hart, 1st
Episcopal District; Allan Parrot, 7th Episcopal District and
Margaret Fadehan, 14th Episcopal District shared in a panel
discussion on “Stretching the Boundaries of Leadership.”
clergy women expressed their desire to minster “beyond” the traditional role of
pastoral appointments to include, the chaplaincy, higher education, health care
and community ministry.
presiding elders provided encouraging and helpful insights to the importance of
other forms of ministry needed within the AME Church and for the African
Mid-Morning Life Class allowed for discussions with Bishops Clement W. Fugh,
Carolyn Tyler Guidry, Bonnie Hines, Teresa Snorten and Gregory G. M. Ingram
offered a heart to heart reflection on “How to “Take Thou Authority.”
open and transparent conversation provided spiritual support and healing for
Women In Ministry and for individual clergy women who desire to serve in the
church as pastors and in specialized ministries. The bottomline was to be
authentic and to “Be who you are! You can’t take the mantle when you trying to
debate the issues.”
After lunch, an inspirational and strategic
Life Class Session was facilitated by retired Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry. The
theme was “Mission Possible: Haven’t I
Been Given a Job to Do?”
Guidry kept it real! Drawing form the Book of Judges, Chapters 2:11-16, 4:1-5
and 5, her emphasis was on the importance of the willingness to be used by God.
“With God it doesn’t matter who gets the credit. The mission is possible when
we work together. Victory is ours when the battle is God’s. There is no such
thing as a half-miracle. We have not allowed our collective voices to be heard.
Dialogue and tolerance are necessary to do the work of ministry.”
wonderful people of St. Peter’s AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina
provided transportation and a delicious meal, which helped to prepare for our
hearts for worship. The church was packed to capacity for the evening worship.
7th District AME/WIM Choir filled the loft with 40-voices in praise
and worship with musical selections by the Rev. Carolyn Brailsford of the 7th
Episcopal District. The Call to Worship
to “the Call to Surrender” took us to a higher level of commitment for
brief Video was shown of the late Bishop Sarah Frances Taylor Davis giving a
dynamic and challenging message at the Duke Divinity School’s “Faith and
Bishop Sarah Frances Davis “Mission Possible Award: Influencing the World for
Christ, Living the Great Commission” was given to Presiding Elder Beatrice
Menlor of the 14th Episcopal District. Presiding Elder Menlor
travels as far as 2 to 4 hours to hold her Quarterly Conferences. The proceeds
from the worship offering will be used to purchase a “motor scooter” to help
make Presiding Elder Menlor’s travel to her quarterly conferences easier.
award was accepted by Bishop Clement W. Fugh on her behalf.
preacher for the hour was the Rev. Kimberly Detherage, AME/WIM Connectional
President whose message was entitled, “Surrender.” Her text was taken from Mark
10:17-31. The sermon subject was, “All.”
The message “hit home and struck fire!” The preacher said, “God has
called us into a new priority of “surrendering all” and she explained that it
is not easy selling all that you have; nevertheless, God knows what God is
seeking from each one of us. We have to let some things go. When we discover
God’s power then we won’t give up. There is freedom in Christ.” The sermon
closed with an altar call for us to “surrender all.”
saved a needful word for the end!
Elder Jocelyn Hart of the Philadelphia District of the 1st Episcopal
District, proclaimed a mighty word at the Jarena
Lee Appreciation Awards Prayer Breakfast. She preached from Exodus
15:20-22, “You Cannot Stay Here!” The preacher said, “We can’t camp out at our
place of deliverance. Get stepping and keep moving! There are some things we
have to leave at the altar.” Everyone stood on their feet praising God for
their spiritual breakthrough in response to the message!
The Jarena Lee
included, Bishop Jeffrey N. Leath, Presiding Prelate of the 13th
District who was the 2008-2012 WIM Commission Chair. The Supervisor Award was
awarded to Supervisor Claytie Davis Jr, 16th Episcopal District;
Presiding Elder Ida Willis Keener, San Antonio District, Southwest Texas
Conference, 10th Episcopal District, and Ms. Misbrew Times, 7th
Episcopal District, a member of the WIM Commission. All hearts and minds were on one accord!
2014 AME/WIM Conference was truly a blessing from start to finish! “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow."
AME/WIM planned the work and God worked the plan. Let those who have ears, hear!
Bishops who attended were Bishop Gregory G. M. Ingram and Episcopal Supervisor,
the Rev. Dr. Jessica K. Ingram, 1st Episcopal District; Bishop
Julius H. McAllister and Supervisor Joan McAllister, 8th Episcopal
District; Bishop Jeffrey N. Leath, 13th Episcopal District; Bishop
David R. Daniels Jr., 15th Episcopal District; Bishop E. Earl
McCloud, Jr and Supervisor Dr. Patricia McCloud; and retired Bishop Henry Allen
Belin Jr.; General Officer, Dr. George F. Flowers, Executive Director, Global
Witness & Ministry; and General Officer, Dr. Daryl Ingram, Executive
Director of Christian Education.
candidates for episcopal service and general officer seeking office were also
in attendance and acknowledged by AME/WIM.
The Rev. Dr. Charlotte Ann Blake Sydnor, 13th Episcopal District
15. BAPTISMS IN THE
DESERT COMBAT AREA:
Sunday, August 3, 2014, at 1500 (3:00 p.m.), Chaplain (Captain) Samuel D.
Siebo, Battalion Chaplain of 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry
Regiment and Senior Pastor of the Progressive Camp Marmal Gospel Service, at
Camp Marmal, Northern Afghanistan, brought a wonderful atmosphere to Camp
Marmal Christian Community when he baptized four individuals (three soldiers
and one Department of Defense civilian).
four persons baptized accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal Savior,
through the power of the Holy Spirit and by the preaching and teaching of
Chaplain Siebo, who provided counseling and baptismal classes for the new
converts before their baptism.
individuals who were baptized participate in the Camp Marmal Gospel Service and
two of them currently serve as members of the gospel choir; a very powerful
choir at Camp Marmal with over 20
June 2014, Chaplain Siebo baptized Staff Sergeant Paul on his hospital bed as
he received treatment at the German Field Hospital at Camp Marmal.
another praise report, following Chaplain Siebo’s sermon on Sunday, August 10,
2014, two individuals, a soldier and a civilian answered “the call to preach”
the gospel of Jesus Christ.
power is moving at in the life of the Gospel Service at Camp Marmal. Chaplain Siebo, who is the pastor of the
Gospel Service, is an Itinerant Elder of the Seventh Episcopal District of the
African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Gospel Service is growing immensely, with many worshippers giving their lives
to Jesus Christ.
service affords over two hundred persons the opportunity to worship the Creator
on a regular basis.
Siebo asks the members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to “Kindly
keep Chaplain Siebo and Camp Marmal Gospel Service in your prayers, for God’s
continued favor and blessings upon the ministry, as he strives to reach the
entire Camp Marmal Community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Siebo extends special thanks and appreciation to the Rev. Dr. Johnny Barbour,
Jr., President / Publisher of the AMEC Sunday School Union and his staff and
Chaplain (Colonel-retired) the Rev. Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III, the 20th
Editor of The Christian Recorder for their timely and generous support in
sending Chaplain (Captain) Samuel D. Siebo the AME literature to include The
Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church - 2012;
the AMEC Hymnal, and AMEC Book of Worship, etc.). The
literature was needed to do effective ministry.
AMEC Liturgy is used when Chaplain Siebo does baptisms.
16. GREATER BETHEL
STRIVES FOR THE EDGE:
Bethel A.M.E. Church, located in South Nashville, held its inaugural EDGE
Program as an enrichment and tutorial service for the youth in the community
and members of the church. EDGE,
(Education and Development toward Growth and Excellence), is the brain child of
Rev. Edward L. Thompson, Pastor of Greater Bethel. “Our goal is to give children the extra edge
for academic success in school,” he said.
overall goal of the program was to help children improve their performance in
Grammar, Reading, Writing and Mathematics, and to provide extra-curricular
activities for students in first through sixth grades.
strive to help the students develop skills to problem solve, think
independently, improve their grades and test scores, build self-confidence and
self-esteem and to always acknowledge the Creator, God, said Rev. Thompson.
trips and other fun-focused activities were developed to round-off their studies. Marcia Fugh Joseph, coordinator of the
program, said “The message to the students and the community was one of helping
children be successful in their academic activities and to guide them in a path
for a successful school experience”.
church and community rallied around this program in an effort to send a message
to the children that success in school is paramount,” said Novella Page,
student who participated in the program, Eli Brown, who will be entering the
sixth grade this fall, wrote a letter to the church thanking them for the
program and said, “I am glad I was in it.”
school starting, the EDGE program at Greater Bethel is expected to show
positive results in those children who attended, with plans for more programs
in the future.
addition to the EDGE program, Greater Bethel hosted its annual Vacation Bible
School, Youth Retreat and had children in other district-wide and connectional
programs. “The reality is that we must
invest our time and resources in our children to help them be successful in
every possible way. We can do this and
we must,” said Rev. Thompson.
more information about this program and other activities at Greater Bethel,
contact the Church office at 615.256.1509.
