Monday, January 29, 2007

Loss of Mrs. Elizabeth Jackson. The wife of St. Louis District Presiding Elder O.R. Jackson, Mrs. Elizabeth Jackson, passed Monday morning, January 29, 2007. Condolences can be sent to :

11215 Birmingham Court,
St. Louis, MO 63138.
Presiding Elder Jackson can be reached at 314-741-1316 or 314-358-3777.

Arrangements are pending.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ouida Brown Named CME Church's General Counsel. The College of Bishops of the CME Church announced at the recent 11th Pastors' Conference and 63rd Founders' Observance of the Phillips School of Theology in Atlanta, GA, that Atty. Ouida Brown will serve as the General Counsel of the CME Church. The General Counsel is the advisor to the College of Bishops and the General Church on all matters of law and represents the Church on its legal concerns. A resident of Tuscumbia, AL, Atty. Brown assumes the position formerly held by Atty. Randolph Walker.

Monday, January 22, 2007

(update) Loss of wife of Dr. I. Carlton Faulk. Mrs. Joyce Faulk, wife of former General Secretary of Lay Ministry Chief Dr. I. Carlton Faulk, a faithful Missionary and member of Beebe Memorial CME Church in Oakland, CA, passed away on Sunday, January 21, 2007. Please keep the Faulk family lifted up in prayer, especially Dr. I. Carlton Faulk, who himself is ill.
The funeral service for Mrs. Faulk will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, January 27, 2007 at Beebe Memorial CME, 3900 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA.

Cards may be sent to the family at: 1222 Rose, Berkeley, CA 94702

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

10 Outstanding Ministers Honored at 11th Pastors' Conference. In what has come to be one of the highlights of the annual Pastors’ Conference, Tuesday evening, January 9, 2007, was set aside as a time to recognize outstanding ministerial leadership in the CME Church. The Celebration of Outstanding Ministries was led by Rev. Dr. Raymond F. Williams, pastor of the Brown Memorial CME Church in Louisville, KY, who served as the liturgist. Also participating in the program were Rev. E.D. Hooks, pastor of Shy Temple CME Church, Atlanta, GA; Rev. John D. Pasley, pastor of Mt. Pisgah CME Church, Memphis, TN; Bishop E. Lynn Brown, presiding bishop of the 2nd Episcopal District, and Rev. Stephen P. Delaine, pastor of the Westside Community CME Church, Atlanta, GA. Rendering music selections were the Westside Community CME Church Male Chorus and the Shy Temple CME Church Choir. The congregation was thrilled to see and hear Dr. Elfreda A. Lakey, wife of conference host, Bishop Othal H. Lakey, accompanying the Shy Temple Choir on piano.
The speaker of the evening was Rev. Dr. Donald R. Robinson, pastor of the Lane Metropolitan CME Church, in Cleveland, OH. Introduced by Bishop E. Lynn Brown, Dr. Robinson preached the Celebration sermon in place of Dr. O.D. Walker, pastor of the Phillips Temple CME Church, Indianapolis, IN, who was recovering from illness. Dr. Robinson preached from Luke 15:8-9, using as a title, “Lost in the House.” He said that, like the woman in the parable who lost her coin, those who form the community of believers would do well to turn on the light and sweep out the dirt of their lives and the church in order to be found of God.
