- Created on 23 January 2013
Psalm121 is written with such confidence that the reader cannot deny he has experienced every bit of God's safety, God's protection, and dependability on more than one occasion. David was an amazing King. He understood leadership, crisis and temperance. .
Today as President Barack Obama begins
This may be the greatest quality of God's appointing David into leadership – no matter the circumstance, we can always know what to expect from Him.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all evil—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, try some Psalm 121 leadership this week. Be a safe place, be a protector, be dependable. Most importantly, be consistent.
- Created on 21 January 2013
President Barack Obama and the first family on Sunday visited Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Washington DC known as the "National Cathedral of African Methodism" to worship.
About 1500 congregants and senior pastor Rev Ronald E. Braxton jubilantly welcomed the president on the eve of his inauguration, which is also the birthday of Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The church also sang happy birthday for First Lady Michelle Obama who turned 49 on Jan.17.
President Obama's visit to Metropolitan AME is significant because it also marked the eve of the church's historic 175th anniversary and underscores Obama's faith posture, which came under fire during his first term in office when some on the religious right were questioning his faith.
"It was beautiful and it was spiritual," said Tijuana Morris who attended the service. "I took pride in the service that our president was in the church."
The church beautifully decorated to honor the president's visit according to Dr. Garland-Hill, a minister at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit sends a strong message that "Obama is not only the president of all of us but he remembers his roots and his ancestors and the role they played for us to be where we are today."
The AME church which grew out of the anti-segregationist movement in 1787 has since been a major spiritual denomination for African Americans when it was first founded by Richard Allen.
The Metropolitan AME has had a revered history and distinguished record of notable African Americans and transformational leaders who either spoke at the church or attended regular Sunday service there.
For example preeminent African American civil rights pioneer Frederick Douglass who interfaced with President Lincoln attended service there and the church was the site of his funeral in 1895 as well as legendary labor leader and civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph who was funeralized at the church.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rev Jesse Jackson Sr., Eleanor Roosevelt, Hubert H. Humphrey, Charles H. Wesley, Paul Laurence Dunbar are among a list of previous speakers who have graced the pulpit of Metropolitan AME.
" Obama is a messenger just like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who always had a message about peace," Hill said. "For him to visit an African American church on this Sunday sends a message that as a black man he is not ashamed to go to his roots."
Obama has selected Myrlie Evers Williams, the widow of Medgar Evers, the slain civil rights activist to deliver the invocation at the inauguration, another twist to the celebration that reflects on the civil rights pilgrimage that included the blood of many innocent lives shed.
"I am eternally grateful to Obama to have Myrlie Evers to deliver the invocation," Hill said. "To me that means that from the grave the work of Emma Till leaves on. Obama now leaves a legacy for our children that you have an obligation to never forget where you came from."
Rev Hill said to look at the White House built with the hands of slaves and to see a Black man now occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as president is completing a cycle of history.
"That is why the Black church today needs to go back to our roots to give our children not only religious training but social and economic training because it was the center place of our existence as a people," Hill said."The Black church should reach out and help because so many people are hurting out there. We need to have more clinics in our churches."
Virgie Rollins, chair of the Democratic Black Caucus said Obama's visit to Metropolitan AME today shows "He is still trying to decide where he wants to worship. I'm assuming he enjoys it. This demosntrates again he is starting to feel comfortable with his relationship with his God. He talks about his faith."
Rollins said probably the president "Is accepting to be a part of this church because picking a church will be important to him and his family."
With their visit to Metropolitan AME, the Obamas seemed to be building a strong affinity with the African Methodist Episcopal Church because President Obama addressed the AME General Conference in 2008, and as recent as June of 2012, Michelle Obama, was the keynote speaker at the church's quadrennial General Conference where she delivered a fiery speech.
"You see, living out our eternal salvation is not a once-a-week kind of deal," She said."And in a more literal sense, neither is citizenship."
She urged the 10,000 attendees of the conference to move beyond the four walls of their churches and make a difference.
"And to anyone who says that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better - no place better. Because ultimately, these are not just political issues -- they are moral issues," She said at the height of the heated 2012 presidential campaign. "Find that nephew who has never voted - get him registered."
