Monday, September 28, 2009
St. Louis, MO - The ability of every citizen of our nation to receive adequate and affordable Health Care is a moral imperative. As a matter of justice and fairness for all, we can no longer allow for big business and special interest to derail the process of meeting this critical need of the American people. Most of us know that something must be done soon to protect our children, our elders, our sick and all who need immediate attention for their health care needs. There are nearly 50 million Americans without health care insurance. We need a plan that would end discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions and prevent insurance companies from dropping coverage when people are sick and need it most. The public option will provide the uninsured with a cost effective choice. This is why we support the Health Care Reform Bill with a public option as expressed by President Barack Obama.
The vast majority of people with existing health care services are underinsured with extraordinary deductibles. The increasingly transitional job market and the need to address general public wellness and disease prevention on an individual basis compound the problem. This translates into the rise of chronic disease among children as early as eight years old and causes their elderly grandparents to have to choose between food and medicine. This state of affairs in one of the wealthiest and most advanced nations in the world is immoral and unacceptable. As the United States is the only industrialized nation without a comprehensive health plan for every citizen, we know that we can and we must provide fair and affordable health care for every American.
For nearly a century, national leaders have called for an overhaul of the health care system. Yet, instead of significant change, we have received stagnation and compromise. We have expended billions of dollars to protect American interests abroad and corporate interests at home. We must now recognize the significant potential return on the investment in our health care system.
After one hundred years of trying, we are yet left saying like Jeremiah the prophet, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”
We ask all CME’s and other concerned Americans to write and call their congressional representatives both in the House and the Senate to express support for a Health Care Reform Bill with a Public Option.
The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, under the leadership of Senior Bishop William H. Graves and its College of Bishops, is a 138-year old historically African American Christian denomination with more than 800,000 members across the United States, and has missions and sister churches in Haiti, Jamaica, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For additional information about the CME Church, visit www.c-m-e.org .
Senior Bishop William H. Graves, Sr., CEO
Bishop Othal H. Lakey
Bishop Edward Lynn Brown
Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr.
Bishop Paul A. G. Stewart, Sr.
Bishop L. L. Reddick, III, Secretary, College of Bishops
Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr., Chairman of Social Justice & Human Concerns
Bishop Ronald M. Cunningham
Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr., Chairman, College of Bishops
Bishop Kenneth W. Carter
Bishop Dotcy I. Isom, Jr.
Bishop Marshall Gilmore
Bishop Nathaniel Linsey
Friday, September 18, 2009
