Sunday, June 22, 2014

Praying for 2014 General Conference

The Connectional Prayer Ministry (CPM) invites all members and friends of the CME Church to continued prayer for the 37th Quadrennial Session and 38th General Conference of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

The 2014 General Conference will be held Saturday, June 28 to Friday July 4, 2014 in Baltimore, MD.  The gathering of our laity and clergy from across the church will begin on Friday, June 27, 2014 with registration and the Episcopal District Caucuses.

Please join us in our various opportunities for corporate prayer:
·        A Week of Consecration.  The CPM is calling on all churches and individual members to a week of Consecration with prayer and fasting leading up to the General Conference.
·        General Conference Prayer Call.  We will hold a special prayer call on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM (CST), leading up to the General Conference.  Please see call information below.
·        Opening Day.  The CPM will hold special prayer directly following the Caucus meetings in the assigned prayer room.  Please stop in for a moment of prayer.

·        Prayer Room & Prayer Walkers.  The Prayer Room will be open for prayer throughout the Conference’s daily operational hours.  In addition, intercessors will cover the General Conference daily in prayer both in the Prayer Room and walking across the Convention Center.  You will be able to identify Prayer Workers with a special badge or ribbon.

Additional plans are be worked to keep those who will not be available to attend engaged in prayer throughout the General Conference.

The Pre-Conference Prayer Call for the General Conference will be held Tuesday, June 24, 2013 at 8:00 PM (CST).  The call-in number is (605) 475-4700, Access Code 824541#.
All delegates, alternates, candidates, leaders, and members are invited to join in prayer for the life and witness of the Church for the glory of God.

We offer this prayer on behalf of our Church:
“Lord God, thank you for the CME Church.  Please use us as a vessel of your glory and grace to the world.  As we gather together for General Conference, please remind us of Your special call on our church.  Help us to remember who You have called us to be and what You have called us to do.  As we come, let us be humbled by Your presence, guided by Your wisdom, guarded by Your power, and lifted by Your love.  Help us to keep the main thing, the main thing and use this time to honor Your Will and lift this Church to Higher Heights.

We pray for our Bishops, General Officers, Judicial Council, delegates, alternates, and all our attending CME family and friends, for divine health, divine strength, and divine direction.  We pray especially for our brothers and sisters offering themselves for service in the Church, for them to receive the grace and strength to walk in whatever service is given them by the Church.
We lift up those who are retiring and ending their season of service in whatever position they may be in.  We pray for the spouses and families of those in service to the General Church who moved from labor to reward as we celebrate their lives.

Lord God, we pray to do what is Biblical, moral, and meaningful in the upholding or amending of our laws and principles.  Give us clarity of heart and mind.
We thank you for all these things in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Rev. Kwesi R. Kamau, Coordinator

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Funeral arrangements for Brother Bert Thomas 

Visitation/Public Viewing will take place on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. at Trinity Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, 2930 Glenn Hills Drive, Augusta, GA.

Homegoing Services will take place on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 11 a.m at the Trinity Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

For more information you may contact the church at 706-796-2550 or W.H. Mays Mortuary at 706-722-6401.

Mr. Donnell Holt
Augusta-Sparta District
Administrative Assistant to the Elder

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Why Do I ‘Still’ Go To Sunday School?
Carmichael Crutchfield, Ph.D.
General Secretary, 
Department of Christian Education 
June 2014

All of my siblings tell the story of our growing up at Barrs Chapel CME Church in Como, Tennessee where all seven of us were lined up on a pew each Sunday morning for Sunday school and worship.  For as long as we can re
member our daddy, the deceased Mr. W.T. Crutchfield (much later became Rev.), who was the adult teacher and our momma Mrs. Zora Crutchfield faithfully took us to Sunday school.

After college, as a young adult, I still went to Sunday school and often taught.  After I got married I still went to Sunday school.  When I accepted the call to preach I still went to Sunday school.  When I became a pastor I still went to Sunday school.

Now as the managing editor for Sunday school and a General Officer I still go to Sunday school.  Why?  This question came to me while sitting in an adult class recently as I listened to the teacher and class members talk about the lesson.

I often say during classes and workshops that I lead that “all I know about the Bible I learned in Sunday school.”  Although this is not completely true, it is the basis for one of the reasons I still attend Sunday school and why I see it as important.  I go because I want to know more about the Bible.  There is no place available inside or outside the church for a systematic bible study except in Sunday school.

