Monday, September 28, 2009

The College of Bishops of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church Calls for Health Care Reform with a Public Option
St. Louis, MO - The ability of every citizen of our nation to receive adequate and affordable Health Care is a moral imperative. As a matter of justice and fairness for all, we can no longer allow for big business and special interest to derail the process of meeting this critical need of the American people. Most of us know that something must be done soon to protect our children, our elders, our sick and all who need immediate attention for their health care needs. There are nearly 50 million Americans without health care insurance. We need a plan that would end discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions and prevent insurance companies from dropping coverage when people are sick and need it most. The public option will provide the uninsured with a cost effective choice. This is why we support the Health Care Reform Bill with a public option as expressed by President Barack Obama.
The vast majority of people with existing health care services are underinsured with extraordinary deductibles. The increasingly transitional job market and the need to address general public wellness and disease prevention on an individual basis compound the problem. This translates into the rise of chronic disease among children as early as eight years old and causes their elderly grandparents to have to choose between food and medicine. This state of affairs in one of the wealthiest and most advanced nations in the world is immoral and unacceptable. As the United States is the only industrialized nation without a comprehensive health plan for every citizen, we know that we can and we must provide fair and affordable health care for every American.
For nearly a century, national leaders have called for an overhaul of the health care system. Yet, instead of significant change, we have received stagnation and compromise. We have expended billions of dollars to protect American interests abroad and corporate interests at home. We must now recognize the significant potential return on the investment in our health care system.
After one hundred years of trying, we are yet left saying like Jeremiah the prophet, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”
We ask all CME’s and other concerned Americans to write and call their congressional representatives both in the House and the Senate to express support for a Health Care Reform Bill with a Public Option.
The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, under the leadership of Senior Bishop William H. Graves and its College of Bishops, is a 138-year old historically African American Christian denomination with more than 800,000 members across the United States, and has missions and sister churches in Haiti, Jamaica, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For additional information about the CME Church, visit .

Senior Bishop William H. Graves, Sr., CEO
Bishop Othal H. Lakey
Bishop Edward Lynn Brown
Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr.
Bishop Paul A. G. Stewart, Sr.
Bishop L. L. Reddick, III, Secretary, College of Bishops
Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr., Chairman of Social Justice & Human Concerns
Bishop Ronald M. Cunningham
Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr., Chairman, College of Bishops
Bishop Kenneth W. Carter
Bishop Dotcy I. Isom, Jr.
Bishop Marshall Gilmore
Bishop Nathaniel Linsey

Friday, September 18, 2009

The 2009-10 Liturgical Calendar




Nov 29, 1st Sunday of Advent, Jer. 33:14-16. Ps. 25:1-10. 1 Thes. 3:9-13. Luke 21:25-36. Purple

Dec 6, 2nd Sunday of Advent, Mal. 3:1-4. Luke 1:68-79. Phil. 1:3-11. Luke 3:1-6. Purple

Dec 13, 3rd Sunday of Advent, Zep. 3:14-20. Is. 12:2-6. Phil. 4:4-7. Luke 3:7-18. Purple

Dec 20, 4th Sunday of Advent, Mic. 5:2-5a. Ps. 80:1-7 or Luke 1:47-55. Heb 10:5-10. Luke 1:39-55. Purple


Dec 24, Nativity of our Lord (Eve I), Is. 9:2-7. Ps. 96. Titus 2:11-14. Luke 2:1-20. White

Dec 24, Nativity of our Lord (Eve II), Is. 62:6-12. Ps. 97. Titus 3:4-7. Luke 2:1-20. White

Dec 25, Nativity of our Lord (Day), Is 52:7-10. Ps. 98. Heb. 1:1-12. John 1:1-5,9-14,16-18. White

Dec 27, Sunday in Christmastide, 1 Sam. 2:18-20,26. Ps. 148. Col. 3:12-17. Luke 2:41-52. White


Jan 3, Epiphany of our Lord (Observed), Is. 60:1-6. Ps. 72:1-7,10-14. Eph. 3:1-12. Matt. 2:1-12. White

(Epiphany ends the Christmas Cycle)

Sundays after Epiphany

Jan 10, Baptism of our Lord, 1st Sunday after Epiphany, Is 43:1-7. Ps. 29. Acts 8:14-17. Luke 3:15-22. White

Jan 17, 2nd Sunday after Epiphany, Is. 62:1-5. Ps. 36:5-10. 1 Cor. 12:1-11. John 2:1-11. Green

