Thursday, October 23, 2014

Guest Speaker October 26 - Lorraine Morton - Former Evanston Mayor

Though Lorraine has made her home in Evanston since 1953, she was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She came to Evanston to attend Northwestern University where she met her future husband, James T. Morton, Jr., who was completing his requirements for a Ph.D degree. Lorraine received her MA in curriculum development from Northwestern at the same ceremony in which her husband received his Ph.D in clinical psychology. They married and were blessed with the birth of a daughter, Elizabeth Elinor, who is the mother of Lorraine’s granddaughters, Elizabeth Keziah Brasher and Constance Mariah Brasher.

Lorraine’s professional employment in Evanston began as a teacher at Foster School. Later she was transferred to Nichols Middle School, followed by Chute Middle School and Haven Middle School where she was named principal. She was asked by the then mayor to fill the unexpired term of the Fifth Ward Alderman. She agreed and was both Alderman and Principal until she retired from District 65. Two years later she was asked to run for Mayor of Evanston. She accepted and remained in that position for sixteen years. Documents from the City of Evanston upon her retirement stated “Her tenure has been marked by responsiveness, integrity, and care. She represents Evanstonians with civility, grace, and respect......and as an energetic ambassador at events in every corner of our town and in organizations at the regional, state, and national level. She is a strong and enthusiastic advocate for our city.”

Former Mayor Lorraine is very proud of her services to District 65 and to her community. She was very active in many endeavors and received many awards too numerous to record here. She has, however, expressed her appreciation for receiving honorary doctorates from the then Kendal College and Northwestern University. Yet, she relates to all her pride in the contributions she was able to make to the citizens of Evanston. In recognition of her services, the Evanston City Council renamed Evanston City Hall the Lorraine Hairston Morton Civic Center.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Guest Speaker October 19th - Pastor Dr. B. Herbert Martin, Sr.

Sherman UMC in Evanston, IL has the great pleasure and honor to welcome Pastor Dr. B. Herbert Martin, Sr. to speak at Sherman's 92nd Anniversary celebration 10:30 am on Sunday October 19th 2014

