Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bishop Carter makes his first triumphant Missionary entry into the 10th Episcopal District By Rev. Adlai Lawson (This article appears in the October 2006 issue of The Christian Index.) It was joy, happiness and high hopes written in the faces of Ghanaians and Liberians when His Excellency, Bishop Kenneth Wayne Carter made his first entry to Africa through Ghana on the 24th August, 2006.
In Ghana he was met on arrival by Rev. J.A.A Solomon, the mission supervisor and Rev. Adjei K. Lawson, the presiding elder of the North- west district in Ghana region annual conference. He was driven with His entourage to the hotel arranged for his stay while in Ghana. Among the Bishop’s entourage from USA were, Rev. Mary McKinney and Rev. Leon Moore. As young as Bishop Carter is, he was full of energy and not showing any sign of tiredness after the long flight but rather went straight into meeting with his cabinet in connection with the accounting convocation scheduled the next day.
The Ghana Region Annual Conference Accounting Convocation was held at Beulah Temple CME on the 25th August, 2006. In attendance were Pastors, Lay, Missionary, Youth and CYF leaders. A short devotional service was led by the Presiding Elder of South-East district Rev. Albert K. Boateng. The devotional sermon was delivered by Rev. Adjei K. Lawson. The message rooted from Gen. 11:1-10, the theme was "United We Stand, Divided We Fall". Two principles were drawn from the text and these include:
1. Having common goals.
2. Having Effective communication
The Presiding Prelate at this juncture took over affairs and brought greetings to the delegates from the USA on behalf of himself, family, College of Bishops and his entourage. Bishop Carter expressed his profound joy of being elected and appointed to the 10th. He looked very poised and constructive about his resolves for the tenth Episcopal district, while asking them to bear him up in prayer. One of his highlight and prayer for each region in the tenth is to plant 10 new churches in a year. The quadrennial theme "From Good to Great, the Jesus Challenge" was emphasized.
The Presiding Elders of the two districts in Ghana region that is South-East and North-West district were called upon to give the financial stewards of their respective district. Rev. Mary McKinney also gave a very good paper on principles of church planting.
The accounting convocation was adjourned while the Bishop gave the closing prayer and Benediction. The Bishop and his entourage, now including this writer, were driven straight to the Airport in order to catch a flight to Liberia. Indeed we were given a rousing welcome at the Robertson International Airport in Liberia. The Bishop and his team were driven straight from the airport to Mary Sharp CME Church for an evening praise and worship program. The next day, which was the 26th of August, Bishop Carter spent sometime with his Liberian Cabinet and visits to churches around Monrovia and Kakata districts. It was another experience for the Bishop as he was exposed to the form, shape and physical structure of the churches in Liberia. On the contrary, it was an inspirational and spiritual upliftment for the pastors as the Bishop spent sometime in prayer and encouraged them to be firmed and resolute while performing their ministerial duties.
The third day which was Sunday, Bishop Carter after a short fellowship with Mary Sharp CME flew back to Ghana. On arrival he and his entourage went straight to visiting some of the churches and schools in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. Two other days of August 28th and 29th, were used to visit the churches outside Accra.
Lastly, the Bishop and his entourage were seen off at the airport on the 30th of August to continue their fact finding mission to Nigeria.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

2006 Annual CME Convocation
Houston, Texas

Episcopal District and Totals
First 405
Second 56
Third 153
Fourth 253
Fifth 111
Sixth 94
Seventh 116
Eighth 420
Ninth 83
Tenth 3

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Partial Liturgical Calendar for 2006-07 (Dec. 3, 2006-February 4, 2007)
Liturgical Date - Old Testament - Psalm - Epistle Lection - Gospel Lection
First Sunday of Advent (Purple)
December 3, 2006 Jeremiah 33:14-16 Psalm 25:1-10 Thess.3:9-13 Luke 21:25-36
Second Sunday of Advent (Purple)
December 10, 2006 Malachi 3:1-4 Luke 1:68-79 Phillippians 1:3-11 Luke 3:1-6
Third Sunday of Advent (Purple)
December 17, 2006 Zephaniah 3:14-20 Isaiah 12:2-6 Phillippians 4:4-7 Luke 3:7-18
Fourth Sunday of Advent (Purple)
December 24, 2006 Micah 5:2-5a Luke 1:46b-55 Hebrews 10:5-10 Luke 1:39-45
Christmas Eve and Day (White)
December 24/25, 2006 Isaiah 9:2-7 Psalm 96 Titus 2:11-14 Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)
Christmas Eve and Day (White)
December 24/25, 2006 Isaiah 62:6-12 Psalm 97 Titus 3:4-7 Luke 2:(1-7) 8-20
Christmas Eve and Day (White)
December 24/25, 2006 Isaiah 52:7-10 Psalm 98 Hebrews 1:1-4, John 1:1-14
First Sunday after Christmas (White)
December 31, 2006 1 Samuel 2:18-20 Psalm 148 Colossians 3:12-17 Luke 2:41-52
New Year’s Day (White)
January 1, 2007 Eccleasiastes 3:1-13 Psalm 8 Revelation 21:1-6a Matt. 25:31-46
First Sunday of Epiphany (White)
January 6, 2007 Isaiah 60:1-6 Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 Ephesians 3:1-12 Matt. 1:1-12
Baptism of the Lord
January 7, 2007 Isaiah 43:1-7 Psalm 29 Acts 8:14-17 Luke 3:15-17,21-22
Second Sunday after Epiphany (Green)
January 14, 2007 Isaiah 62-1-5 Psalm 36:5-10 I Cor. 12:1-11 John 2:1-11

