The Commission on Social Justice and Human Concerns Statement
“Give Now to Bring Relief to Suffering in Somalia”
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? – Isaiah 58:6-7
The Commission on Social Justice and Human Concerns of the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church encourages all CME members and friends to pray and support the people of Somalia in their current crisis of hunger. This unfolding humanitarian nightmare has taken the lives of tens of thousands of men, women and children over the last few months. It is estimated that 640,000 children in this impoverished and politically volatile land are severely malnourished and more than 3.2 million people are in need of life-saving assistance. Some officials at the United Nations have called this the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet.
The Commission is calling on individuals and local churches of all denominations to send immediate support to the humanitarian organization of choice, and to mark the first Sunday in September as “Save Somalia Sunday” to raise awareness and financial support. Suggested organizations for donations are the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF.org), Red Cross (redcross.org), and Christian-based organizations such as World Vision (worldvision.org) and Church World Service (churchworldservice.org).
The Commission also asks each member and friend to join and support the “Circle of Protection” called for by outstanding Christian advocacy organizations such as Bread for the World and Sojourners to stand against budget cuts that would slash funding for the “least of these” both in America and abroad. We call for the end of the gridlock that continues to threaten the US economic stability. We applaud President Barack Obama for standing firm for the working class and middle class during the negotiations, even as we urge all parties leaders to cease and desist the postures threatening the safety net for America’s children and the poor.
As always, the Commission advocates for full participation in every election at every level, and asks every church to engage in voter education, registration and mobilization. Please remember, as a church we should not endorse any candidate or political party during any set service or official gathering. You may however encourage all members to vote, be aware of issues, and you can organize efforts to get people to the polls. In light of changing regulations state to state, all members are encouraged to verify the places where you are scheduled to vote (polling places) and what identification is needed.
Lastly, we celebrate the dedication of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King National Monument in Washington, DC on this the 48th Anniversary of Rev. King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech on Saturday, August 28, 2011. We remain inspired and involved in prophetic Christian leadership to the nation and world because of this incisive prophet-preacher-leader from the Black Church tradition.
The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, under the leadership of Senior Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr. and its College of Bishops, is a 140-year old historically African American Christian denomination with more than 1.2 million members across the United States, and has missions and sister churches in Haiti, Jamaica, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan/Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. For additional information about the CME Church, visit
Please note, for your information, the passing today (Monday, August 22nd) of Mr. Roland Johnson, Sr. (80) of Detroit, Michigan, the father of Reverend Roland Johnson, Jr., President of the Judicial Council of the CME Church.
Arrangements are pending and contact information for Reverend Johnson is as follows:
Reverend Roland Johnson
4945 Bradfield Run
Memphis, TN 38125-3724
Let us remember to keep the Johnson family lifted in prayer. Have a Blessed day!
Tyrone T. Davis, D.Min.
General Board of Personnel Services
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
Post Office Box 74
Memphis, TN 38101-0074
(901) 345-4100 ~ Fax (901) 345-4107
Rev. Matthew Bonner receives full Teaching Fellowship for
Ph.D. studies at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
Rev. Matthew W. Bonner, former pastor of the historic Saint Paul CME Church in Norfolk, VA has requested an academic sabbatical from the pastoral ministry for approximately three years, effective August 2011. The purpose is to pursue the Ph.D. degree in Education, with a concentration in Counseling in the College of Education, Department of Counseling and Human Services at Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, VA. This blessed opportunity came through ODU in the form of an all-expense paid graduate assistantship, including a cost of living stipend over the next three years. In addition to his studies, Bonner’s responsibilities include teaching undergraduate students and supervising Masters candidates in the Department of Counseling and Human Services. Bonner received the MS degree in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University in Baltimore Maryland in May 2011; the M. Div. degree in Religion from Howard University School of Divinity in 2000; and the BA degree in Africana Studies and Religion from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1996. In thinking about this opportunity, Bonner shares, “I believe beyond a shadow of doubt that this calling is a part of God’s Master Plan to prepare me for even greater service, which the rapid changes and complexity of congregational life and ministry require in this present age. I want to make a difference as I serve my God, the church, the community, and the global society.” Bonner continues, “As I contemplate my 10 years in the pastoral ministry, I have never taken lightly the obligations of God’s calling upon my life. I strive to make my life a living testimony of what I teach