Dr. B. Herbert Martin, Sr., Pastor, Progressive Community Center, The People’s Church has over 47 years of pastoral and related experience, with more than 46 years of ministry work in the Chicago area. Pastor Martin was licensed to preach the Gospel, February 22, 1966 at Bethel AME Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, ordained to the Order of Deacon June, 1970 and ordained Elder in the Baptist Church and to the Order of Elder, June 10, 1973 in the United Methodist Church, Northern Illinois Annual Conference.
Pastor Martin was born in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, the oldest and largest black town in the USA. He is sibling to five sisters and four brothers. He has five children, six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Philander Smith College, Little Rock, Arkansas in 1967. In 1971 he earned the Master of Divinity degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He was awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) in 1986 from Monrovia College, Liberia, West Africa. In 2009 Pastor Martin earned his Doctor of Ministry Degree from McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago Illinois and the Doctor of Divinity from Chicago (Honoris Causa) Theological Seminary. He has been a civil and human rights activist since 1955 and a leader for African American unity and self-determination all his adult life. Pastor Martin is a tenacious activist for global citizenship and the building of a beloved community.
Pastor Martin has served as Executive Secretary NAACP, Southside Branch; Chairman of the Chicago Housing Authority, under the administration of Honorable Mayor Harold Washington. He has served as Executive Director of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations; President of the NAACP - Southside Branch; where he led membership enrollment from 5,000 to 25,000 and raised over $1 million dollars for the Freedom Fund. He was appointed by Governor Edgar to the Human Services Reform task force for the State of Illinois, and in 1995, he was inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. International Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He has serves as a board member for the Ounce of Prevention Fund, the Bronzeville Children’s Museum, Progressive Day Care and Early Childhood Development Center, the Chicago Community Loan Fund, the Martin Marty Center University of Chicago Divinity School, the Illinois Advisory Council of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Board of Trustees for East West University, Chairman of World Crisis Intervention Network, member of the Council for Global Affairs, a member of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, member of the Interfaith Global Initiative in partnership with The Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center under the leadership of Father Nabil Haddad of Amanda, Jordan, a member of North Star Masonic Lodge Free Masonry, a member of the Phi Beta Sigma National Fraternity and a member of the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity Incorporated.
Pastor Martin is a prolific writer. He has authored numerous articles and pamphlets and has several publication merits. Some of his writings are: Fasting and Prayer Ministry (A Model for Physical, Intellectual and Spiritual Healing); Tithing: Serious Biblical Giving and New Membership, Recruitment, Training, Assimilation and Discipleship. He is a much sought after
speaker, preacher and lecturer with topics that whet the inspirational appetite - Saving the Seed; Endangered Species: the Black Male; What Do You Have God Can Use? Stewardship of Time, Talent and Treasure; The Awesomeness of God: A Study of the Attributes of God (Holiness, Justice, Mercy, Love) and What’s Hindering the Cushite? - An Examination of issues Confronting Africans in the North American African Diaspora.
Pastor Martin is a clergy in good standing with the International Council of Community Churches, Inc. and has been adjunct professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School, McCormick Theological Seminary, North Park Theological Seminary, Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education, Northern Baptist Theological Seminary; guest lecturer at University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana; Philander Smith College, Little Rock, Arkansas, Bierzeat University, Palestine, University of Chicago Medical Center and the University of Tel a Viv, Israel. He is a member of the Council of Religious leaders of Metropolitan Chicago. Pastor Martin is the founder and organizer of the Progressive Institute for Biblical Studies and Leadership Formation, Inc.; the founder and organizer of the Progressive School for Prayer and Prophecy and the founder of the Progressive Boys to Men Mentoring Ministry, Founder and President of the National Progressive Institute for Community Development, Inc., President and CEO of Martin LLC, a local organization with a global perspective and business development consultant for Paradigm, a company that delivers exceptional outcomes through catastrophic specialty networks.
It is obvious Pastor Martin’s gifts are too numerous to be contained in only one country or one continent. His evangelical influence is international, inter-faith and cross-cultural spanning several continents and countries: Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, Canada, the Caribbean Crescent and the Middle East. His committed service to the Chicago Center for Cultural Connections Inc. is one expression of his inter-faith activities where he serves as Senior Advisor to the Executive Director. In addition he is a founding member of The Interfaith Global Peace Initiative. This initiative is a network of inter-religious business, education and media leaders. His commitment and diligent effort to develop a global vision of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Great Commission has reaped great fruit. He has mentored 12 men and women into active Christian ministry in the USA and abroad. Presently, under his leadership at Progressive Community Church there are more than 10 young men and women examining the “call” of God on their lives. He continues to inspire the members of Progressive Community Church and others to consider Christian vocations in their careers objectives.
Pastor Martin’s Thesis for the Doctorate of Ministry Degree at McCormick Theological Seminary concentrated on developing a “Model of a Center for Healing Ebony Kinships through Transatlantic Re-Engagement between Indigenous and Diasporic Africans.” This Center will be built on 40 acres of ocean front property near the Gulf of Guinea that Pastor Martin purchased. The land is called Oyeadzeyie Estates, being named after Pastor Martin’s African name, Kodjo Oyeadzeyie which means Monday-born man one who settles disputes, creates order and brings peace He envisions the work of The Center to be a place to help reconcile differences between the three Abrahamic religious traditions as well as all religious communities on the globe
Not included in this biography are the many civic and political activities of Pastor Martin during the 1980s and 1990s. Pastor Martin was very active during the Honorable Harold Washington
Administration. He provided pastoral care and support to Mayor Washington and became known as the Mayor’s Pastor” and “The Pastor to the City of Chicago and Vicinity speaking truth to power.”

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Children's Sabbath - October 12th

Children’s Sabbath 2014
by Melanie Gordon

The Children's Sabbath, whether celebrated the weekend of October 10 or 17, "is a weekend that aims to unite religious congregations of all faiths across the nation in shared concern for children and common commitment to improving their lives and working for justice on their behalf." This year's theme is "Precious in God's Sight: Answering the Call to Cherish and Protect Every Child." As United Methodists, our roots rest in the care for those who are vulnerable, especially children. During this important weekend we join with other denominations and religions to bring to light the plight of children in a "bigger and more powerful and more inspiring way than the efforts of any one congregation" or denomination can accomplish on its own.

Monday, October 6, 2014

National Day of Prayer Tues. Oct 7

Tuesday, October 7th is a National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding. This observance is part of Mental Illness Awareness Week (the first full week of October each year).

In your own devotions, stop to take a second look at your own understanding of mental illness. What does "mental illness" mean? The phrase is vague. Many persons with "mental illness" live lives we would consider normal, as capable as those not stamped with the "mental illness" label. These persons need prayer as much as the rest of us but not pity. Spare a prayer for them that they escape the stigma of "disease".