Third Sunday after Epiphany (Green)
January 21, 2007 Neh. 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 Psalm 19 I Cor. 12:12-31a Luke 4:14-21
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany (Green)
January 28, 2007 Jeremiah 1:4-10 Psalm 71:1-6 I Cor. 13:1-13 Luke 4:21-30
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany (Green)
February 4, 2007 Isaiah 6:1-8, (9-13) Psalm 138 I Cor. 15:1-11 Luke 5:1-11

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Liturgical Calendar in the October Issue. The 2005-06 liturgical year is quickly coming to a close, and CMEs are already looking ahead. The printing of the 2006-07 Liturgical Calendar will be in the October issue of The Christian Index. Although it likely will be early November when that issue reaches your mailbox, there still will be time to prepare for Advent, which begins on Sunday, December 3rd.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Funeral of Darius Helton Set. Bishop Charles L. Helton's son, Mr. Darius Helton, passed away on Tuesday morning, October 3rd, at approximately 4 0.clock a.m.
The funeral service has been set for Saturday, October 7th, 12 noon at the Logan Chapel CME Church, 9505 Parkton Road, Charlotte, NC 28215. Bishop and Mrs. Helton can be reached at 4719 Lawrence Orr RoadCharlotte, NC 28212; (704) 567-6092.

Monday, October 02, 2006

REFLECTIONS: Convocation didn’t suffer from General Conference hangover
Okay. In an earlier article on this web blog, I suggested that perhaps holding the CME Convocation in the General Conference year might serve as a burden on the Church, especially the average member in attendance. But after witnessing the recently concluded Convocation in Houston, TX, it seems there was no discernible hangover from the General Conference at all. I haven’t seen the official numbers yet, but attendance appeared to be good. The Communion Service on Wednesday night was especially packed, practically to overflowing in the Westin Galleria Ballroom. Nevertheless, taking into consideration the overall gestalt of the Convocation, I do have a few points of vew. (1) The preaching was outstanding. If their words are reflective of the hearts of our CME leaders, then it is clear that a new day is on the horizon in the CME Church. The preached word came with power and vision. The preachers challenged the Church at every level to be more accountable, respectful, responsible, compassionate, and longsuffering of others. (2) Although evidently fewer than usual, the Convocation seminar topics appeared relevant and timely. They were defintely related to our new "Good to Great" theme for this new quadrennium. (I think CMEs really like this new theme.) (3) I wonder if holding the meeting in a mall negatively impacted the success of the paying exhibitors and vendors. After laying out the usual nominal fee to set up and take advantage of Convocation traffic, I wonder if they got what they deserved. Locating the vendors and exhibitors on the fourth floor of the main hotel may have been the best location available given the logistical parameters. But from what I could tell, people were really hitting the mall! (4) At the end of the week, there was a lot of mumbling and grumbling about the fact that there was no Convocation transportation for persons needing to get back to the airports. More than a few people were not happy. I don’t know exactly what happened to create the transportation problem, but I do hope it will be fixed by the time we get to Las Vegas next year. (5) And speaking of Las Vegas, boy that was a surprise! When the announcement came during the Convocation Luncheon on Thursday that we are going to Las Vegas for the Convocation in 2007, the audience let out a huge roar. It was like someone had kicked a field goal and won the CME football game! I don’t recall ever hearing a roar like that before when other Convocation sites were announced—not Louisville, not Knoxville, not Nashville, or any other location. I really pray that the Church is making the right decision by taking our annual meeting to “Sin City.” Surely, Las Vegas will be the better for us being there. I just hope we will have more of an impact on the city than the city will have on us. (Photo above is the Ministers' Spouses, Widows/Widowers Department and Episcopal Advisors (Bishops' Wives) at the CME Convocation.