Monday, September 29, 2008
I feel truly blessed to have been re-appointed Flint Area Chairperson, and I am ready to work – with you by my side! Our first meeting of the Flint Area for the conference year will be Saturday, October 11, 2008 at Quinn Chapel AME Church. We appreciate the Turner Missionary Society for agreeing to host. Sis. Arzetta Johnson is local president and Rev. Stanley U. Sims is Pastor.
8:00 a.m. Area YPD gathers at Quinn Chapel for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk (To donate to the cause go to to donate at http://flintwms.blogspot.com. Please support the YPD in their mission efforts.)
11:00 a.m. Senior Society meeting begins
12:00 noon YPD meeting begins – Sis. Ola McMillian, Flint Area YPD Director
On the Agenda:
· Meet the new Michigan Conference officers. Many of them will be in attendance at our meeting
· The Gospel of John. Please begin to read and study if you have not done so already.
· Global and 4th District Initiatives, including My Sister’s Keeper, the Flint Area’s global mission focus.
· Mission and Outreach Goals
· Area Shares and Creative Funding Sources
· Brainstorming and Goal-setting
· Reading Cluster formation. See the book list on the Area blog.
· Elections. We will follow a similar nominating format as was used at the Michigan Conference Annual Convention. Please see the spiritual gifting outline in the previous post, and encourage members to pray about the role they want to play on the Area level.
· Calendar. Bring your event dates and activities.
We have much to discuss, but we should be finished by 2:00 p.m. Invite non-member
guests to attend this meeting – to listen and take part in our exciting activities. A
continental breakfast will be served and lunch will be served to the YPD after their walk.
Last but not least , big congratualtions to our newly elected Michigan Conference
officers from the Flint Area: Sis. Joyce Keys Garrison, 2nd Vice President (Vernon
Chapel – Flint), Sis. Geraldine Peterson, Flint Area Member-at-Large (Bethel-
Saginaw), and our first-ever Webmaster, Sis. Diana Psalms (Quinn Chapel – Flint).
Please give them your support.
Look forward to seeing your October 11th! As usual, check back here for updates.
Love and Peace,
Flint Area Chairperson
(Prepared by Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant)
Many women posses more than one leadership strength. The focus of this self-interview
is to identify the one dominant gift in your life experience. There is no right or wrong
category. All gifts are equal in kingdom value.
A. I am an Intercessor for Change (Worship Leader – will execute the Area-wide prayer vigil)
My prayer life is central. I seek God’s will for the church and the world. My desire is for nations of souls to be led into the kingdom.
B. I generate resources for change (Treasurer and 1st Vice President)
I believe that with creativity and ingenuity, skills can be developed to create fresh streams of income for missions.
C. I empower/ equip/ educate for change (PME Director and 2nd Vice President)
I have the insight of a life coach, the gifting of a teacher and the compassion of a servant of the Lord. I can motivate women to grasp and embrace change!
D. I make change happen (President/Chairperson and YPD Director)
I can carry out an implement an idea. I don’t see problems; I see solutions. I know how to create maximum participation for maximum impact. I can motive women to work together for change. (Not to be elected; these offices are appointed to the Area level)
E. I can use technology to facilitate change (Recording Secretary and Corresponding Secretary)
I can effectively and efficiently utilize technology to generate resources, provide research and provide optimum communications. I can equip the Area and Conference to maintain ties with the 4th District, the Connection and the world.
F. I mobilize for change (3rd Vice President)
I relate well and communicate well with women from multiple sectors. I have the enthusiasm to expand our circle.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
"I understand that each day as I wake up on this side of freedom, I have a gift that comes with a responsibility."
My Sister's Keeper is a women-led, women-focused, humanitarian action group. They are a faith-inspired, multi-racial, collective of women who work together to lend sisterly assistance to communities of women in various locations throughout the World. At present, they are focused on supporting the aspirations of women in the African country of Sudan. It is their hope that their way of working together will inspire other small groups of women to form sisterhoods that support the hopes of women who dare dream in the face of dire socioeconomic conditions.
My Sister's Keeper envisions a world where women all across the globe can imagine, create and sustain vibrant and joyous communities.