*Phyllis Qualls-Brooks, Ed.D is the Executive
Director for the Tennessee Economic Council on Women and is a member of Greater
Bethel AME Church
CALIFORNIA CONFERENCE CHURCH CELEBRATES 160 YEARS:
Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Marysville, California recently
celebrated its 160th anniversary. Anniversary Week was kicked off on the
proceeding Wednesday evening with a special “Old Fashion Prayer Meeting and
Reverend Godfrey R. Patterson, the pastor delivered a dynamic message taken
from Mark 16:15-20 entitled, “Closing the Gap,” encouraging and challenging the
congregation to “dedicate ourselves to decreasing the space between where we
are and where we should be.” All who were present were blessed. It was truly an
the determination of the Anniversary Committee to pay homage to the past while
remaining intently focused on the future, our banquet on Friday night was
highlighted by speech presentations from two young people who grew up in
Bethel. Both, now immensely successful in their chosen fields of endeavor,
shared how much Bethel has meant to them and articulated the ways in which
their church experience has so tremendously and positively impacted their
culminating event of Anniversary Week was the Sunday afternoon service
featuring Dr. Harold Mayberry. Following the spirit-filled singing of the host
and visiting choirs.
Mayberry, Chairman of the Episcopal Committee of the AME Church and is the
pastor of First AME Church of Oakland, California for the past 19 years,
preached a powerful sermon which left joy bells ringing in our hearts, minds,
and souls! It was the conclusion of an absolutely magnificent and glorious week
in the life of the oldest African-American congregation in Yuba County,
those in attendance at the Sunday afternoon service was Congressman John
Garamendi, (D-3rd District) who presented a Proclamation, as did Yuba City
Unified School District Superintendent Nancy Aaberg.
160th Anniversary Committee was chaired by Brother Howard Wheatley.
pastor is the Reverend Godfrey R. Patterson (formerly of the 2nd
Episcopal District) and the Rev. Dr. W. Bartalette Finney is the Presiding
18. IN KEEPING WITH
THE SPIRIT - WORKPLACE SPIRITUALITY DRAWS ON ETHICS, VALUES, MOTIVATION,
WORK/LIFE BALANCE AND LEADERSHIP:
ethics laws require lawyers to practice with high ethical standards – placing
the client’s interests ahead of their own.
believe that we are called to work and fulfill our purposes, that we are called
to serve God and neighbor with everything that we are, have and do. That includes our professional, spiritual and
religious lives. In my practice, work
represents a sacred act where we become servant leaders attending to the legal
needs of our clients. Sometimes it is a
tough balance, but showing spirituality while practicing law is possible if one
follows the assumption that spirituality gives law its essence thereby stirring
it deference to ritual and justice.
the book of Matthew, Jesus was asked by a lawyer, which was the greatest
commandment, to which Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your
heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and
greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as
yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments"
can be argued that the first great commandment from Jesus encompasses the first
five of the 10 Commandments from the Old Testament and the second encompasses
six through ten. Muhammad commanded his
followers to “do goodness to relatives, parents and neighbors.” The Dalai Lama teaches that compassion was
not “religious business, but human business.”
Buddha admonished people to “light a lamp for others.” Indeed, through time and across cultures,
religious teachings stress loving others as ourselves. Given the above, it follows that women of
faith find it not only easy to balance spirituality with the practice of law,
some may even consider it a way obeying the laws of their faith.
Mitchell-Blackwell, Georgia Lawyer, author, and President of the Georgia
Chapter of the American Association of Attorney-CPAs, balancing her
spirituality and real estate law practice through pro bono service. “I do not announce that I am a Christian
lawyer,” Mitchell-Blackwell says, “but I conduct my practice in such a way that
most of my clients know that I am a Christian within the first few minutes of
our encounter. Courtesy, respect,
volunteerism and professionalism go a long way in demonstrating to the world
that we are living a spiritual life.”
is a state of intimate relationship with the sacred in one’s life. It depicts higher values and morality and
recognizes the inner nature of others.
It gives inner meaning and purpose in daily life. Spirituality is
experienced through personal contemplation, work, relationships, creation,
sacred practice, art and music, and is reflected in our behavior. We deprive
ourselves of an essential component of our being by ignoring our spiritual
the term “religion” has been associated with an institutional community that
practices faith in a specific tradition or creed. In contrast, the word “spirituality” in the
workplace is being treated as an alternative or, in some cases, a complement to
religion that involves focusing on a particular way of thinking about self,
others, work and organizations.
roots of spirituality in the workplace began in the 1920s as individuals sought
to live their faith and spiritual values in the workplace. The concept of workplace spirituality draws
on the ethics, values, motivation, work/life balance, and leadership elements
of a law practice. Workplace spirituality is not about organized practices, nor
is it about the theology of one’s spiritual leader. Rather, workplace spirituality is about
recognizing that spirituality takes place in the context of an organized
community. A spiritual culture in the
law practice acknowledges that lawyers and staff have both a mind and a spirit;
and that they seek to find meaning and purpose in their work as they connect
with others in the practice community.
an Alabama attorney integrating spirituality into her legal thinking and
counsel, Denise Blue-Poe, says “I practice law basically from the 10
Commandments. That’s my principle for serving the “least of these” – those who
can least afford legal representation, those who might, without my law firm’s
commitment and others like us, be taken advantage of or without legal
representation.” Helping those in need
is one of the major themes of spirituality. Through service, we give others the
things they lack, and, in turn, find meaning and fulfillment for
While pro bono assistance to the poor is not a
condition for practicing law, the American Bar Association (ABA) and many state
bar associations have adopted voluntary pro bono "aspirations" like
those set forth in Model Rule 6.1, which states: "A lawyer should aspire to render at
least (50) hours of pro bono public legal services per year. In fulfilling this
responsibility, the lawyer should...provide a substantial majority of
the...hours without fee or expectation of fee to persons of limited means...In
addition; a lawyer should voluntarily contribute financial support to
organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited
means." Both non-denominational
spiritual practices and world religions all are fundamentally based on
hope/faith in a vision of love and service to others.
response to questions about what the legal profession could do to promote a
more positive public perception of attorneys, 43 percent of the people surveyed
by the American Bar Association said that providing pro bono legal services
would improve the public image of the legal profession. Indeed, one writer
characterizes pro bono as "a vaccine which can render a lawyer immune to
lawyers’ jokes and ... reverse the negative, distorted image which many people,
including lawyers themselves, have of the legal profession."
some lawyers, law and religion balance each other by counteracting the weight
of fairness and compassion, law and equity, chastisement and love. The spirituality of loving God and others,
pursuant to the greatest and second greatest commandments in law, changes how
we behave and relate to others. Some
lawyers seek a close distinctiveness between the causes and clients they
represent and their spirituality.
am never separated from my spirituality, “ says Harriet Patricia Birk, a
practicing attorney in Florida who once testified before the U.S. Congressional
sub-committee on Education advocating for amendments to the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act. “It allows me to view the world from a place of
compassion, understanding and acceptance.”
She said compromising her values is never an option. “I do believe a lawyer can zealously
represent her clients, and not let her principles overshadow her
decisions. This is done simply by
following the precepts of the law and putting everything into perspective.”
professional world of lawyers is, at times, complex and morally hazy. Some may call it downright cruel, cutthroat,
and horrid. Drawing on one’s spiritual
strength may be in the midst of complexity – yet this place called “law
practice” is a hallowed place. Many areas of the law are based on
Judeo-Christian morality and have been for centuries. Western civilization is
based on morality and cannot exist without it.
are times when lawyers find it difficult to reconcile their personal ethics
with professional standards. As Joseph G. Allegretti explained, “I
believe that ethics is more a matter of deciding who you are and who you want
to be than it is a matter of learning external codes or rules. Codes serve a
useful purpose, of course, but they are only a part (and a small part) of the
budding young Georgia entertainment lawyer, Shade’ A. Dixon does not perceive
law and religion or spirituality as integrated.
