Bishop T. Larry
Kirkland - Chair, Commission on Publications
Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr., Publisher
Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III, the 20th Editor, The Christian Recorder
Mark your Calendars:
Allen’s Birthday – February 14, 2013
Wednesday- February 13, 2013
Sunday – March 31, 2013
Church Connectional Day of Prayer – April 13, 2013
Sunday May 19, 2013
1. EDITORIAL – WE ALL HAVE A DOG IN THIS FIGHT:
Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III,
The 20th Editor, The Christian Recorder
When a person says, “I don’t have a dog in this fight,” the
person is saying that he or she doesn’t have a personal stake in the outcomes
of the issue being addressed and means that the person making the statement is
just watching an event as a spectator and not participating in any way, like watching
a dog fight without entering a dog in the lineup. Not having “a dog in the fight” sometimes
mean you don't care about the outcome of a given issue and have no interest in
who wins, but it also could mean that even though you don’t “have a dog in the
fight,” you have an interest in the outcome.
In the issues raised in this editorial I believe that “We
all have a dog in this fight,” because every AME should have an interest in
what happens in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. When I see the AME
Church mentioned in the news, it immediately piques my interest. I have been
reading a lot of negative news that should not be public. If I have an issue
with my wife or my children, I am not going to grant any media interviews; no
matter how right I might think I might be about the issue. Some issues just
stay in the home. We had a saying, “What
we say here, what you see here, what you hear here, let it stay here – we don’t
talk about home issues outside the home.”
There is too much AME “dirty laundry” in the streets that
we put it “in the street.” Nobody else put it “in the street”; we put it “in
the street.” If we had followed the
rules of The Discipline, there might
not be AME “dirty laundry” story in Jet
Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and
other news outlets. There wouldn’t be coverage in The Christian Century magazine, AP,
BBC and other media outlets.
The issue I want to address is the intent of the Ministers’
Bill of Rights.
The intent of the Ministers’ Bill of Rights was to correct
the practice of inappropriate or vindictive pastoral appointments. In the early
days of Methodism, bishops had unlimited power; not only in Methodist churches,
but in other denominations where bishops had the power of pastoral
In The Book of
Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church 2008 (Page 120, Sec.
VII) the intent of the Ministers’ Bill of Rights as it relates to pastoral
appointments states that itinerant ministers receive, “A pastoral appointment
equal to their abilities, training, and experience, when available.” The
Discipline goes on to state, “The new appointment, when available, shall be comparable to or better than the previous
one, provided the pastor has not been found guilty under Judicial
Administration. I am not an attorney and I have not consulted with an attorney,
but the statement, “when available”
does not seem to me to prohibit a pastoral transfer.
The itineracy in Methodism is the foundation of the
profession of ministry and the effectiveness and sustainability of the
itineracy must have a moral and ethical foundation, underpinned by integrity.
The profession of ministry is not, nor should it be a casual entity within the
AME Church. The itineracy has to be ferociously guarded and protected because
the itinerant ministry is the umbilical chord or lifeline of the African
Methodist Episcopal Church.
Committed and dedicated clergy have a direct impact on whether
local churches and denominations succeed, fail, or subsist in mediocrity. If
the itinerant ministry in the AME Church is diluted or compromised we may as
well become a congregational or independent religious organization. There is a
perception that the intake process for the AME itinerate ministry has
deteriorated and the “gate has been left wide open.” We have opened the gate
wide and people walk right through the gate.
When I answered the call to ministry, the Rev. Jesse Owens,
my “father in the ministry” went on and on about the itinerant ministry. I
didn’t understand it then, but I came to understand it and I understand the
importance of the itinerant ministry even more today.
most sacred duties of bishops
In my reading of The
Book of 2008 in the Order of the
Consecration of a Bishop on Page 544, the most critical responsibility and
commitment of the episcopacy, in my opinion, is the answer and promise in
response to the question, “Will you be faithful in ordaining or laying hands
The local church, the quarterly conference, district
conference, board of examiners, the annual conference all bear some
responsibility for allowing persons to be ordained who should not be in the
ministry; but the bishop is the bottomline and it is the bishop who promised to
“be faithful in ordaining or laying hands upon others.” I have heard of
instances where bishops in wanting a person to be ordained, admitted the person
in the first of the series of annual conferences; ordained the same person a
deacon in the second annual conference of the series and in the third annual
conference of the series ordained the person an itinerant elder and gave the
“reverend” a pastoral appointment. When
that happens, unless there is an unusual circumstance, the “gate” to the
itineracy was unguarded.
It’s hard to say “no,” but sometimes a “no” today is better
than the heartache of dealing with extended legal and negative ecclesiastical
issues, which a simple “no” could have solved.
The AME Church continues to ordain persons who will most
likely never serve as itinerant preachers or in itinerant ministry.
The church also ordains persons who have not been
thoroughly vetted to determine their fitness and availability for itinerant
ministry. And, sometimes it’s hard to say “no” to a son or a daughter of one of
the “old saints” of the Church.
On the other hand we lose outstanding, well-educated
candidates for ministry because they see the inequity and sometimes the
unprofessionalism in the ordination process. For instance, some women have made
sacrifices earning seminary degrees and going through the ordination process,
only to be denied pastoral appointments and not being treated as professionals.
In those cases the “no” to outstanding candidates for ministry are
Religious organizations, and the AME Church is no
exception, tend to be “compassionate and patient” with ineffective clergy.
“Compassion and patience” exist in the ranks and pastors feel pressured to
tolerate ineffective and even non-functioning church officers. “Compassion” and
“patience” are normally positive terms, but when those attributes are extended
when they should be withdrawn, become negative and harmful attributes.
My father-in-law and the Army taught me that it’s the
people you “bend or break the rules for” who will come back and “bite
you.” Both my father–in-law and the Army
enjoined me, “Follow the rules and treat everybody equally and you will save
yourself and the organization a lot of trouble.” I, too, advised young
non-commissioned and commissioned officers to follow the regulations and not
make-up rules as they went along; and to be even-handed and predictable.
me get back to the subject at hand
If we, as the AME Church, would just follow the rules of The Discipline and the Bible, and common
sense, we could function more effectively and absent ourselves of many of the
distractions of ministry.
The Committee on Ministerial Efficiency is tasked to “pass
upon the efficiency and moral conduct of pastors.
For instance, the
issue of a bishop referring pastors to the Ministerial Efficiency Committee
because they fail to make a “round” report is worthy of comment. Some of
the older bishops used to do just that and it signaled the importance of
pastors being faithful to their pastoral annual conference financial
responsibilities and was indicative of their ministerial efficiency.
from what is stated in The Book of
Discipline 2008 that a bishop, not only may, but, if he or she follows the
law, is obligated to refer deficient pastors to the Ministerial Efficiency
Committee because, absent of a “round report,” they are not in
good-standing. When pastors and laity are allowed to function when they
are not in good-standing, their presence has a negative effect upon morale.
A pastor might also be referred to the Ministerial Efficiency
Committee for failing to win souls and convincing others to come to Christ,
which goes back to the Mission, Vision,
Purposes and Objectives of the Church.
A pastor referred to the Ministerial Efficiency Committee should
not presume to be guilty. If a pastor has done all in his or her power to
address or deal with a negative pastoral situation and the negative situation
remains the same, there would be no reason to assume that the pastor is
Most of our pastors are dedicated, competent, Spirit-filled
models for ministry, but like other denominations we have some pastors who are
nice individuals, but ineffective. They have not honed their pastoral skills
and have little or no demonstrated leadership skills. They do not know how to
build teams, but that’s when training must be provided.
If the African Methodist Episcopal Church is going to experience
healthy growth, it needs to be concerned about ineffectiveness and
incompetence, which requires bishops to make hard unpopular decisions. It
might mean repositioning pastors and their families. The consecration vows for
bishops stress commitment, love, peace, gentleness, mercy, the will of God, and
Now, let me get back to
The Ministers’ Bill of Rights
was developed for effective and competent pastors, as a way to protect them and
their families from frivolous transfers. It was not implemented to protect
ineffective and incompetent pastors.