The 2009-10 Liturgical Calendar
THE CHRISTMAS CYCLE (ADVENT AND CHRISTMASTIDE, THROUGH EPIPHANY)
Nov 29, 1st Sunday of Advent, Jer. 33:14-16. Ps. 25:1-10. 1 Thes. 3:9-13. Luke 21:25-36. Purple
Dec 6, 2nd Sunday of Advent, Mal. 3:1-4. Luke 1:68-79. Phil. 1:3-11. Luke 3:1-6. Purple
Dec 13, 3rd Sunday of Advent, Zep. 3:14-20. Is. 12:2-6. Phil. 4:4-7. Luke 3:7-18. Purple
Dec 20, 4th Sunday of Advent, Mic. 5:2-5a. Ps. 80:1-7 or Luke 1:47-55. Heb 10:5-10. Luke 1:39-55. Purple
Dec 24, Nativity of our Lord (Eve I), Is. 9:2-7. Ps. 96. Titus 2:11-14. Luke 2:1-20. White
Dec 24, Nativity of our Lord (Eve II), Is. 62:6-12. Ps. 97. Titus 3:4-7. Luke 2:1-20. White
Dec 25, Nativity of our Lord (Day), Is 52:7-10. Ps. 98. Heb. 1:1-12. John 1:1-5,9-14,16-18. White
Dec 27, Sunday in Christmastide, 1 Sam. 2:18-20,26. Ps. 148. Col. 3:12-17. Luke 2:41-52. White
Jan 3, Epiphany of our Lord (Observed), Is. 60:1-6. Ps. 72:1-7,10-14. Eph. 3:1-12. Matt. 2:1-12. White
(Epiphany ends the Christmas Cycle)
Sundays after Epiphany
Jan 10, Baptism of our Lord, 1st Sunday after Epiphany, Is 43:1-7. Ps. 29. Acts 8:14-17. Luke 3:15-22. White
Jan 17, 2nd Sunday after Epiphany, Is. 62:1-5. Ps. 36:5-10. 1 Cor. 12:1-11. John 2:1-11. Green
Jan 24, 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, Neh. 8:1-10. Ps. 19. 1 Cor. 12:12-31a. Luke 4:14-21. Green
Jan 31, 4th Sunday after Epiphany, Jer. 1:4-10. Ps. 71:1-6. 1 Cor 13:1-13. Luke 4:21-30. Green
Feb 7, 5th Sunday after Epiphany, Is. 6:1-13. Ps. 138. 1 Cor. 15:1-11. Luke 5:1-11. Green
Feb 14, Transfiguration of the Lord, Exod. 34:29-35. Ps. 99. 2 Cor. 3:12~4:2. Luke 9:28-43. White
THE EASTER CYCLE (LENT, HOLY WEEK, AND EASTERTIDE, THROUGH THE DAY OF PENTECOST)
Feb 17, Ash Wednesday, Joel 2:1-2,12-17 or Is. 58:1-12. Ps. 51:1-17. 2 Cor. 5:20b-6:10. Matt. 6:1-6,16-21. Black
Feb 21, 1st Sunday in Lent, Dt. 26:1-11. Ps. 91:1-2,9-16. Rom. 10:8b-13. Luke 4:1-13. Purple
Feb 28, 2nd Sunday in Lent, Gen. 15:1-18. Ps. 27. Phil. 3:17~4:1. Luke 13:31-35. Purple
Mar 7, 3rd Sunday in Lent, Is. 55:1-9. Ps. 63:1-8. 1 Cor. 10:1-13. Luke 13:1-9. Purple
Mar 14, 4th Sunday in Lent, Josh. 5:9-12. Ps. 32. 2 Cor. 5:16-21. Luke 15:1-3,11b-32. Purple
Mar 21, 5th Sunday in Lent, Is. 43:16-21. Ps. 126. Phil. 3:4b-14. John 12:1-8. Purple
Holy Week (Passiontide)
Mar 28, Passion/Palm Sunday, [Luke 19:28-40. Ps. 118.] Is. 50:4-9a. Ps. 31:9-16. Phil. 2:5-11. Luke 22:14-23:56. Purple
Mar 29, Monday of Holy Week, Is. 42:1-9. Ps. 36:5-11. Heb. 9:11-15. John 12:1-11. Purple
Mar 30, Tuesday of Holy Week, Is. 49:1-7. Ps. 71:1-14. 1 Cor. 1:18-31. John 12:20-36. Purple
Mar 31, Wednesday of Holy Week, Is. 50:4-9a. Ps. 70. Heb. 12:1-3. John 13:21-32. Purple
Apr 1, Maundy (Holy) Thursday, Exod. 12:1-14. Ps. 116:1-2,12-19. 1 Cor. 11:23-26. John 13:1-17,31b-35. White/Purple
Apr 2, Good (Holy) Friday, Is. 52:13~53:12. Ps. 22. Heb. 10:16-25 or Heb. 4:14-16;5:7-9. John 18:1-19:42. Black/Purple
Apr 3, Holy Saturday, Job 14:1-14 or Lam. 3:1-9,19-24. Ps. 31:1-4,15-16. 1 Pet. 4:1-8. Matt. 27:57-66 or John 19:38-42. Black
Apr 4, Resurrection Day (I morning), Acts 10:34-43. Ps. 118:1-2,14-24. 1 Cor. 15:19-26. John 20:1-18. White
Apr 4, Resurrection Day (II morning), Is. 65:17-25. Ps. 118:1-2,14-24. Acts 10:34-43. Luke 24:1-12. White
Apr 4, Resurrection Day (evening), Is. 25:6-9. Ps. 114. 1 Cor. 5:6b-8. Luke 24:13-49. White
Apr 11, 2nd Sunday of Easter, Acts 5:27-32. Ps. 150 or Ps. 118:14-29. Rev. 1:4-8. John 20:19-31. White
