Message From Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson:
I plan to join you in this wonderful spiritual exercise again. The first time I took the challenge, it was my intent to read the Bible through in 60 days; I accomplished it in 66 days. Do see any significance in that? (66 days corresponding to 66 Books? Believe me, it was not intentional.) It was a great experience!
I recently purchased “The Bible in 90 Days.” It is specially designed for the reader to read a mere 12 pages per day to complete the feat in 90 days. I also have on hand “The Story.” Each year, my wife and I purchase and distribute Bibles (edited and published for children and teens) to the delegates attending the Christian Education Congress here in the Second District. As you are aware, it is a mere 462 pages. We gave away 1200 copies of the “Teen Edition” last summer. My Annual Conferences begin very soon, it is my aim this time to have read the Holy Scriptures through by the closing of the Western North Carolina Conference on June 4.
Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Braxton, Senior Pastor
Metropolitan AME Church, Washington, DC
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Romans 5:1-11 – Developing Patience: 1-2By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. 3-5There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! 6-8Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. 9-11Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah! The Message Bible Translation
I have come to recognize that our understanding of God will come primarily from our everyday personal experience with God. As we witness global events and wrestle with daily challenges, our relationship with God is shaped or strengthened by experience. You think you know God? Let something devastating come into your life and you will come to know Him a little better.
The more we cling to God, the greater the need to hold on to God. This clinging and holding on gives us strength to overcome that which would destroy our lives. Witness the humanity of Jesus, clinging and holding on to the incredible power of a God who loved him. Jesus knew that God loved him. Before offering the fishes and loaves to the multitude, he offers it up to God for a blessing. In Gethsemane, during Jesus’ worst days, he petitions to the loving God to allow this incredible power to sustain him. “Not my will, but your will be done.” He knew God’s love would sustain him.
Similarly, the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus encountered the incredible power of God’s love. He was blinded; he heard a voice… “Why do you persecute me?” Paul’s story is a personal testimony of one man clinging and holding on to the incredible power of God’s love.
This incredible power of God’s love allowed African Americans to overcome the degrading experience of slavery. Faith in God brought them through. Clinging and holding on to in the incredible power of a God who they believed would deliver them. The incredible power of God’s love allowed Daniel in the Lion’s den to know that, one day, God would set him free.
The scripture text helps us to come to grips with the benefits of the incredible power of a God who loves us. There is no real life apart from God. There is nothing more powerful than being identified with he who has made us. Here are three benefits from the scripture today:
1. When you embrace God’s love, you live every day clinging and holding on to the incredible power of God’s love with an optimistic hold on your spirit. We go through our suffering, knowing that suffering brings an “I can take it, I can make it” spirit. Suffering brings a spirit grounded in a hope that that suffering endures but for a season. Suffering develops a spirit-life that endures whatever comes, trusting and believing that God will bring you out – not when YOU think it’s the right time, but when He ordains it.
2. Your worst of times can prove to be your best of times. Paul tells the church that every personal chaos in one’s life ought not be viewed as the devil; we give the devil too much credit. I never give the devil that much power over me. The incredible power of God’s love in your life instills in you new hope, presents you to others as a witness of what it means to hold on and cling to God. The poet says:
The test of a man is the fight he makes,
The grit that he daily shows;
The way he stands on his feet and takes
Fate’s numerous bumps and blows….
True character is revealed in how you act when you are on the bottom. True character is revealed when it seems that God has forgotten about you.
3. By clinging and holding on to the incredible power of God’s love, we live with the assurance that God has fought on our behalf. I selected the Message Bible translation because the message in the reading is clear and plain: Hold on to God’s unchanging hands…
Tags: Rev. Ronald E. Braxton
The 61st Session of the Washington Annual Conference meets Tuesday April 25 – Saturday, April 30, 2011 at Ebenezer AME Church, Fort Washington, Maryland
The 61st Session of the Washington Annual Conference
Tuesday, April 25 – Saturday, April 30, 2011
The Washington Annual Conference hosts its 61st Session under the dynamic leadership of the Presiding Prelate for the Second Episcopal District, the Right Reverend Adam J. Richardson, Jr. and the Episcopal Supervisor for the WMS, YPD, and Clergy Families Organization of the Second Episcopal District, Dr. Connie Speights Richardson.
The 61st Session is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25 – Saturday, April 30, 2011, at Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church, 7707 Allentown Road, Fort Washington, Maryland 20744, where the Reverend Dr. Grainger Browning and the Rev. Dr. JoAnn Browning are the pastors.