Jan 24, 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, Neh. 8:1-10. Ps. 19. 1 Cor. 12:12-31a. Luke 4:14-21. Green

Jan 31, 4th Sunday after Epiphany, Jer. 1:4-10. Ps. 71:1-6. 1 Cor 13:1-13. Luke 4:21-30. Green

Feb 7, 5th Sunday after Epiphany, Is. 6:1-13. Ps. 138. 1 Cor. 15:1-11. Luke 5:1-11. Green

Feb 14, Transfiguration of the Lord, Exod. 34:29-35. Ps. 99. 2 Cor. 3:12~4:2. Luke 9:28-43. White



Feb 17, Ash Wednesday, Joel 2:1-2,12-17 or Is. 58:1-12. Ps. 51:1-17. 2 Cor. 5:20b-6:10. Matt. 6:1-6,16-21. Black

Feb 21, 1st Sunday in Lent, Dt. 26:1-11. Ps. 91:1-2,9-16. Rom. 10:8b-13. Luke 4:1-13. Purple

Feb 28, 2nd Sunday in Lent, Gen. 15:1-18. Ps. 27. Phil. 3:17~4:1. Luke 13:31-35. Purple

Mar 7, 3rd Sunday in Lent, Is. 55:1-9. Ps. 63:1-8. 1 Cor. 10:1-13. Luke 13:1-9. Purple

Mar 14, 4th Sunday in Lent, Josh. 5:9-12. Ps. 32. 2 Cor. 5:16-21. Luke 15:1-3,11b-32. Purple

Mar 21, 5th Sunday in Lent, Is. 43:16-21. Ps. 126. Phil. 3:4b-14. John 12:1-8. Purple

Holy Week (Passiontide)

Mar 28, Passion/Palm Sunday, [Luke 19:28-40. Ps. 118.] Is. 50:4-9a. Ps. 31:9-16. Phil. 2:5-11. Luke 22:14-23:56. Purple

Mar 29, Monday of Holy Week, Is. 42:1-9. Ps. 36:5-11. Heb. 9:11-15. John 12:1-11. Purple

Mar 30, Tuesday of Holy Week, Is. 49:1-7. Ps. 71:1-14. 1 Cor. 1:18-31. John 12:20-36. Purple

Mar 31, Wednesday of Holy Week, Is. 50:4-9a. Ps. 70. Heb. 12:1-3. John 13:21-32. Purple

Apr 1, Maundy (Holy) Thursday, Exod. 12:1-14. Ps. 116:1-2,12-19. 1 Cor. 11:23-26. John 13:1-17,31b-35. White/Purple

Apr 2, Good (Holy) Friday, Is. 52:13~53:12. Ps. 22. Heb. 10:16-25 or Heb. 4:14-16;5:7-9. John 18:1-19:42. Black/Purple

Apr 3, Holy Saturday, Job 14:1-14 or Lam. 3:1-9,19-24. Ps. 31:1-4,15-16. 1 Pet. 4:1-8. Matt. 27:57-66 or John 19:38-42. Black


Apr 4, Resurrection Day (I morning), Acts 10:34-43. Ps. 118:1-2,14-24. 1 Cor. 15:19-26. John 20:1-18. White

Apr 4, Resurrection Day (II morning), Is. 65:17-25. Ps. 118:1-2,14-24. Acts 10:34-43. Luke 24:1-12. White

Apr 4, Resurrection Day (evening), Is. 25:6-9. Ps. 114. 1 Cor. 5:6b-8. Luke 24:13-49. White

Apr 11, 2nd Sunday of Easter, Acts 5:27-32. Ps. 150 or Ps. 118:14-29. Rev. 1:4-8. John 20:19-31. White

Apr 18, 3rd Sunday of Easter, Acts 9:1-20. Ps. 30. Rev. 5:11-14. John 21:1-19. White

Apr 25, 4th Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday), Acts 9:36-43. Ps. 23. Rev. 7:9-17. John 10:22-30. White

May 2, 5th Sunday of Easter, Acts 11:1-18. Ps. 148. Rev. 21:1-6. John 13:31-35. White

May 9, 6th Sunday of Eas ter, Acts 16:9-15. Ps. 67. Rev. 21:22~22:5. John 14:23-29 or John 5:1-9. White

May 13, (Thursday) Ascension of our Lord, Acts 1:1-11. Ps. 47 or 93. Eph. 1:15-23. Luke 24:44-53. White