Apr 18, 3rd Sunday of Easter, Acts 9:1-20. Ps. 30. Rev. 5:11-14. John 21:1-19. White
Apr 25, 4th Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday), Acts 9:36-43. Ps. 23. Rev. 7:9-17. John 10:22-30. White
May 2, 5th Sunday of Easter, Acts 11:1-18. Ps. 148. Rev. 21:1-6. John 13:31-35. White
May 9, 6th Sunday of Eas ter, Acts 16:9-15. Ps. 67. Rev. 21:22~22:5. John 14:23-29 or John 5:1-9. White
May 13, (Thursday) Ascension of our Lord, Acts 1:1-11. Ps. 47 or 93. Eph. 1:15-23. Luke 24:44-53. White
May 16, 7th Sunday of Easter, Acts 16:16-34. Ps. 97. Rev. 22:12-21. John 17:20-26. White
May 23, The Day of Pentecost, Last Sunday of Easter, Acts 2:1-21. Ps. 104:24-34,35b. Rom. 8:14-17. John 14:8-17,25-27. Red (The Day of Pentecost ends the Easter Cycle)
Sundays After Pentecost
May 30, Trinity Sunday (1st Sunday after Pentecost), Prov. 8:1-4,22-31. Ps. 8. Rom. 5:1-5. John 16:12-15. Red
Jun 6, (2nd Sunday after Pentecost), 1 Kings 17:8-24. Ps. 146. Gal 1:11-24. Luke 7:11-17. Red
Jun 13, (3rd Sunday after Pentecost), 1 Kings 21:1-21a. Ps. 5:1-8. Gal. 2:15-21. Luke 7:36~8:3. Red
Jun 20, (4th Sunday after Pentecost), 1 Kings 19:1-15a. Ps. 42 and 43. Gal. 3:23-29. Luke 8:26-39. Red
Jun 27, (5th Sunday after Pentecost), 2 Kings 2:1-2,6-14. Ps. 77:1-2,11-20. Gal. 5:1,13-25. Luke 9:51-62. Red
Jul 4, (6th Sunday after Pentecost), 2 Kings 5:1-14. Ps. 30. Gal. 6:1-16. Luke 10:1-11,16-20. Red
Jul 11, (7th Sunday after Pentecost), Amos 7:7-17. Ps. 82. Col. 1:1-14. Luke 10:25-37. Red
Jul 18, (8th Sunday after Pentecost), Amos 8:1-12. Ps. 52. Col. 1:15-28. Luke 10:38-42. Red
Jul 25, (9th Sunday after Pentecost), Hos. 1:2-10. Ps. 85. Col. 2:6-19. Luke 11:1-13. Red
Aug 1, (10th Sunday after Pentecost), Hos 11:1-11. Ps. 107:1-9,43. Col. 3:1-11. Luke 12:13-21. Red
Aug 8, (11th Sunday after Pentecost), Is. 1:1,10-20. Ps. 50:1-8,22-23. Heb. 11:1-3,8-16. Luke 12:32-40. Red
Aug 15, (12th Sunday after Pentecost), Is 5:1-7. Ps. 80:1-2,8-19. Heb. 11:29~12:2. Luke 12:49-56. Red
Aug 22, (13th Sunday after Pentecost), Jer. 1:4-10. Ps. 71:1-6. Heb. 12:18-29. Luke 13:10-17. Red
Aug 29, (1st Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 2:4-13. Ps. 81:1,10-16. Heb. 13:1-8,15-16. Luke 14:1,7-14. Green
Sep 5, (2nd Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 18:1-11. Ps. 139:1-6,13-18. Philemon 1-21. Luke 14:25-33. Green
Sep 12, (3rd Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 4:11-12,22-28. Ps. 14. 1 Tim. 1:12-17. Luke 15:1-10. Green
Sep 19, (4th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 8:18~9:1. Ps. 79:1-9. 1 Tim. 2:1-7. Luke 16:1-13. Green
Sep 26, (5th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 32:1-3a,6-15. Ps. 91:1-6,14-16. 1 Tim. 6:6-19. Luke 16:19-31. Green
Oct 03, (6th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Lam. 1:1-6. Ps. 137 or Lam. 3:19-26. 2 Tim. 1:1-14. Luke 17:5-10. Green
Oct 10, (7th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 29:1,4-7. Ps. 66:1-12. 2 Tim. 2:8-15. Luke 17:11-19. Green
Oct 17, (8th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 31:27-34. Ps. 119:97-104. 2 Tim. 3:14~4:5. Luke 18:1-8. Green
Oct 24, (9th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Joel 2:23-32. Ps. 65. 2 Tim. 4:6-8,16-18. Luke 18:9-14. Green
Oct 31, (10th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Hab. 1:1-4; 2:1-4. Ps. 119:137-144. 2 Thess. 1:1-4,11-12. Luke 19:1-10. Green; (Oct 31 may be designated “Reformation Sunday.”)