After the sermon, President/Dean of the Phillips School of Theology Dr. Marvin F. Thomas began the presentation of persons selected by their respective Episcopal Districts to be the 2007 recipient of the outstanding minister award. Each minister, whose biographical sketch was found in the official conference program, was introduced by his or her respective Episcopal leader and presented a plaque. This year’s recipients were 1st Episcopal District: Dr. Arthur L. David, pastor, St. Paul CME, Jackson, TN; 2nd Episcopal District: Rev. Della S. Porter, pastor, Cleaves Memorial CME, Evansville, IN; 3rd Episcopal District: Rev. Faith A. Allen, pastor, Carter Metropolitan CME Church, Detroit, MI; 4th Episcopal District: Rev. Denise Anders-Modest, pastor, Anderson Chapel CME, Holly Springs, MS; 5th Episcopal District: Rev. Willie C. Jackson, pastor, Popular Springs CME, Reform, AL; 6th Episcopal District: Rev. Carlton Mahone, Sr., presiding elder, Albany-Thomasville District, Fitzgerald, GA; 7th Episcopal District: Rev. Robert J. Williams, Jr., pastor, Williams Memorial CME Church, High Point, NC; 8th Episcopal District: Dr. C.E. Mitchell, pastor, Post Oak CME, Longview, TX; 9th Episcopal District: Rev. Hurley V. Grissom, Jr., pastor, Amos Metropolitan CME, Oakland, CA; and 10th Episcopal District: Rev. Adjei Lawson, presiding elder, Northwest District, Ghana Region.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr. Conducts B. Julian Smith Lecture at the 11th Pastors’ Conference
Atlanta, GA—Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr., presiding prelate of the 4th Episcopal District, was the guest presenter in the B. Julian Smith Lectureship on Tuesday at the 11th Pastors’ Conference. The conference is being held at the Sheraton Atlanta Airport Hotel. Addressing the conference theme, “From Good to Great: Developing Effective Pastoral Leadership for the 21st Century,” Bishop Brown presented the following outline to conference attendees.
I. Pastoral Leadership: A cursive historical perspective
A. Prior to the 1940s, pastors were considered effective if they possessed a dose of commitment, a dash of sincerity, good will, and a Call from God.
B. From the 1940’s through 1980’s was the era of the professional ministers’ mystique, focusing on educating and training ministers for service. Heavy emphasis was placed on ministerial education.
C. The Contemporary demand—“Missional pastoral leaders” who are “ultimately measured by their ability to organize, build” congregations. To take churches to a new level of growth.
II. The Effective Pastoral Leader may be described as:
A. A designer (pastoral ambition)
B. A steward (custodian of the “deep story” of the faith community.
C. A teacher/preacher—connects reality with vision. Pastor must define reality.
III. The Problems facing Pastoral Leadership
A. Lack of pastoral identity (examples: Moses and Gideon)
B. Lack of a sense of pastoral vocation – (Call story and vocational clarity)
C. Lack of a sense of pastoral authority – Meaning of Ordination
IV. Creating the Environment and Process for More Effective Leadership Development
A. An environment where objectives are clearly expressed.
B. An environment where there is high delegation of authority vs. responsibilities
C. An environment where pastors are helped early on in decision making.
D. An environment where there is more continuity in the development process.
E. An environment where young preachers are paired with older, more competent pastoral leaders.
F. An environment where compassion is demonstrated, not indulgence or co-dependency.
G. An environment that fosters a coaching versus correcting process.
H. An environment where pastoral leaders are helped in the process of developing the skills of self-evaluation and consultation.
V. The Biblical Narrative – God’s Leadership on Display