The Ministers’ Bill of
Rights may be hampering pastoral efficiencies because some episcopal
leaders seem to think that they cannot reassign a pastor unless the pastor is
given an equal or better pastoral appointment. I don’t believe that there is
legal entity that would use the Ministers’
Bill of Rights to force the AME Church or any denomination to keep
incompetent or inefficient pastors, if documentation exists to substantiate the
incompetence. Every other profession has competency standards; and we do also,
but we need to follow the procedures that have been put in place.
Accusations against clergy should be routinely handled by the
Ministerial Efficiency Committee to determine guilt or innocence; no exceptions.
If the 21st Century itinerant system is going to
work, it means that meticulous record-keeping needs to be in place. There has
to be integrity in the pastoral appointment system. Godly judgment needs to be
the standard, the rules need to be followed; and everyone rewarded equally and
everyone disciplined equally as appropriate; no exceptions.
Integrity and professionalism in the today’s 21st
Century environment with technology, more highly educated applicants for
ministry, particularly well-educated woman in ministry, increased
professionally-trained bi-vocational pastors; calls for changes and doing
things differently. Ideally, bishops need to talk with pastors about potential
pastoral appointments before the convening of the annual conference. Pastoral
appointments the night before or the day of the Commissioning Service should be
a thing of the past.
The protocol for the 90-day notice needs to be re-thought. The
intent of the 90-day notice was to inform a pastor that he or she might be
transferred to another pastoral appointment. But, when every pastor receives a
90-day notice, it defeats the intent of the rule because everyone receiving a
90-day notice is the same as no one receiving a notice. Having said that, the
hardest job for a bishop is making of pastoral appointments because with every
pastoral appointment there is disappointment. I would even go so far as to say
there is never a pastoral appointment with 100% agreement. The 90-day notice
“buys” the bishop and his or her cabinet more time in making pastoral
appointments, but it dilutes the pastoral appointment system.
Making pastoral appointments is a difficult job, but we elect
and pay bishops to do that and to bear the disappointments and negative
comments from those who disagree with pastoral appointments.
Efficient, consistent and
professional record-keeping is essential
It amazes me that bishops and Boards of Examiners do not require
official transcripts sent directly from academic institutions directly to the
office of the presiding bishop. Photocopied or scanned documents are not
“official” and anyone with a computer can make any document look like an
I am equally amazed that those who say they served in the
military are not required to provide an “official raised copy” of the DD Form
Record-keeping and accountability will increase ministerial efficiency
and help episcopal district offices to function more even-handedly and more
The offices of the bishop should have confidential files and
official documents of all clergy; and that file should be forwarded when the
clergy transfers to another episcopal district.
If a pastor’s performance is questioned or he or she is accused
of ineffectiveness, the Ministerial Efficiency Committee is the appropriate
venue for resolution. If an accused pastor feels he or she is not at fault, he or
she should demand a hearing before the Ministerial Efficiency Committee. Issues
involving pastors should be cleared up and dealt with before a pastor is given
a pastoral appointment or is transferred.
The Church must raise the bar of professionalism by rigorous
training, supervision and accountability, more training and dealing
forthrightly with pastoral issues and accusations.
I am reminded of a story told by Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr. who
relates that a bishop sent him “so far out in the country that the sun didn’t
shine.” He went on say, “That pastoral appointment was the best blessing the
bishop could have given me. The bishop may have thought he was punishing me,
but God meant it for good.”
I have my own story. Bishop Frederick D. Jordan gave me an opportunity
to pastor my first church. I left the Philadelphia Annual Conference with a
bank job, fulltime seminary grant to attend Conwell School of Theology and the
ability to substitute teach whenever I wanted to and moved to Paris, Kentucky
to pastor Shorter Chapel AME Church; a church I had never seen. The church
didn’t look anything like the church of my dreams; I was ready to return to
Ardmore, Pennsylvania, but my wife encouraged me to remain and fulfill my dream
to be a fulltime pastor. The pastorate at Shorter Chapel AME Church was a
blessing that gave me a firm foundation for ministry. When I first saw the
church building I questioned Bishop Jordan’s godly judgment, but quickly
discovered the building was not the church and the people were absolutely
wonderful. I came to understand and accept the will of God in my life from that
experience; no matter how bad a situation looks, if God is in the plan, the
situation will be positive.
The challenge for
The biggest challenge for those being ordain itinerant elder is
their response and intention to the question in The Ordination of Elders: “Will
you reverently obey your chief ministers to who is committed the charge and
government over you, following with a glad mind and will their godly
admonitions, submitting yourselves to their godly judgments?
The challenge for bishops
If the itineracy is going to
survive, the African Methodist Episcopal Church must have bishops who will be
committed to their promise to “be faithful in ordaining or laying hands upon
others”; that is “guarding the gate” for those wishing to be ordained itinerant
The challenge for pastors
Pastors must trust God and commit
themselves to reverently
obey their chief ministers to whom is committed the charge and government
…following with a glad mind and will their godly admonitions, submitting to
their godly judgments.
My old fogey thought
pastors are obedient and committed; and submit their will to God’s will, there
will be no harm from any pastoral appointment whether the pastoral appointment
was made in the Holy Spirit of godly judgment or from the spirit
vindictiveness. I believe that God’s will prevails in every situation.
We all have “a dog in every fight” that involves the African
Methodist Episcopal Church!
*We welcome op-eds and we welcome other opinions. Please feel
free to address this and other issues.
Editor’s Note: I will
be preaching for Founder’s Day at Allen Temple AME Church in Cincinnati at 11
a.m. service this Sunday (2/10/13) where the Rev. Dr. Alphonse Allen is the
pastor; for the 2nd Episcopal District Founder’s Day in Raleigh next
Thursday at 7 p.m. Worship service that will be held at the North Raleigh
Hilton, 2415 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh, North Carolina, Bishop William P.
DeVeaux is the Presiding Prelate; and on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 3rd
Street Bethel AME Church in Richmond, Virginia at 11 a.m. worship where the
Rev. Dr. Godfrey Patterson is the pastor.
2. READER RESPONSE TO
EDITORIAL AND OTHER ISSUES:
- To the Editor:
RE: Centennial Anniversary of Rosa Parks Birth Celebrated in
This piece about Rosa Parks was informative. Missing from it is her legacy in the
tradition of Bishop Richard Allen as a civil rights activist and a person who
lived out her faith by fighting for justice as a woman of God.(Micah 6:8)
Let us not forget that for all she was in the political arena,
Rosa Parks was even more within our Zion. She was a lifelong member of the
African Methodist Episcopal Church and as a consecrated deaconess within our
The Rev. Anita Marshal
Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry
What does The 2008 Discipline say
about the role of itinerant Elders in local church relations? Are they voting
members of the official board, church conference, and quarterly conference? Can
they participate in the conduct of the business of these bodies by making
motions? Page 128 Section Xi, C does not list any of these duties
Carolyn Tyler Guidry’s Response to the Question:
An “Itinerant Elder” is required to
answer the roll in a Quarterly Conference to be in “good and regular standing”
in the Church. This requires membership in a local congregation.
Itinerant Elders who are members of a
local congregation are referred to as "preachers" in Section C on
Page 128 of The Book of Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
2008. However, such persons who hold
membership in a congregation would be included in "Church Membership,"
Page 62, Part D, Paragraph 2.
"All persons eighteen (18) years
of age or over (and processing all other qualifications) belonging to any of
our societies shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of holding
office in the church, local or general, to vote and be voted for, etc."
Even Itinerant Elders who are not
pastors, but members of a congregation should be, in my opinion, "Working
out their soul's salvation"; in other words, involved in the life and work
of the church.
4. IF YOU OR ANYONE YOU
KNOW GET A MONTHLY SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK, PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THIS:
This message is important, especially for Social Security
recipients who do not registered to have their Social Security payments sent to
a bank; and is especially important for those persons who don’t have bank
accounts. Pastors and local church leaders should talk with their senior
citizen members who are on Social Security to insure they understand the change
that is taking place.
On March 1, 2013, paper checks will not be sent to Social
Security recipients. If Social Security recipients have not signed up and
registered to have their Social Security checks changed over to Direct Deposit,
they will receive a debit card in the mail. They do not want to inadvertently
throw away the debit card.
CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF ROSA PARKS BIRTH (1913-2013) CELEBRATED ON MONDAY,
FEBRUARY 4, 2013 IN DETROIT:
Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute of
Self Development founded by Rosa Parks and Elaine Eason Steele celebrated the
centennial anniversary of Rosa Parks’ birth on February 4, 2013 at the Charles
H. Wright Museum of the African American History, 315 E. Warren, Detroit,
Michigan by unveiling the Rosa Parks U.S. Postage Stamp.
Rosa Parks’ refusal to give her seat
to a white male passenger December 1, 1955 and her subsequent arrest was the
catalyst that began the 381 day boycott, December 5, 1955 which changed the
course of history in the United States.
Distinguished as the “mother of the modern civil rights movement,” she
has been recognized with many awards including Honorary Doctorate Degrees, the
NAACP Spingarn Award, the President’s Medal of Freedom and the Congressional
Gold Medal of Honor to name a few. She
was the first woman and the second African American to lie in honor in the United
States Capitol Rotunda where thousands paid tribute.
This year, Rosa Parks, will become the
first person commissioned by Congress for a full-size statue since the 1870s,
whose likeness was authorized by a special act of Congress. Her life of pride, dignity and courage will
forever permeate the world and the Institute she founded.
6. RESPONSES TO TCR NEWS BREAK (2/5/13) – LET’S STAY ON
TOP OF THE ROSA PARKS STAMP…:
The Bad News:
From the Rev. Al Paris on
“I went to my local Post Offices (Grandview Texas and Cleburne
Texas) and neither had the stamp available. The Grandview Post Office said they
were small and had not received the Stamp yet.
The Cleburne Post Office said they did not have it and suggested that I
might call and register a compliant. I called (800) 782-6724 and they informed
me that each Post Office had to order the stamp. This is contrary to the
statement on the USPS Web Site saying that the Stamp would be available of February
4 at all Post Offices. I suggested that perhaps the Stamp was not available
because Rosa Parks is a Black Woman and filed an Official Complaint. They took
my information and promised that I would be contacted within 24 hours. I am
From Sister G. H. Cox,
Assistant Recording Secretary, SED WMS
“Just in from my local post office...was told that the Rosa
Parks' stamp order did not come in YET.
I was advised to check at the main post office where the orders usually
come in ‘on time.’"
From Sister Barbara
“I went to a post office branch here in Bakersfield, CA for the
stamp, the clerk said they did not have it, they would have to sell their other
"specialty" stamps first! I came right home got on the USPS website
and saw where you can order the stamps directly from them, so that is what I'll
be doing. It might be good to pass it along that that is the way to be assured
of getting the stamp(s).”
From Sister Billie D.
Irving, AMEC Connectional Officer
Thanks for this information.
I had been inquiring at my Melrose Branch as well as the Royal Drive
Main Post Office and was told they would be out in February but never given a
date. I am glad to know they are
available. I plan to buy some for me
personally and for the office although we do most of our mailing via the
postage machine here in the office.
The Good News:
From Senior Bishop John
Dear Recorder readers - I went to the Post Office in my
community and the clerk had the stamp on her counter. She thought they didn't
go on sale until the next day, but I and her co-worker convinced her otherwise.
With a great deal of pride, I purchased 100 stamps. That afternoon I was
informed by one of my Presiding Elder, Walter Bauldrick, that the main branch
sold out of theirs that afternoon.
Come on AMEs this is a purchase we need to keep making.
From the Rev. Dr. Byron
J. Grayson, Pastor - St. Paul AME - Lenoir, North Carolina
"Yesterday I went to the post office in Lenoir, NC. The
stamps were available. It is an impressive stamp which I showed to others as I
was leaving. We may run out of them. St. Paul AME is spreading the word to buy
From Brother Russell L.
I wanted to check for availability, so I went to two different
post offices in Fort Worth, Texas; both of them had the stamps. But, both Post
Offices had to go to the back to get them because they were not readily
available up front.
From TCR Editor Sydnor
I bought 10 sheets of Rosa Park stamps and I must have been the first
person to purchase them because the clerk waiting on me showed my stamps to the
other clerks working the counters at the Post Office. They commented how
beautiful her image was on the stamp. I agreed the stamp was the most beautiful
stamp I have ever purchased. I am planning to use only the Rosa Parks stamps
until the Richard Allen stamp is released; and then I plan to alternate between
From Yvonne Henning Parks, former
I purchased 100 Rosa Parks stamps on
Monday, February 6 around 1:30 p.m. My
postman informed me that they were almost gone. Individuals had been buying
them all morning. He did tell me that
they would not be able to reorder for two weeks which is the normal time to
replenish stamps. This particular post
office had ordered 2000, the number allowed to order at a time. So, please
don't give up trying to purchase the Rosa Parks stamps. Thanks.
I guess it depends on where you
live. I live in a largely Jewish
neighborhood and the stamps were readily available. The clerk even commented on
how beautiful they are! I will use them
in my correspondence with prisoners.
This gives me another opportunity to witness plus talk about the AME
My Church, Bethel AME in Evanston,
Illinois has one of the best ministries to prisoners in the AME Connection.
the Rev. Al Paris, Retired AME pastor
My problem with the Rosa Parks Stamp:
I received a call from the Grandview Postmaster and he said he had the stamp in
stock but not in the usual place, so the clerk did not know where they were. I
suggested that he put up a sign indicating that the stamp was available. I'll
check on that tomorrow.
I knew that I could order the stamp.
My objection was that the Postal Service "assumption" that the
majority population would not want the stamp. Another Post Office said they
were in the "Safe". I asked why. Are they so valuable that they must
be kept in the safe?
I would suggest that we not order the
stamp but demand that our local post office stock the stamp. I plan to visit
all the POs in my area and demand that they stock the stamp.
I consider this an attempt to
marginalize the Stamp and what Rosa Parks was about. Every AME should purchase
at least one sheet from his/her local PO and then a single stamp from every PO
AMEN to Bishop Bryant.
From Sister Karen A.
Or go to www.usps.com
Shop menu, to buy stamps. The Rosa Parks stamp is the first featured.
7. SUPERVISORS COUNCIL OF
THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH:
Whereas, gun violence in the United States continues to increase
year after year, resulting in death, injury, broken families and tragedy all
across the nation; and
Whereas, the United States has the highest percentage of death
by gun violence in the world, with more than 50,000 deliberate and more than
25,000 accidental gunshot injuries in 2012; and
Whereas, much press coverage and attention has been focused on
mass shootings such as those at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech
University, the movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, and the devastating shooting
of 20, six and seven year old children and their teachers in Newtown,
Whereas, these shootings received much media attention, shocked
the world and reenergized the national debate regarding gun violence, urban
communities every day suffer from the plague of gun violence, which has
desensitized policy makers to the real impact of gun violence in those communities;
Whereas, the increase in gun violence has also demonstrated the
critical need to increase resources and access for mental health evaluation,
treatment and programs, and for parents and families to monitor their
children’s exposure and influence by video games, movies and other technology
which promotes violence and other inappropriate behavior, we must also call on
the video industry to assist in the technology and entertainment it produces,
markets and sells; and
Whereas, the gun lobby in this country has resisted all efforts
to regulate and provide accountability for guns, arguing that any effort to
require background checks and other measures for gun possession, violate rights
guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U S Constitution, and vow to block
any and all efforts to reform gun laws, instead arguing to arm teachers and
provide more citizens more guns; and
Whereas, following the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut,
President Barack Obama appointed Vice- President Biden to chair a Committee on
Gun Violence Prevention to make recommendations to reform gun laws in the
United States; and
Now, Therefore Be It Resolved that the Supervisor’s Council of
the African Methodist Episcopal Church supports the Obama Administration’s
legislative proposals to reform gun laws which include:
- Mandatory background checks
- Ban on assault weapons
- Ban on sale of magazine clips with more than ten rounds
- Strengthening penalties for gun trafficking
- Increased funding and requirements for mental health examination
- and we also support Executive Orders issued by the President;
Be It Further Resolved, that each missionary is asked to sign
petitions available in each local church, supporting this legislation, and call
their US Senators and Representatives urging them to support the Obama
Administration’s legislative proposals, recognizing the importance of our
support being heard to influence Congress; and
Be It Finally Resolved that the Supervisor’s Council of the
African Methodist Episcopal Church, will work with and reach out to the Obama
Administration and other ecumenical organizations to achieve reform of gun laws
in the United States.