Nov 1, (All Saints’ Day), Dan. 7:1-3,15-18. Ps. 149. Eph. 1:11-23. Luke 6:20-31. White/Green
Nov 7, (11th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Hag. 1:15b-2:9. Ps. 98 or 145:1-5,17-21. 2 Thess. 2:1-5,13-17. Luke 20:27-38. Green
Nov 14, (12th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Is. 65:17-25. Isaiah 12. 2 Thess. 3:6-13. Luke 21:5-19. Green
Nov 21, (13th Sunday of Kingdomtide), Jer. 23:1-6. Luke 1:68-79. Col. 1:11-20. Luke 23:33-43. Green
Nov 25, Thanksgiving Day, Deut. 26:1-11. Ps. 100. Phil. 4:4-9. John 6:25-35. White
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
'How Do I Find Grace?'
An Essay by Julian James Crump, Contest Winner, Mt. Zion #2 CME Church, Hamilton, AL
Seeking grace is easy once you understand what grace is and what it means. Grace is “unmerited favor” for God (Ephesians 2:8-9). In theology, grace may be described as “enabling power sufficient for progression.” Grace divine is a gift from God for development, improvement, and character expansion, and without God’s grace, there are certain limitations, weaknesses, flaws, and faults that mankind cannot overcome.
As Christians, we believe it is important to increase in God’s grace for added perfection, completeness and flawlessness. More broadly divine grace refers to God’s gifts to all humankind, including life, creation, and salvation. More commonly, grace describes the means by which we are granted salvation (and to some, saved from original sin).
Grace is most important in the theology of Christianity, as well as one of the most important issues in Christian salvation. Grace is often different from mercy in that mercy is seen as not receiving punishment that one deserves to receive, whereas grace is the receipt of a positive benefit that one does not deserve to receive.
Divine grace also can be defined as God’s presence in our lives, enabling us to do and be what we were created for.
Finding spiritual growth and grace fit together. Some people do not understand grace and see it as the license to do what they want and still receive God’s favor. A true understanding of grace will lead to growth and stability.
God uses grace to carry out a process of growth in our lives, but it is not automatic. This is the reason why the number of years a person is a Christian has nothing to do with spiritual maturity. Real maturity comes by cooperating with God’s grace process. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The ultimate force in salvation is God’s grace. Not material things; not houses, not our money or not our friends. Grace is God’s calming hand over a stormy sea of our lives. The church song that states, “…if our God is for us, who can be against us…,” is a great inspiration about grace. God is for us, not maybe, not has been, not was, not sometimes, but God is always for us. If God had MySpace, my name would be on top of his friends list. If he had a calendar, my birthday would be circled. God is for us, and know that, no one can be against you.
We all need grace. The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17 (NCV). Christ died so that I would have grace and mercy. Eternity is given by actions, but through grace the outcome may change, the grace God has blessed us with.
Grace is important because without it we would not allow Jesus to see us for all of our possibilities, rather than our shortcomings, affording us the possibility to live everlasting life in paradise without our Heavenly Father.
Photo: L-R: James Perkins, North Central Region director of Christian Education; Bishop L.L. Reddick, III, presiding bishop of the 5th Episcopal District; essay winner Julian J. Crump; Julian’s mother, Martha West-Crump; Presiding Elder of the Huntsville District Rev. Ollie Hatchett; Rev. Zethelyn Johnson, Rev. Charlie J. Johnson, Jr., pastor, Mt. Zion #2 CME, Hamilton, AL.