We are happy to report that Rev. Marie received a kidney on Monday. She has successfully undergone transplant surgery and is doing well. Please continue to keep her in your prayers for a full recovery! God be praised!
The Women’s Day and Season Steering Committee is announcing the colors of purple (royalty and spirituality) and white (peace and purity) for our Day and Season. Be sure to parade your purple and white on Sunday April 15 and display a touch of our colors each Sunday leading to our special day. Men can sport their support too!
Our Committee has fully launched and is implementing a variety of spiritual activities to engage your spirit, bless your heart and strengthen your desire to serve as your Sister’s Keeper. Please join us…our arms are open for you.
Imagine, a 100-voice Women’s Day Choir all dressed in white on April 15th—a pinnacle of our Women’s Day celebration; you can help make it happen! Participate and enjoy the fellowship during rehearsals and let yours be one of 100 voices singing to God’s glory. See bulletin for schedule or contact sisters Susan Edward Todd, Anita Drayton or Jocelyn Harris. Special assessment for Women’s Day is $200 for women and $100 for men.
Our Outreach Committee is planning an activity that will reach beyond Metropolitan’s walls. We are finalizing the logistics to provide a life enhancing opportunity to serve as our sisters’ keepers at Capitol Hill Teen Pregnancy Center in Washington, DC and St. Ann’s Orphanage in Hyattsville, MD —stay tuned for additional details from the Outreach Committee or contact Josie Woodley Jones firstname.lastname@example.org .
We are developing a souvenir program book in recognition of our 2012 Women’s Day and Season theme, “I Am My Sister’s Keeper.” In this endeavor, we’re requesting the help of all Metropolitan members and friends by purchasing space in the program book to offer a tribute to the special women in your life. Contact Dina Curtis at email@example.com, or Cynthia Morris firstname.lastname@example.org and (301) 765-1067, or any member of the Women’s Day committee to purchase your space by April 8. Certainly, you will want to be included in this very special historical piece!
A “Taste of the Met” is coming! Want to sample healthy and delectable entrees, salads, and desserts? Don’t miss out on the culinary talents of the Sisters of Metropolitan! We’re serving up the best of our best after the 11:00 A.M. service on May 6! A $10.00 contribution will leave you joyfully satisfied.
All proceeds will help to ensure that Metropolitan AME Church continues to be a present help in the time of need.
To God Be the Glory!
Tags: Women's Season
Rev. Jonathan V. Newton
Sunday, March 25,2011
Tags: Rev. Jonathan V. Newton
Sermon Notes: “Supposedly…With Liberty and Justice for All….”
By Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Braxton, Senior Pastor, Metropolitan AME Church, Sunday, March 25, 2012
I pledge allegiance, to the flag of the United States of America. And to the Republic for which it stands, supposedly one nation, supposedly under God, supposedly indivisible, supposedly with liberty and justice for all.
I wear this morning this “Hoodie” – I didn’t even know what I was wearing; when I jog in the morning outside, I just put this thing on, and the pants that go with it, and go out for my morning jog. I didn’t realize that by wearing this, I was in danger. I didn’t realize that someone in the community in which I live – it’s not gated, but it’s a community – but I didn’t realize that when I ran around in that community someone could actually do me bodily harm and justice would not prevail. I didn’t realize that could happen even having an African American president, and even with slavery ended a long time ago – I thought I was free. I vote. God knows I pay a whole lot of taxes. I thought I was free. I never thought that this hood makes me look like a criminal. I never thought that if I was walking in the dark and I pulled out my cell phone that it looks like a gun. And so anyone who claimed that they were a part of a protective force – a force that I thought was trying to protect ME – would have the right to shoot me dead in the street and then go home, and the police would never raise any questions about my murder. I never thought – my mother told me about it, my grandfather told me about it, but I never thought that people could actually beat other people to the ground, get a hundred dollar fine and a few weeks of community service, while other people could steal a loaf of bread because they were hungry and go to jail for a year. I thought I was free; I thought I was part of a country “with liberty and justice for all.”
