The Women’s Bible Study continues its monthly sessions Experiencing Spiritual Intimacy. In the most recent session, the author explored the “quiet influence of the Holy Spirit” where she compared a nearly motionless water spigot nourishing moss on the side of a rock. I preferred to think of the Holy Spirit as an “undercurrent of positivity.” With electricity, when a switch is flipped the current sparks a reaction. In life, the presence of the Holy Spirit makes an obvious difference in a life when that divine switch is flipped in an individual.
As we read I Corinthians 12:1 (Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant) many of us paused and revealed that we are not certain of our spiritual gifts. However, further study assured us that when the Holy Spirit saved us, it also equipped us to serve in the vineyard. At the May 14th Women’s Bible Study, Rev. Marie will bring copies of a spiritual gifts inventory “to help us understand the ways God has uniquely gifted us.”
Join the Women’s Bible Study as we uncover our gifts and labor in our communities, in our church, and on our jobs with certainty of our Holy Spirit-inspired mission to grow and prosper in Jesus’ name.
Dorothy Gilliam to be presented with the Washington Press Club Foundation Life Time Achievement Award at the 66th Annual Congressional Dinner
WASHINGTON, DC _ The board of directors of the Washington Press Club Foundation is pleased to announce that Dorothy Gilliam has been selected to receive its 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be presented at the 66th Annual Congressional Dinner on April 21, 2010 in Washington D.C.
Dorothy was a trailblazer for women and minorities in the media. The first black woman to report for The Washington Post, she founded the Post’s young Journalist Development Program and the George Washington University Prime Movers program, which partners established journalists with student journalists to start and revitalize high school media. In addition to her long career as a Post columnist, she was an activist dedicated to public service, from her days helping to organize protests against the New York Daily News after it fired two thirds of its African-American staff, to her tenure as president of the National Association of Black Journalists and the board of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Throughout her career, she always emphasized the importance of diversity in the newsroom so that all Americans were represented in the press.
The Washington Press Club Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award is based on the ideals of the founders of the WPCF, the Women’s National Press Club. For almost 70 years, these pioneers in journalism fought for equal status in the newsroom and within journalism organizations because they believed that the voice of the press should be as diverse as the readers it promised to serve. Today their work continues through the Foundation’s major programs, funding paid internships available to women and minorities in Washington, D.C. newsrooms, and producing oral histories of the female journalists who broke new ground in the profession.
Previous winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award include Mary McGrory, Helen Dewar, Nan Robertson and Helen Thomas. The Foundation’s signature event, the annual Congressional Dinner, allows for the working press corps and the members of Congress they cover to gather for a light-hearted nonpartisan, evening. For more information about the dinner contact email@example.com or the Washington Press Club Foundation on Facebook.
The Washington Press Club Foundation is an organization of journalists from the nation’s print and broadcast media working as a group to promote the ideals of equality and excellence that inspired that small band of its founders, the Women’s National Press Club.
The Congressional Dinner is the primary fundraising activity for the Foundation. If you would like to purchase a ticket to attend this year’s dinner please see the invitation for more information (Note: This event was originally scheduled for February 10th but had to be postponed due to the snow storm).
Scripture Lesson – Acts 9: 1-11, Saul’s Conversion. The Blinding of Saul 1-2 All this time Saul was breathing down the necks of the Master’s disciples, out for the kill. He went to the Chief Priest and got arrest warrants to take to the meeting places in Damascus so that if he found anyone there belonging to the Way, whether men or women, he could arrest them and bring them to Jerusalem. 3-4He set off. When he got to the outskirts of Damascus, he was suddenly dazed by a blinding flash of light. As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice: “Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?” 5-6He said, “Who are you, Master?” “I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down. I want you to get up and enter the city. In the city you’ll be told what to do next.” 7-9His companions stood there dumbstruck—they could hear the sound, but couldn’t see anyone—while Saul, picking himself up off the ground, found himself stone-blind. They had to take him by the hand and lead him into Damascus. He continued blind for three days. He ate nothing, drank nothing. 10There was a disciple in Damascus by the name of Ananias. The Master spoke to him in a vision: “Ananias.” “Yes, Master?” he answered. 11-12″Get up and go over to Straight Avenue. Ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus. His name is Saul. He’s there praying. He has just had a dream in which he saw a man named Ananias enter the house and lay hands on him so he could see again.” The Message Bible translation
The scripture is one of a number of post resurrection stories of conversion of many people who either saw Jesus and believed, or whose eyes were opened to the truth of Jesus as a resurrected Messiah through the work of his disciples.