“I think it’s more of a morality issue…what’s right or wrong…as opposed
to religious or spiritual needs in the workplace. I basically plan to stay grounded in my
beliefs and do what I feel is the morally right thing to do,” she said.
me, spirituality in law practice is really a matter of the heart. The two greatest commandments point to loving
God and loving others. Love, therefore,
is the fulfillment of the Law.
Strategies that integrate spirituality as one
of the core business functions can help bridge the generational gaps, empower
people through a spiritual intelligence of gained wisdom, inspire and retain a
loyal work force, create outstanding customer service, contribute to the
development of a global future story and ensure financial sustainability. Spiritual leadership can be implemented and
practiced with or without religious theory, beliefs, and practices. Those qualities of the human spirit – such as
love and compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, a sense of
responsibility and harmony – bring happiness to both self and others.
Tyree-Hyche is managing partner of Tyree Hyche & Dixon LLC, with offices in
Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala. Her major practice areas are Workers’
Compensation/Personal Injury, Bankruptcy, Probate & Estate
Administration/Estate Tax Filing in Alabama and Trademark/Copyright,
Entertainment, Non-profit 501c(3) in Georgia. Tyree Hyche entered law as a
second career after she retired as Chief Human Resources Officer for the Army
Reserve and a Federal Human Resources Division Chief. She is the author of Bar
Studies Inspiration, Daily Christian Devotions for Bar Marathon from Start to
Finish, a daily motivational devotion for Bar Exam study. It begins with the
first day of a student’s study program and ends on day two or three of the
Interviewees Attorney Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell is an AME Pastor’s wife,
Attorney Harriet Birk is an AME missionary and former Episcopal WMS President,
and Attorney Shade’ A. Dixon is the former Connectional Young People’s Division
article is reprinted with permission from the National Association of Women
Lawyers®. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights
19. AME MINISTER
BECOMES FIRST BLACK COMMANDER:
21st, 2014 was a historic day in Ormond Beach, Florida; the Reverend Willie W.
Branch, Jr., a retired African Methodist Episcopal Church pastor, and associate
minister at Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Daytona Beach,
Florida was installed as the first person of color to be the commander of the
American Legion Cassin Young Memorial Post 267.
addition to his election as the commander of the local post in Ormond Beach,
Rev. Branch was also appointed to serve as Chaplain for the 17th District of
the Department of Florida of the American Legion. The Rev. Branch has served the post as the
Chaplain for the past six years and is well-known throughout Ormond Beach area
for his volunteer service to the community.
native of Houston, Texas, the Rev. Branch is married to Sister Sharon Lewis
Branch of Port Allen, Louisiana.
20. AFRICA SHOWS US
THAT HOPE ABOUNDS:
Angelique Walker-Smith, D.Min
and sisters, this month The United States made history this month as it hosted
the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, “Investing in the Next Generation.”
At its core, the purpose of the summit was to foster and celebrate economic
success in sub-Saharan Africa. It served to establish “a new partnership rooted
in equality and shared interests,” as President Obama said.
am happy to see African nations being treated as equals and not charity cases.
Due in part to programs like "Feed the Future" and the African Growth
and Opportunity Act (AGOA), ten of the world’s fastest-growing economies are in
breaks my heart is that, despite this economic growth, many people continue to
suffer from hunger and poverty. We are called to feed those who hunger; clothe
those who are naked. While seeing a country’s GDP grow is impressive, it is not
the only measure of progress.
malnutrition; ensuring mothers and infants have enough to eat; making sure
children are never worried about whether they will have an empty plate in front
of them—these are signs of progress. These are signs of the Holy Spirit working
leaders are at a crossroads. They can continue to provide assistance and help
African countries grow, cultivating local leadership to ensure truly equal and
global partnerships. Or they can ignore these past achievements and forget the
least of these.
in the United States, we are at the same intersection. Though on a different
scale, we continue to experience hunger and poverty rates that are higher than
any other industrialized country.
hope abounds. As this summit showed the United States’ commitment abroad,
earlier this year at Bread for the World’s National Gathering, John Podesta, counselor
to President Obama, affirmed the president’s commitment to the goal of ending
extreme poverty and hunger in the United States and around the world.
Bread, we take action in Congress when policies that impact hungry and poor
people—such as the Corker-Coons bill (S.2421), which aims to make our food-aid
programs more effective and efficient—are proposed. We pray for all leaders to
make eradicating hunger a national priority. We stay hopeful as we see
countries in African continue to make progress and continue to inspire us.
Angelique Walker-Smith is the new associate for national African-American
church for Bread for the World
21. BISHOP JOSE
GARCIA JOINS BREAD FOR THE WORLD:
D.C., August 14, 2014–Bread for the World welcomes Bishop Jose Garcia as the
new director of church relations. Garcia succeeds Rev. Gary Cook, who retired
in February from the position.
motivates all of the work that we do here; it permeates our calls to Congress,
it brings us together to help the least of these, and drives us to continue to
work for a world without hunger,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread
for the World. “We are excited to have someone who brings a wealth of
experience to the position and truly recognizes the relationship between faith
just completed a 10-year appointment as California State Presiding Bishop for
the Church of God of Prophecy, a worldwide Pentecostal denomination with
thousands of churches. He was responsible for the organizational structure,
implementation, and administration of all ministries in California.
engagement has been at the core of Bread since the beginning,” said Beckmann.
“Understanding faith and legislation is key to helping hungry and poor people.
With Bishop Garcia, I am happy to say that we have found someone who embodies
to his most recent appointment, Garcia served as the executive director of the
National Hispanic Religious Partnership for Community Health. There, he
assisted Hispanic religious organizations in an ecumenical approach to partner
with the federal government and private organizations to address disparities in
health, social, and economic status.
native of Puerto Rico, Garcia received his master’s degree in public health
education from the Graduate School of Public Health in San Juan.
click here for more information on Bread for the World’s work to mobilize
people of faith.
Jose Garcia, former California State Presiding Bishop for the Church of God of
Prophecy starts today as Bread for the World’s new director of church
relations. See attached for details.
by Fito Moreno, Bread for the World Media Relations Specialist
22. HISTORY OF
HYMNS: “JESUS, LOVER OF MY SOUL”:
Lover of My Soul" by Charles Wesley
No. 479; the AMEC Hymnal No. 479
While the nearer
While the tempest
still is high.
Hide me, O my
Till the storm of
life is past;
Safe into the haven
O receive my soul
lover of my soul” is perhaps one of the most personal hymns penned by Charles
Wesley (1707-1788). The understanding that Jesus as a “lover” seems to have
made many squeamish at the very idea, especially an idea that should be
expressed in public worship. Is this hymn better for private devotions? Yet,
according to hymnologist Kenneth W. Osbeck, this hymn is considered to be among
Wesley’s greatest hymns. It demonstrates, among many other things, Charles
Wesley’s vast knowledge of biblical texts, classic literature, and other
intellectual sources of his era.
always meticulous in drawing upon biblical or classical sources, continued this
practice in this hymn. The apocryphal book, The Wisdom of Solomon, 11:23-26,
provides the inspiration for this primary theme of this hymn: “But thou hast mercy upon all; for thou canst
do all things, and winkest at the sins of men, because they should amend. For
thou lovest all the things that are, and abhorrest nothing which thou hast
made: for never wouldest thou have made any thing, if thou hadst hated it. And
how could any thing have endured, if it had not been thy will? Or been
preserved, if not called by thee? But thou sparest all: for they are thine, O
Lord, thou lover of souls.”
possible source is Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471), who often commented on the
nature of love. In The Imitation of
Christ, for example, he states: “A
wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver.”
Another quote also addresses Jesus’ followers as “lovers”: “Jesus has now many lovers of the heavenly
kingdom but few bearers of His cross.” Perhaps even more to the point is
this statement cited by Dr. Carlton R. Young, editor of The United Methodist Hymnal, in his Companion: “Most mighty God of Israel, zealous Lover of
Rev. Young notes that the “hymn was written shortly after Wesley’s conversion”
in 1738. English Methodist literary scholar Richard Watson notes, “From the
moment of its wonderful opening, ‘Jesu, lover. . .’ on which the intimacy of
‘Jesu’ plays such a crucial part, this hymn proclaims itself as a work of
unusual intensity.” Examples of this language of intimacy include: “let me to thy bosom fly” (stanza one).