Monday, January 08, 2007

11th Pastors’ Conference and 63rd Founders’ Celebration of the Phillips School of Theology Convenes
The 11th Pastors’ Conference and 63rd Founders’ Celebration of the Phillips School of Theology began on Monday evening, January 8, 2007, at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel – Atlanta (GA) Airport, with the Convening Worship Service. Dr. Marvin F. Thomas, Sr., the newly elected president and dean of the CME Church’s seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center, served as worship leader. The convening service was the first official activity of the conference which goes through Thursday of the week. Prior to the service, the members of the Board of Trustees of the seminary came together for their annual pre-conference meeting. It was during this business session that Dr. Marvin Thomas, Sr. was elected president. Dr. Thomas has been serving as interim president since the conclusion of the 36th General Conference of the CME Church in July of last year, after the election to bishop of Dr. Thomas Brown, Sr. Of note from the business of the meeting of the Board was the reaffirmation of the decision of the General Conference to provide a line item in the budget of the CME Church for the 2007-10 quadrennium that includes funding for half of the tuition of all CME seminarians attending the Phillips School of Theology. This budgetary commitment represents the strongest level of support of the General Church for Phillips seminarians in the school’s history.
Others participating in the convening service on Monday evening were Rev. Dr. Clarence Buchanan, St. Luke CME Church, Champaign, IL; the Butler Street CME Church Choir, Atlanta, GA; Rev. Edward C. McKelvey, Trinity CME Church, Memphis, TN; Bishop Othal H. Lakey, presiding prelate of the 6th Episcopal; the College Park CME Church; Bishop E. Lynn Brown, 2nd Episcopal District prelate; and Dr. Jerome E. McNeil, Jr., pastor, Christian Chapel CME Church, Dallas, TX.
The speaker for the evening, introduced by Bishop E. Lynn Brown, was Bishop Paul A.G. Stewart, Sr., prelate of the 3rd Episcopal District. Bishop Stewart used as a title “From Good to Great: Developing Effective Pastoral Leaders for Ministry in the 21st Century.” Bishop Stewart began his message being thankful just to be able to preach, stating that he had not been feeling his best. Yet, “God is able,” he said.
“We need to develop effective pastoral leaders,” said Bishop Stewart. He said that the Church often has spent a great deal of time and energy developing other things—buildings and so on—we need to develop effective pastoral leadership. “Of all the good sermons you preach, if you mess up in leadership” your ministry suffers. Bishop Stewart went on to talk about some of the successful ministries in which he was engaged as pastor of the Phillips Temple CME Church in Los Angeles, CA. In gaining a grant from the Ford Foundation, Bishop Stewart said the foundation suggested that "although you have great preaching skills, we are going to send you back to develop leadership skills. "
Bishop Stewart said leadership is a most observed but least understood skill. “Folk know when we don’t have it,” said the bishop. He said leadership comes in many different colors, sizes, shapes, styles and so on. “Stop borrowing others' styles and find out what’s best for you.”
Bishop Stewart said that, for Christians, leadership is a gift from God. It is a treasure in clay jars. It all depends on the talents God has given us. But whatever talents we have, they are not ours to brag about or boast. “They are the working of God’s grace. If you think you ‘have it all,’” he said, “you won’t be a good leader.”
There are three qualities for effective pastoral leadership. The first quality is vision. Bishop Stewart said vision is a picture of what is possible. It is seeing beyond the visual and going beyond the barriers. Vision is catching up with what God wants us to do.
“A clear vision must be in place before people can permit change to take place. Vision gives meaning and direction. Without vision, the people perish…vision is the reward of listening to God.”
Bishop Stewart said that every pastor has some dry bones, but if you’ve been listening to the Lord, you shall be able to say “hear the word from the Lord.” “ Let no one kill your vision.”
The second quality for effective leadership is passion to include or to be inclusive. “God is calling us to mission with people who didn’t grow up in the church. The new mission of the Church is to those who look different from us and who act differently, dress differently, and even smell different. “We need to recapture the Wesleyan spirit. We must minister to different people, different backgrounds, different cultures, and different socioeconomic statuses. Jesus ministered to all. God is calling us to be inclusive like Jesus.”
In giving a personal testimony, Bishop Stewart said he is glad that, despite his personal flaws, Jesus was inclusive of him.
Third, he said in order to have effective pastoral leadership, we need to understand our congregations. A church is never a "neat and tidy church," said Bishop Stewart. He said few pastors understand both what needs to be done as well as understand the people well enough to know what needs to be done. He suggested this is indeed a rare combination of leadership ability to achieve. In addressing this point, Bishop Stewart referred to Ezekiel’s account of the valley of the dry bones, quoting from the scripture “…the hand of the Lord is upon me.” Bishop Stewart said leadership will be more effective if you let the hand of the Lord be upon you.
“I have found I understand better when I sit among the dry bones. You won’t ever be the pastor you need to be until you sit among the dry bones. Then and only then can you hear the word of the Lord."
Finally, effective pastoral leadership must see the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with God. We have become so accustomed to reading, preparing and praying for others that we don’t do it for ourselves. He paraphrased one noted writer by saying there seems to exist an "anti-leadership vaccine" in our ministries. "Satan is busy immunizing preachers against leadership." Bishop Stewart went on to tell the story of his father who once having been bitten by a snake, and visiting his physician, made it through.
“I had a good physician,” Bishop Stewart said his father said. The bishop said although Satan is immunizing pastors against leadership, just like in the case of his father’s snake bite, Jesus is a spiritual anecdote. Yes, Satan immunizes with gossip, discouragement, liars, preacher fighters, cold members and much more, but Jesus is the spiritual physician. He is the answer to effective pastoral leadership.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Look for The Christian Index
Many of you have commented on the new look of the printed version of The Christian Index reflected in the October and November 2006 issues. Overwhelmingly, we have been receiving very positive feedback concerning the changes. While, as editor, I would love to take all of the credit for what you are seeing, I must defer to the CME Publisher, Dr. William E. George, who figured out a way to bring more color to our publication. Additionally, Dr. George has improved the quality of paper on which the Index is printed, giving our historic official organ a more professional look. Finally, I will take some personal credit for a software change used for layout and design, moving from the tried-and-true Adobe Pagemaker application to the latest industry standard, Adobe Indesign Creative Suite. Dr. George has also converted to Indesign Creative Suite on the pre-press end, ensuring a smooth transition from the document manuscript to final press. I believe the change in software produces a smoother, less edgy feel to the magazine overall. Dr. George and I are continually striving to bring you the very best publication possible. Let us know what you think. Enjoy! P.S. This is a great time to submit your articles to The Christian Index. We need to hear from you.
Happy New Year! 2007!