By Rev Jonathan V. Newton, Associate Minister, Metropolitan AME Church, Sunday, March 25, 2012
The Scripture: Acts 6:1-7 - The Choosing of the Seven (NIV Bible Translation). 1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” 5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. 7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
A few weeks ago, I was looking at a photo spread of President Obama. One picture caught my eye: President Obama and Reggie Love were coaching a basketball game at his daughter’s school (when the regular coach was away). I realized that this president places an emphasis on the fact that he is a member of the First Family, not just the leader of the free world – but a father, a husband, a member of a family. It’s great to see that we truly have a “family” in the White House – we see them taking vacations, getting ice cream, playing with their dog, shopping at Target. No matter what is happening, they remain committed to each other and to the country – as a family. We find leadership – not just on policy – but by example on family issues. The first organization unit in the bible was the family – before kingdoms, estates, and empires, there was a family that came together and made a village to raise healthy children of God.
When Dr. King revealed to the world his vision of a “Beloved Community,” he really made it clear that he never intended that by creating a Beloved Community we leave the village behind. When Dr. King was talking about loving one another, he was talking about “agape love” – the kind of love that covers us even when we leave the village behind. Agape love covers every person around us. As African Americans, in part, our societal norms were formed in the village, by people who came together to attack the racial disparities as a village. It was never intended that we would leave the village behind.
But as we have moved in our development from being “Colored” “Negro” “Black” or some other characterization, we have lost our sense of “village” and we have become SELF-ABSORBED INDIVIDUALS. We now live in a system of “Generation Me,” with people who have never lived under circumstances that required us to put others before self. Promoting “self interest” has replaced any obligation to patriotism or social justice. Some people grew up in neighborhoods where people looked just like them, where they never had opportunities denied because of how they looked. There is even an expectation that material success is within easy reach, and gimmicks that encourage people to cut ties and “go for self.”
We live in a society that celebrates when people get ruthlessly independent. Despite all that is respectable, being a reality TV star is now an acceptable lifestyle. “Let me be an apprentice and sell-out out my team.” It’s all about “what can I do for ME.” We don’t care about the community helping each other – it’s all about “Generation Me.” Even ads in the military which, at one point, focused on an example of “teamwork” have begun to advertise to new recruits “If you join today, you can be an ARMY OF ONE.” Even the military is starting to sell you on the idea that “it’s all about YOU.”
Jesus summarized that we are to “Love the Lord with all our might, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.” But what WE remember is what George Benson said and Whitney Houston popularized: “The greatest love of all is learning how to love YOURSELF.” This is what is causing people to leave the village.
I remember watching “Roots,” when Kunte Kinte encountered the slave traders who were trying to capitalize on his pride so they could lure him out of his village. I remember watching and saying “No, no, don’t go out there!” If you leave the village, you become vulnerable; you are isolated; they are going to take you away, make you obey, if you leave the village.
So why are we all caught up in leaving the village? Why are we all caught up in “me, myself, and I” – going for self? Where is the loyalty in professional sports? Athletes just hop around from team to team. There is no loyalty around our jobs – employees are just commodities to be dismissed in order to satisfy “the bottom line.” There is less concern about people because “it’s all about ME.”
Now days, people often find themselves getting frustrated and discouraged. They want things to happen “right now” – they use it as an excuse to walk away from the village – “You don’t like ‘my idea,’ ‘my proposal,’ ‘my direction for the ministry,’ I’m gone.” At the noonday service this week, I spoke about how the enemy is prowling around, looking for people who have fallen prey to impatience, to greed, to selfishness. But the bible makes it clear that we are part of the VILLAGE. We have to find a way to stay committed to the village. We are stronger when we are together than when we are apart. Outside the protective umbrella of the village, the world is much colder. Trayvon Martin was walking, and because of what he had on, walking outside of the protection of his village, Skittles in hand, it was perceived that he was a threat. Journalists keep saying that we live in a “post-racial” society, but clearly, we do not.
