Be ready to imagine the impossible!
The month of February is designated as “Black History Month”. During this month we celebrate by honoring the contributions that were made by African Americans to U.S. History.
Did you know that Black History Month began as “Negro History Week,” which was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a noted African American historian, scholar, educator and publisher. It became a month-long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
Did you know that spurred by growing racial violence in the early twentieth century, and particularly by race riots in Springfield Illinois in 1908, a group of African American leaders joined together to form a new permanent civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Did you know that John Mercer Langston was the first black man to become a lawyer in Ohio when he passed the Bar in 1854. When he was elected to the post of Town Clerk for Brownhelm, Ohio in 1855 Langston became one of the first African Americans ever elected to public office in America. John Mercer Langston was also the great-uncle of Langston Hughes, famed poet of the Harlem Renaissance.
And, Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American ever elected to the United States Senate. He represented the state of Mississippi from February 1870 to March 1871.
While we celebrate our history makers, innovators, those who opened doors, people who have paved the way, without the presence of God, none of the accomplishments would be possible.
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory; because of your love and faithfulness” Psalm 115:1 (NIV)
“Lord we thank you for always making a way, for creativity, for vision, and for your love. Amen”
Blessings and Peace,
(facts listed above were taken from: http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-facts)
Grace to you,
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: ...” Proverbs 29:18a
In the “6 Principles of Vision” series (make sure you get the four CD Pack), principle #5 examines how your vision should critically influence your priorities. Jesus said that we should seek the Kingdom’s priorities first, and then all other “things” will be added.
I ask three important questions when considering an action, activity, or project;
1. How will this affect the Kingdom’s priority?
2. Can I afford the cost (time, money, effort)? Read Luke 14:25-33
3. How does this affect the vision for my family?
Many people waste a lot of time, energy, money, and emotional strength on things that do not matter one iota (jot – very small Greek alphabet) to the Kingdom of God. Jesus was compelling in His message about the way people waste time with worrying as it accomplishes nothing. Worry and anxiety takes a lot of time and energy away from our divine productivity. Let’s choose to be Kingdom minded in all we do, in all we say, and in all the ways we think.
Have a Happy Valentine’s Month and look forward to attending the 2015 Women’s Conference coming March 20-22.
I urge you to hook into the services this year to become a part of what God is doing in the life of the church. If for some strange reason you are unable to be in one of the Sunday morning services, I encourage you to purchase the CD for listening, sharing with others, or downloading onto your audio device for repeated listening and study. In 2015, the members of Grace UMC Arlington are “running with the vision”.
We continue to love and pray for your growth in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Pastor Bates and Rona
Growing in Grace
Grace United Methodist Women
United Methodist Women is organized to live out the PURPOSE. This means that different groups may be organized differently and that they may need to change their structure from time to time to encourage ministry and mission. These groups are called “Circles”.
Thinking about new ways to do the work of education, spiritual growth, leadership development and connecting our service with our advocacy is what helps UMW to be a growing and fruitful organization for woman of all races, ethnicities, cultures and generations who want to be involved in mission.
The membership of UMW is voluntary and open to all women who are committed and engaged in mission and who affirm the PURPOSE. You do not have to be a member of the UMC to be a member of UMW.
Some of the Benefits of Membership:
*Prayer, Bible Studies, spiritual retreats, *Hands on mission in local communities, *Mission education experiences, *Leadership Development, *Advocacy for social justice issues and *Supporting work with women, children and youth.
(UMW on Path for Mission)
Grace UMW will meet on February 28th at 10:00 am. We invite you to join us.
Save the Date: March 14, 2015 is the East District Day Apart. This is a one day event for spiritual growth; more information to follow.
Pam Pinkerton, Grace UMW President
UMNS Weekly Digest
Turning racial nightmares into dreams
ASBURY PARK, N.J. (UMNS) — The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us that we can transform evil into good. God enables us to do that. But we first have to acknowledge the evil before we, through God, can transform it, writes the Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell, a veteran of the U.S. civil rights movement whose grandfather was born into slavery. For the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race, he also put together a viewing guide for the movie “Selma.”
Keeping faith with Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (UMNS — Using photographs from 2010 to 2014, photographer Mike DuBose presents a visual record of how an earthquake changed this small Caribbean nation. The United Methodist Church has worked hand-in-hand with the Methodist Church of Haiti to rebuild churches, schools and homes.
UMTV: Taking church to a tattoo parlor
WILDWOOD, Fla. (UMNS) – The Rev. Michael Beck is an unconventional pastor committed to reaching new people for Christ in unconventional places, including holding Bible study in a tattoo parlor. “God took a mess and makes a message,” he says of his own life.
History of Hymns: ‘Soon and Very Soon’
DALLAS (UMNS) – Andraé Crouch, a giant of gospel music, died Jan. 8. C. Michael Hawn of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology says it is difficult to overestimate Crouch’s importance for gospel music and beyond. For example, he was the choral conductor for the film “The Lion King.” The United Methodist Hymnal contains three of his songs, including “Soon and Very Soon.”
Full versions of the stories with photographs and related features can be found at www.umc.org/news
The United Methodist Church
The Grace United Methodist Church Mission Statement reminds us that we “seek to bring people into a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ”. In order to that we must be motivating, inspiring; we must be a vital congregation.
Here are five common characteristics of vital congregations – (1) Inviting and inspiring worship, (2) engaged disciples in mission and outreach, (3) gifted, equipped and empowered lay leadership, (4) effective, equipped and inspired clergy leadership, (5) small groups that include children and youth designed to encourage, support and hold disciples accountable in their Christian walk. (UM Handbook, Let’s Go Fishing)
From time to time we must ask ourselves, how are we doing? What are we doing to keep Grace a vital congregation? We must specifically ask, “What am I doing as part of the Body of Grace?” If you have comments or suggestions, please talk with a member of the leadership team at Grace. Scott Marshall (Pastor-Parish Relations Chair), Juanita Rischer (Nurture Chair), Sterling Langford (Board of Trustees Chair), Phyllis Scott (Finance Chair), Pam Pinkerton (Admin Council Chair). We’d love to hear from you! We want everyone who walks through the door to “Experience Grace!”