In stanza three, the poet states: “Thou,
O Christ, art all I want, more than all in thee I find. . .”
Watson also notes the role of the Psalms and other sources from which Wesley
draws: stanza one states: “safe unto the
haven guide” (Psalm 107:30); stanza two concludes with “the shadow of thy wing” (Psalm 91:4); in
stanza four, Wesley draws upon fountain imagery: “Thou of life the fountain art. . .” (Psalm 36:9). Dr. Watson also
credits English poet and diplomat Matthew Prior (1664-1721) with an image in
the first stanza:
We weave the
Chaplet, and We crown the Bowl;
and smiling see the
nearer waters roll;
'Till the strong
Gusts of raging Passion rise;
'Till the dire
Tempest mingles Earth and Skies; . . .
poem was first published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740) with five stanzas. An
omitted stanza further adds to intensity of this hymn:
Wilt thou not regard
Wilt thou not
accept my prayer?
Lo! I sing, I
faint, I fall!
Lo, on thee I cast
Reach me out thy
While I of thy
hoping against hope
Dying, and behold I
stanza was omitted in later publications such as Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1753). John Wesley failed to include the
hymn at all in his greatest compilation, A Collection of Hymns for the use of
the People Called Methodists (1780).
This omission has led to considerable speculation, but most, according to
Professor Watson, suggest that John Wesley “disliked terms of endearment
addressed to God.” Indeed, the hymn did not appear in the Collection until the
1797 edition, six years after John Wesley’s death in 1791. Watson disagrees with
this thesis and states eloquently, “It is hard to see this as a valid
objection: the whole point of the hymn is the tender and loving presence of the
Saviour in a world where the sinner feels helpless; and Charles Wesley has not
been afraid to give intense expression to that love, and to the life which it
brings, so movingly described in the final verse.”
“Jesus, lover of my soul” foreshadows
famous hymns on a related theme including “Rock
of Ages” (1776) by English Anglican turned Calvinist Augustus M. Toplady,
and “Abide with me” (1847) by
Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte. Like these hymns, “Jesus, lover of my soul” has attracted a number of stories. Some
have tried to connect the sea images in the hymn to the tumultuous voyage of
the Wesley brothers to America in 1736.
than focusing on the circumstances surrounding the poem’s composition, there
can be no doubt as to its influence and popularity on this side of the Atlantic
Ocean. Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1877), the great American preacher, stated: “I
would rather have written this hymn of Wesley’s than to have the fame of all
the kings that ever sat on earth.” Richard Watson does not doubt the veracity
of the “story of the soldier in the American Civil War who was about to shoot a
picket from the other side when he heard him singing, ‘Cover my defenseless head/With the shadow of thy wing.'”
Michael Hawn is University Distinguished Professor of Church Music, Perkins
School of Theology, SMU.
with permission of the United Methodist News Service
HEALTH COMMISSION: AUGUST IS CLERGY SELF CARE WELLNESS MONTH & SEPTEMBER IS
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS MONTH:
Reverend Natalie Mitchem, M.Div., Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Health Commission Executive Health Director
the 2014 General Board and The Council of Bishops meeting the Connectional
Health Commission Health Calendar was presented and adopted. The Health
Calendar is available online at www.AMEChealth.org. The Connectional Health Commission is pleased
to highlight specific health issues and themes each month.
August we are addressing an issue that has been overlooked and affects all
clergy. The Connectional Health Commission has designated August as Clergy and
Family Self Care & Wellness Month. The focus is on healthy clergy, healthy
families, healthy singles and healthy marriages. The Reverend Dr. Melinda
Contreras-Byrd (a licensed Psychotherapist and ordained AME Assistant Pastor)
and I conducted research focused on Black and Latino Clergy Self Care. In an
article written by the Reverend Dr. Melinda Contreras-Byrd she states the
following statistics; the Barna Group reports that 70% of pastors do not have a
close friend, 50% of pastors report feeling unable to meet the demands of their
jobs, 70% are constantly fighting depression and 50% of pastor’s marriages end
in divorce. The Ellison Research reports 71% of pastors say that they are
overweight by an average of 32.1 pounds.
research and statistics show that a large percentage of pastors’ health and
mental health is burden with stress, anxiety, burnout, lack of fitness, lack of
proper rest and poor food choices. In addition our research found that it is
essential for clergy retreats to include “Self Care” workshops and not only
“How to succeed in ministry” or “How to build a church” workshops. While those
topics are important, stress and anxiety fostered by a desire to succeed causes
many pastors to ignore and overlook self care issues that can prematurely end a
ministry or a life. During the month of August we invite all clergy to focus on
self care and healthy families, marriages and single life. Our Connectional
Health Commission Diabetes Health Monitor magazine offers an opportunity to win
a Reader’s Appreciation $1000.00 Visa Gift card. Winning the Visa Gift card
could help fund a clergy self care retreat or a vacation.
is Disaster Preparedness Month. The Connectional Health Commission encourages
all Episcopal Districts, Presiding Elder Districts and local churches to host
Disaster Preparedness events in September. All churches should conduct a fire
drill, evacuation drill, shelter in place drill and lock down drill. Church and
building fire extinguishers, first aid kits and emergency lighting should be
inspected. Health Commission Directors at all levels should work side by side
with leadership to ensure personnel at local churches and major meetings are
First Aid and CPR trained. Additional
resources and information is available at www.AMEChealth.org.
Person - The Reverend Natalie Mitchem
24. BOOK REVIEW -
THE KEYS ARE BEING PASSED: RACE, LAW, RELIGION AND THE LEGACY OF THE CIVIL
by the Rev. Dr. Charlotte Blake Sydnor
Jonathan C. Augustine, The Keys are Being
Passed: Race, Law, Religion and the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement
(ROM Publishing, LLC 2014), 188 pages; $19.99 US; $21.99 Canada
the United States marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 and looks forward to the similar acknowledgement next year of the
Voting Rights Act of 1965, law professor and minister, Jonathan C. “Jay”
Augustine, an itinerant elder in the Louisiana Conference of the African
Methodist Episcopal Church, has published a book on the connection between law
and religion in the Civil Rights Movement.
Keys are Being Passed: Race, Law, Religion and the Legacy of the Civil Rights
Movement, published by ROMDigital Ink Press in Houston, examines historical
landmarks in traditional and surprising ways, while also offering suggestions
to continue engagement through evangelical liberalism (activism by Christians
and the church in reforming social institutions) and “social gospel” theology (applying Christian
ethics to social problems such as environmental justice and economic
empowerment through better schools). The modern-day “keys” to which Augustine
refers are legacy and responsibility for marginalized communities.
book’s title comes from Matthew 16 where Jesus is described as passing “the
keys” to his disciple Peter, while also commissioning Peter to build the
church. In doing so, Jesus gives Peter Jewish legacy of the past, but also a
unique responsibility to build something new in the Christian church. The
parallel is that the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement also give legacy to
the current generation, along with the responsibility to address matters in the
post-modern era. In the book’s three
sections, the New Orleans native examines that responsibility by focusing on a
theology of civil disobedience and voting rights, religious influences on
environmentalism and environmental justice, which he describes as an outgrowth
of the civil rights movement, and leveling the playing field through education
reform, “the great equalizer.” Each of the three sections ends with transcripts
of related sermons preached by Augustine, giving a practical application of his
Keys Are Being Passed offers interesting background, heavily annotated, on the
historical evolution of the Civil Rights Movement with its protests and legal
battles – the parallel tracks of civil disobedience and civil challenge. Some are legendary, such as the 1955 Rosa
Parks bus incident that galvanized blacks in Montgomery, Alabama, to begin its
famous bus boycott. Many others are less well-known, but interesting, such as
Browder vs. Gayle, the 1956 federal lawsuit with four other black women as
plaintiffs who were mistreated on Montgomery buses before Parks. The ruling by
the U.S. Supreme Court in this case ended with Alabama being ordered to
desegregate all its buses.
example is passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, introduced by President
Lyndon Johnson shortly after the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Alabama, in
which 600 marchers were attacked by police with clubs and tear gas. But have
you heard of Brown vs. Louisiana? That case that went before the Supreme Court
a year before Bloody Sunday, with the court overruling the conviction of Henry
Brown and four other black males for a library sit-in at the Clinton, Louisiana
through cases such as these that Augustine explains how the First Amendment was
broadened as the Civil Rights Movement forced the courts to address rules
governing mass demonstrations, symbolic speech and freedom of association. For example, the courts had to address issues
of administrative denial of permits and court-issued injunctions, such as the
one by an Alabama judge who forbade three or more to gather for civil rights
meetings. Meanwhile, protesters endured brutality to disobey unjust laws.