Today, they are focused on assisting, protecting and advocating for the women of southern Sudan who live in Gogrial County. They befriend the women, listen to their stories, learn about their needs and support their aspirations for economic, educational and physical vitality. My Sister's Keeper aims to catalyze other women across the globe: to gather in sisterhood and harness human, financial and information resources to the women and communities they choose to serve.
My Sister's Keeper carries out this vision and mission with humility and with joy. They have been empowered by God, and in return, respond to God's call to sisterhood and to service.
The Flint Area Women's Missionary Society (Michigan Conference, African Methodist Episcopal Church) has chosen to work with My Sister's Keeper, helping the women of the Sudan reach their goals for a better life.
For more information and to read more about their projects, see the My Sister's Keeper website.
Largest City: Omdurman
Official Languages: Arabic & English
Government: Dictatorship, Military
President: Omar Hassan al-Bashir (1989)
Independence from Egypt & United Kingdom: Jan. 1, 1956
Infant mortality rate: 59.6/1,000
Life expectancy: 59.3 years
Literacy rate (2003 est.): 61%
Gross Domestic Product: $80.71 billion, per capita: $2,200
In early 2003, two loosely allied rebel groups began a rebellion in Darfur, calling for the redress of social and economic grievances and demanding greater political power. Sudanese authorities saw the rebellion as a threat to the viability of the entire country, fearing other neglected regions would similarly rise up and demand larger degrees of autonomy. Thus, the government decided to respond by carrying out a deliberate policy of extermination against the African tribal peoples of Darfur from which the rebels are drawn.
Janjaweed, a large Arab militia, has been the main group employed by the government to implement this policy of genocide in Sudan. They are armed by the government and sent into various African villages where they proceed to kill civilians of all ages, burn down houses, destroy crops and livestock, carry out mass executions, target vital infrastructure, and commit wide-scale rape. Reports coming out of the region speak regularly of such brutal acts as men being chained together and thrown into burning huts, women being raped in front of their loved ones, and children being kidnapped from their families. To date, over 400,000 people have died as a result of the Sudan genocide campaign and 2.5 million have been internally displaced.
Despite the denial of involvement with such crimes by the Sudanese government, the facts show that high ranking officials are coordinating the Sudan genocide. Sudanese intelligence forces are known to be in close communication with the militias and air force planes regularly conduct bombing raids on villages and fleeing civilians prior to Janjaweed invasions. In July of 2004, Human Rights Watch released a report revealing internal government documents showing that the central government both armed and coordinated the Janjaweed to carry out the Sudan genocide. In addition, the government has gone to great lengths to make sure that no news reporters or humanitarian personnel are allowed into the villages being targeted in Darfur.
The United States has already officially labeled the crisis in Darfur “genocide” and the United Nations has called it “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.”
For more information, see the United Human Rights Council
- My Sister's Keeper (mission work in Sudan) - adopted by the Flint Area WMS
- 11 Basic (Primary) schools in Jamaica
- Doctors without Borders
- Tsepong Orphanage for Children with AIDS (Lesotho)
- The Children's Defense Fund
- Development of AME India
- Health Care for Haiti (see the Battle Creek Area WMS blog)
- Bryant Seminary in Liberia
- Reorientation of child soldiers in Sierra Leone
- The Green Belt Movement (ecology) Kenya
Read, Research, Reflect, Respond!
The following reading list is suggested by Rev. C to guide us on our missionary journey this year. Rev. C says, "The nine books on this list help us to begin to inform ourselves as we pray to become effective Missionaries of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
She suggests creating Reading Clusters/Circles of 5 people with whom you can dialogue and gain fresh perspective and discussing specific writings at each local, area, conference, and district meeting.