Done By Order of the Supervisors Council of the African
Methodist Episcopal Church this Second Day of February in the Year of Our Lord
Two Thousand Thirteen.
Supervisor Phyllis Green, Secretary
Supervisor Stan McKenzie, President
8. ANNUAL MINISTRIES IN CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
TRAINING & PLANNING MEETING:
Ministries in Christian Education Training & Planning Meeting will be held
April 18-20 in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Theme: The Cost of Discipleship - Cultivating &
Modeling Christ-Like Christianity!
register now for the Annual Ministries in Christian Education Training &
Planning Meeting at the early registration rate of $125 per person.
The meeting will
be held on April 18-20, 2013 at the Hotel Preston in Nashville Tennessee.
To register now
for conference details, featured preachers and presenters visit the AME
Christian Education website, www.ameced.com or call 615.242.1420.
Education directors, church school leaders and teachers, and other ministries officials
are encouraged to attend.
Submitted by the
Rev. Dr. Daryl B. Ingram, Executive Director, Christian Education Department
LISTEN TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S 2013 NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST SPEECH:
Allocate 18 minutes to listen to President
Obama Speak at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Click on the link or type in your
JOSHUA DUBOIS LEAVING WHITE HOUSE POST:
The Rev. Joshua DuBois, White House
Director of Faith-Based Office is leaving his post. His departure was announced
by President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.
A White House official announced that
the Rev. DuBois planned to teach at New York University, and would create an
organization to help government; nonprofit and private institutions develop
partnerships with religious groups to solve social problems.
11. ACCESSIBLE ARCHIVES
PROVIDE ELECTRONIC ACCESS TO THE
CHRISTIAN RECORDER AND OTHER HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS:
Accessible Archives http://www.accessible-archives.com/
utilizes computer technology and a large team of conversion specialists to
provide easy to use access to vast quantities of archived historical
information previously available only in microformat, hard copy form or as
Diverse primary source
materials reflecting broad views across American history and culture have been
assembled into comprehensive databases. Developed by dedicated instructors and
students of Americana, these databases allow access to the rich store of
materials from leading books, newspapers and periodicals then current.
We will continue
to add titles covering important topics and time periods to assist scholars,
professors, students, genealogists and historical societies in their pursuit of
African American Newspapers:
Search The Christian Recorder 1861 – December
12. WARWICK GATHERS TO
HONOR, TO REMEMBER MARTIN:
Journalist Dominic Carter is the guest speaker at Union AME
Martin Luther King Day
WARWICK — Members of the Warwick Union African Methodist
Episcopal Church and guests from
throughout the Warwick community, including local pastors and officials,
celebrated Martin Luther King Day, this past Monday, Jan. 21.
The guest speaker was Dominic Carter, a reporter and political
commentator for Fios/RNN News, a blogger for The Huffington Post and former
anchor of the NY1 news and commentary program Inside City Hall.
“I’ve met Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump,” he said. “I’m not
impressed by them.”
But pointing to Rev. Kevin Taylor, pastor of Union AME Church,
he said: “I am impressed by your new pastor.”
A well-attended congregation that morning had gathered to honor
the memory of King, the civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prizewinner who was
assassinated in 1968.
Early in the service WTBQ radio host Dick Wells led the
congregation in singing the National Anthem.
Richard Kuntz of the Bellvale Community read a passage from the
New Testament, which was followed by the reading of the Litany by the Rev.
Bruce Barnard, lead pastor of Warwick Valley Church of the Nazarene.
New for this year, young members of the Black Dirt Dance Studio
performed a creative dance in tribute to King.
Guests, who gave short presentations, included Town of Warwick
Supervisor Michael Sweeton, Mayor Michael Newhard, Judge Nancy D’Angelo, Judge
Peter Barlet and Cedric Glasper, president and CEO of Mechanical Rubber and past
President of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce.
“I believe he (Dr. King) personified hope,” said D’Angelo, who
began her comments with definitions of hope.
Newhard, who is also an artist and a painter, described the canvas
he would paint as a birthday gift to King: “It would be strong and bright and
beautiful,” he said. “It would be a painting of a dream come true.”
The UAME Tabernacle Choir and the Praise Team for the Church of
the Nazarene helped to make this a memorable occasion.
- Roger Gavan
* This article originally appeared in The Warwick, N.Y., Advertiser
INVITATION TO ALL METHODISTS AND WESLEYANS FROM THE WORLD METHODIST EVANGELISM
“ReThinking Mission” – A WMEI Training
Seminar at Emory University.
Our World Methodist Evangelism
Institute (WMEI) is announcing “Rethinking Mission” in the Methodist/Wesleyan
Movement in North America. This is an evangelism/mission training event,
especially organized for clergy and laity, and being held at the Candler School
of Theology, Emory University on Saturday, March 23, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
We invite Methodist/Wesleyan clergy and lay leaders to sign-up.
This training will expose leaders to
new thinking and practice of evangelism and mission in the Methodist/Wesleyan
movement in North America.
Featured speakers include: Dr. Winston
Worrell of WMEI, Dr. Phil Schroeder of the United Methodist Church, Evangelist
DeWayne Golightly of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Dr. James Wade
of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and Dr. Otis McMillan of the African
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Worship leader from Candler School of Theology
is Rev. Barbara Day-Miller.
Registration cost of $70.00 per person
before March 1 or $80.00 after March 1, 2013 - covers registration, materials
and resources from UMC, CME, AME and AME Zion; lunch and snacks. Special $50.00
registration fee per person for local congregations sending 5 or more persons.
Special rate for seminary students. Register on our website at www.wmei.ws.
14. KAIROS COMMUNITY AME
CHURCH CELEBRATES PERMANENT WORSHIP FACILITY AND ANNIVERSARY:
Nashville, TN – Kairos Community African Methodist Episcopal
Church (AMEC) will celebrate its 8th Year Church Anniversary and
Dedication Celebration on Sunday, February 24, 2013. The church anniversary
service will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the church dedication service will begin at
3:00 p.m. Both services are open to the public and will take place at 413
Veritas Street, Nashville, TN 37211.
The Rev. Roderick D. Belin Presiding Elder of the South
Nashville District of the AMEC will lead the 9:30 morning worship service in
praise and celebration. The afternoon dedication service will include an
official “Acts of Dedication” ceremony led by Bishop Jeffrey N. Leath,
Presiding Prelate of the 13th Episcopal District of the African
Methodist Episcopal Church. The Dedication Celebration will mark the end of an
extensive search for the purchase of a permanent church building.
“The purchase of our church building marks the beginning of new
worship opportunities; it’s a time in the Kairos moment where, we as a church,
now have adequate space to meet the emergent needs of a diverse community on a
daily basis”, said the Rev. Tyronda Howse Burgess, pastor of Kairos Community
Kairos is the first AME church to be planted in the South
Nashville area since 1911. The first worship service was held on the second
Sunday in February 2005 in a temporary worship location.
The Rev. Burgess adds that, “The name of the church, ‘Kairos,’
is a Greek term for ‘time’ denoting a special, significantly critical point in
human history when God’s will and purposes are carried out – and that time for
our church is now”.
To mark this propitious occasion, the church will develop a digital
Church Anniversary and Church Dedication Journal to be distributed to guest
present on the day of the dedication. A limited number of printed journals will
be available to those who place ads in the journal.
If you are interested in purchasing an ad, please contact the
church at 615-332-3320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for submission is Sunday, February 17, 2013.
