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Lay Leader and the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation Presents its 8th Annual “Evolution of Gospel” Celebration Lay Leader and the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation Presents its 8th Annual “Evolution of Gospel” Celebration

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Lay Leader and the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation Presents its 8th Annual “Evolution of Gospel” Celebration

Posted on Tue, Nov 1, 2016

(Editor's Note: This Digest contains articles from the October 10th edition of The Christian Recorder.  We will email the New Digests weekly until the end of October when we have caught up with the production dates.  We thank you for your understanding.) 

TCR News Digest 10.31.2016

Lay Leader and the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation Presents its 8th Annual “Evolution of Gospel” Celebration
By Chelsye J. Burrows

On September 12, the Eighth Annual “Evolution of Gospel” Celebration was held at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC. The event commemorates the month of September as Gospel Music Heritage Month (GMHM). The 2016 honorees included: composer/producer/vocalist Edwin Hawkins; Grammy® Award-winning singer/composer and choir leader Bishop Hezekiah Walker; and philanthropist and Kennedy Center Board of Trustee Reginald Van Lee. In addition, The Gospel Music Heritage Foundation paid tribute to Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Read the full story here

Whose Church is it Anyway?
By Rev. Conitras M. Houston, Contributing Writer 



Week after week, believers and those curious about this “church thing” pile into a building that we call church. For those who have some familial or lasting ties, it is easy to remain present. However, what about the others?

Whether we do so purposely or not, I have witnessed us forgetting to be the church. Instead, we lay claim to the building that “my grandmother helped fund” and “my great-grandfather planted the tree in front of.” By focusing on the building, we lose our people. We lose the souls that Christ urged us to go and find. They come to our church and our church never becomes their church. Then we go to annual conference year after year and wonder why the accessions are not realized in our weekly church attendance. Whose church is it anyway? 

Read the full story here

Souls saved in the Dominican Republic
By Special to The Christian Recorder

From March this year, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Samaná has undergone a change and a remarkable development in all its activities. A large number of people belonging to the Church who stopped attending services have returned and are actively integrated into their Church.

The attendance and participation of members and guests in services has increased by 80%.  For example, in Sunday worship, retreats, Holy Communion and our 117th Anniversary, our Church has been full of people.

As a part of the development and growth of the Church, our pastor, Rev. Justino Rodriguez Jones had a beautiful baptism ceremony on August 21, 2016.

Read the full story here

The State of Youth Ministry
By Rev. Christal L. Bell, Columnist

One of the most misunderstood, underfunded, and “after-thought” ministries of the Church is Youth Ministry. While there are some congregations that have shifted this paradigm to ensure that Youth Ministry is a priority, some still believe it is an option. Based on having more than 10 years in ordained ministry with more than five dedicated to youth ministry and mission work specifically, I can boldly say, “Youth Ministry is not an option, it’s essential to the growth and vitality of the Church.”

Recent research by the Barna Group in September 2016, reports that young people (specifically teens), are actually very involved in the life of the Church at large in the area of volunteerism and service. Youth are seeking and searching out ways that they can indeed change the world.

Read the full story here

Faith and Family Weekend at St. Luke AMEC – St. Croix
By Rev. Florence C. Petersen

St. Luke African Methodist Episcopal Church, strategically located in the heart of Estate Grove Place, on the island of St. Croix—United States Virgin Islands, was the joyful setting for more than 150 school children and their parents during our second annual “Back to School Explosion.” This major outreach component of our Faith and Family Weekend 2016 under the theme “Moving Forward Together in Faith” was based on Ezekiel 1:12. It was led by our pastor, Rev. Carlos Wesley Perkins, and was one of many activities designed to positively impact the residents of the three housing communities which surround St. Luke.

Read the full story here

Kneeling to make a stand: Colin Kaepernick in Context
By John Thomas III, Editor

On September 1, 2016, San Francisco 49ers National Football League (NFL) quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the playing of the United States National Anthem to draw attention to institutional racism and its effects on African-Americans and minorities.  Numerous questions swirled after the event: “Was it appropriate?”  “Was it just a publicity stunt for a player demoted to second string?”  “What would the 49ers do?”  “Was Kaepernick even black?” 

Read the full story here

Connectional News

The Millennial Silence: 2016 Presidential Election
Chinelo Tyler, International YPD President

My alarm rang repeatedly until I woke up at around half past three to catch a red eye flight to Washington, DC. I was invited to attend a meeting organized by Bishop Frank Madison Reid, III, Chair of the Social Action Commission of the AME Church and Rev. Stephen A. Green, National Youth Director of the NAACP. That morning I served as the representative for millennials in the capacity of International President of the Young People’s and Children’s Division (YPD) of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. After landing, I gathered my luggage and caught an Uber to the meeting site, Metropolitan AME Church (Pastor William H. Lamar, IV).


Treasurer's 2016-2017 2nd Quarterly Payment Report
By Dr. Richard Allen Lewis

Please find the 2nd Quarterly report from Dr. Richard Allen Lewis, attached. 


Memorable items from the AME Bicentennial on Sale NOW!


Health Commission

Physical and Mental Health Responses to Trauma

Today, as we continue to battle the injustices and death of many, I am updating an article that was written last year. We need to help ourselves and others deal with the psychological and emotional trauma obtained from constantly being bombarded with death, killing, and negative media. We are in a public health crisis. While engaging in social action responses, we also need to take great care to address the public health concern of our psychological and physical health.

Read more here


Ecumenical News

Churches Uniting in Christ’s (CUIC)
Statement of Support for The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

(Dallas, Texas)  Churches Uniting in Christ, a gathering of 11 communions in a covenantal relationship, affirm and support the dignity of all people and to the care for the gift of the earth that God has entrusted to us.  It is, for this reason, we join with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and the dozens of tribes standing in support of their efforts to protect their sovereignty, water, culture, a way of life, and their sacred sites.


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The Christian Recorder is the official newspaper of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the oldest continuously produced publication by persons of African descent.  

Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie, Chair of the General Board Commission on Publications
Rev. Roderick D. Belin, President/Publisher of the AME Sunday School Union
Mr. John Thomas III, Editor of The Christian Recorder

Copyright © 2016 The Christian Recorder, All rights reserved.
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