Our general assessment reveals the following immediate needs:
- Financial support to provide food, water, medicine, blankets, shelter and replacement of crops for all Haitians.
- Financial support for long term rebuilding and restoration of churches and homes.
- Financial and pastoral care of our pastors, their families and members.
While the AME Church is completing our assessment, you can help by:
- Giving directly to the AME Church via the AME Church Department of Finance. Send to Dr. Richard Lewis, Chief Financial Officer, AME Church Finance Department, 512 8th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203. Make checks payable to the AME Church: Haiti Restoration Fund.
- Giving directly to the 16th District. Mail to Post Office Box 55106, Indianapolis, IN 46205-0106. Make checks payable to 16th Episcopal District, Haiti’s Restoration Fund; or text 717-77, write AME16 and follow the prompts to give in a safe and secure manner.
The Council of Bishops solicits your prayers and your stewardship. We are a resilient Church and with your help, we will demonstrate that resilience in the long term healing and rebuilding. If you have any questions about any of the Episcopal Districts affected by Hurricane Matthew, please contact Bishop John Franklin White, President of the Council of Bishops or Bishop E. Anne Henning Byfield, Presiding Bishop, 16th Episcopal District.
The Married Couples Ministry invites you to participate in the annual Men Who Cook! on Sunday, November 6, 2016 after the 11:00 am Service. The event will be held in Douglass Hall. Tickets are $10 per person. Sign up to share one of your delicious dishes.
The Metropolitan AME Church School cordially invites you to its Homecoming, Sunday, October 16, 9:30 am. Rev. Jacqueline Speaks-McKnight will be the guest speaker. The Theme is “Remembering the Past as We Prepare for the Future”, Scripture: Matthews 19:14.
August 17, 2016
OPEN LETTER TO THE A.M.E. CHURCH FAMILY
I am sure that by now you are aware that in recent days there were wide spread thunderstorms in Louisiana and Mississippi which resulted in devastating floods that have impacted areas in these states, especially in the southeastern region of Louisiana.
As a result of the heavy rainfall, many drainage creeks, bayous and canals backed up and overflowed causing unprecedented flooding in more than 18 parishes (counties). The rising waters forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes. There are many thousands of evacuees staying in evacuation shelters. Sadly, the flooding has claimed at least 11 lives, one of whom is a member of an A.M.E. Church in the Eighth District.
Based upon preliminary reports, many of our A.M.E. Church edifices and members are greatly affected by this weather-related catastrophe. We are receiving reports regarding members, as well as pastors whose homes are severely damaged and possessions lost. They, too, have been evacuated from their homes and are unable to return because of flooded streets and power outages. Reports are still coming in concerning major flood damaged church edifices.
The effects of this devastating flooding is even more heart-wrenching in that many of our A.M.E. church edifices and homes of A.M.E. pastors and members are not covered by flood insurance because they are not required to have flood insurance if they are not in a zoned flood plain or flood zone. (Most of the areas impacted by the flooding is a first time occurrence.)
Many people have asked us what they can do to assist us. Because this disaster is so massive, the Eighth Episcopal District Disaster Relief Ministry is still assessing the situation to determine what are the specific needs. That report should be completed within the next few days. It will be shared with the Council of Bishops and the entire connectional church.
It should also be noted that the Eighth Episcopal District Disaster Relief Ministry is working very closely with the American Red Cross.
Please continue to keep the Eighth Episcopal District Family in your prayers. Pray for the people of Louisiana and Mississippi. And we do know that the prayers of the righteous availeth much.
Yours in His Service,
Bishop Julius H. McAllister, Sr.
Welcome Bishop James Levert Davis and Supervisor Arelis B. Davis to the Second Episcopal District of the AME Church
We welcome the new Presiding Prelate of the Second Episcopal District of the AME Church, Bishop James Levert Davis and Supervisor Arelis B. Davis. Bishop Davis is the 123rd elected and consecrated bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. He was elected to the office of bishop and consecrated at the 47th General Conference of the AME Church in 2004. He most recently served in the Ninth Episcopal District.
Sunday, July 17th, we will celebrate Metropolitan AME Church’s 178th Anniversary with a dynamic worship experience at 10:15 AM! We will be joined by Civil Rights Movement icon the Honorable John Lewis and we will dedicate the health ministry and unit in memory of Dr. Lorraine Edith Tolbert Gillian. We have come back from the Bicentennial Celebration of the African Methodist Episcopal Church excited and ready to continue the mission of the church. Pastor William H. Lamar IV has returned from the General Conference, and he will be the preacher of the hour. All are welcome.
On Sunday, July 3, 2016, there will be no church parking in the NEA garage directly across the street from the church. Please park in the PMI Garage located on the north side of M Street between 16th and 17th Streets. Please note that there will be one worship service at 10:15 am; Church School will be held at 8:45 am. Communion will be served. Pastor William H. Lamar IV will be preaching.
Pastor William H. Lamar IV and 11 other Christian leaders were interviewed by Faith & Leadership about their responses to the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting. Pastor Lamar’s interview is reprinted below. You can read the full article at https://www.faithandleadership.com/there-gospel-preach-here-christian-leaders-respond-orlando-shooting
The Rev. William H. Lamar IV
Pastor, Metropolitan AME Church, Washington, D.C.
What did you do as a pastoral leader after hearing about the Orlando shooting? How did you respond?
I had the radio on, which I do every morning, and heard about it on the news. Normally, on a Sunday, when I hear about an event or tragedy like that, I write myself a note to mention it during the service, but I didn’t do that.