This year’s theme: The Call to Vigilance: Continuing a Prophetic Ministry Focus: AIR (Attention, Intention, Retention) A Ministry of and for Young Adults
The Reverend Dr. Louis-Charles Harvey (Potomac District) is the host presiding elder and the Reverend Dr. Goodwin Douglas (Capital District) is the associate presiding elder. The Conference Coordinator is the Reverend Dr. Ronald E. Braxton, pastor of Metropolitan AME Church, in Washington, DC.
Join us as we come together to worship, educate, fellowship and celebrate the 61st Session of the Washington Annual Conference.
View the agenda.
Tags: Washington Annual Conference
We were pleased to have famed Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon worship with us on March 6, 2011. After church, he signed his book, Trust Your Next Shot. Worshipping with him was his daughter, Robin Lemon-Soape, a Lt. Cmdr in the Navy.
Meadowlark Lemon’s Ministry
The Meadowlark Lemon Show is broadcast nationally and internationally each week on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). Reaching a potential audience of over 30 million people, Meadowlark talks to successful athletes and entertainers who attribute their success in life to Jesus Christ. The mission of this broadcast, featuring Meadowlark Lemon and others – all considered heroes in the eyes of their fans – is to present the Greatest Hero through the lives and testimony of famous sports and entertainment figures. In each program the viewer has the opportunity to discover the common truth in the lives of these people. These heroes are, in fact, very normal people who may do extraordinary things, yet are made truly heroic by the presence of Jesus Christ in their lives. Read more. . .
Rev. Ronald E. Braxton
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Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Braxton, Senior Pastor
Metropolitan AME Church, Washington, DC
Sunday, March 20 2011
Scripture Lesson Genesis 12:1-4, Abram and Sarai: 1 GOD told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you. 2-3 I’ll make you a great nation and bless you. I’ll make you famous; you’ll be a blessing. I’ll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I’ll curse. All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you.” 4-6 So Abram left just as GOD said, and Lot left with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. The Message Bible Translation
When we look around us, there is no doubt that we live in a broken world. Every day we hear reports of one national catastrophe after another – volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, blizzards, fires, flooding, global warming – the list goes on. Each individual is just one picture of what is happening around us; but collectively, we can see that Planet Earth is broken and facing serious environmental challenges.
Humans are broken; all around the world, humans are attempting to harness nuclear energy; yet the media reports that we are just a terrorist attack away from world destruction by fire. There seems to be no disregard for the sanctity and welfare of human life. The world economic system is so fragile. And while we are experiencing worldwide financial collapse, hurricanes, and other disasters, the dirty face of poverty still thrives. Sickness continues to wreak havoc on innocent lives. Racism, classism, cultural bias, and the rising new social order plagues our world like the pestilence described in the Bible.
Too many people are struggling to lead just a decent life, struggling just to survive. So many people are walking around on the verge of mental meltdown; children are becoming lost victims of a cruel global society that “talks a good talk”, but walks in wickedness.
But despite what we are experiencing today, 50 years ago, Dr. King said some things that sound as if they could have been spoken today. In his speech, “The Challenge of a New Age,” delivered in December, 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama, Dr. King said:
Now I am aware of the fact that there are those who would contend that we live in the most ghastly period of human history. They would argue that the rhythmic beat of the deep rumblings of discontent from Asia, the uprisings in Africa, the nationalistic longings of Egypt, the roaring cannons from Hungary, and the racial tensions of America are all indicative of the deep and tragic midnight which encompasses our civilization.
It sounds just like déjà vu. But as broken as the world looked 50 years ago, Dr. King went on to say:
[Some] would argue that we are retrogressing instead of progressing. But far from representing retrogression and tragic meaninglessness, the present tensions represent the necessary pains that accompany the birth of anything new.
For there is no birth and growth without birth and growing pains. This present tension is indicative of a “new world order” being born, and the old order passing away.
I submit that, in every era, God places human “windows” around the world so the world can witness the divinity, power, and glory of God through their brokenness. Martin Luther King Jr. was just such a window of the face and the voice of God during a period of brokenness in the world.
The scripture represents other examples of God using humans as a window for a broken world. In the scripture text, the Lord said to Abram: “Go; I will make you a great nation; I will make you famous, and you will be a blessing to all the families of the earth.” The scripture Commentary says that the whole point of being God’s “chosen one” has to do with God using “special agents” to bring blessings to the broader human family. God chose to use Abram as a window for a broken world.
I submit that those of us here today have – individually and collectively – been chosen to be a window of God in our broken world. All you have to do is just go outside and you can see the people walking the streets in a panic – hungry, hurting suffering, scared. As the “new world order” emerges, the middle class is caught in a storm and they need a window to see God. We must pray for our President Barack Obama, and we must rise in our coming to be God’s windows in broken world.