few will find fault with many of the “keys” of modern responsibility Augustine
recommends, including community engagement, bipartisan cooperation for better
schools and education accountability, being good stewards of the Earth and a
commitment to voting, other perspectives
may be open to argument. For example, he
suggests Louisiana is leading the South in a new civil rights movement and that
New Orleans is “an obvious leader” in environmental justice. And the former
elected school board member supports charter schools and says anecdotal
evidence suggests they’re working, especially for black children. The Keys Are
Being Passed makes for an interesting read as Augustine makes the case for
“impatient waiting” – social action in the “urgency of now.”
the author: Jonathan C. “Jay” Augustine is an ordained itinerant elder in the
African Methodist Episcopal Church, adjunct law professor, and social justice
advocate. A former U.S. Army infantry officer, he earned a B.A. degree from
Howard University, a Juris Doctorate from Tulane University and Master of
Divinity from United Theological Seminary. Before pastoral ministry and law
practice, the New Orleans native served as a law clerk to Louisiana Supreme
Court Chief (then-Associate) Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson as well as elected
and appointed office in Louisiana. For more information, please visit www.jayaugustine.com.
JOB OPENING - RESEARCH ASSISTANT AND PROJECT COORDINATOR:
Public Religion Research Institute
Religion Research Institute (PRRI) is a fast-paced and growing organization
dedicated to research at the intersection of religion, values, and public life.
PRRI’s mission is to help journalists and the general public better understand
debates on public policy issues and the role of religion and values in American
public life by conducting high quality public opinion surveys and qualitative
research. PRRI research is consistently featured in top news outlets such as
CNN, NPR, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and others.
PRRI is a non-partisan, non-profit research organization.
Research Assistant and Project Coordinator provides quantitative and
qualitative research support to the research team, including data analysis,
number checking, and fact checking. This position is also responsible for
coordinating deadlines for multiple research projects. The Research Assistant
and Project Coordinator will also assist with writing and editing PRRI’s
research reports, fact sheets and other research products. This position
reports to the Director of Research.
Assist with statistical analyses of PRRI data and other social science datasets
Conduct background literature review and assist with questionnaire development
for new surveys
Track trends and conduct number checking and fact checking
Coordinate multiple project deadlines using project management tools
Write content for PRRI research products and website
B.A. in Political Science, Sociology or a related field
One to three years of experience conducting quantitative and qualitative
Outstanding writing and communication skills
Excellent organizational/administrative skills and attention to detail
Interest in religion, politics, and public opinion research
Proficiency with statistical software such as SPSS
Proficiency building charts and tables in Excel
apply, please submit your cover letter, your resume, and three professional
references to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Research Assistant and
Project Coordinator” in the subject line of your email. We offer a competitive
salary and excellent benefits package. We will be accepting applications until
September 12, 2014, or until the position is filled. No telephone calls please.
Religion Research Institute is an equal opportunity employer and encourages
applications from women, people of color and other members of under-represented
POL is a discussion list sponsored by the Section on Race, Ethnicity and
Politics of the American Political Science Association http://www.apsanet.org/~rep/
26. THE FIFTEENTH
EPISCOPAL DISTRICT 2014 SCHEDULE OF ANNUAL CONFERENCES
David R. Daniels, Presiding Prelate
Irene M. Daniels, Episcopal Supervisor
The Angola Annual
20 August 2014, WMS
21 - 24 August
2014, Annual Conference
AME Church, Kuanza Sul
Pastor: The Rev. lsaaque Alberto
Presiding Elder: The Rev. Manuel E. Sarmento
The Namibia Annual
27 August 2014, WMS
28 August - 31
August 2014, Annual Conference
Allen AME Church, Swakopmund
Pastor: The Rev. William Balie
Presiding Elder: The Rev. Leslie Leukes
17 September 2014,
18 -21 September
2014, Annual Conference
Memorial AME Church, Queenstown
Pastor: The Rev. Phumza Nkuzo
Presiding Elder: The Rev. Tamara Mvubu
The Eastern Cape
24 September, 2014,
25 -28 September
2014, Annual Conference
Matthew's AME Church, De Aar
Pastor: The Rev. Bennett Phooko
Presiding Elder: The Rev. Obakeng Jackals
The Kalahari Annual
8 October 2014, WMS
9 - 12 October
2014, Annual Conference
Gaetsewe AME Church, Kuruman
Pastor: The Rev. Jacob Phenyeke
Presiding Elder: The Rev. Joseph Sano
The Cape Annual
21 October 2014,
22 - 26 October
2014, Annual Conference
Paul AME Church, Carnarvon
Pastor: The Rev. Samuel April
Presiding Elder: The Rev. Quinton Liebenberg
Chapel AME Church, New Brighton
Pastor: The Rev. Gertrude Komani
Presiding Elder: The Rev. Gertrude Komani
27. THE 18TH
EPISCOPAL DISTRICT 2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE:
John F. White, Presiding Bishop
Penny H. White, Supervisor
AME Church — Gaborone District
Rev. Tshepo David Sebakile, Host Pastor
Rev. Tiroyaone Mobea, Host Presiding Elder
AME Church—Beira Central District, Mozambique
Rev. Dionisio Mazuze—Host Pastor
Rev. Petro Mohate, Host Presiding Elder
Collins Chapel A.M.E. Church, - Hhohho
Rev Bongumusa S. Qwabe, Host Pastor
(00268) 76033077 / (00268) 24050566
Rev. N.M. Nxumalo, Host Presiding Elder
Temple A.M.E. Church, - Nightingale District
Rev. J.S. Badela, Host Pastor
Rev. F.M. Dlukula - Host Presiding Elder
Horeb A.M.E. Church, Leribe District
Rev. J.K. Leboela, Host Pastor
Rev. Mapeete Mokhosi, Host Presiding Elder
Post Conference Planning, Christian Education, WMS, Lay Organization and YPD
AME Church, Botha-Bothe District
Rev. L.S. Libete – Host Pastor
Rev. M.T. Machefo, - Host Presiding Elder
28. THE NINETEENTH
EPISCOPAL DISTRICT 2014 SCHEDULE OF ANNUAL CONFERENCES:
Paul J.M. Kawimbe, Presiding Prelate
Yvonne C.M. Kawimbe - deceased
Chapel A.M.E. Church, Witbank
Rev. Chief Dipholo, Host Pastor
Rev. Bathusang J. Motaung, Host P.E.
Mm Mokone Annual
Rathokgwa A.M.E. Church
Rev. Jabulani H. Monegi, Host Pastor
Rev. Vhulahani Z. Nemakonde, Host P.E.
October 29 –
November 2, 2014
Rev. Selby Radebe, Host Pastor
Rev. Ronald Nkosi, Host P.E.
Rev. Moleleki J. Makwanyane, Host Pastor
Rev. Sefako Maboe, Host P.E
Maarohanye A.M.E. Church, Klerksdorp
Rev. Gladwin Mogasoa, Host Pastor
Rev. Noge Abram Tsimane, Host P.E.
Congress and Planning Meeting
29. THE 6TH
BIENNIAL SESSION OF THE GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL:
Strand Street |
Cape Town | 8001
Double - R2050.00 (Bed & Breakfast)
Suites - R2450.00 (Bed & Breakfast)
am - 5:00 p.m. - Lay Organization Summit
pm – 8:00 p.m. - Worship Service
am - 5:00 p.m. - Global Development Council Sessions
am – 4:00 p.m. - Global Development Council Sessions
pm – 6:00 p.m. - Candidates Forum - (Candidates forum registration fee $100.00)
am – 12:30 p.m. - Global Development Council Sessions
30. THE TRUTH IS
Reverend Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr.
on Biblical Text: 1 Corinthians 1:10: Now
I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all
speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be
perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
these days that seem so full of turmoil, when church sometimes seems so
complicated; many Christians wish for the “good ole days” of the early church.
