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Moment in the Word

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"Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish... " (Jonah 1:3 NKJV)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:

Are you Running from God?

Nineveh was about 550 miles east of Jonah. Tarshish was 2,500 miles west of him. Rather than go 550 miles in God's will, Jonah decided to go 2,500 miles out of it.

Have you e done that? God says, 'Go here,' but you go there. The bad news is that not only do you have to come back the 2,500 miles you went in the wrong direction, but the 550 miles God told you to go in the first place.

Furthermore, whenever you run from God, you get to pay the fare. 'He. found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare. '(Jonah 1:3 NKJV).

The good thing about going to Nineveh is that God will provide the fare. The bad thing about going to Tarshish is that you get to pick up the bill. Many of us are paying a high price for our Tarshish trip, when, if we had done it God's way, He would have picked up the bill.

And notice something else: when you disobey God you not only mess yourself up, but also those around you. Those poor sailors on the ship didn't ask for Jonah's mess, but they got it. Are you messing up the lives of others because of your rebellion?

Think about it; if the wind, the sea and the whale had to obey God, what were Jonah's chances of escaping? Jonah didn't rebound until he got swallowed, and some of us are not going to do the right thing until we are swallowed too; until God permits circumstances so adverse that running to Him, instead of from Him, is the only thing left. Is God saying something to you today?

Pastor Campbell can reached at larrycampbell14@ca.rr.com

History in the Making as Black Methodist

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The nation’s three largest Black Methodist denominations, the AME, AME Zion and CME Churches, with combined memberships of more than 5 million, will convene at a historic gathering next month in Columbia, South Carolina. The ultimate goal of the gathering is to “Address the plight of the African American male and his critical role in America’s families and communities.”

Under the chairmanship of Rev. Dr. Staccato Powell, Pastor of the Grace AME Zion Church in Raleigh, NC, this strategic summit has been titled the “Great Gathering” and will be held March 1-3 at the Carolina Coliseum in Columbia. It is the first meeting of the African Methodist Episcopal (headquarters in Philadelphia, PA), African Methodist Episcopal Zion (headquarters in Charlotte, NC) and Christian Methodist Episcopal (based in Memphis, TN) churches in more than 45 years.

This unprecedented effort will seek to alter the troubling history of African American males by identifying and seeking unified solutions for the key issues that are devastating the African American community.

According to Bishop John R. Bryant, Senior Bishop for the AME Church, the motivation for the Great Gathering was to “Send an image and model of unity. Together, all our denominations represent a people and a community with many ills and problems… but we feel strongly that we can overcome all that might separate our churches so we can all focus collectively on what we can do to make things better for our people.”

Adds Bishop George W.C. Walker, Sr., Senior Bishop for the AME Zion Church, “The African American male is noticeably absent in the church. He is also absent in the home. If we can find answers to what is happening with the Black male in this country, these solutions will have a positive impact on Black family life in this nation.” The organizers of the Great Gathering believe that a solid plan of action and the unified power of the faith, beliefs and commitment of the participants can bring significant change to the Black Community.

Says Bishop William H. Graves, Senior Bishop for the CME Church, “We have the collective resources within our own denominations to address the problems in our communities… We can’t look for the government or other agencies to do this for us.

We can do it ourselves.”

Thus, the “Great Gathering” in Columbia, S.C., will bring together the Senior Bishops of the three Black Methodist denominations, politicians, church leaders, civic leaders, educators and others to develop initiatives to combat the problems facing the Black community, with a special focus on African American males ages 12-25.

Organizers of the event expect more than 6,000 people to attend. Great Gathering activities will include worship services, seminars, panel discussions and entertainment provided by gospel sensation Hezekiah Walker. Other leadership community organizations are welcome and are invited to join the Black Methodist denominations in this initiative.

Speakers include: U.S. President Barack H. Obama (invited); U.S. Representative James Clyburn (D-SC) (invited); Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President, Children’s Defense Fund; Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, author, Reducing the Male Drop Out Rate; and Rev. Teresa L. Fry, Ph.D, Director of Black Church Studies, Emory University.