This has become clearer to me over the last 20 plus years as I have been involved in the developing of the Sunday school lesson outlines through the Committee on Uniform Series of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America.  Hours upon hours are put in by a variety of people to develop the lessons we see each week in our Sunday school book.  Before we even read the scriptures for the week and the lessons in our Sunday school books produced by the CME church’s departments of Christian education and Publications, literally hundreds of hours of preparation have taken place in developing these quality lessons.   For the last twelve years some of those long hours have been my personal hours.

I am appalled and most disappointed when I go to churches and the literature being used is not the adult student book that I have added my labor to many other people’s hours of work.  Likewise, I am even more dismayed to see teachers not taking advantage of the richness found in the teacher’s book.  I often wonder why are pastors and members doing this injustice to their denomination and to the people in their local church by using someone else’s literature.  I remind you the first reason I go to Sunday school is to learn more about the Bible in a systematic study.   This has been working for me all of my life.

A second reason I still go to Sunday school is to participate and take advantage of the work of the Holy Spirit.   It is because of the activity of the Holy Spirit that transformation takes place.  This is one of my latest reasons for going to Sunday school.  Around 2003 or 2004 I developed a workshop entitled “Transforming the Church Through Sunday School.”  Sunday school is a place we can change the church through teaching the need to move outside the box of traditionalism as we refer to it.

I argue that traditionalism is not as much our issue as lack of knowledge about learning and learners.  In that workshop I argue that teaching should be transformational.   It is my belief that all of education forms and transforms.  Over a lifetime Sunday school has formed a love of God in me.  Teachers who prepare themselves help Sunday school to continue to be transformational for me.  

Transformation takes place in the lives of students and teachers who take the Bible seriously and see it as the living Word of God.   For the last four years I have provided an online Sunday school outline for the church.  There is a life statement followed by a life question that is answered by the scripture for the lesson.  Life statements and questions are generated based on what happens in many adults life.  This is the focus of the lesson.

Lesson goals are then provided.  The first goal is always given to address the cognizant (head), i.e., what knowledge we are to gain from the lesson.  The second goal addresses the affective (heart) part of our humanity.  It ought to cause some type of reflection within us.  Lastly, the goal of action is given which addresses what this lesson will cause us to do.

The focus or unifying principle and lesson goals come from the Committee on Uniform Series of the National Council of Churches in the United States of America.  This is part of the hundreds who involve themselves in the preparation of the lessons.

Also provided in our online Sunday school outlines are lesson challenges that call for us to take the lesson seriously as we apply it to our lives.  In my teaching at the Seminary I always want students to know something, be something, and then do something.   These are the goals of Sunday school each week that are part of formational and transformational teaching and learning.

When my father taught Sunday school in the 1960-1990 time period his students were primarily those of the silent generation (born between 1925-1945) whose learning characteristics in general included being logical (left-brained) and appreciative of consistency.   The lecturer made sense to them, for the teacher was the subject and the students were the objects.   Today we work primarily in adult classes with boomers (born between 1946-1964) who are more interactive, acquainted with the computer, and can do quick scanning, but appreciate details.  I am not addressing later generations purposely because each one brings its own dimensions.

The box that I refer to often is that we have to lecture and that we have to do what I call passing the book around asking people to read.  To get out of the box we have to familiarize ourselves with learning issues, such as, multi-intelligences, developmental theory, and learning styles.  We have to constantly ask ourselves, “How do learners learn?”

The church can be transformed as we transform the Sunday school.  This requires that we turn our Sunday school conventions into learning labs on best practices and techniques.  I love children, youth, and young adults, but not at the expense of neglecting and ignoring middle age and senior adults.  

The third reason I still go to Sunday school is because it expands my love and reverence for God, therefore, it improves my worship of God.  There was a time I said, “God is Good.”   Now I say, “God is Great.”  As I have learned from the Bible God’s greatness encompasses God’s goodness, whereas, God’s goodness sometimes is self-serving and limiting.  I will illustrate.  In a recent workshop I asked those participants why is God good.  Most of the answers I received were based on what God had done for the individual, e.g., woke us up or gave us limbs to use or got us here safely.  So I ask for the people who didn’t wake up or don’t have use of their limbs or didn’t get here safely, is the God they serve good?  This came very real to me in 2011 when my wife died.  I was not able to say “God is good,” but I could say, “God is great.”