Jesus appeared for Doubting Thomas, the disciple who did not believe the report that Jesus was alive until he put his finger through Jesus’ side. Luke continues to tell the stories of conversion in the Book of Acts. There is the story of the conversion of the crippled beggar who had been begging for alms at the gate all his life, until he saw Jesus; there is the story of the conversion of the youth sitting by the roadside reading, but who did not know what he was reading until Phillip read to him; boy jumped up and shouted “Baptize me now!” Here in Book 9 of Acts, we have the famous story of the conversion of Saul, later called Paul, and the events on the “Road to Damascus”.
Saul/Paul’s story is a powerful story of the transformative power of God, through Christ, to reshape a life; the power to change the entire course of someone’s direction in life. It is rare for such a dramatic transformative experience as that of Saul/Paul. The story of your conversion may not be that dramatic, but it is as legitimate as Saul’s. Some of us have a “faith inferiority complex” because our conversion is not as dramatic as Saul’s. But God finds each of us “where we are”; God knows how each of us can best witness the transforming power of God, and some of us could not handle a dramatic witness as Saul’s. As the elders used to say: “Lord, let me get as close as I can bear.”
In the scripture, Luke tells the story of how awful Saul was to the post-ascension followers of Christ. In verses 1-2, we learn that Saul was a zealous persecutor of the disciples, “breathing down their necks…out for the kill”. The scripture teaches several lessons about what happens “When God Goes to Work in a Life”.
1. There is no life that is exempt from the transformative touch of the power of God. When God decides to work through you, there are no excuses. Whether you are an Anglican preacher named John Wesley, an Israelite named Esther, a freedom fighter known as the Black Moses, the son of a Baptist preacher named Martin Luther King, the son of a freed black slave named Richard Allen, or a poor black boy of single mother from a public housing project [named Rev Ronald Braxton], others can witness through the hand of Jesus touching YOU. Nothing and no one is too small, too big, too rich, too poor, too high, or too low that God cannot transform it.
2. When God goes to work in your life, you will never see life the same way again. In verse 8 of the scripture, Saul got up from the ground; his eyes were open, but he could see nothing. Ananias laid his hands on Saul, and suddenly he could see again.
There are a lot of folks living with their eyes open, but they can’t see God at work in their lives, and in the world. There are too many people suffering from an “eyes-wide-open-blindness syndrome.”Their eyes can’t see God, and their eyes can’t see the needs of others. On the healthcare issue, many people’s eyes are open, but they can’t see.
When God opens your eyes, He will show you new eyes, new hopes, new paths, new visions, new dreams. You will be able to do what you thought you could never accomplish. You will be able to walk through doors you never thought you could go through. You will see people differently – you will see joy, hope, missing power, potential for healing. You will suddenly see all the young boys and young girls losing their way, and you will reach out to them.
Ananias had no power of his own to open Saul’s eyes. He was but an instrument to send out the glorious power of a resurrected God. God opens eyes, changes lives, breathing through to a champion of the faith. It’s God, we don’t have the power on our own. It’s not until God steps in and puts his hands on your soul and opens your eyes, that we can see Jesus as our Lord. As the hymn goes: “What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought, since Jesus came into my life!”
3. When God goes to work in a life, it’s not a “cake walk”. It’s not a cake walk when God goes to work in a life; when you have to start dealing with your own sins. It’s not a cake walk standing up here preaching; it’s not a cake walk singing in the choir, after being careful about where you were last night. It’s not a cake walk calling yourself a Steward or a Trustee, while you’re living ungodly, shabby lives. It’s not a cake walk coming to church on Sunday, because when God goes to work in your life, you can’t go home and beat up on your spouse; you can’t cuss out everybody on your job. It’s not a cake walk to live standing for Christ. It’s not a cake walk, but if you let Him go to work in your life, God will touch you and He will walk with you the whole way through.
I keep on learning that when God touches your life, the lives of unlikely people from diverse backgrounds will rise up to heal, to help to provide. I got news for a lotta folk in here: Ananias didn’t want to have anything to do with Saul/Paul; he protested God’s telling him to lay his hands on that “no good scoundrel” Saul. But he did what God told him to do, and the scales fell from Saul’s eyes.
When God goes to work on you, He puts people in your life; He’ll surround you with folks who will pray for you, who will have your back. He’ll stand by you when the storms of life are raging; when the world has tossed you HE will stand by you. Amen
Metropolitan member MacKenzie Green was crowned this year’s Miss DC USA 2010. She has published an article in the Jan/Feb 2010 edition of Popcorn Magazine about her journey to the crown asking “Is it the girl that makes the crown, or the crown that makes the girl?”