There seems to be some romantic notion and whitewashed mental image of a church
that was perfect, peaceful, pure and unified. However, when we take a more
careful look we find that the Bible tells us otherwise. What we do find, that
is good news, are biblical examples of how to achieve unity amidst diversity.
text gives us a glimpse into first-century Corinth, a city holding on to its
bygone glory days. People in the Corinthian church were staking their claims,
not with Christ but with individual leaders. In fact some bragged that they
were followers of Apollos, some of Cephas, and some students of Paul. Not so
much different than today where we boast, “I go to Pastor so-in-so’s church! I
am an officer in that big church. I sing in the choir with that awesome
battles in Corinth were about more than just leadership. We find that they were
struggling to find ways to get this new movement called “Christianity” right.
the new Christians, following Jesus presented a perplexing challenge. Each
neophyte Christian wanted to be sure they were adhering to the right teaching.
were some who desired a more traditional scholarly, philosophical approach
while others were more contented being drawn to the message of the new freedom
Christ had brought them. Still others were passionate about whether Jews could
become good Christians, and, if so, how?
Apostle Paul heard of the controversy and penned a missive of comfort and
challenge for the young church. The letter is comforting because Paul reminded
them of their unity in Christ and it was challenging because Paul refused to
let them use their differences to divide them.
is still challenging us today. There is so much division today among the
denominations, the social classes and the generations. Far too many Christians
have entered the dispute over biblical interpretation. We have so many
theological differences and issues of translation and interpretation.
question becomes, if we are so different, how can the church be unified so it
can welcome people regardless of their status or generational experience?
response leaps out of the pages of scripture. It announces for us a promise as
valid today as it was then. Just as Christ has no part in our petty divisions,
so, too, is Christ the only hope for unity in the church.
are challenged to embrace our experience and to claim our place in time. We are
part of a chosen generation, a “royal priesthood.” We are chosen to serve the Lord. God made
each one of us on purpose, and for a purpose. God has set us apart in this
given time period, at this chosen place, because He has something specific and
important for us to do. We will find interwoven through all our lives a thread
of divine direction, creating us more alike than we sometimes care to admit and
pulling us always into a more excellent experience. It would be far wiser for
us to spend our spiritual energies searching for our God-prepared task than in
dwelling on our differences.
would have us to know that unity in Christ does not require uniformity. We are
not “cloned” for service. There is no “one-size fits all.” We are challenged to
embrace our own time, and to open our hearts that everyone regardless of their
social position, financial status or generation may find acceptance and
affirmation within the church. It is a fact that, God calls each generation of
new believers to specific tasks in this ongoing experimental community of faith
He calls “the Church.”
a church that embraces everyone and every generation, not all will be happy and
content all the time. However we ought to achieve happiness for everyone, some
of the time. We are encouraged to be hospitals of hope and genuine
intergenerational sanctuaries of grace. There should be a place for all to
thrive. Everyone should be invited and included, no matter when or where you
worship experience must vary to touch the hearts of all groups and all
generations. If everyone is happy, some of the time, we can move toward a
welcoming graciousness of spirit. Grace allows us to embrace new ideas. Grace
encourages us to learn new hymns (and old ones) even if we don’t care for them,
because it may touch someone else’s heart.
we work to bridge the social chasms and generation gaps we will encourage a
broad variety of faith and action, and the reward will be an enrichment that is
only possible through a process of cross-status, and cross-generation
my Beloved, God loves you the way you are but He also loves you too much to let
you stay the way you are. God uses people of all ages and from all backgrounds
to change us, and while He’s using us to change others, He’s changing us! We begin to look more like Him. We are all
growing in the love of the Lord!
Reverend Dr. Charles R. Watkins, Jr., is the pastor of Morris Brown A.M.E.
Church in Charleston, S.C.
31. FACT SHEET-
RESPONSE TO THE EBOLA VIRUS:
of African Affairs
United States is working with the World Health Organization and other
international partners to help West African governments respond to and contain
the outbreak of the Ebola virus as quickly as possible.
full range of relevant U.S. Government agencies — including the Department of
State, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID), and the Department of Defense (DOD) — are increasing every possible
form of assistance to the affected countries, their citizens and international
organizations responding to the outbreak. U.S. assistance includes equipment
and other essential supplies, public health messaging efforts, and technical
and medical expertise.
The U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Warning on August 7, 2014 against
non-essential travel to Liberia. Due to a lack of options for routine health
care services, the Department of State ordered the departure of family members
residing with Embassy staff in Monrovia to begin August 8, 2014.
U.S. Government employees in Liberia will remain on active duty at the Embassy
and additional staff members are being deployed to assist the Government of
Liberia in addressing the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak.
At this time, no Ebola-related travel restrictions have been issued by the
State Department for Guinea, Nigeria, or Sierra Leone. However, CDC has issued
alerts for the four countries. More information can be found at:
Embassies remain open and will continue business as usual in Guinea, Liberia,
Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. We remain deeply committed to supporting regional
and international efforts to deliver health care as well as contain and control
the transmission of the Ebola virus.
U.S. Government is monitoring the situation very closely and will update its
response and travel recommendations as needed. You can find the latest
U.S. Government has a range of steps in place to prevent the introduction,
transmission and spread of suspected communicable diseases across the U.S.
working closely across federal agencies and with African partners to make sure
appropriate procedures are in place for screening both in the region and here
in the United States.
the CDC has stated repeatedly, there is no significant risk to the United
States from Ebola.
Ebola Facts from the CDC:
Ebola is not transmitted through the air.
Individuals who are not showing signs of illness, even if infected cannot
spread the virus to others.
Health care workers who meticulously follow standard procedures to protect
themselves from infection will be safe and able to provide medical care while
protecting the entire community.
most up-to-date information regarding the Ebola virus and its associated risks
can be found on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a
portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the
views or privacy policies contained therein.
by Dr. Robert Nicolas
32. WEALA DISTRICT
UMC LIBERIA LOSES FIVE MEMBERS TO EBOLA VIRUS:
By Julu Swen, On August 11, 2014
recent waves of the Ebola virus have created fear and panic among the people of
Weala area including members of the United Methodist Church who are residing in
the area. According to the District Superintendent of the Weala District, Rev.
Paye Cooper Mondolo, from August 6-8, 2014 the Weala District UMC lost five of
its members to the Ebola virus. He also indicated that he is not sure of how
many of his district members are afflicted with the virus.
Weala United Methodist Health Center is the only health facility that is
catering to new patients who have not visited the center prior to the Ebola
virus outbreak. Rev. Mondolo said all of the health centers in the Weala area
are not accepting patients that have not been taking treatment at these centers
before the Ebola crisis. “Our health center is the only place that sick people
can come to get help,” the UMC Clergyman lamented.
Mondolo told West African Writers that health centers in the county are not
closed as it has been alleged, but rather refusing to accept patients who don’t
have a record with said clinic. He confirmed that the Weala UMC Health Center
was able to report two Ebola cases to the County Health Team since the
told WAW that the Weala District UMC is playing a major role on the County
Ebola Task Force and it has been distributing sanitizing packages which include
buckets, Clorox, chlorine, and soap. “As a district we are involved in creating
awareness and sharing protective messages with the people of the community.”
Rev. Mondolo concluded.
a related development, Rev. Cecilia Burke Mapleh, District Superintendent of
the Voinjama District is scheduled to distribute sanitizing packages to the
people of her district. “Voinjama District is in the epicenter of the Ebola
virus. This area is overwhelmed with fear, disbelief, and cultural
insensitivity to the disease.” Rev. Mapleh said. “At the moment most of our
preaching points stand abandoned if we do not act quickly with preventive
messages to and for our members.”
with permission of the United Methodist News Service
33. EBOLA NUMBERS
VASTLY UNDERESTIMATE REACH OF OUTBREAK, WHO SAYS
14, 2014 8:29 PM ET
man lies in a newly opened Ebola isolation center in a closed school in
Monrovia, Liberia, on Thursday. The official death toll of 1,000 people in four
countries is likely below the actual number, the World Health Organization
official count of Ebola cases and deaths may "vastly underestimate the
magnitude of the outbreak," the World Health Organization posted on its
latest numbers from the WHO are 1,975 cases — with 1,069 deaths — from Guinea,
Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
as NPR's Michaeleen Doucleff reports, WHO staff "say they're seeing
evidence that the death toll and number of infections is much larger than these
organization says it is "coordinating a massive scaling up of the
international response." The WHO has already called the outbreak a global
health emergency. As Goats and Soda reported Friday, WHO Director-General Dr.
Margaret Chan said that declaration was "a clear call for international
34. EBOLA OUTBREAK
UPDATE - AUGUST 13, 2014:
World Health Organization, in partnership with the Ministries of Health in
Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria announced a cumulative total of 1848
suspect and confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 1013 deaths, as of
August 9, 2014. Of the 1848 clinical cases, 1176 cases have been laboratory
confirmed for Ebola virus infection.