May 16, 7th Sunday of Easter, Acts 16:16-34. Ps. 97. Rev. 22:12-21. John 17:20-26. White

May 23, The Day of Pentecost, Last Sunday of Easter, Acts 2:1-21. Ps. 104:24-34,35b. Rom. 8:14-17. John 14:8-17,25-27. Red (The Day of Pentecost ends the Easter Cycle)

Sundays After Pentecost

May 30, Trinity Sunday (1st Sunday after Pentecost), Prov. 8:1-4,22-31. Ps. 8. Rom. 5:1-5. John 16:12-15. Red

Jun 6, (2nd Sunday after Pentecost), 1 Kings 17:8-24. Ps. 146. Gal 1:11-24. Luke 7:11-17. Red

Jun 13, (3rd Sunday after Pentecost), 1 Kings 21:1-21a. Ps. 5:1-8. Gal. 2:15-21. Luke 7:36~8:3. Red

Jun 20, (4th Sunday after Pentecost), 1 Kings 19:1-15a. Ps. 42 and 43. Gal. 3:23-29. Luke 8:26-39. Red

Jun 27, (5th Sunday after Pentecost), 2 Kings 2:1-2,6-14. Ps. 77:1-2,11-20. Gal. 5:1,13-25. Luke 9:51-62. Red

Jul 4, (6th Sunday after Pentecost), 2 Kings 5:1-14. Ps. 30. Gal. 6:1-16. Luke 10:1-11,16-20. Red

Jul 11, (7th Sunday after Pentecost), Amos 7:7-17. Ps. 82. Col. 1:1-14. Luke 10:25-37. Red

Jul 18, (8th Sunday after Pentecost), Amos 8:1-12. Ps. 52. Col. 1:15-28. Luke 10:38-42. Red

Jul 25, (9th Sunday after Pentecost), Hos. 1:2-10. Ps. 85. Col. 2:6-19. Luke 11:1-13. Red

Aug 1, (10th Sunday after Pentecost), Hos 11:1-11. Ps. 107:1-9,43. Col. 3:1-11. Luke 12:13-21. Red

Aug 8, (11th Sunday after Pentecost), Is. 1:1,10-20. Ps. 50:1-8,22-23. Heb. 11:1-3,8-16. Luke 12:32-40. Red

Aug 15, (12th Sunday after Pentecost), Is 5:1-7. Ps. 80:1-2,8-19. Heb. 11:29~12:2. Luke 12:49-56. Red

Aug 22, (13th Sunday after Pentecost), Jer. 1:4-10. Ps. 71:1-6. Heb. 12:18-29. Luke 13:10-17. Red


Aug 29, (1st Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 2:4-13. Ps. 81:1,10-16. Heb. 13:1-8,15-16. Luke 14:1,7-14. Green

Sep 5, (2nd Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 18:1-11. Ps. 139:1-6,13-18. Philemon 1-21. Luke 14:25-33. Green

Sep 12, (3rd Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 4:11-12,22-28. Ps. 14. 1 Tim. 1:12-17. Luke 15:1-10. Green

Sep 19, (4th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 8:18~9:1. Ps. 79:1-9. 1 Tim. 2:1-7. Luke 16:1-13. Green

Sep 26, (5th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 32:1-3a,6-15. Ps. 91:1-6,14-16. 1 Tim. 6:6-19. Luke 16:19-31. Green

Oct 03, (6th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Lam. 1:1-6. Ps. 137 or Lam. 3:19-26. 2 Tim. 1:1-14. Luke 17:5-10. Green

Oct 10, (7th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 29:1,4-7. Ps. 66:1-12. 2 Tim. 2:8-15. Luke 17:11-19. Green

Oct 17, (8th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 31:27-34. Ps. 119:97-104. 2 Tim. 3:14~4:5. Luke 18:1-8. Green

Oct 24, (9th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Joel 2:23-32. Ps. 65. 2 Tim. 4:6-8,16-18. Luke 18:9-14. Green

Oct 31, (10th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Hab. 1:1-4; 2:1-4. Ps. 119:137-144. 2 Thess. 1:1-4,11-12. Luke 19:1-10. Green; (Oct 31 may be designated “Reformation Sunday.”)

