January 13, 2021
Let Justice Rain Down Like Water!!
On the eve of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, on Monday, January 18th, we are watching impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives against President Donald Trump.
I am struck by the juxtaposition of Trump, as a leader, exhorting his followers to attack the Capital and attempt to overturn the legitimate election in which he lost the presidency; and the memory of Dr. King and other members of the civil rights movement peacefully marching on the Washington Mall, with an estimated 250,000 people, to protest for freedom and fairness for African-Americans, in 1963.
These two views of America are in direct opposition to each other, but they both represent who we are as a people. In 1963, the protesters forced us to look at our brutish, hate-filled side and we decided that we needed to do better, and indeed, we took action in 1964 to try to remedy the injustice that we had been forced to face. But, that didn’t cure the violent, hate-filled side of us. It was simply driven underground, ready to be rekindled at the right time. Even as we elected our first Black president, and thought America was turning the page on our sordid history, the haters were simmering. Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party provided the right kindling to ignite them—to bring them mainstream.
As we think about Martin Luther King, Jr., and his struggle for civil and economic rights for Blacks and the poor, and for the soul of America, we realize that we are still fighting the same battles, but now we must fight those who would overthrow our government and up-end our democracy as well. What tools shall we use?
For decades we have relied on non-violent protests to bring issues to the public consciousness. Some have thought that approach too passive. However, the attack on the Capital on January 6th, has shown us that violence is mainly counter- productive. Non-violent protest is not passive, but applies insistent pressure to move the levers of power to make change.
We have no choice but to seek justice through peaceful means, joining all of our brothers and sisters of good will in speaking truth and calling out lies, and holding those in power accountable. May God help us to stay the course, until Jesus comes.
August 21, 2020
~Celebrating Our Graduates~
Time is swiftly moving by, even though our days may seem long because of the
Coronavirus pandemic. Because we are not together in church, we find it hard to
stay in touch and to keep up with our traditions.
Although we normally celebrate our graduates in June, we do not want to miss the opportunity to acknowledge their achievements and let them know how proud we
are of them.
The Graduates Are:
Tyler Glenn-Corlander Diploma—Whitney Young High School
Marissa Johnson Bachelor of Arts—Visual Communications
Wilmington College, Wilmington Ohio
DeJuan Johnson Master of Arts—Roosevelt University
Pastor Curtis V. Johnson Completed a One-Year Internship with MPUMC
June 2020, and we welcome him back with us for a second year.
Earned a Certificate in Clinical Pastoral Care—
Garrett Theological Seminary August 2020
We pray that God will bless you all with continued success in your future endeavors.
June 26, 2020
~Counting Our Blessings~
While this spring has held many challenges for us; from being quarantined for months, to businesses closing and jobs being lost, to the staggering death toll due to the corona virus, to racists feeling increasingly emboldened to use hate speech and violence. We know that this too shall pass, and we pray for all of those impacted.
For those who are sorrowful, but unharmed, we should be truly thankful. I encourage us to count our blessings and be lifted up in spirit.
Let’s think about the ways, large and small, that we have been blessed throughout this period, and share those blessings with each other. Photos are most welcome.
Let me share a joy—a Facebook posting last week by Pat Hawkins:
“Frank Hawkins just finished doing the flowerpots at church. By the time we are able to go back into the church, they should be in full bloom”
Thank you, Frank!
Share your blessings by sending them to the church, preferably by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone to 773-238-2600.
May 8, 2020
Since Sunday, March 22nd, we have been worshipping via YouTube, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The four people responsible for making our online worship happen are:
Pastor Dennis Langdon
Pastor Curtis Johnson
Music Director Gary Marks
Videographer/Editor Rashe Waters
We thank you, and celebrate you for your extraordinary effort in bring worship to us under these difficult circumstances.
God bless you.
May 1, 2020
Where is God when we need God most?
Blessings friends and family:
We are in the midst of a plague known as COVID-19, that has swept across the world bringing death and suffering indiscriminately to all of God’s people, with no clear end in sight.
We in the US have been hit especially hard by this virus, leading the world with more than a million people infected and more than sixty thousand of our loved ones killed.
How could this happen to us; the strongest military and economic power in the world, and the nation most blessed by nature? We live in a beautiful country with a diverse topography and moderate climate, a fertile land that is rich in natural resources, and that has been spared from major drought, famine, earthquakes, and plagues that have devastated other parts of the world. We are truly a blessed people.
So, why did this virus which spreads uncertainty, fear and death happen, and happen especially to us? Why is God letting it happen? Is God punishing us?
These are all questions that many of us are asking ourselves.
Scientists have not yet found the origin of the virus, one of a group of coronaviruses, but I don’t believe that God created this virus and is punishing us with it. God established the natural order of our world, and designed it to perpetuate, renew and evolve itself. God gave man dominion over the earth and all of its creatures.
So where is God during this pandemic? God is right here with us. But, now it is especially important that we have, and understand our relationship with God.