15. CELEBRATING 118 YEARS
From left to right:
Pastor Karl A. Stevens, Pastor of Byrd’s A.M.E. Church, Reverend Richard
Worthy, Presiding Elder of the Wilmington District, Darneisha Reed, Church
Historian, Right Reverend Gregory GM Ingram, Presiding Prelate of the First
Episcopal District, Rapheal Young, Church Historian, Bernard Williams, Sr. ,
Two years ago, two young members of Byrd’s African Methodist
Episcopal Church, located in Clayton, Delaware, inquired about the framework
and the history of their church. Due to
the lack of records available, the two querying members were given the
opportunity to do the research themselves.
Under the pastorate and blessings of the Rev. Karl A. Stevens, Sister
Darneisha Reed and Brother Rapheal Young became the church’s historians and
were able to discover information about the history of their church.
Byrd’s African Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1894 to
function as a convenient, spiritual dwelling for the increasing African
American population that had to walk several miles to Mt. Friendship AME Church.
Mt Friendship was considered the “home church.”
The black community, mostly consisting of railroad workers,
generally walked the Kenton Road to Mt. Friendship rather than through Smyrna
to Bethel Church. Originally, the church
bore the name of Clayton AME Church. The church’s name was changed to Byrd’s
AME Chapel to recognize the Reverend Elijah Byrd, who on May 27th, 1895 was
appointed to the church. The Reverend Byrd paid the debt of $300.00 to prevent
the church from being sold in two weeks.
Many of the earlier records for Byrd’s have been lost, but we do
know that the land upon which the church was built was purchased on July 13,
1894. The trustees, John H. Murray and others (unnamed) purchased the site for
$100.00. On August 28, 1901 Byrd’s AME
Chapel along with its sister church Mt. Friendship AME purchased 5 acres of
land as a camp meeting site. With this
meeting ground, the two churches were able to hold annual 10-day tent meetings
that raised money for both churches, and also provided an inspiring retreat for
members and friends. On December 12, 1907 Byrd’s AME Chapel brought the
property which is now West Street in Clayton, Delaware for $110.00 for
parsonage. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, the church expanded to include
the section that now serves as the kitchen and dining hall. Byrd’s A.M.E. Church was listed in the
National Register of Historic Places on October 19, 1982.
The planning and organization of the celebratory events to
celebrate this historical achievement, Brother Bernard Williams, Sr., chair and
Mrs. Sharon Burton–Young, co-chair and the trustees of the church spearheaded.
Byrd’s African Methodist Episcopal Church hosted a revival Thursday October 11
and Friday October 12, 2012. Pastor George W. Anderson of St. Luke Christian
Community Church in Chester, Pennsylvania was the revivalist for both
days. Friday, November 9, 2012 consisted
of a joy night where members, family, and friends gathered to glorify and
uplift the Name of Jesus.
A dedication ceremony for the unveiling of the historical
marker, an open house, and a banquet took place Saturday, November 10,
On Sunday, November 11, 2012 the Right Reverend Gregory G.M.
Ingram, 118th Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the AME Church and
Presiding Prelate of the First Episcopal District was the speaker for the
morning service. He preached from Psalms
100 with the topic of “With thanksgiving and praise.”
Also attending the events were Reverend Richard R. Worthy, Presiding
Elder of the Wilmington District and his wife the Reverend Vera Worthy.
Submitted by Darneisha Reed and Sharon Burton–Young
PAUL QUINN APPROVED TO ADD CONCENTRATIONS IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP, FUNDRAISING AND
PHILANTHROPY TO BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM:
Dallas – February 4, 2013 – Paul Quinn
College has received approval from its accrediting body, the Transnational
Association of Christian Colleges and Schools which is also known as TRACS, to
include Entrepreneurship and Fundraising and Philanthropy as concentrations in
the College’s Business Administration program which confers a bachelor of
science to its graduates. Students will
be able to declare the two concentrations starting fall 2013.
“Our goal is to empower students from under-resourced
communities around the world use their power, abilities, and imagination to
change not just their circumstance, but those of everyone around them” said
Michael J. Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn.
“This is the Quinnite Nation’s new urban college model. We will use
higher education as an economic development incubator for under-resourced
communities. These programs are another step in that direction.”
Entrepreneurship at Paul Quinn will
train students to become conscious business developers and investors in
Entrepreneurship students will be expected to carry out the College’s
mission of servant leadership by applying the principles of business ethics and
social responsibility. Graduates of the program will have learned to resolve
ethical dilemmas to improve business opportunity and development in underserved
communities. Courses will include social entrepreneurship, a social
entrepreneurship internship, small business management, and leadership.
The first of its kind to be
established at a historically black college or university and only the second
undergraduate institution to offer such a degree in America, Paul Quinn’s
undergraduate program in Fundraising and Philanthropy is a comprehensive
curriculum that will prepare students to compete for careers related to the
emerging field of philanthropy. Recognized as one of the hottest 25 future
careers by U.S. News and World Report, fundraising creates leaders among
diverse career paths related to the philanthropic sector. Courses at Paul Quinn
will include advanced fundraising, donor relations; grant proposal writing, and
Paul Quinn was accredited by TRACS in
2011. The College overcame accreditation challenges by achieving full
accreditation status in a record-breaking 18 months. TRACS is recognized by the
U.S. Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation,
and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Paul Quinn College
Paul Quinn College, the 2011 HBCU of
the Year, is a private, faith-based, four-year liberal arts-inspired college
founded by and affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The
College was founded in Austin, Texas, on April 4, 1872, and is one of the
nation’s consortia of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The College
provides a quality, faith-based education that addresses the academic, social,
and Christian development of students and prepares them to be servant leaders
and agents of change in the global marketplace. Members of the College’s
student body, alumni, faculty and staff, called Quinnites, embrace the
institutional ethos of “WE over Me” and are dedicated to honouring the “Four Ls
of Quinnite Leadership,” which are: Leave places better than you found them;
Lead from wherever you are; Live a life that matters; and Love something
greater than yourself.
17. EDUCATION AND
LEARNING SHOULD BE A LIFETIME ACTIVITY:
Technology, along with a computer and connection to the internet
makes education and learning accessible to everyone. Today, there is no excuse
for not engaging in some type of learning.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are available to anyone who had
access to a computer and the internet. MOOC are provided by private, public,
large and small colleges and universities in the United States and around the
world; and the courses are free. Some courses may be taken for self-improvement
and general learning; to earn certificates; and still other MOOC may be taken
for college credit.
Anyone, anywhere in the world with internet access may take
Massive Open Online Courses.
On the internet: MOOC
stands for Massive
Open Online Courses
. Although there has been access to free online
courses on the Internet for years, the quality and quantity of courses has
changed. Access to free courses has allowed students to obtain a level of
education that many only could dream of in the past. This has changed the
face of education. In The New York
for Masses Knocked Down Campus Walls
, author Tamar Lewin stated, “in the
past few months hundreds of thousands of motivated students around the world
who lack access to elite universities have been embracing them as a path toward
sophisticated skills and high-paying jobs, without paying tuition or collecting
a college degree.”
I perused the internet and found some of the following websites
informative and interesting.
Free MOOC Certificate
(Recommend you start here; this website
provides excellent list of MOOC resources)
TCR Editor’s Note: Take your time and peruse the website and
open links to learn more about MOOC courses and dates.
18. THE SMALL CHURCH
(FROM THE ALBAN WEEKLY 2/4/13):
By Steve Willis
Quite often I drive by the Peaks Presbyterian Church on my way
to hike through the Blue Ridge Mountains. The little white clapboard church
sits in a beautiful setting, looking up to Sharp Top and Flat Top Mountains of
the Peaks of Otter, among the highest elevations in Virginia. This congregation
has always been a small country church since it was founded in 1761. It has
survived the Revolutionary War, the trauma of our nation’s Civil War, the Great
War to end all wars, the Second World War, Vietnam, the culture wars of the
sixties, and now continues its ministry today. The Peaks Church’s beginnings
hearken back to a time that had a quite different understanding of church and
During the period when the Peaks Church came into existence,
stability was the norm for ministers, who most often pastored the same church their
entire ministerial life. A study of Congregationalist ministers who graduated
from Yale College during this era shows the difference between then and now.