Bankole Thompson is a Senior Author-in-Residence at Global Mark Makers Publishing House in Iowa where he is writing a groundbreaking six-part book series on the Obama presidency. His book "Obama and Black Loyalty" published in 2010 follows his recent book "Obama and Christian Loyalty" with a foreword by Bob Weiner former White House spokesman. His forthcoming books in 2012 are "Obama and Jewish Loyalty" and "Obama and Business Loyalty." He is the first editor of a major African American newspaper to have a series of sit-down interviews with Barack Obama. Thompson is also a Senior Political News Analyst at WDET-101.9FM Detroit (NPR Affiliate) and a member of the weekly "Obama Watch" Sunday evening round table on WLIB-1190AM New York and simulcast in New Jersey and Connecticut.
- Created on 21 January 2013
For the first time since its inception, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service will feature a Hispanic speaker, the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Elder Bernice King called Rodriguez "an electrifying orator. . .He is one of the most dynamic and inspiring proponents of the social gospel in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr."
Rodriguez will speak at 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21 at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, preceeding the inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington.
The Monday service caps the weekend which features the annual "Salute to Greatness dinner on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at Atlanta's Hyatt Regency Hotel. The dinner will honor Professor Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate known as the "Father of Microcredit," and founder of the Gameen Bank in Bangladesh. In addition, Aflac Inc. and its chairman and chief executive officer, Daniel P. Amos, will be honored.
"The King Center welcomes the opportunity to honor one of our world's great humanitarians, Professor Yunus, the pioneering leader of the
'microcredit'movement, which has empowered millions of women to lift their families out of poverty," said Dr. Bernice King, daughter of
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "We are also honoring Aflac Inc., for their innovative corporate citizenship and stellar example of
social responsibility in communities across the nation."
One of The King Center's highest honors, the Salute to Greatness Award, is being presented to these two individuals at the
annual fundraising dinner to recognize their excellence in leadership and a commitment to social responsibility in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.
In addition, The King Center will unveil and present the Inaugural Coretta Scott King A.N.G.E.L. Award (Advancing Non-violence through Generations of Exceptional Leadership), which recognizes young leaders (ages 12-25) and a youth organization/initiative that exemplifies exceptional leadership in the areas of peace, social justice and nonviolent social change.
The recipients of the 1st annual A.N.G.E.L. Award are Alec Loorz, founder of Kids vs. Global Warming (A.N.G.E.L. Award Youth), and "The 100 Days of Nonviolence" the Birmingham Campaign (A.N.G.E.L. Award Youth Initiative), accepted by City Councilman James (Jay) E. Roberson Jr. Birmingham, Ala., District 7.
The inaugural A.N.G.E.L. awardees exemplify the spirit of youth activism for environmental progress and the pursuit of social progress through Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.' s philosophy and methods of nonviolent conflict reconciliation.
"I am my father's daughter; I realize that the responsibility for his legacy is ours," said Bernice King. " I am also my mother's child; and like her, I am determined to keep his spirit alive. This is why I am so honored to serve as the CEO of the King Center. The challenges are great, but with help from our friends, supporters, and those who are committed to living the dream, we will not fail."
The Annual Salute to Greatness Dinner has become one of the largest dinners held in Atlanta during the calendar year, with many nationally known public figures and some of Atlanta's top community leaders participating. Some of the recipients of the Salute to Greatness Award in recent years have included: (then) Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton; Ben & Jerry's; Oprah Winfrey; The Portman Companies; Bono; Turner Broadcasting System Inc.; Quincy Jones; Sara Lee Corporation; Tony Bennett; AOL Time Warner; Stevie Wonder; the Coca-Cola Company; Coretta Scott King (posthumously); Reid Hoffman, co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn; and Sheila C. Johnson, founder and C.E.O. of Salamander Hotels and Resorts.
There will be a reception prior to the dinner in the foyer outside the ballroom beginning at 5:30 p.m. and an "Afterglow" reception in the Regency Ballroom following the dinner. Sponsors of the Salute to Greatness Awards Dinner include: the Coca-Cola Company; Mercedes-Benz USA; Newell Rubbermaid; Delta Airlines; Allstate; Cox Media Group; Kaiser Permanente; Wells Fargo; The Home Depot; the Captain Planet Foundation; and others to be announced.