Nov 1, (All Saints’ Day), Dan. 7:1-3,15-18. Ps. 149. Eph. 1:11-23. Luke 6:20-31. White/Green

Nov 7, (11th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Hag. 1:15b-2:9. Ps. 98 or 145:1-5,17-21. 2 Thess. 2:1-5,13-17. Luke 20:27-38. Green

Nov 14, (12th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Is. 65:17-25. Isaiah 12. 2 Thess. 3:6-13. Luke 21:5-19. Green

Nov 21, (13th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 23:1-6. Luke 1:68-79. Col. 1:11-20. Luke 23:33-43. Green

Nov 25, Thanksgiving Day, Deut. 26:1-11. Ps. 100. Phil. 4:4-9. John 6:25-35. White

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

'How Do I Find Grace?'

An Essay by Julian James Crump, Contest Winner, Mt. Zion #2 CME Church, Hamilton, AL

Seeking grace is easy once you understand what grace is and what it means. Grace is “unmerited favor” for God (Ephesians 2:8-9). In theology, grace may be described as “enabling power sufficient for progression.” Grace divine is a gift from God for development, improvement, and character expansion, and without God’s grace, there are certain limitations, weaknesses, flaws, and faults that mankind cannot overcome.

As Christians, we believe it is important to increase in God’s grace for added perfection, completeness and flawlessness. More broadly divine grace refers to God’s gifts to all humankind, including life, creation, and salvation. More commonly, grace describes the means by which we are granted salvation (and to some, saved from original sin).

Grace is most important in the theology of Christianity, as well as one of the most important issues in Christian salvation. Grace is often different from mercy in that mercy is seen as not receiving punishment that one deserves to receive, whereas grace is the receipt of a positive benefit that one does not deserve to receive.

Divine grace also can be defined as God’s presence in our lives, enabling us to do and be what we were created for.

Finding spiritual growth and grace fit together. Some people do not understand grace and see it as the license to do what they want and still receive God’s favor. A true understanding of grace will lead to growth and stability.

God uses grace to carry out a process of growth in our lives, but it is not automatic. This is the reason why the number of years a person is a Christian has nothing to do with spiritual maturity. Real maturity comes by cooperating with God’s grace process. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The ultimate force in salvation is God’s grace. Not material things; not houses, not our money or not our friends. Grace is God’s calming hand over a stormy sea of our lives. The church song that states, “…if our God is for us, who can be against us…,” is a great inspiration about grace. God is for us, not maybe, not has been, not was, not sometimes, but God is always for us. If God had MySpace, my name would be on top of his friends list. If he had a calendar, my birthday would be circled. God is for us, and know that, no one can be against you.

We all need grace. The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17 (NCV). Christ died so that I would have grace and mercy. Eternity is given by actions, but through grace the outcome may change, the grace God has blessed us with.

Grace is important because without it we would not allow Jesus to see us for all of our possibilities, rather than our shortcomings, affording us the possibility to live everlasting life in paradise without our Heavenly Father.

Photo: L-R: James Perkins, North Central Region director of Christian Education; Bishop L.L. Reddick, III, presiding bishop of the 5th Episcopal District; essay winner Julian J. Crump; Julian’s mother, Martha West-Crump; Presiding Elder of the Huntsville District Rev. Ollie Hatchett; Rev. Zethelyn Johnson, Rev. Charlie J. Johnson, Jr., pastor, Mt. Zion #2 CME, Hamilton, AL.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Happy Birthday to The Christian Index Online
Three years go by pretty quickly. But on August 28, 2006, The Christian Index Online was born. It was the result of continued requests from Index readers, and members and leaders of the CME Church, that our historic official publication have a presence on the WEB. It was at a time when not everyone was familiar with the concept of "blogging" as much as we are now. Yet, through the free service offered by, the Online Index has provided an important source of timely communication to the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and the world. Over the past three years, visitors to this site have increased tremendously. For example, since adding a visit counter in May of this year, the number of hits to the site has approached 8,000! That's roughly 75 hits on the site per day! So, again, Happy Birthday to The Christian Index Online. We invite everyone to continue to visit here as often as possible to receive the latest news and important information on the life of the CME Church.
Dr. Kenneth Elvis Jones, editor.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Carter Tabernacle, Orlando, FL, Invites All on Mission Trips

Carter Tabernacle CME will be spreading the Word of God and the love and peace of Jesus Christ with a series of mission trips in 2010. With trips scheduled to the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa, availability will fill-up fast; don't miss out!All members of the CME Connection are invited to attend; please fill out the attached registration form and return to Carter's main office as soon as possible.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Dr. V. Burns