Robert W. Lynn and James W. Fraser, church analysts, who in 1977 contributed to
one of the first books written specifically about the small church, summarize
The eighteenth-century New England Congregationalists did not
view the successful pastor as one who changed churches. That 7 percent with
more than two pastorates consisted of the “ne’er to do wells.” The situation
was precisely the reverse of today, that is, Congregational pastors of that
time looked upon themselves as holding identical offices with identical
problems. There were no essential spiritual distinctions between the minister
who labored in a small Connecticut hamlet and the pastor of the prominent
church in New Haven or Boston.1
Until the late nineteenth-century, the small church had been the
normative model for congregations in any context: city, town, or country. Not
until the construction of public mass-transit systems in major urban areas had
the large church, as we now know it, been a possibility. Tony Pappas, American
Baptist Area Minister in Massachusetts and small-church advocate, describes it
So for the first time in human history, thousands of people
could get to a one- or two-hour event and get home for lunch! So large
churches, big steeples, big pulpits, Old Firsts came into being. As we think of
them today, large churches have only been around for a little over a
century--only 5% of the history of our faith.2
The large church’s development in major urban centers also
coincided with the growing American industrial economy. The prototype for the
megachurch was the famous Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn, New
York, which built an unmatched membership of two thousand people. The business
entrepreneurs John Tasker Howard and Henry Chandler Bowen were the businessmen
behind the congregation’s formation. Spiritual as well as financial incentives
provided the impetus for building supersized churches. Debby Applegate
describes this dynamic in her biography of Plymouth Church’s first pastor,
Henry Ward Beecher, who came to New York in 1847:
On a practical level, a popular church was an excellent
investment. It was exempt from taxes, its revenues were regular, it was
unlikely to chisel or default and it brought up the real estate values of the
neighborhood, creating more opportunities for wise investors to make money. The
church paid the owners rent or a mortgage with a profitable interest rate, and
they could make extra money by hiring out the building for speeches, concerts,
meetings, and other entertainments during the week.3
But before parishioners could travel by car, train, or Beecher boats
to church on Sunday, churches had been small. The normative model for the vast
majority of church history has been the small church, and the percentages show
that this is still true today.
Of course, today is not the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries,
and much has changed, including changes both welcome and lamentable. If we
consider the church’s position in the larger culture and the influence and
power of the mainline Protestant church on society, things today more closely
resemble 1761 than 1950. By this I mean that denominational Christianity has
found itself in the periphery of the dominant American culture. Even our
central-culture churches have found themselves at a new periphery. We have
experienced a loss of social influence and status in the culture and a loss of
resources. As much of a shock as it is to our system, we know that the church’s
position in any culture ebbs and flows. We have little control over whether we
are flowing or whether we are ebbing.
Today there is knowledge to explore that comes from healthy,
sustainable, rural churches. We need to start thinking the other way around
about where we are in the culture and what place we inhabit. Mainline
Protestantism has grown comfortable and accustomed to the center, but we need to
relearn gifts and skills from the periphery. Our social location is
changing--really, it has already dramatically changed. So our learning needs to
change as well.
I wish and pray for a time in the church that values and grows
from the insight, experience, resources, and stories of all our diverse and
varied ministries. A more in-depth collaboration among and learning from both
central- and peripheral-church ways of being will provide needed perspectives
and skills for living into an ever-changing future. Sharing our diverse voices
and gifts can help us all remember that it is the sovereign, gracious God of
Jesus Christ who is the center of our life together.
1. Robert W. Lynn and James W. Fraser, “Images of the Small
Church in American History,” in Small Churches Are Beautiful, ed. Jackson W.
Carroll (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1977), 7 - 8.
2. Anthony C. Pappas, Vital Ministry in the Small-Membership
Church: Healthy Esteem (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2002), 10.
3. Debby Applegate, The Most Famous Man in America: The
Biography of Henry Ward Beecher (New York: Doubleday Broadway, 2006), 202.
This article is adapted and excerpted from Imagining the Small
Church: Celebrating a Simpler Path by Steve Willis, copyright © 2012 by the
Alban Institute. All rights reserved.
19. FEBRUARY IS “GO RED”
February 7, 2013 National Black AIDS/HIV Awareness Day
AME Go Red Sunday & Red Dress Sunday
Feb. 17, 2013
Celebrate Love with BP screenings, Praise Dancing &
information on how to prevent heart attacks, stroke, HIV & AIDS.
for free info.
Bishop Wilfred Messiah, Health Commission Chairperson; the Rev.
Miriam Burnett, MD M.Div., MPH, Medical Director; and the Rev. Natalie Mitchem,
M.Div., Registered Dietitian, Executive Director
20. TEN TIPS TO HELP YOU
CHOOSE A TAX PREPARER:
Many people look for help from professionals when it’s time to
file their tax return. If you use a paid tax preparer to file your federal
income tax return this year, the IRS urges you to choose that preparer carefully.
Even if someone else prepares your return, you are legally responsible for what
is on it.
Here are ten tips to keep in mind when choosing a tax return
1. Check the preparer’s qualifications. All paid tax return preparers are required to
have a Preparer Tax Identification Number. In addition to making sure they have
a PTIN, ask if the preparer belongs to a professional organization and attends
continuing education classes.
2. Check on the preparer’s history. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see
if the preparer has a questionable history. Also check for any disciplinary
actions and for the status of their licenses. For certified public accountants,
check with the state boards of accountancy. For attorneys, check with the state
bar associations. For enrolled agents, check with the IRS Office of Enrollment.
3. Ask about service fees.
Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of your refund or
those who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers can. Also,
always make sure any refund due is sent to you or deposited into an account in
your name. Taxpayers should not deposit their refund into a preparer’s bank
4. Ask to e-file your return.
Make sure your preparer offers IRS e-file. Any paid preparer who
prepares and files more than 10 returns for clients must file the returns
electronically, unless the client opts to file a paper return. IRS has safely
and securely processed more than one billion individual tax returns since the
debut of electronic filing in 1990.
5. Make sure the preparer is accessible. Make sure you will be able to contact the tax
preparer after you file your return, even after the April 15 due date. This may
be helpful in the event questions arise about your tax return.
6. Provide records and receipts.
Reputable preparers will request to see your records and receipts. They
will ask you questions to determine your total income and your qualifications
for deductions, credits and other items. Do not use a preparer who is willing
to e-file your return by using your last pay stub before you receive your Form
W-2. This is against IRS e-file rules.
7. Never sign a blank return.
Avoid tax preparers that ask you to sign a blank tax form.
8. Review the entire return before signing. Before you sign your tax return, review it
and ask questions. Make sure you understand everything and are comfortable with
the accuracy of the return before you sign it.
9. Make sure the preparer signs and includes their PTIN. A paid preparer must sign the return and
include their PTIN as required by law. The preparer must also give you a copy
of the return.
10. Report abusive tax preparers to the IRS. You can report
abusive tax preparers and suspected tax fraud to the IRS on Form 14157,
Complaint: Tax Return Preparer. If you suspect a return preparer filed or
altered a return without your consent, you should also file Form 14157-A,
Return Preparer Fraud or Misconduct Affidavit. Download the forms on the
IRS.gov website or order them by mail at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
21. THE 1st
EPISCOPAL DISTRICT 2013 SCHEDULE OF ANNUAL CONFERENCES:
Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram, Presiding Prelate
The Rev. Dr. Jessica Ingram, Episcopal supervisor
The 127th Session of the Bermuda Annual Conference
March 7-10, 2013
March 5 – Evangelist Day
March 6 – WMS Day
Fairmont Southampton Resort & Spa
The Bermuda Conference AME Ministerial Alliance, Host
Session of the Delaware Annual Conference
March 21-23, 2013
March 16, 2013 – YPD
March 19 – Evangelist Day
March 20 – WMS Day
Mt Zion AME Church
101 North Queen Street
Dover, DE 19904
The Rev. Ellis B. Louden, Host Pastor
Session of the New Jersey Annual Conference
April 3-7, 2013
April 1 – Evangelist Day
April 2 – WMS Day
Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church
39 Morris Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
The Rev. Eric & the Rev. Myra Bilips, Host Pastors
Session of the New England Annual Conference
April 18-21, 2013
April 16 – Evangelist Day
April 17 – WMS Day
Bethel A.M.E. Church
255 Goffe Street
New Haven, CT 06511
The Rev. Joseph Hooper, Host Pastor
Session of the New York Annual Conference
April 24- 29, 2013
April 22 – Evangelist Day
April 23 – WMS Day
Greater Allen Cathedral AME Church
110-31 Merrick Blvd.