Guinea, 506 cases, including 373 fatal cases and 362 laboratory confirmations
of EVD, were reported by the Ministry of Health of Guinea and WHO as of August
9, 2014. Active surveillance continues in Conakry, Guéckédou, Pita, Siguiri,
Kourourssa, Macenta, Yamou, and Nzerekore Districts.
Sierra Leone, WHO and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone
reported a cumulative total of 730 suspect and confirmed cases of EHF as of
August 9, 2014. Of these 730, 656 cases have been laboratory confirmed and 315
were fatal. All districts are now reporting clinical EVD patients. Reports,
investigations, and testing of suspect cases continue across the country.
of August 9, 2014, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia and WHO
reported 599 clinical cases of EVD, including 158 laboratory confirmations and
323 fatal cases. Suspect and confirmed cases have been reported in 9 of 13
Counties. Laboratory testing is being conducted in Monrovia.
Nigeria, WHO and the Nigerian Ministry of Health reported 13 suspect cases,
including 2 fatal cases, as of August 9, 2014.
is in regular communication with all of the Ministries of Health (MOH), WHO,
MSF, and other partners regarding the outbreak. Currently CDC has personnel in
all four countries assisting the respective MOHs and the WHO-led international
response to this Ebola outbreak.
based on reports from the Ministry of Heath of Guinea, the Ministry of Health
and Sanitation of Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of
Liberia, the Ministry of Health of Nigeria and WHO 11 August 2014.
35. GETTING TO
ZERO: EXPLORING HIV AND EBOLA VIRUS:
of August 12 according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of
Ebola disease cases was over 1,975 with 1,069 deaths.
CDC has issued a Travel Warning Level 3 for travelers to Liberia, Guinea and
Sierra Leone and Warning Alert 2 to Nigeria. This warning requests avoidance of
non-essential travel. For example, in Liberia borders are closed and major
entry points are closely monitored. See wwwnc.cdc.gov
of US Embassy personnel have been asked to leave the affected countries.
Embassy personnel and additional US government staff are working 24/7 with
local governments to trace possible infection contacts in efforts to contain
of heavy Ebola virus infection have been quarantined. Travel in and out is
restricted to reduce the chance of new infections.
on mass or public gatherings can be enforced by authorized military personnel.
remain in prayer for the families affected; those living in the area and the
health personnel who provide care and encourage support in financial or other
are helpful and essential contributors to life. Microbes can be bacteria,
viruses or fungi. While they often are thought of as germs, the majority of
microbes are helpful.
as normal flora are part of natural host defenses. Normal flora protects the
body from invading harmful microbes. They assist with food digestion. In nature
they are critical for breakdown of organic matter to basic components of carbon
few microbes can cause disease compared to the many microbes that perform
useful functions. Some microbes can be
helpful in one circumstance and dangerous pathogens under other circumstances.
For example, some normal flora bacteria colonize and protect the outer skin
layers from attachment of microbes that are pathogenic. If these normal flora
bacteria from the skin surface get inside the body, they can lead to painful
abscesses. If they get into the
bloodstream, they can lead to heart damage or potentially to sepsis that can be
About Virus and
differ in structure from bacteria. Bacteria generally are single cell organisms
that can live independently if nutrients are available.
cannot live outside of a cell. They take over cellular machinery to make more
of themselves. Thus they are obligate intracellular parasites.
content of Getting to Zero often has focused on two human viral pathogens-
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Ebola virus. Here we explore how they
are similar and how they differ.
Similarities of HIV
and Ebola virus:
They are pathogenic viruses that can lead to disease.
There is no current vaccine to prevent infection.
There is no definitive cure for infection.
Both are transmitted by direct contact with specific body fluids of an infected
Neither virus is transmitted through the air or by casual contact.
Both can lead to death of people infected if supportive medical care is not
The genetic material of HIV and Ebola virus is RNA.
Replication in cells of specific tissues of HIV or Ebola can lead to severe
illness in humans.
Infection by either virus can be fatal or can severely alter human organ
systems or tissue.
Both viruses moved into humans from a natural animal habitat or reservoir. This
is similar to how swine influenza transferred from pigs to humans to cause
HIV adapted to humans from exposure to a simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)
that is found naturally in chimpanzees. In some locations in central Africa,
chimpanzees are a delicacy or bush meat that is hunted for food.
SIV does not cause disease in chimpanzees. However, it causes a disease similar
to AIDS in other primates such as Macaque monkeys or African green monkeys.
Ebola virus seems to be found naturally in some species of fruit bats that
inhabit caves. It does not cause disease in these bats.
virus can infect and cause disease in small animals, deer and in humans. It is thought that Ebola virus moves from bat
reservoirs to humans by direct contact with infected animals that may be used
Differences in HIV
and Ebola virus:
infection leads to a chronic illness that takes years for symptoms to appear.
infection causes an acute disease with symptoms appearing in 2-21 days.
infects cells of the immune system to lead to immune deficiency and
susceptibility to other opportunistic microbial infections.
virus infects a range of different cells and tissues. How it leads to systemic
disease is not clear.
medications can prevent or slow the appearance of AIDS caused by HIV infection.
Specific medications can combat opportunistic infections due to immune
approved medications exist to decrease or shorten Ebola virus infection. Two
experimental medications that contain antibody in serum have been used in a few
cases to treat healthcare personnel.
are no specific symptoms that appear in all HIV/AIDS infections. A range of
opportunistic infections vary and depend on the person, their level of medical
care and overall health.
of Ebola disease are fever, headache, weakness, muscle aches, diarrhea,
vomiting and eventually internal and external bleeding that result in organ
failure and shock.
is transmitted only by direct contact with blood, semen, vaginal fluid and
breast milk. Due to its envelope, HIV does NOT survive in other body fluids
such as saliva, sweat and tears.
- Ebola virus is highly contagious through
contact with even small amounts of most types of body fluids or by objects of
clothing of persons infected. Ebola virus is especially high in feces, blood,
sexual fluids and vomit. It is not clear how much virus survives in other body
its discovery in 1981, HIV has infected over 70 million people worldwide with
some estimated 36 million AIDS related deaths. It is a pandemic with high
prevalence in sub-Saharan and West Africa and among African Americans in the
its discovery in 1976, Ebola virus has caused at least 16 limited outbreaks,
mostly in central African communities. Except for the 2014 in West Africa,
outbreaks have been contained by isolation methods. These take a high death
toll in an affected area, but stop spread of the virus.
HIV/AIDS occurs by completion of an HIV test to detect antibody to the virus.
Antibody to HIV is made before disease symptoms appear years after initial
exposure to the virus.
symptoms occur within 2-21 days with a sudden onset. Symptoms, as well as
laboratory tests to detect viral antigens or viral genetic material in tissue
or fluids, are used to diagnose Ebola virus disease.
and Ebola virus have high impacts on those infected. Communication of correct
understanding is highly effective to reduce myths, misconceptions and fear.
This communication is important to HIV and Ebola virus control.
of the religious community who obtain a correct understanding and have access
to community members can be highly effective in reducing myths, misconceptions,
stigma and fear.
Rev. Dr. A. Oveta Fuller is an 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. An Itinerant Elder
in the 4th Episcopal District, she conducts HIV/AIDS prevention
research in Zambia and the USA. She lived in Zambia for most of 2013 as a J.
William Fulbright Scholar.
36. iCHURCH SCHOOL LESSON
BRIEF FOR SUNDAY, AUGUST 17, 2014 - TREASURE IN CLAY JARS - II CORINTHIANS
*Bill Dickens, Allen AME Church, Tacoma, Washington
Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert
Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of "buccaneers and buried gold."
First published as a book on 23 May 1883, it was originally serialized in the
children's magazine Young Folks between 1881 and 1882 under the title Treasure
Island or, the mutiny of the Hispaniola with Stevenson adopting the pseudonym
Captain George North.
Traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, Treasure Island
is a tale noted for its atmosphere, characters and action, and also as a wry
commentary on the ambiguity of morality – as seen in Long John Silver – unusual
for children's literature. It is one of the most frequently dramatized of all
novels. The influence of Treasure Island on popular perceptions of pirates is
enormous, including such elements as treasure maps marked with an
"X", schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged
seamen bearing parrots on their shoulders.
Unlike Stevenson’s popular novel, the Christian journey for
treasure will not be found in the seagoing adventures of pirates and vessels
hoarding precious metals like gold and silver.