and preach. I put my life totally in God’s hands, and leave the rest to Him.” Graduating from Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, D.C. (1992) with honors, he received the Carl Rowan’s Project Excellence –Paul Roberson four-year academic scholarship to Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1992-1996. While at Rutgers University, he participated in numerous activities including, Vice-President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity; Voter Registration; Tutor in New Brunswick Public Schools; and One Hundred Black Men’s “Adopt a Little Brother” program. While a student at the Howard University School of Divinity, Washington, DC, he served as a local preacher at Bunton Memorial CME Church, Washington, DC. Bonner was Director of Youth Work, a Sunday School teacher, and a teacher for Seniors Ministry Bible Study. Additionally, he served as a tutor for Slowe Elementary School, Washington, DC 1998-2000; Interned at the Constituency for Africa-Washington, DC, summer 1996; and represented Howard Divinity School at the National Conferences for Community Justice, Seminarians Interacting Program, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, New York and Pauling New York, 1999. Bonner received a number of honors and awards for his diligence. He received Howard University Trustee full-tuition scholarship at the Divinity School. He served as Editor of the Howard University School of Divinity Newsletter from 1998-2000. And in May 1998, he received the Black Methodist Clergy Scholarship. This award is given to a Methodist student in recognition of promise as a minister and for consistent academic performance in the School of Divinity. Also, his biography was published in the 22nd Annual Edition of the National Dean’s List 1998-99. At his May 2000 graduation, Howard University School of Divinity, he received the following awards: The American Bible Society 2000 Scholarly Award for outstanding achievement in Biblical Studies, and the Dean’s Interpretation Award for high academic achievement, commitment to ministry, and demonstrated gifts for Biblical scholarship. His first pastorate was Mount Zion CME Church in Sharon Hill Pennsylvania where he served for five years. While in the Sharon Hill Community, he was appointed to the Southern Darby Township (PA) Preservation Committee which provided him with the opportunity to make his voice heard. Its purpose was to preserve surroundings, integrity, and quality of life of the community for present and future generations through economic, social and political development and empowerment. This is another example of his willingness to go the second mile in empowering people to live a quality life. Following his experience at Mount Zion, he was assigned to Russell Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME), Alexandria, Virginia, where he served from August 2005-2010. Under his administration, the church retired the mortgage on the parsonage and instituted Family Bible Study, thus increasing the numbers engaged in weekly Bible Study. While at Russell Temple, Bonner began his studies in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University and clinical internships. In 2009-2010 Bonner interned at Fort Belvoir Family and Marriage Center (VA) where he counseled military individuals, couples and their families. Additionally, he interned with Fairfax County Community Services Board where he counseled individuals recovering from substance abuse. Additionally, he has taught in several capacities within the New York Washington Region and the Washington- Virginia District. He served as instructor for the Interdenominational theological Center (ITC) Extension Program, in both the Washington-Virginia and Philadelphia Districts (PA) where he taught Philosophy of Religion and New Testament studies, 2009 and 2003, respectively. He is a native of Alabama and the son of Reverend Wardell Bonner (pastor of St. John CME Church, Washington, DC) and Dr. Bester Joyce Bonner. Bonner chose as his life soul mate Michelle Demming Bonner, formerly of Montclair, New Jersey. They are the proud parents of two sons, Jacob Samuel and Joshua Matthew. Bonner is forever grateful to the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church for the firm foundation it has given him throughout his life. He proclaims that all bishops, presiding elders, ministers and lay have touched his life and helped him. The church has enabled him to grow in knowledge, deepening his spiritual life and rekindling his sense of calling and destiny.
Passing and Arrangements for Mrs. Laverne Dean
It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of Mrs. Laverne Dean, wife of Rev. Ronald Dean. Cards and condolences may be sent to Rev. Ronald L. Dean, 3309 Saville Lane, Mitchellville, MD 20721. Please be in prayer for Rev. Dean and the family.
Services will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at:
Michigan Park Christian Center
1600 Taylor Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017
(Corner of South Dakota Ave & Taylor St. NE)
We will meet at the Convocation on Tuesday, September 27 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. You will not want to miss this meeting because you will have an opportunity to meet the newly elected officers, departmental secretaries, and committee chairs, and participate in exciting training workshops.
We will also have a general missionary meeting on Thursday, September 29 from 3-4 PM. Please mark your calendar for both meetings. It will be my good fortunate and pleasure to see you.
SECOND REQUEST TO REGION PRESIDENTS. If you have not done so, please send me your contact information: Episcopal District, Region, Name, Mailing Address, Phone number and your Email address. Please send the same contact information for: the Region Vice President, the Episcopal Institute Director, and the Episcopal Health Coordinator. Thank you for your cooperation.
Princess Pegues, International President
Women's Missionary Council - CME Church