To say God is great places no conditions.  Good means something I approve of or welcome.   I don’t approve of death or welcome it, especially to a young wife.   Great on the other hand means something that to the extent or intensely considerably above the normal.   I love the song “How Great Is Our God.”  And I love the song “How Great Thou Art.”  I love these songs because they speak of a God who I love despite the vicissitudes of life, such as, sudden death.

The final reason I state at this time why I still go to Sunday school is the challenge and the opportunities it offers to grow as an individual, Christian, and as a member of the world that I live.  Each week the lesson gives students an opportunity to gain greater knowledge of the Bible and other aspects of being a follower of Jesus Christ.  The lesson also challenges my heart and finally it causes me to take action.  Sunday school presents to us each Sunday the challenge to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8 NRSV).


Friday, June 13, 2014

Dr. Logan Hampton Elected Lane College President
Written by The Jackson Sun, June 12, 2014

The Lane College board of trustees has unanimously elected Dr. Logan C. Hampton as the 10th president of Lane College following a recommendation by an eight-member Presidential Search Committee, which was also a unanimous decision, according to a news release today.

“We are confident as a board that God has led
us to a decision that will be reflective not only of the hopes and promise, but will lead to positive results,” said Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick, III, chairman of the Lane College board of trustees.

Prior to his appointment as president of Lane College, Hampton was vice provost for student affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he led the student affairs division in improved services, programs and facilities, the release said. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Arkansas Tech University, master’s degree from Northwestern State University, and a doctor of education in higher education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Dr. Hampton is also pastor of the Bullock Temple CME Church, Little Rock.

In the news release, Hampton said, “I am humbled and pleased to join this administration, faculty, and staff to assist the students in their matriculation and for them to realize 'The Power of Potential.' A power and a potential that comes from Christ the Lord. It will be my honor to serve in this community, East Jackson, City of Jackson, Madison County, and the State of Tennessee educating those who have earned the right to be educated."

The board of trustees also heard from Interim President Glenn Vaulx Sr., who was commended for his stewardship from Dec. 14, 2013, the date of the funeral of the college's ninth President Dr. Wesley Cornelious McClure, through this present time.

Three West Tennessee residents were part of the presidential search committee. They were William Hamilton, owner of Tom Lawler’s Inc., Clarence Boone, retired educator and businessman, both of Jackson; and Cynthia Rawls Bond, president of Rawls Funeral Home in Brownsville. The search committee was chaired by Bishop William H. Graves, former chairman of the Lane College board of trustees.

Lane College was founded in 1882 by Bishop Isaac Lane.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Loss of Sis. Patricia Jackson

It is with deep regret to inform you of the passing of Sis. Patricia Jackson on Sunday June 1, 2014.  Sis. Jackson was the Arizona District Stewardess President and Secretary and the wife of Bro. Tommy Jackson, the Lay Leader of the Arizona-New Mexico Region.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Friday, June 6, 2014, 10:00 a.m.
Bethesda Community Baptist Church
901 E. Jones Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85040

Funeral Services:
Friday, June 6, 2014, 11:00 a.m.
Bethesda Community Baptist Church (see address above)
Funeral services will be held before transporting Sis. Jackson to Florida.

Final Arrangements Are Entrusted to:
Preston Funeral Home
3800 S. Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Telephone: 1-602-304-0083

You may send flowers and condolences to the Preston Funeral Home.

Please keep the Jackson family in your prayers.

In His Service,

Bishop James B. Walker
Submitted to The Christian Index on June 1, 2014

In accordance with the provision for reasonable notice in The Constitution of The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Division Five – Amendments, ¶130, page 32, of The Book of Discipline, Revised 2010, The College of Bishops hereby gives notice that a proposal to revise the Articles of Religion of The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church will be presented to the 37th Quadrennial Session and the 38th General Conference of The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, scheduled to meet in Baltimore, Maryland, June 28-July 4, 2014.

Bishop Paul A. G. Stewart, Sr., Senior Bishop
Bishop Teresa E. Snorton, Chair of The College of Bishops
Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick III, Secretary