Community Garden Contest Participants
A record number of churches have joined in the first Community Garden Project for the Fifth District.
North Central Alabama Region
St. James, Jasper
St. Mark (Titusville)
Southeast Alabama Region
Mt Zion, Avon Park
May you all be blessed in this Resurrection Season!
Seven years ago, my youngest son's girlfriend died. They were eighteen years old, seniors in high school. He was devastated. I was at a loss as to how to comfort him. I prayed for guidance on how to minister to his broken heart. One day I noticed that he was wearing a hoodie, in spite of the warm spring temperatures. He offered little explanation when I asked about it.
One day as observed him sitting in the house with his hoodie on, I concluded that the hoodie was his protection. It was helping him cope by blocking out the pain of seeing a world that was continuing when his world seemed to have ended. I imagined at school the hoodie blocked out the images and painful memories throughout the school where he and his girlfriend were active in numerous activities and quite popular. His hoodie insulated him from the unavoidable pain of walking solo in the very halls and classrooms where he had been part of a duo.
This memory of his hoodie came back to me during the recent coverage of the Travon Martin story. I found myself wondering if Travon, feeling threatened by the stranger who was following him, pulled up his hoodie for a sense of protection. Or perhaps he had pulled it over his head earlier, as protection from the rain. I wonder if those who want to portray him as threat have considered that perhaps the hoodie was simply his way of seeking protection when he felt vulnerable, like my own son did.
As believers, as Christians, we must be careful of this worldly tendency to define what things mean. During this Easter season, we must take care to not permit the world to interpret our reality. We must resist, just as our collective voices are trying to resist any efforts to define Travon as anything more than a young man talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone on the way home from the store. We must resist allowing world to define this season with sales, bunnies, chocolate eggs, and new clothes.
Easter is the redemption of humankind from its most vulnerable state as sinful, lost souls. Easter is God's ultimate act of protection for those wandering through life. Easter is a "hoodie" for us, our shelter from the stormy blast, a covering for us as we walk through many dangers toils and snares. And as we insist on justice for Travon, let us do so in the spirit of justly recognizing the meaning of this resurrection season.
Bishop Teresa E. Snorton
|Spring Convocations 2012 Report|
Both the Alabama Regions and the Florida Regions Spring Convocations were spiritually uplifting! In Alabama we heard tremendous sermons from Rev Rose Lynn Brooks, Rev. Henry Brown and Bishop James L. Davis (AME). In Florida, the preachers included Rev. Trudye Thompson, Rev. Anthony Langhorne and Rev. Marquise Hardrick!
In Alabama, the Women's Missionary Society's event, "Blowing in the Arts" was a grand event with outstanding artists and dancers. We were inspired with music from Miles College Choir, Bethel CME Church, and the Mighty Men of Valor (Trinity, Tampa)
Financially, we were able to meet all our obligations for the costs of the meetings, able to retain monthly operating expenses for the next four months (April-July) and make the following payments on our General Funds:
NC Alabama $25,000
SE Alabama $10,000
Florida $ 5,000
Thanks to each congregation and pastor for their cooperation!
MILES COLLEGE RECEIVES ANNUAL GIFTS FROM FIFTH DISTRICT CHURCHES
Thanks to all who made gifts to Miles College as individuals and congregations.
Birmingham District $5,000
Anniston District $2,530
Huntsville District $5,050
Tuscaloosa District $5,800
Mobile District $3,165
Mont-PC-Opelika Dist $2,105
Jacksonville Orlando $2,625
Special Events for April
13-14 Florida Region Ministry to Men Retreat
Riverside Retreat Center, LaBelle, FL
28 Birmingham Region Ministry to Men Retreat
9 am Jacobs Chapel, Pell City, AL
Bishop's Calendar for April
8 Tree of Life Deliverance Church, Atlanta, GA
15 Cedar Crest CME Church, Dallas, TX
19 National Workshop on Christian Unity
Oklahoma City, OK
Bible Study Presenter
22 Rust College, Holly Spring, MS
29-30 Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Alumni of the Year Award Recipient
2012 Annual Conference Registration Forms and Schedule are on the website. Go to www.cmefifthdistrict.org