Jamaica, NY 11433
The Rev. Floyd H. Flake, Host Pastor
Session of the Western New York Annual Conference
May 9-11, 2013
May 7 – Evangelist Day
May 8 – WMS Day
Bethel A.M.E. Church
1525 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14209
The Rev. Richard A. Stenhouse, Host Pastor
Session of the Philadelphia Annual Conference
May 22-26, 2013
May 20 – Evangelist Day
May 21 – WMS Day
Held at City Line Hilton Hotel, Philadelphia
Hosted by Morris Brown AME Church
1756 N. 25th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19121
The Rev. James P. Baker, Host Pastor
THE 14TH EPISCOPAL DISTRICT 2013 SCHEDULE OF ANNUAL CONFERENCES:
Bishop Clement W. Fugh, Presiding
Mrs. Alexis Fugh, Episcopal supervisor
March 7, 2013
WMS and YPD Convention
Conference in Session
Emmanuel AME Church, Free Town
The Rev. Matthew Quartey
Host Presiding Elder
The Rev. Isaac Showers
March 14, 2013
WMS and YPD Convention
Conference in Session
Bethel AME Church, Ishaga, Lagos
The Rev. Boniface Essien
Host Presiding Elder
The Rev. Boniface Essien
March 21, 2013
WMS and YPD Convention
Conference in Session
St. Augustine AME Church, Abidjan
The Rev. Tra-Bi Voly Jean R
Host Presiding Elder
The Rev. Tra-Bi Voly Jean R
April 10, 2013
WMS and YPD Convention
Conference in Session
Carey Abraham Gibbs AME Church, Timbo
The Rev. Zarway Gaye
Host Presiding Elder
The Rev. J. Othaniel Vah
April 17, 2013
WMS and YPD Convention
Conference in Session
Mason Memorial AME Church, Monrovia
The Rev. Jerome Graffin
Host Presiding Elder
The Rev. David A. B. Parker
May 1, 2013
WMS and YPD Convention
Conference in Session
Episcopal Worship Center, Kumasi
The Rev. Dr. Yaw Fokuo
Host Presiding Elder
The Rev. Dr. Yaw Fokuo
23. GETTING TO
ZERO: AN UP CLOSE VIEW - PART 2:
Dr. Oveta Fuller
We continue thoughts started at arrival in Lusaka, Zambia to begin
Fulbright residency here.
It was a special welcome by the two airport officials-- my
Zambian brothers, at the Lusaka immigration booth and to briefly hear their
thoughts about HIV/AIDS. Most families
are affected by HIV in some way. The custom officials and families identify
with the need to get to zero. The question is how to do this. People are
frustrated because they hear the same info over and over. How does any of this
bring about change?
Informed, committed and mobilized clergy can help bring about
It’s global, a pandemic. It affects individuals and families in
In June 2012, our University of Michigan team shadowed a home
care group during their weekly visit. The home care team of volunteers (some
missionary society members) was brought together by their pastor who had been
part of the 2006 two day Trusted Messenger Intervention (TMI) workshop in
Lusaka. About eight people from the congregation subsequently completed a
government based program that trains community health workers (CHWs).
CHWs are a key interface between persons in the community who
live with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and medical clinics or social programs of government
or non-government organizations (NGOs). Community clinics provide free testing,
free anti-retroviral medicines, monitoring of CD4 and viral load, treatment or
referral for treatment of opportunistic infections and linkage to social
services that assist with housing, food and transport. When PLWHAs are too sick
to care for themselves or others, the home care team is a lifeline. When PLWHA
cannot shop or prepare food or travel to church or to the medical clinic, the
home care person is there.
Shadowing the CHW team in part was to document what pastors and
clergy do after they complete TMI workshops. Now they understand more in depth
about how HIV, as a relatively fragile and limited virus, has caused a
worldwide epidemic. How then do clergypersons make use of this in leadership?
“Now that you know, what can you do?”
At one neighborhood location, we visited with an HIV+
grandmother who had progressed to AIDS.
She was in treatment with anti-viral meds provided by the Zambia
government and UNAID. She told us that each of her 7 adult children was “lost
to HIV/AIDS.” She and her mother, who is
blessed with longevity and good health, now care for each other and for their
grand and great grandchildren. While the CHW and some of our UM team members
talked inside the home with this grandmother, the great grandmother held close
in her lap an 18 month old girl, one of the youngest great grands. The other
CHW person (they work in twos), communicated in Bembe between the great
grandmother and us.
The small neat home with its clay floor was surrounded by a
cinder block fence on two sides to make a closed in courtyard of sorts. We were
told that this enclosure was built by a government program to make the home of
the great grandmother more secure and private.
She was outside in the enclosed courtyard that separated her
home from others in the bustling twisting neighborhood. This great grandmother
sat on a pile of gravel she had made over many weeks by breaking a large 5 x 5
x 3 ft rock into smaller and smaller pieces. Someone had graciously hauled the
large rock into the courtyard for her. These large rocks are found naturally in
certain parts of Lusaka. Over weeks, one day at a time, with a hand-held pick,
the great grandmother had broken the large boulder into small gravel size
stones. The large mound of broken rock would eventually be sold as gravel to a
construction company to provide a family income.
Since becoming sick with AIDS (aka Slim’s disease) over a year
ago, the woman with whom the CHW visits spends most days here at her mother’s
home. The gravel is the only self-generated income of sorts for the family of
two women and their young grand and great grandchildren.
The granny had responded well to the anti-viral drug regimen.
She sat against the far wall on a reed matt inside the home. She told us that
she “feels very blessed to be getting better”. Some days she “now feels well
enough to go to the market to shop for vegetables and to go to the clinic to
pick up or her life-giving meds and to do the finger sticks to test HIV and CD4
levels.” The younger grandchildren are watched by the great grandmother and
older siblings as she continues to recover.
These women are but two of the many grannies in Zambia and other
communities in countries throughout the developing world. In these cultures, it
is an honor to grow older and wiser. A widespread expectation and form of
social stability is that elders are cared for by their children and
grandchildren. HIV/AIDS changes this natural order. When members of the middle
generation die or are too sick to care for anyone, the grannies do what they
must for family and their own survival.
The home care visit in this peri-urban Lusaka community provides
a close up view of the impacts of HIV/AIDS. Caring for children left vulnerable
and breaking of large boulders into gravel for sell are daily realities of the
HIV/AIDS global epidemic.
HIV is a virus that must make more of itself in order to
survive. Humans are its natural and only host. It’s not personal. HIV is just a
microbe doing what it must. The ways and
adaptations of nature are profound.
24. MEDITATION BASED ON
*The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby
I took a trip down “memory lane” a few weeks ago, when I did one
of my sons a favor and picked up his most recent order from the local comic
book store. Comic book storylines and
artwork are darker and more complex today, but picking up my son’s comics took
me back to the days of my youth when I was a serious comic collector who used
to hang out at the newsstand to pick up each month’s newest issues.
“Superman” was one of my favorites, and two things about him
amazed me. The first was that he managed
to conceal his real identity and become “Clark Kent” the reporter simply by
putting on glasses and a suit - even those closest to him seemed not to notice
the resemblance! The second was that when
he needed to change into his super hero suit, he often did so in a phone booth
on a busy street - and no one seemed to see what was happening.
My general impression was that Superman was fortunate to live in
the city of Metropolis, where the citizens were - to put it kindly - a little
bit “slow” and far less than astute or observant. Looking back, though, makes
me realize that all of us can sometimes be like those who lived in the
fictional Metropolis of Superman’s day.