Ingrid Saunders Jones, senior vice president Global Connections of theCoca-Cola Company, is serving as the 2013 MLK Dinner Chair and the new co-chairs are Laura Turner Seydel, chairperson of the Captain Planet Foundation and Tad Hutcheson, vice president, community and public affairs of Delta Airlines.
The dinner is one of the highlights of the King Center's 10-day Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observance program (Jan. 11-21), culminating on the national holiday honoring Dr. King. The other events of the MLK observance program will be announced in the weeks ahead.
Tickets may also be purchased on line via the King Center's web page http://www.thekingcenter.org/salute-greatness-award-2013.
- Created on 21 January 2013
The public is invited to attend the Ben Hill United Methodist Church 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Monday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m.
The Rev. Olujimi Brown, lead pastor at the IMPACT Church of the West End, will bring the keynote address. The Rev. Richard D. Winn is Ben Hill UMC's senior pastor. The church is located at 2099 Fairburn Rd. in southwest Atlanta.
"Empowering To Serve" is the theme of this annual celebration. This year, the Community Service Award will go to Ben Hill UMC member Jessica Godfrey, who was recognized as an Outstanding Adult, is president of the Atlanta College Park District United Methodist Women, was chair of Women's Day 2009 and 2011 and has been a member of Ben Hill since 1986.
In the Outstanding Youth category, the award goes to Persephone White, Ben Hill Youth Council President, member of the Youth Choir and Youth Hope Builders Academy scholar.
Highlighting achievement in public service, the following men and women in the legal and public service fields will be recognized:
The Hon. Robert Benham, judge, Supreme Court of Georgia; the Hon. Kimberly Esmond Adams, judge, Superior Court of Fulton County; the Hon. Brenda Hill Cole, judge, State Court of Fulton County; the Hon. M. Yvette Miller, judge, Georgia Court of Appeals; Chief George Turner, Atlanta Police Department; Major Rodney Bryant, commander, Zone 4 Atlanta Police; Chief Kelvin J. Cochran, Atlanta Fire & Rescue; Chief
Cassandra Jones, Fulton County Police; Chief Larry Few, Fulton County Fire & Rescue; Theodore Jackson, Fulton County Sheriff; and Antonio Johnson, Fulton County Marshal.
"We look forward to having the public join us as we celebrate the birthday of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and
recognize those who have provided outstanding public and legal service to our community," said Winn.
Ben Hill UMC members Martha Bell and Carrie Shipp are co-chairs of the celebration planning committee and committee members include: Johnnie Follins, Sherri Brown, Cathy Taylor, Sarah Lucas, Jacqueline Adams, Julie Bailey and Pearl Logan under the guidance of Associate Pastor Rev. Belinda G. McCastle.
Ben Hill United Methodist Church supports the needs of the less fortunate in the metro Atlanta area and beyond through its Urban Responsibility Ministry (financial assistance to those in need), feeding the hungry through the Ben Hill Food Bank and Trinity Table Feeding Program, Commission on Missions and Health and Wellness Ministry.
- Created on 20 January 2013
A tradition begun two years ago has now become an ongoing celebration. The Third Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Table Fellowship will honor the fallen leader on Sunday, Jan. 20, in a transitioning inner city community that embodies King's focus on "the least of these."
New Life Covenant Church, located at 575 Travis St., NW, in the midst of the English Avenue neighborhood known as "The Bluff," will honor King's life and legacy at a breakfast reading at 11 a.m.
Nestled in the midst of a fast-changing, underserved neighborhood inhabited by poor Blacks who have lived in the community for generations and young, highly-educated Whites, New Life, focused on incarnation ministry, is directed by Pastor Timothy Rodgers, who is White and who has been lead pastor for the past decade, and Associate Pastor Catherine Gilliard, who is Black and who grew up in a similar Chicago neighborhood. The public is cordially invited to participate.
For more information, visit http://www.newlifecovenantchurch.org.