- A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture by Craig Detweiler and Barry Taylor
- Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf, Larry Spears & Stephen R. Covey
- Ten Poems to Change Your Life Again and Again by Roger Housden
- The Open Secret: An Introduction to the Theology of Mission by Lesslie Newbigin
- Come Away My Beloved, Devotional Classic by Frances J. Roberts
- Authority in Prayer: Praying with Power and Purpose by Dutch Sheets
- Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century - Alex Steffen, editor
- What Matters Most: Ten Lessons in Living Passionately from the Song of Solomon by Renita J. Weems
- Living Water by Brother Yun
Dr. C further advises, "Make Missions meaningful through enlightenment. Enjoy the journey. Let the Holy Spirit guide you. You will know where you should begin. Some may be read together; others a chapter at a time; and then others you will have to read and come back to. Don't have time? Turn off the television, your cell phone or unnecessary chatter. Fifteen minutes here and there will lead to hours of inspiration. 'Trust the process.'"
Monday, September 15, 2008
Room rate: $99 (Deadline for reservations, October 8, 2008)
Parking: $5 per day for hotel guests only
Noon WMS Cabinet Luncheon (Conference Presidents, Treasurers, District Officers, Area Chairs, Connectional Officers)
2:00 p.m. Opening Plenary
7:00 p.m. Opening Worship Service
9:00 a.m. Prayer Riot
9:30 a.m. Bible Study: Gospel of John
10:30 a.m. Tai Chi
11:00 a.m. Team Building for Prayer Convocation
Noon Hour of Power
3:00 p.m. Covenant Vision, Covenant Leadership
a. Election of District Officers
b. Adoption of District Budget
7:00 p.m. Worship Service
Quinn Chapel - Flint is sponsoring a bus that will leave Thursday morning. Contact the church office at (810) 238-5636.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
At the 4th District Christian Education Congress this past July in Lisle, IL, during a working session with Dr. Cecelia Bryant, we determined who we are as defined by God's word. Missionaries of the 4th Epsicopal Distrct will memorize the following verses by the 4th District Planning meeting this October:
- Patient: Hebrews 12:1 & Romans 15:5
- Understanding: Philippians 4:7
- Truthful: Proverbs 12:19
- Compassionate: Matthew 9:36
- Cohesive: Psalms 133:1
- Loyal: Ruth 1:16-18
- Sincere: 1 Peter 2: 1-2
- Committed: Psalm 37:5
- Focused: Psalm 119:37
- Open-minded: Galatians 3:28
- Prayerful: I Thessalonians, James 5:15 & Ephesians 3:14-16
- Self-Caring: Romans 12:1 and Ephesians 6:11
- Resourceful: Philippians 4:19
- Loving: I Corinthians 13:1
Let's prepare ourselves for the work of missions!
It is my pleasure to have been re-appointed Chairperson of the Flint Area Women's Missionary Society. I enjoyed serving last year, and it was quite a learning experience.
As most of you know, we have new leadership on the District and Conference Branch Levels: we have dynamic Episcopal leadership in Bishop John and Rev. Dr. Cecelia Bryant; and my good sister-friend, Jacqueline Mitchell Robinson, is our energetic new president of the Michigan Conference.
Get ready for positive change! Our Episcopal Supervisor, Rev. Cecelia (or Rev. C) has a lot in store for us. She is truly a woman of God and a woman of vision. She has given us our assignements and we must prepare ourselves for the work of missions.
Bookmark and check this blog (http://flintwms.blogspot.com/) for information and activities of the Women's Missionary Society. You may also e-mail me with your local activities, and I will share them here on the blog. The following resources and activities will be outlined in subsequent posts:
Take up your sword! We have a wealth of Bible verses that prove to us that we are already equipped for success. Read them, learn them, and hide them in your heart.
Read to lead! We have a list of nine books that will help us in our mission work. We can create Reading Clusters and discuss the writings at our Area meetings.
On the Move! Stay posted for an on-line calendar of WMS and AME Church activities. The 4th District Planning Meeting will be October 23 - 25, 2008 in Rosemont, IL.
My Sister's Keeper! Each Area of the 4th District chose a global mission focus, and Missionaires from the Flint Area chose the Sudan. In particular, we will be working with My Sister's Keeper, an organization that assists women and girls in the Sudan, advocating for their health, education and work life.
We are responsible for the earth! We'll be planting trees, digging wells and doing other things to make this world better.
12 Hours in the Throne Room! We will hold an Area-wide Prayer Vigil that will include every church.
As you can see, we will be busy, and we know we can do all things through Christ who stregthens us!
Love and Peace,