Posted on: June 28th, 2016

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?






Posted on: June 22nd, 2016

Rev. Jonathan NewtonOn 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.






Posted on: June 21st, 2016

We have discussed before certain foods that are good for certain medical conditions.  But it is always important to be smart about the foods we eat.  Read on and find more foods that are good for you in more ways than one…

How smart are you about food? by Must Love Foods

We’re all trying to do the right thing when it comes to food choices.  But there is so much information out there, it is hard to know which direction to go. So here’s a quiz I found to help you with some choices.

  • If you have arthritis, eat more Garlic.  It prevents the production substances that break down cartilage.
  • If you have high cholesterol, each more Apples.  It contains pectin that binds to cholesterol and prevents its absorption.
  • If you want to decrease stress, eat more Walnuts. They are full of Omega 3s which help with stress control.  Nuts or walnut oil both can be helpful.

So eat better, feel better and keep it simple.
Love What You Eat!






Posted on: June 12th, 2016

Emanuel9On Friday, June 17, 2016 at 7:00 pm, Metropolitan AME Church will host a community-wide commemoration of the first anniversary of the Mother Emanuel AME Church Massacre.  The service of music and prayer, focused on Reflection, Prayer and Action, is open to the public.






Posted on: June 12th, 2016

The Mighty Men of Metropolitan are selling tickets for Metropolitan members and friends who would like to attend the following Washington Nationals Baseball Games: August 13, 2016 – ATL, 7:05 PM; October 1, 2016 – MIA, 4:05 PM.

 

Please contact Brother Pete Prioleau at prioleaupete@aol.com / elias.prioleau.ctr@mail.mil if you would like reserve tickets.  Specific information on prices and seat locations within the ball park will be published by mid-May 2016.






Posted on: June 12th, 2016

Please note that we will begin our summer worship schedule on the first Sunday of July.  During the months of July and August, we will have one worship service at 10:15 am.

 

  • July 6-13 – Fiftieth Quadrennial Session of the General Conference, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Pennsylvania Convention Center – Philadelphia, PA.  For more information, go to:  http://ame-church.com/
  • July 17 – Church Anniversary, Metropolitan AME Church, 10:15 am, one service
  • July 18-22 – Vacation Bible School, Douglass Hall
  • July 23 – Church Picnic
  • July 24 – Rev. Dr.  Monica A. Coleman, guest preacher, 10:15 am, one service, Book Signing in Douglass Hall after service





Posted on: June 12th, 2016

In June we celebrate Fathers’ Day.  But did you also know that June is also Men’s Health Month, and that this year June 13-19 is Men’s Health Week?  The goal of Men’s Health Month and Week is to heighten awareness and encourage early detection and treatment for health issues that disproportionately affect men.  Read on and learn some important men’s health facts…

JUNE is Men’s Health Month!

Anchored by a Congressional health education program, Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities.

 

The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. The response has been overwhelming with thousands of awareness activities in the USA and around the globe.

 

Men’s Health Week is celebrated each year as the week leading up to and including Father’s Day.

Men’s Health Facts

·         Health Facts: Men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death and are the victims of over 92% of workplace deaths. (BLS) In 1920, women lived, on average, one year longer than men. Now, men, on average, die almost five years earlier than women. (CDC)

·         Silent Health Crisis: There is a silent health crisis in America…it’s that fact that, on average, American men live sicker and die younger than American women.”

Dr. David Gremillion, Men’s Health Network

·         Prevention: Women are 100% more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventive services than men. (CDC 2001)

 

Cause & Rate:             Men                Women

Heart Disease             228.6               143.0

Cancer                         211.6               146.8

Injuries                        51.1                 24.6

Stroke                          39.7                 37.8

Suicide                         19.2                 4.9

HIV/AIDS                     4.4                   1.7

·         Men as Victims of Homicide: The chance of being a homicide victim places African-American men at unusually high risk.

Chance of being a Homicide Victim -1 in 30 for black males

1 in 179 for white males

1 in 132 for black females

1 in 495 for white females

 

*BJS DATA REPORT, 1989

 

·         Depression and Suicide: Depression in men is undiagnosed contributing to the fact that men are 4 x as likely to commit suicide.

·         Among 15- to 19-year-olds, boys were 4 x as likely as girls to commit suicide.

·         Among 20- to 24-year-olds, males were 6 x as likely to commit suicide as females

·         The suicide rate for persons age 65 and above: men…28.5 – women…3.9.

·         Who is the Weaker Sex?

·         115 males are conceived for every 100 females.

·         The male fetus is at greater risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.

·         25% more newborn males die than females.

·         3/5 of SIDS victims are boys.

·         Men suffer hearing loss at 2x the rate of women.

·         Testosterone is linked to elevations of LDL, the bad cholesterol, and declines in HDL, the good cholesterol.

·         Men have fewer infection-fighting T-cells and are thought to have weaker immune systems than women.

·         By the age of 100, women outnumber men eight to one.

 

(NYT Magazine 3-16-03)

 

Source of Information:  To learn more contact:

Men’s Health Network

P.O. Box 75972

Washington D.C. 20013

202.543.MHN.1 (6461) x 101 info@menshealthnetwork.org www.menshealthnetwork.org

 






Posted on: May 29th, 2016

Jazz Vespers banner 2016On Saturday, June 4, 2016, from 3:00-5:00 p.m., the Ethel P. Hall Club will again present Jazz Vespers in Douglass Hall.  Music will be provided by the N Tyme Jazz Ensemble, featuring Davey Yarborough and Esther Williams.  Tickets are $25. The Ethel P. Hall Club raises money to provide pew Bibles and hymnals.






Posted on: May 29th, 2016

Women’s Bible Study will be held on Friday, June 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm in the ABC Room.  Be prepared to discuss pages 151-169  (Week 7- The Potter And The Clay) Of Breaking Free by Beth Moore. This will be the last Women’s Bible Study for the 2015-16 Season.






Posted on: May 29th, 2016

Black Music Month 2016Metropolitan has been invited to together to co-host a DC African American Music Appreciation Month (AAMAM) event that would become an annual citywide celebration of various forms of African American Music, with a particular focus on honoring “DC’s own”.  We are part of the inaugural AAMAM musical tribute that will honor Richard Smallwood and Chuck Brown.  This year we will host the event at Union Temple Baptist Church on Saturday, June 11, 2016, 7:00 pm.  Tickets are $20 for general admission, $50 for special seating and $100 for premium/front of the house seats.  The event is presented by Union Temple, Metropolitan AME and Washington Performing Arts.  A choir from each organization will perform during the program and all proceeds of the evening will be evenly split among the three organizations.