God blesses and provides for us each day, but we sometimes fail
to see our blessings. The rigors of a
fast paced world that bombards us with routine and urgent daily demands and
often takes us from crisis to crisis makes all of us focus on just meeting
life’s demands and handling life’s crises sooner or later. It’s easy for all of us to become consumed
with handling what lies before us and end up stressed, frustrated, burnt out
and caught up in keeping up.
When we take the time, however, to slow down and count our
blessings, we’ll discover new peace of mind and new meaning in life. We’ll realize that even in our most trying
and challenging times, God stands with us, steadies us, comforts and sustains
us in great and small ways that we often fail to recognize and celebrate in the
midst of life’s pressures and demands.
Take the time each day - and more than once a day - to pause and
count your blessings in spite of life’s pressures and demands. You’ll see reasons to rejoice, find new
strength for life’s journey, know that you never walk alone, find new hope for
tomorrow and realize why one writer said, “Come what may from day to day, my
heavenly Father watches over me.”
If you are in the Charleston, South Carolina area, join us on
the Second Sunday in February for Church School at 8:45 a.m. and for AME
Founder's Day Worship 10 a.m. The Mass
Choir, Mime and Praise Dance Ministries and Children’s Choir will offer praise.
Our Founder’s Day Preacher is the Right Reverend Richard
Franklin Norris, Presiding Prelate of the Seventh Episcopal District of the
African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Sunday’s Scripture Lessons are:
*The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Darby is the pastor of Morris Brown AME
Church in Charleston, South Carolina
CLERGY FAMILY CONGRATULATORY ANNOUNCEMENT:
Ken Strickland, Son of the Rev. and Mrs. Lishers Mahone Named to Annual
"TheGrio's 100" List
Ken is the son of the Rev. Lishers
Mahone, Pastor of Brown Chapel AME Church in Joliet, Illinois and Mrs. Betty Mahone,
retired High School teacher. In honor of Black History Month, NBC's theGrio.com
has announced its annual "theGrio 100" list of African-American
history makers and industry leaders who are making a difference in the lives of
all Americans. Ken has been a stalwart member of the NBC News family since
1995. After starting off as an associate producer at Dateline, he worked his
way up the ranks, and became deputy chief of the network's hallowed Washington
D.C. bureau. This past October he was promoted once again, this time to become
the head of the bureau. He has won two Emmys and a Peabody Award during his
acclaimed career in broadcast journalism.
For a video interview with Ken, go to:
Congratulatory responses can be
emailed to: The Rev. Lishers and Betty Mahone, email@example.com.
26. GENERAL OFFICER
FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
It is with deep regrets that we share the passing of Ms. Mary
Alice Jackson, R.N. who is the sister of Ms. Gloria S. Bruce, widow of the late
Rev. Dr. Y. B. Bruce, former General Officer and Presiding Elder.
Celebration of her legacy and life will be at 10:00 A.M.,
Saturday, February 2, 2013 at the St. Nicholas Missionary Baptist Church,
St. Nicholas Missionary Baptist Church
2606 San Diego Road
Jacksonville, FL 32207
The family can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or telephone 407.352.1431.
CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICES:
We regret to inform you of the passing
of Mrs. Tessie P. Hill, the widow of the late Rev. H. Solomon Hill. Mrs. Hill
was a member of Washington Chapel AME Church, Tuskegee, Alabama and a life
member of the Women's Missionary Society, as well as a Diamond ember of Alpha
Kappa Alpha Sorority. She was the mother of the Rev. Solomon P. Hill, Dr.
Walter A. Hill, Dr. Augustus Hill and the Rev. Dr. John D. Hill, pastor of
Grant Chapel AME Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Funeral Services for Mrs. Tessie P.
Saturday, February 16, 2013, 2:00
Washington Chapel A.M.E. Church
2508 Old Montgomery Road
Tuskegee Institute, Alabama 36088
The Rev. Nathaniel Copeland, Pastor
Services Provided by:
People's Funeral Home
500 Fonville Street
Tuskegee, Alabama 36083
Burial will take place on Tuesday,
February 19, 2013 at the Oakland Fraternal Cemetery, 2101 Barber Street, Little
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to
the family of Mrs. Tessie P. Hill in care of People's Funeral Home or
Washington Chapel AME Church, addresses above.
Expressions of sympathy may also be
The Rev. Dr. John D. Hill and Family
4505 La Barranca Ave NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87111
CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICES:
We regret to inform you of the passing
of Mrs. Betsy Parks, the widow of the late Reverend H. L. Parks, Sr. (former
pastor of St. Paul AMEC, Greater St. James AMEC and St. John AMEC); a native of
Richmond, Kentucky, and a member of the Women's Missionary Society.
Sister Parks went home on Tuesday,
January 29, 2013; and her Homegoing Services will be held Saturday, February 9,
2013, at 11 a.m. at Trinity AME Church, 1036 Euclid Avenue, Louisville,
Kentucky. The interment will be in Cave Hill Cemetery. The Reverend Geoffrey
Ellis, pastor of Greater St. James AME Church will be the eulogist.
The Visitation will be 10 a.m. -11
a.m. on Saturday, February 9th at the Church.
G.C. Williams Funeral Home is handling
1935 W. Broadway
Louisville, KY 40203
29. CLERGY FAMILY
We regret to inform you of the passing of Mrs. Helen L. Turner,
widow of the late Rev. Thomas A. Turner, II, retired AME Pastor, St. Spruce
Street AME Church, Fourth Episcopal District, Terre Haute, Indiana. Mrs. Helen
Turner, also the mother of Mr. Joe Turner, Payne Theological Seminary Board
Member and member of Greater Bethel AME Church in Nashville, Tennessee.
Services for Mrs. Helen L. Turner, the mother of Brother Joe Turner
Body Entrusted to:
Guy & Allen Funeral Directors
2959 W. 11th Ave.
Gary, Indiana 46404
Friday, Feb. 8, 2013
12 noon- 8 p.m. (At First AME)
Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013
First AME Church
2045 Massachusetts St.
Gary, Indiana 46407
30. CLERGY FAMILY
We regret to inform you that Mother Wilhelmenia Pearl Conyers
(97 years of age) was called to claim her eternal reward. She is the
great-grandmother of the Rev. Rodrecus Johnson, Jr., the pastor of St. James
African Methodist Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The following information has been provided regarding the
Viewing: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at
Fielding Homes for Funerals
122 Logan Street
Charleston, SC 29402
The Homegoing Celebration will be held on Friday, February 8,
2013 at 12 Noon:
Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church
13 Morris Street
Charleston, SC 29403
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Darby, Pastor and Eulogist
Condolences can be sent to the church or funeral home or mailed
The Rev. Rodrecus Johnson, Jr.
5085 Rosecrest Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
31. CLERGY FAMILY
We are saddened to share the passing of Mr. George L. Hobson of
Jackson, Tennessee, the father of the Rev. Everett Hobson, Sr., pastor of Quinn
Chapel AME Church in Lexington Kentucky, and the father-in-law of the Rev.
The funeral service was held on Sunday February 3, 2013 at
Greater St. Luke Baptist Church in Jackson, Tennessee.
The Rev. Everett & the Rev. Barbara Hobson
1808 Dalna Drive
Lexington, Kentucky 40505
32. CLERGY FAMILY
It is with much sadness that we share the passing of Mother
Rachel Berends, beloved mother of the Rev. Lauan C. Berends, pastor of Allen
Temple AME Church, who passed away suddenly, aged 60.
The Rev. Lauan C Berends is a pastor in the Cape Eden District,
Cape Annual Conference, 15th Episcopal District, Bishop David R. Daniels,
There is but one step between life and death, a step which every
Christian ought to eagerly await to take, to be with Him in that city
four-square. May He undertake and keep the family under His care during this,
their time of trouble.
The Rev. Lauan Berends
Mobile Telephone: 081336897
33. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICES AND
CONGRATULATORY ANNOUNCEMENTS PROVIDED BY:
Ora L. Easley, Administrator
AMEC Clergy Family Information Center
Phone: (615) 837-9736 (H)
Phone: (615) 833-6936 (O)
Cell: (615) 403-7751
34. 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.
Did someone you know
pass this copy of The Christian Recorder to you? Get your own copy HERE
have received this message because you are subscribed to The Christian Recorder Online