Details and ongoing updates about the “Great Gathering” can be found at www.greatgathering.org.

Moment in the Word

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BIBLE MEDITATION:
"The word of our God stands forever." (Isaiah 40:8 NKJV)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:

Are you ready for more of God's wonderful promises?

1) 'Let all those who. put their trust in You rejoice. because You. defend them; let those also who love Your name. be in high spirits' (Psalm 5:11 AMP)

2) 'The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you. '

(Deuteronomy 33:27 NKJV)

3) 'The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him' (Nahum 1:7 KJV)

4) 'Fear not. for I am with you. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you. I will hold you up. with My [victorious] right hand. ' (Isaiah 41:10 AMP)

5) 'You protect them by your presence from what people plan against them. You shelter them from evil' (Psalm 31:20 NCV)

6) 'Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever' (Psalm 23:6 NLT)

7) '. The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. ' (2 Timothy 4:17-18 NIV)

8) 'Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you' (Psalm 9:10 NIV)

9) 'This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness' (Lamentations 3:21-23 NKJV)

10) 'I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety' (Psalm 4:8 NIV).

In His Love & Service,

Pastor Larry E. Campbell
St. Paul A.M.E. Church, San Bernardino, CA

Sacred Sistahs, In. to Honor Women in the Community

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Sacred Sistahs, Inc. will host its 2nd Annual Awards Recognition and Scholarship Fundraiser on Saturday, February 20, 2010 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. at the Marriott Ontario Airport Hotel located at 2200 East Holt Blvd., Ontario.

Sacred Sistahs will honor three high school seniors with a scholarship, Nailah Faraji of Upland High School in Upland, Mariah Lampkin of Wilmer Amina Carter High School in Rialto and Karura Ndicu-Stevens of Colony High School in Ontario have each completed the rites-of-passage program and will receive a scholarship from Sacred Sistahs, Inc. at the start of their fall semester in college.

Sacred Sistahs, will also honor several outstanding African American women who have significantly impacted the lives of women and children in the comunity including retired educator Brenda Erby and veteran educator Shalimar Horsley of the Rialto Unified School District. The inspirational speaker, RJ Jackson, internationally known as “The Courage Giver,” will deliver the keynote address.

Sacred Sistahs, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to empower, serve and improve the overall health, wellbeing, spirit and vitality of African American and African women and children by nourishing and elevating the mind, body and spirit.

For information on how to register, please visit www.sacredsistahsinc.org/news_and_events or call (909) 910-7564.

St. Paul A.M.E Church To Host CSU Super Sunday Services

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St. Paul A.M.E Church senior pastor, Rev. Larry E. Campbell, and his congregation is inviting Inland Empire high school students and their parents to its second annual “2010 California State University African American Initiative (CSUAAI) Super Sunday”. On February 14, St. Paul A.M.E Church will have CSU speakers at its 7:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. services that will provide information on how minority students can qualify for entry in colleges in the CSU system.

St. Paul A.M.E Church is located at 1355 West 21st Street in San Bernardino. During the month of February (Black History Month), California State University (CSU) leaders (CSU chancellor, campus presidents, vice-presidents, Board of Trustees and Board of Governors) take to the pulpits on a Sunday as part of its ongoing California State University African American Initiative (CSUAAI).

The event, known as “Super Sunday” is part of the CSU AAI whose goal is to increase the recruitment, retention and graduation rates of African American students, and more specifically, African American males.

February 14 and 28, 2010 are the dates still available for CSU’s fifth annual Super Sunday visits and this year the CSUAAI is expanding its effort to include 40 churches in Southern California. The CSUAAI wishes to include Inland Empire area churches in its partnership for 2010. The goal is to reach well over 100 churches over the next two year period in both Northern and Southern California.

If your church is interested in serving as a host church or for more information call Brenda Odell at (909) 496-0722.

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