In the scripture, the people are experiencing problems that made them want to leave the village. At first, they shared what they had; no one went without; they sold their property and gave it to the church. Everyone lived a good and plentiful life. This is a good scripture for us because we can see that even the very first church was having problems, was dealing with people grumbling about things like the distribution of food to widows.
In the early church, we see that, where there are PEOPLE, there are PROBLEMS. So we should not be dismayed by the problems. If we think complaints, grumbling, not singing from the same sheet of music means we are outside the will of god – that’s FALSE. PROBLEMS present us with OPPORTUNITIES to stop as a church and re-evaluate our ministry to see what we need to do. We can’t always be what we used to be; we can’t always do things the way we used to do them.
Even the mundane, routine, issues we deal with are opportunities for us to reach up to the Magnificent to evaluate our ministries, to look at – and to have faith in – each other. The 12 disciples said “If there is a problem, the problem must be US. Maybe things can be done better for the sake of the people; we don’t want to run the people out. We came to the table, we are not perfect; there are no perfect churches; there are no perfect people. Let’s sit down to see what we can do to make the organization better.”
Where there are people, there are problems; where there is a SAVIOR, there is a SOLUTION. Let’s bring everyone together. The early church was dealing with two factions within the church, but they said “Let’s bring everyone together. Let’s pick who can speak for you, and let’s see about solving the problems. The tyranny of the “either/or” versus the blessing of the “if/and.” We don’t want to thrust the outcome upon them. We believe all have a gift to be used for the betterment of the kingdom. But don’t let us come to the table with our gifts grumbling. Understand what we are here for.
At a prayer breakfast last week – Rev. Howard Wesley said church people only want to sing: “I will not be moved.” But the ministry of the church lets our concerns be heard. Choose the people among you who are full of the spirit of God – not just people who do the work of the church; not just the people who do certain tasks around the church but who are not about the church’s mission. Choose people to speak on your behalf who are full of the Holy Spirit. In order for the church to work, everyone has to do their part, but everyone has to stay in their own lane. We all have different gifts and abilities – that’s why we bring everyone into the fellowship. Where there is a VILLAGE, there is a VICTORY. In verse 5 of the scripture, the proposal pleased the whole group. Everyone had an opportunity to contribute. The Church continued to be blessed; that’s what keeps people inside the village.
Some years back, when I was pursuing a masters degree at Virginia Union University, I was burnt out. I was an attorney working for the government, I was working to become on the board of examiners for AME church, I was taking 42 young people on mission to South Africa, and at the time I was engaged to be married. I needed to finish my masters degree in order to be eligible for the board. But my brain was fried. Get this: just because you are in the will of God doing the work of God doesn’t mean there are not going to be problems. I almost lost it – I almost just walked away. I was going to give up on it. I said to myself, I’ll just wait and get my degree in the Fall. I stopped doing my work. Then one of my professors came up to me – clearly, this was an HBCU professor, because other professors don’t do what he did. He grew up in HBCUs; and he understands the village. He explained that Virginia Union does not award degrees in December, so if I quit, I wouldn’t get my degree until April. Instead of judging me, he said “Let’s talk about how WE are going to work this thing out.” He took a “me” issue and made it a “we” issue. In the village, there is a solution; there is a victory. With his help, I finished my degree before the annual conference.
When we step outside the village, we lose the opportunities to receive the blessings. We go into a “I can do bad by myself” place. In reality, someone prayed for us; someone worked on our behalf so we could receive the blessings we have today. In the village were Richard Allen, Denmark Veasey who started the Class Leaders system; Frederick Douglass, the prolific writer and abolitionist; Harriet Tubman; Vashti McKenzie who broke the glass ceiling in the AME pulpit to become the first woman AME bishop. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr who Marched to Freedom to make a dream come true. In the village is the first Black man in the White House; in the village is Trayvon Martin; we must go into the village to get kidney for Reverend Marie – whatever we need, we need the power of a village. Hezekiah Walker sings this song that describes the village:
“I need you, you need me,
We’re all a part of God’s body;
Stand with me, agree with me,
We’re all a part of God’s body.