Spare a prayer for those whose condition does bring them suffering and confusion - mild or severe. May the Lord especially be with all those in another's care. May that care keep them safe. Pray for those who provide care - whether professionals or family. Care is a hard task when faced every day. Some are and some are not equipped to handle the strain.

On Tuesday and on any other day, spare a prayer for those with mental illness - mild or severe - for those whose role is support and care, and for the people of world to learn and understand.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Season of Saints

Throughout the month of October the global Church will celebrate the great cloud of witnesses - the saints that make up the Body of Christ's Church. The following excerpts are taken from the UMC lectionary planning calendar worship suggestions for October:
Each week, we’re asking you to consider highlighting, in some way, an historical Christian saint, a saint who is part of our United Methodist heritage, and a saint you know personally in your congregation or community. You can remember them in prayers, create special bulletin inserts, or Tweet links about them during the week between Sundays. Exactly how you keep this season is yours to create and have fun with.
Suggestions for each Sunday:
In addition to these people (I listed them below) plan also to recognize at least two other saints: one from your congregation and one from another congregation. To help you share your stories and find stories of others, we've set up a page describing this project on the United Methodist Worship blog. Just leave your story in the comments section. 
     And personally, I would assume a special person - a "saint" we hold dear - need not be dead to be celebrated. But that's just me...

October 5: World Communion Sunday
                  Christian Saint: Francis of Assisi (died October 4, 1226)
                  United Methodist Saint: Mary McLeod Bethune (died May 18, 1955)
October 12: Children's Sabbath
                  Christian Saint: John Woolman
                  United Methodist Saint: Jeannie Fowler Willing
October 19: Laity Sunday
                  Christian Saint: Luke the Evangelist
                  United Methodist Saint: Lizzie Hoffman
October 26: Christian Saints: Yona Kanamuzeyi and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, martyrs
                  United Methodist Saint:Sarah Crosby
November 2: All Saints Sunday
                  Christian Saint: Kahkewaquonaby (Peter Jones)
                  United Methodist Saint:Jacob Albright

Thursday, October 2, 2014

World Communion Sunday

World Communion Sunday - it is exactly what it sounds like. It was begun with the intent to mark a specific time when the ecumenical world Church celebrates communion intentionally recognizing the global truth of the Body of Christ. This makes it and inclusive endeavor by its very nature. Our focus in "the now" is equipping for ministry those persons globally who dare to go out for Christ to change the world. Excerpted from the lectionary calendar:
World Communion Sunday began in 1940, a time when most Protestant churches celebrated Communion quarterly at most, and so may rarely have celebrated on the same day. Today, the vast majority of Christians worldwide celebrate Communion weekly; and most Protestants celebrate at least once per month, most frequently on the first Sunday. The need to highlight this day as “one time when we are all celebrating together” has thus subsided. The more salient focus for the celebration now is on supporting ministry issues we share across multiple denominations across the globe—such as education for persons of many cultures worldwide.
(also to note) ... the Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer was created by the World Council of Churches to enable Christians everywhere to pray with and for the church and the world, for every nation on earth, throughout the year.  
On World Communion Sunday it is also appropriate to consider all those we may inadvertently “excommunicate” because they are unwillingly absent, marginalized, or outside our comfort zones.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What makes October so special?

October is a month overflowing with significant events and observations. Here's a quick list of Sherman events to start:

  • October 5th - World Communion Sunday
  • October 8th - Church council
  • October 17th - Sherman welcomes the Fisk University Choir in concert in celebration of our 92nd anniversary
  • October 19th - Rev. B Herbert Martin is our guest preacher in honor of our anniversary.
Then we have the broader church and civic calendar:
  • Hispanic heritage month began Sept 15 and continues through Oct 15
  • October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Oct 5 - The Church takes up a special offering on World Communion Sunday. This year benefits national and international graduate students, enabling them to follow God equipped by higher education. click here to learn more.
  • October 6th-12th - Mental Health Awareness Week: Oct 7th - National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding
  • October 12th - Children's Sabbath (click here)
  • Oct 19th - Laity Sunday
If that seems like a lot to take in, it should because, honestly, it is. But all the things we want to mark and observe tend to need a special place on the agenda, or we tend to forget them and how important they all are. Most are more significant to some than to others, but each is special and our personal observance holy. 

Posts will be coming soon on what each of a few of these means and how we can observe them individually and collectively.