Movie viewers familiar with Johnny Depp’s performance in Pirates
of the Caribbean saw no connection with God and treasure in the hit Disney
movie series. Christians can gain treasure by understanding the role of
personal integrity, power of preaching and persistence of faith.
The Adult AME Church School Lesson for August 17, 2014 is
“treasure-seeking,” but offers a different way to find treasure.
Paul shows his readers that the true treasure
in our lives will reflect our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
In II Corinthians 4: 1-6, Paul defends his personal
Contrary to what some of his critics have stated, Paul is clear
that he has not used deception, distortion or deceit in teaching/preaching the
Gospel of Salvation thru Jesus Christ.
With his integrity intact, Paul now directs attention to his calling as
a preacher of the Gospel.
Corinthians 4:7-12 Paul points out that despite his personal afflictions and
sufferings he remains focused on his preaching and calling because he knows
where the rewards or treasures are found.
The apostle uses a great metaphor of earthen vessels or jars as
repositories of God’s treasures.
jars would probably not be the expected receptacles to find God’s grace and
joy. The "jars" or our own bodies are precisely where the treasure is
contained for believers.
this, Paul is determined to live by faith since this is the key that can unlock
the treasures God has preserved for us (II Corinthians 4:13-15).
Far too often people look for treasure in wrong places.
Whether it is playing the Powerball lottery
or using a stock tip to buy an allegedly high-yielding stock or sailing the
seven seas for adventure and reward, the outcome will be short-lived.
A long-term permanent source for treasure is
actually closer than one might think.
Jesus indicated, “Where a man’s heart is, you will find his treasure.”
There is no monetary investment needed for God’s eternal treasure.
We don’t have to be concerned about the risks borne by the
pirates in Stevenson’s classic novel.
All that’s needed is to "have a little talk with Jesus and tell him
all about our troubles" and He will answer our petitions.
Only Jesus can provide a win-win solution.
*Brother Bill Dickens is currently the Church School Teacher at
Allen AME Church in Tacoma, Washington.
He is currently a member of the Fellowship of Church Educators for the
37. MEDITATION BASED ON
*The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby
I’m writing this week’s Meditation after cautiously making my
way home through a heavy rainstorm, which can be a genuine adventure in
The city is twenty feet
above sea level at its highest points, and some parts of the city sit on
filled-in “wetlands” - what used to be called swamps and creeks in the days of
Heavy rain on successive days
- especially when combined with high tides - can quickly flood Charleston’s
streets and make them almost impassable.
That’s a problem for new residents and tourists, who sometimes
have to be rescued when streets suddenly become deep ponds that cause their
vehicles to stall and flood.
As a long-time resident, I’ve learned what areas are flood prone
and to either avoid them or slowly drive through the deep water.
What’s ironic and amusing, however, is that
some long-time residents still drive into deep water “full speed ahead,” end up
stranded at best or in accidents at worst, and incur needless aggravation and
expense because they refuse to slow down.
Slowing down is a prudent thing to do, not only when stormy
weather causes physical floods, but when we run into spiritual floods as
Life in this world comes with its fair share of storms - storms
of trouble, stress, and aggravation that can unexpectedly bring floods of
sorrow and confusion that swallow up our hopes and dreams and threaten to sweep
It’s tempting to address life’s storms by going “full speed
ahead” - relying on this world’s avenues to make our way - but doing so can
easily leave us feeling stranded, washed out and alone.
When we take the time, however, to slow down
and let God lead us, we can more effectively navigate life’s “storms.”
We’ll do so knowing, by faith that the God we serve will slow us
down and teach us how to avoid life’s dangerous and deep places so that we can
be safe in a stormy world, navigate life’s floods and come through victorious -
moving by faith and not by sight.
Take the time in your life’s stormy times and deep places to
slow down and let God lead you. You’ll find new hope, new direction, new peace
of mind and new appreciation for the words of the hymn that says, “Be very
sure, be very sure your anchor holds and grips the solid rock,” for the words
that begin that song’s chorus are right - “That rock is Jesus.”
This Meditation is also available as a Blog on the Beaufort
District’s Website: www.beaufortdistrict.org
Get Ready for Sunday, and have a great day in your house of
*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
38. EPISCOPAL FAMILY
-- Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, presiding prelate of the 10th
Episcopal District and Supervisor Stan McKenzie were among the Select Texans
invites to the Africa Summit dinner at the White House
At dinner, in a huge tent on the South Lawn of the White House,
guests “rubbed elbows” with the presidents of Cameroon, Gabon, Rwanda,
Mozambique, Madagascar and the tiny Republic of Togo and the presidents of Coca
Cola, IBM, MasterCard and the World Bank; and former President Jimmy Carter and
actor Robert DeNiro.
See the complete news article below, Dallas news.
Congratulatory messages can be emailed to:
Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie: email@example.com
Supervisor Stan McKenzie: firstname.lastname@example.org
39. EPISCOPAL FAMILY
Regretfully We Share the Following Bereavement Notice:
Sister Alice Faye Davis, the wife of the Rev. George Davis,
retired/assistant minister on the staff at Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta,
Georgia, passed on August 2, 2014. Sister Davis was the cousin of Bishop James
L. Davis, Presiding Prelate of the 9th Episcopal District.
Services for Sister Alice Faye Davis were held earlier today,
Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.
The Rev. John Foster, Ph. D., Pastor/Officiant
Bishop James L. Davis, Eulogist
Services were entrusted to:
Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home, Inc.
1003 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.
The expressions of sympathy may be sent to:
The Rev. George Davis & Family
Email: Bishop and Mrs. James L. Davis: JLD123Bishop@yahoo.com
40. CLERGY FAMILY
We prayerfully and regretfully announce the passing of Ms. Toya
Lynn Ward, sister of the Rev. Clinton E. Ward, III pastor of Wayman African Methodist
Episcopal Church, Chicago Conference.
Ms. Ward passed from labor to reward on Monday, August 11, 2014.
The arrangements are as follows:
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Wayman African Methodist Episcopal Church
Interment immediately following at:
Services are entrusted to:
Leak & Sons Funeral Homes
Please send messages of condolence to:
The Rev. Clinton E. Ward, III and family
41. CLERGY FAMILY
We are saddened to announce the passing of the Rev. Dr. Morris
Alexander Buchanan, 91-years-old on Thursday, August 14, 2014. He was husband
of the Rev. Noella Austin Buchanan, pastor of Allen Chapel AMEC – Riverside,
The Rev. Buchanan retired after a spirit filled pastored in
2004. He was the founding pastor of Culver City Community AME Church and later
pastor of Bethel AME Church in Fontana, California where he restored a
fifty-year old congregation to its former glory. He formerly served as
president of the ministerial alliance of the southern California
After retirement he served
as spiritual advisor of St. James AME Church in St. Louis, Missouri and Allen
Chapel Riverside, California.
Dr. Buchanan spent previous years as an actor, producer and
director in the television and movie industries. He attended the Prestigious
Pasadena Community Playhouse and has performed throughout the United State,
Canada, Africa, England, and France.
Funeral Arrangements are listed below.
9:30 -10:30 a.m.
Funeral Service: 10:30 a.m.
Office Telephone: (951) 686-9406; Fax: (951) 686-1380; Email: email@example.com
; Web Page: www.facebook.com/allenchapelriverside
Pastor: The Rev. Noella Austin Buchanan
Officiating: Presiding Elder Norman D. Copeland
Eulogist: The Rt. Rev. Theodore Larry Kirkland
Arrangement handled by Tillman Riverside Mortuary, Inc.
2874 Tenth Street - Riverside, CA 92507
Office (951) 682-6433
Fax (951) 682- 7863
Monday viewing will be Monday, August 18, 2014 from 4:00 p.m. to
Interment: Riverside National Cemetery
22495 Van Buren Boulevard
Telephone: (951) 653-8417
Condolences and expressions can be sent to the postal address or
email address listed below.
The Rev. Noella Austin Buchanan
Fifth Episcopal District AMEC
Bishop Theodore Larry Kirkland, Presiding Prelate
4519 Admiralty Way, Suite 205
Telephone: (310) 577-8530
42. CLERGY FAMILY
BEREAVEMENT NOTICES AND CONGRATULATORY ANNOUNCEMENTS PROVIDED BY:
Ora L. Easley, Administrator
AMEC Clergy Family Information Center
Web page: http://www.amecfic.org/
Telephone: (615) 837-9736 (H)
Telephone: (615) 833-6936 (O)
43. CONDOLENCES TO THE
BEREAVED FROM THE CHRISTIAN RECORDER:
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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