Brother Green hosts the weekly program “The Hunt for Osama Bin Laden and the War on Terror.” He has traveled extensively the Middle East, Central Asia and Europe and Africa covering national security matters. In the summer of 2006, he traveled with the military 18,000 miles, to 10 countries in 31 days, while reporting for his continuing series “Combat, Counter-Terrorism and Compassion”. He has logged numerous exclusive interviews with top military and intelligence officials, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Rev. Dr. Marie P. Braxton, Asst. Pastor, Metropolitan AME Church
Sunday, April 11, 2010 – Second Sunday After Easter
Scripture Lesson Acts 5:27-32: The Apostles Persecuted. 27Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28″We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” 29Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! 30The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” NIV Version
The Scripture lesson starts at verses Verse 27-32, but I want to call your attention to the passages prior to those, Acts 5, verses 12-26. Today is the second Sunday of Easter. Last week we celebrated the resurrection. Jesus did not rise from the dead of his own accord; he was raised by God the Father. Easter goes on for four weeks, then there is the ascension into heaven; then there is Pentecost.
In the scripture, Jesus’ physical presence has passed; his disciples are now “apostles”; they have taken on Jesus’ ministry. They went out among the people and they preached, taught, healed the sick, cared for the widows and the orphans; they added many more believers to the kingdom, all in the name of Jesus. But this angered the high priest and his associates, the Sadducees.
1. Jealousy is a terrible thing. The apostles performed many miracles, but they were hated and persecuted, beaten and slandered by the community leaders because of it. In verse 17, Luke, the purported author of the Acts, writes that the Sadducees were jealous of the apostles and all of the attention they were getting among the people. Jealousy is when someone has some attribute, opportunity, gift, etc. that you don’t have, and you hold it against them. Jealousy can lead to other things; it can destroy a church.
2. Faith in God will not make your troubles disappear. Faith in God will not make your troubles disappear, but faith makes your troubles less frightening. We are all victors in the midst of strife. On your journey, expect to lose some friends; expect to have some lonely days and nights; expect some tears, but remember: have more faith in following the will of the Lord than the reactions of others. After the apostles were arrested and thrown into jail, an Angel of the Lord came to the jail and let them out. The Angel told the apostles to go back to the temple, pray at sunrise, and teach the people, so they did. In verse 21, we find the apostles at sunrise preaching and teaching about Jesus. Astonished, the high priest and the Sanhedrin asked the apostles why they had violated the order not to preach in Jesus’ name. But the apostles said: “We must obey God rather than men.” They just couldn’t help but to do what the Lord told them to do!
3. I just can’t help myself! When the Lord speaks and you know it is the Lord, you are compelled to do what the Lord says. When the Lord says feed the hungry, clothe the naked: I just can’t help myself. When the Lord says care for the homeless, help the imprisoned: I just can’t help myself. I have to do it because I just can’t help myself. I have come to know the Lord for myself. I witnessed the good news because I just can’t help myself. The Lord is my God, my savior, my shepherd, my healer, my provider, my shelter, my strength, my confidence my protector, my song, my joy, my deliverer, my peace. I said I wasn’t going to tell nobody but I just can’t keep it to myself. I can’t help but to tell somebody what the Lord has done for me. “He picked me up, turned me around, set my feet on solid ground!”
Metropolitan AME Church
Women’s Spiritual Retreat 2010 October 29 – 31, 2010 Lansdowne Resort and Conference Center
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Join the women of Metropolitan as they step away from the busyness of life to:
• Be refreshed and renewed by God’s Holy Spirit,
• Learn strategies to stay center in His will and way, and
• Develop and strengthen spiritual bonds with other sisters in Christ.
The cost for the retreat is $440 for double occupancy and $550 for single occupancy. Initial deposits of $100 are due immediately and will be accepted following morning service or via the Metropolitan Website. The payment schedule is:
Single room: Deposit – $100,
May 16 – $150.00,
June 20 – $150.00,
July 18 – $150.00
Double room: Deposit – $100,
May 16 – $100.00,
June 20 – $120.00,
July 18 – $120.00
Please note: The balance is due no later than July 18, 2010. Registration must be cancelled by June 20, 2010 to receive full refund of deposit. No refunds after July 18, 2010.
For more information contact:
• Ms. Jocelyn Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org) – (202)832-1365 or (202)832-1365
• Ms. Rubina Jenkins – (202)396-6009 (202)396-6009
• Ms. Dianne Gant Black – (202)832-1373 (202)832-1373
We hope you will be able to join us for a spiritual blessing!