It is His will that every need be supplied,
You are important to me,
I need you to survive.”
Stay focused on the village, and bells of freedom will ring loudly. We’re not perfect, but as long as there is a Savior, there we will find a SOLUTION. None of us can make it on our own. The Savior came here to find solutions; he opened his voice in intercession for us. He walks with us, he prays for us, he performs miracles for us. We can’t forsake the things that happened before us.
Whatever we do, let’s make sure we are doing it in the company of the village because no matter where we go, it takes a village. If you don’t have the covering of a village, give the preacher your hand, but give God your heart.
Tags: Trayvon Martin
Pastor Ronald E. Braxton was one of 20 Washington area ministers who were honored on Saturday, March 17 at the Praise 104.1 Prayer Breakfast at Martin’s Crosswinds. The lively event drew a hundreds of guests, including a supportive crowd from Metropolitan
Rev. Aisha Karimah and Steward Joan Oxendine will be honored by Universal Center for Development at its first Church Girls Rock program on April l, at 5:00 p.m. at The ARC, 190l Mississippi Ave. SE., Washington. DC. The event celebrates women of distinction who have made significant contributions to their church and community.
Photo by Isiah Dupree.
The Fourth and last Quarterly Conference of the current conference year will be held on Monday, March 26 at 7 p.m.
And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12: 30 -31
Our own Rev. Marie Braxton is in need of a kidney donation. If you are able to help or know of others who can, please contact Eloida Gonzales, Clinical Transplant Coordinator, Washington Hospital Center, 202 877-9035 and let her know that you are interested in donating a kidney to recipient: Rev. Dr. Marie M. Phillips Braxton.
Please continue to keep Rev. Marie in your prayers and feel free to forward this message to others who may be interested in giving the gift of life.
Tags: Organ Donation, Rev. Dr. Marie Phillips Braxton
Metropolitan’s Bethel Literary Society is co-hosting and partnering with NAFEO, the national membership association of the nation’s 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities and 50 Predominantly Black Institutions, to host a Town Hall meeting on March 27. The program will be moderated by Dr. Charles Ogletree, noted professor of law at Harvard University. The event is a follow-up to NAFEO’S National Anti-Hazing and Anti-Violence Task Force that was announced two months ago with a goal of eradicating the “scourge and barbarism of hazing, the bane of violence and the tyranny of intolerance from campus life,” according to its president, Lezli Baskerville.
Did you know that singing in a choir can help you spiritually, physically, educationally and emotionally? Find out the answer when a new choir, an existing choir and a Special Event choir take the spotlight as Metropolitan heads into a musical spring.
Nearly everyone has a song they can sing. On Friday, March 23, at 6:30 p.m. The Met is calling all young people—pre-Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade — to join a new Young People’s Choir. Beginning Sunday, March 25, the choir will sing on the 4th Sunday each month
at the 11 am worship service.
The Women’s Day and Season Committee is inviting all women who want to be part of the Women’s Day Choir to come to rehearsal on Saturdays at 10 a.m. on March 24, 31, and April 7. “Imagine, a 100-voice Women’s Day Choir all dressed in white on April 15th—a pinnacle of our Women’s Day celebration,” said Tri Chairs Jo Jewel Butler, Selena Fizer and Linda Jefferson. “…Let yours be one of 100 voices singing to God’s glory.”
Also, the Early Morning Service Choir is looking for voices of all ranges, especially altos and sopranos, to join them in singing on
Sundays at 7:45 a.m. This spirit-filled group sings primarily contemporary gospel and rehearses Monday evenings from 7:00pm to 8:30pm. Approach any of the choir members or come to rehearsal.