I had so much that Sunday, so many people asking me to introduce and announce stuff, that it got lost in the shuffle and I forgot to mention it at the 7:45 a.m. service. But I did at the 11 a.m. service, and had a moment of silence.
This happened right at the beginning of a week when we were already preparing to mark another painful and traumatic event, the slayings of the Charleston Nine at Emanuel AME Church. So clearly, to me, I thought we needed to position the events in Orlando as more of the kind of violence that we have to stop.
So we folded it into our plans commemorating the Charleston Nine, essentially adding the grief and pain of Orlando to what we were already marking.
We included the victims of the Orlando massacre in our prayer vigil in remembrance of the Emanuel Nine (link is external) that we held on Friday, June 17. We memorialized the victims with a multimedia presentation anchored by images both painful and beautiful. It was an ecumenical service, with clergy from Catholic and Jewish traditions joining us in praying for peace, understanding and an end to violence against lesbians, gays and transgender folk.
At the vigil, and in a sermon (link is external) the following Sunday, June 19, I was very clear about the church’s responsibility to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and that they are part of God’s house and God’s people. That’s not really an extraordinary message for our people.
There has been a long line of violence against gay persons in their sanctuaries, nightclubs and other places. I wanted to make sure we contextualize it, that it was all part of this long history.
The vigil on Friday went extraordinarily well. And it was all still very fresh with the sermon on Sunday morning. I told them that it was easy to think Orlando had nothing to do with Metropolitan AME, but that we were connected to it. Among the people who were killed was one person who graduated from the same university I did, Florida A&M, and another was related to an AME clergyperson in South Carolina.
What resources did you turn to for help?
For me, to be honest, it’s my own imagination and my own wrestling with Scripture. I’m asking a theological question. My first question as preacher is always, “What does it have to do with God?” And for the text on June 19, it had to do with the soldier piercing Jesus’ side with a spear, John 19:34-35 (link is external). It has to do with piercing or binding, piercing or binding wounds.
My job is to view it theologically. It’s what I’m always thinking about. My primary resource was my typical lens through which I view the world: “What does this have to do with God?”
Even the anthropological questions are theological. Whenever something happens to a human being, it happens to God. So it’s theological.
The news, when you look at it, is always, “This thing happened to these people — why them?” And that’s all true. But for the church, it has to be bound up with theological questions and what God has to say and do.
So I’m leading and thinking about where this intersects with history, with current events, with Scripture and theology. So it’s not necessarily a book or website that I turn to but a way of being in the world that opens eyes and ears and hearts about what happened.
One of the biggest problems in news reporting is that the news is reported out of historical context, as though it just happened for the first time. But the first thing is that, with Orlando, this has happened many times, to gay bodies, to trans bodies. And cutting off the context gives us a pass on doing the work we need to do to keep it from happening again. Policy changes become impossible because political leaders don’t situate events historically.
The church, though, is a place of memory. It says at our table, “Do this in remembrance of me.” If the church can’t or doesn’t remember, it can’t be church. So part of our task is to put these events in context.
What message did you share with your congregation or community? How did you discern that message?
The basic message was that we are all made in the image of God, the imago Dei. And that by becoming human, God has made human beings divine, in a sense. The injury of any human being is injury to the divine. What I try to do is give people theological resources to view what happened so they can stand in opposition to it.
How do you encourage dialogue about divisive cultural issues? How does one lead in times of such great partisan divides?
We exist always in the crucible of social change and the awareness of injustice in America. African Methodism was born in the midst of such shifting sands. What happened in Orlando and Charleston is not anomalous. It is not new.
What happened was American violence. This violence will not abate until this nation does the hard work of truth telling and justice seeking. We preach and work always so that tolerance will be replaced by justice — a fair and equitable distribution of resources and opportunities in the United States of America.
As for leading in a time of partisan divide and encouraging dialogue about divisive issues, I think that’s bull. America is not a nation that is interested in the work of justice.
This isn’t partisan; it’s not Democrats or Republicans. Until the nation is interested in justice, that’s what it will cost. The partisan question is pedestrian. The question isn’t about leading in a time of partisanship. The question is whether the nation will do the work to do justice.
And so far, the answer seems to be no.
What I do with that, I’m clear Sunday after Sunday. Our church is overwhelmingly Democrats. Many are government officials, political appointees. I tell them, Democrats or Republicans, we can’t look to either one for justice. We can look to them to do whatever is necessary to have political power. I’m not looking to cross partisan divides. I’m looking for justice.
I think we’re clear there are different worldviews, and I’m going to be uncompromising. I’ll talk to you if you believe people are made in the image of God. You can’t have discussion without certain givens. Do you believe all people are made in the image of God? Do you believe everyone deserves food to eat, shelter, quality education, to be treated as a human being?
If you don’t believe those things, then we can’t have a rational conversation.
Would I extend an olive branch to others? Definitely. I see them as humans, made in the image of God. But if people aren’t serious about having the conversation, what can you do?
On Sunday, June 26, Rev. Jonathan Newton will preach both services–7:45 am and 11:00 am. Following the 11am worship, we will host a reception to thank Rev. Jonathan Newton for his years of faithful service to our congregation. Please join us in Douglass Hall for a short program, repast and fellowship.
Rev. Newton joined the church’s ministerial staff in April 2011. He most recently served as executive minister, and he administered the Noon-Day service on Wednesdays. During the five years he served at Metropolitan, we shared prayers, sermons, bible study, dances, laughter and tears. We pray for continued happiness for him and Sister Renee, and we pray for his new ministry at Jordan River AME Church.