1. There is major risk in being a window in a broken world. In the scripture, Abram had to get up and leave his comfort, his kindred, his father’s house to go to a land he knew nothing about. John Ortberg wrote a book called: “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat.” In that book, he says: “The boat is safe, secure….it is risky outside of the boat….it means facing your fears, choosing not to let fear have the last word, following your calling, letting some waves slap you in our face, allowing the strong hand of Jesus to pull you up.” Being a window in a broken world is risky business; but as the song says: “I’d rather have Jesus, than silver and gold…”.
2. Abram had global and universal significance for all the families of the earth: You are not here just for yourself, to get all the blessings, all the good. In the scripture, God was with Abram, creating a new world order. He wanted Abram to be a blessing to all of his creations. He wanted Abram’s light to shine on the whole earth. Abram was to be a window, recognizing and then reflecting the light and the presence of God to a broken world. In church, we are called to be that window, that light. Jesus said “Let you light so shine before others that they might see your Father which is in heaven and glorify HIM – not me, not Metropolitan, not the Bishop, not the Stewards, or the Trustees – but GOD. When you stand as window for a broken world, you glorify your father through you. Jesus calls us to reflect the light of God. Be that light, as he shines in us, of a broken world so that others will see the light, will hear his voice, and witness the presence of God through YOU. Some little boy who has lost his way, some little girl, will see the glory of God through YOU.
3. When God opens your window what will the world see: blessings, or curses? If you don’t have a clean heart or a spirit of praise, what will the world see? Abram did not have credentials, but he had a pure heart, a spirit of praise, a testimony, and a faithful response to trust in God.
4. When God opens your window, you may not have everything you think you need, but you can still be God’s window for a broken world. When God calls you to be a window to a broken world, you may be a “wounded healer” – you may be down on your OWN luck; you may be waiting for your own ship to come in to the harbor; you may feel you can’t go any farther. But when He calls you, will you be a blessing to others who are broken? You can still be a blessing to a broken world even through your own brokenness: all you need is a pure heart, a spirit of praise, and trust in God.
Tags: Rev. Ronald E. Braxton
Stefani Murray, daughter of Andrew & Janice Murray will perform with the Dance Theatre of Harlem Pre-Professional Residency prog, Sat, April 23, Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center, 6:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public.
A Very Special Celebration: Organizations’ Day and Women’s History Month
Metropolitan A.M.E. Church
1518 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
March 20, 2011
You’re invited to worship with the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church as the Presidents’ Council, on its 60th Annual Organizations’ Day, will commemorate the church’s many ministries, clubs, and organizations for the services and outreach provided to our church and the community.
Additionally, Women’s History Month will be acknowledged. Members of the newly chartered section of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), designated as Women of Defense, will be our special guests. This unique section, NCNW’s first and only military section is comprised of distinguished active, retired, and civilian Black women in all branches of our armed forces. Brigadier General Belinda Pinckney (U.S. Army, Retired) will deliver comments during the church service.
You can help increase the visibility of the church’s ministries, clubs, organizations, and its community service in several ways:
• Attend this special service.
• Send this message to friends and colleagues.
• Urge family and friends who are military retirees, active military, and in ROTC programs to attend service on March 20th.
• Share the history and unique roles of women in the A.M.E. Church and Black women in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Download the flyer!
, Women in the Military
, Women's History Month
The Metropolitan A.M.E. Church Scholarship Endowment Payne-Tanner Memorial application is now available online.
This Scholarship Endowment is formed with gratitude to, and in honor of, two of our distinguished forbearers in the A.M.E. Church, Daniel Alexander Payne and Alethia Tanner. Each in their own way sought to elevate Negroes by uplifting both the mind and the spirit.
In the mid-1880′s, Daniel Alexander Payne, a man of immense vision and concern for the Negro, was assigned to the pulpit of Union Bethel A.M.E. Church, from which Metropolitan A.M.E. Church evolved. Reverend Payne was a distinguished pioneer, not just of African Methodism, but also for the cause of Negro education. In 1856, Reverend Payne organized and became president of Wilberforce University, the nation’s second oldest Negro college. He was later elevated to a Bishop of the A.M.E. Church.
At the turn of the eighteenth century, when Washington, D.C. was but a developing nation’s capital, Alethia Tanner was working diligently to make Negroes a real part of this important city. She gained her freedom from slavery and shortly thereafter operated a fruit and vegetable stand on Sixteenth Street, very near the White House. She became a noted entrepreneur and used some of her vast resources to gain freedom for two dozen of her still enslaved family members. Miss Tanner contributed substantially to the first building fund of Israel Bethel A.M.E. Church, another of our ancestor churches.
View the eligibility criteria and download the application.
Tags: Alethia Tanner
, Daniel Alexander Payne
Rev. Ronald E. Braxton
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