God is in our midst; giving wisdom and endurance to our scientists and health care workers, giving comfort to those who are grieving, encouraging us to be our best selves—to care for and support our brothers and sisters.
For those who turn to Him, God takes away our fear and anxiety, and brings us hope. If you’ve got God, God’s got you, no matter what!
Peace, be still.
April 23, 2020
Bible Quiz III
1.Who was Esau?
a. Isaac’s Nephew b.Rebekah’s son c. Jacob’s twin brother
2. What valuable thing did Esau sell to Jacob?
a.His wife b. His birthright c. His services for seven years
3.How did Jacob obtain Isaac’s blessing?
a.Jacob killed Esau b. Isaac always intended for Jacob to get it c.Jacob pretended to be Esau
4.How did Esau react to Jacob receiving Isaac’s blessing?
a.He vowed to kill Jacob b.He felt Jacob deserved the blessing c.He appealed the blessing directly to Abraham
5.Jacob’s uncle Laban promised to allow Jacob to marry Rachel in return for:
a.The blessing of Abraham b.The Dead Sea Scrolls c. Seven years of service
(answers in next edition)
April 10, 2020
“Rain, rain go away
Come again another day
Little Johnny wants to play”
Blessings Friends and Family:
Many of us can remember days in our childhood when rain prevented us from going outside to play, and we felt the gray heaviness of the atmosphere pressing down on us as we were forced to stay inside.
So it is with Easter this year. We are cut off from our holiday traditions, thanks to COVID-19. We are forced to stay apart from family and friends, and unable to share the Easter meal, see the children in their Easter outfits excited by Easter baskets and Easter egg hunts, and we are unable to celebrate the risen Christ together at a joyous Easter worship service.
All of this made me think about Noah and his family in the Ark. God had commanded Noah to build the ark and bring two of every sort of living flesh, male and female, into the ark to save them from the coming flood.
Imagine being shut up in the ark while it rained for 40 days and nights! They must have been afraid, and have wondered if the ark would hold up in the storm, as the waters continued to rise. And, then they waited 150 days for the waters to recede, and several months more until the dove returned to the ark with the olive leaf in her mouth, signaling that it was safe to leave the ark.
Imagine the patience, and the trust in God that Noah and his family had to have, the strength of their faith, that was essential in carrying them through the storm and the flood, and bringing them to dry land and a new beginning.
If we are patient and trust in God, we too will come to dry land and a new beginning, and will celebrate Easter with a new appreciation of the resurrection.
As we experience anxiety, confusion and uncertainty because of the coronavirus, and are disconnected from our regular routines, lets continue to be prayerful and hopeful.
Since we will be at home, and away from the comfort of being close to friends and family—for safety’s sake, I thought it would be fun to have a reminder of our faith story, as told in the Bible. Below is a bible quiz which might entertain you and challenge your knowledge of the Bible: (answers in next edition)
Bible Quiz II
- What was the name of Abraham’s son? _____________
A. Abram B. Lot C. Isaac
2. How did God test Abraham’s faith? _________________
A.God asked Abraham to walk in the desert for a year
B. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son
C. God asked Abraham to stand alone against the Philistines
- Who spoke to Abraham at the time of the sacrifice? ______________
A.God B. The Christ child C. Angel of the Lord
- Did Isaac have any siblings? ____________________
A. No B. Yes, two sisters C. Yes, six brothers
- Abraham’s son Isaac was father of: ________________
A. Jacob B. Moses C. Aaron
Bible Quiz I
- God changed Abraham name to Abraham from: ___________
A. Abram B. Jacob C. Ira
- What does the name Abraham mean? __________________
A. Great debater B. Father of the multitudes C. Prince of Peace
3. How did Abraham receive his heavenly visitors? ___________
A.He did not believe they were from heaven and asked them to leave
B. He asked them to rest while he prepared food
C. They drank wine and talked
4. What did the visitors promise Abraham? _________________
A. That Israel would rule the world
B. That his nephew Lot would ascend to heaven
C. That Abraham and his wife would have a son
5. What was Abraham’s wife’s name? _____________________
A. Ruth B. Sarah C. Mary
Bible Quiz I (Answers)
- God changed Abraham’s name to Abraham from: (A.) Abram
- What does the name Abraham mean? (B.) Father of the multitudes
- How did Abraham receive his heavenly visitors? (B.) He asked them to rest while he prepared food
- What did the visitors promise Abraham? (C.) That Abraham and his wife would have a son
- What was Abraham’s wife’s name? (B.) Sarah
Bible Quiz II (Answers)
- What was the name of Abraham’s son? (C.) Isaac
- How did God test Abraham’s faith? (B.) God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son
- Who spoke to Abraham at the time of the sacrifice? (C.) An angel of the Lord
- Did Isaac have any siblings? (C.) Yes, six brothers
- Isaac was the father of: (A.) Jacob