Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ferguson



Peaceful Protests in Ferguson, MO

I know that you all have been inundated with images and information from Ferguson.  And I have been in a multitude of conversations about the shooting of Michael Brown and the decision of the grand jury this week.   I have no intention of commenting on the justice or injustice of the jury’s verdict; they saw the information and I did not, so any speculations of mine are worse than meaningless (and I would encourage you all to do the same).  I won’t ever have all the data (to what degree anyone does), and I have to trust the process of our justice system.

But that, of course, is exactly the issue: I can trust the justice system, because historically it has done a very good job of protecting people of my ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual orientation.  In my world, the police are always the “good guys,” representing the protection of the state.  That is not the case for people of color in our country (or women, or LGBTQ folks, or poor people).  Historically, the state has not done a good job of protecting their rights or their lives.  And all of the highly publicized shootings of young African American men over that past couple of years have highlighted that fact.

The protests in Ferguson are not, in reality, simply about Michael Brown’s death, and the decision that there was not adequate proof that Officer Darren Wilson acted inappropriately.  It is about the seemingly endless string of shootings in which young African American men are killed, sometimes -- like Trayvon Martin -- for simply walking in the wrong neighborhood.  

We need to recognize that racism is alive and well in our country, and we need to keep that fact before us.  Our call as Christians is to empathize with those who have suffered the loss of a child, and with those who feel that the justice system is just not working on their behalf.  Our call also, is to continue to create a system that does indeed care for all people equally, and which people of all colors, genders, nationalities, and sexual orientations can trust.  
That is why the peaceful protests in Ferguson are right and important.  The system never changes unless it is exposed to the light.  The Ferguson protests are doing exactly that.  They are not about Michael Brown and Darren Wilson, and what might -- or might not -- have happened on that tragic day in August: they are about a system that is not working for all people.  And we need to support that effort.    

As a church, we need to continue to keep this issue in front of us.  The church should be the place where we can engage the tough issues, learn empathy, and work to bring about justice in God’s world.  Since our merger with Wesley, we have the incredibly rich (and sometimes challenging) opportunity to learn how to be a genuinely multi-cultural community.  Through our partnership with Brighter Day, we learn what life is like on the other side of the river and how to build bridges across that.  All of that is hard work; but it’s also important work.  It’s work that changes us, and changes the world.

Lastly, an invitation: On December 7th, our friends from Brighter Day will be joining us here for our annual Evening in Advent.  We’re going to do some Christmas caroling in the neighborhood around Metropolitan, and I want our neighborhood to see faces of a wondrous variety of hues singing together as one family as we welcome anew the Prince of Peace.

Blessings, 

Rev. Charlie Parker





November 26th, 7PM at Asbury UMC
Hope and Healing for Ferguson 
Worship, Pray, & Work for Change
Tomorrow night, Nov. 26th, 7PM at Asbury UMC (926 11th St. NW, corner of 11th and K St. NW) we will gather with Asbury UMC, Mount Vernon Place UMC, and neighbors from our community in prayer and worship. We will gather being especially mindful of the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown hearing and the continued violence and discrimination upheld in our current systems of law and governance.

You are invited to come and pray for hope and healing in St. Louis and here in Washington, DC. More than gathering in loose community, we want to come together as the Church and begin discerning and putting into action policies and behaviors that help us create cities and systems that are safer and more just for all people.

Contact Rev. Adam Briddell at adam@inspireDC.org or 202.255.8369 for more information. See the flier announcement here.

 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gratitude Sunday

Gratitude Sunday
Sunday, November 23
On Sunday, November 23, we will dedicate our commitments in all of our worship services and participate in a worship of Thanksgiving and Gratitude.

Since spices are the most expensive item to purchase for our Campus Kitchen’s program, you are invited to bring a jar of spice to place on the altar as a symbol of your dedication and also to help fill the spice cupboard at our St. Luke’s Mission Center. A list of needed spices can be found here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Neighborhoods that Vote Get Respect! “Get Out the Vote” in South East DC





Neighborhoods that Vote Get Respect!
“Get Out the Vote” in South East DC
Saturday, October 25
On October 25, volunteers from Metropolitan and Wesley UMC will be working together with volunteers from our partner church Brighter Day UMC to encourage voters to participate in November’s mayoral election. While some see the outcome as a foregone conclusion, voting still matters! Because elected officials give the most attention to residents in areas most likely to vote.
This effort, undertaken with help from the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN), will keep pressure on elected officials regarding the renovation of the Parkway Overlook complex -- an abandoned, city-owned complex of 266 family-sized apartment units near Brighter Day’s A.P. Shaw campus. In June 2013, Metropolitan and Brighter Day held a joint worship service to draw attention to the need to reclaim this property for affordable housing. Mayor Vincent Gray attended that service, pledging his support. While positive steps have been taken, we have not yet crossed the finish line. Our ongoing support is vital!

Please consider being part of this effort. Our volunteers will depart from the Metropolitan parking lot promptly at 8:30am. At 9am there will be a brief training and orientation led by WIN leaders at Brighter Day’s AP Shaw campus. We expect to be finished with the canvassing shortly after noon.
As we knock on doors, we will also be inviting people to attend a community picnic Brighter Day is hosting at the Henson Ridge community center Sunday, October 26 from 2 -  4pm. Our volunteers are encouraged to take part in this event, as well.

-Ann Michel

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Catching Fire: A Concert for Inclusion and Equality

Catching Fire: A Concert for Inclusion and Equality
Friday, October 17, 8pm, Sanctuary I Pre-Concert Reception*, 6:30pm, Great Hall

Join us for a truly unique experience that will blend exceptional musicality with social justice in action. Catching Fire: A Concert for Inclusion and Equality brings together renowned artists, committed activists—and representatives from no fewer than 11 area UMC congregations—to raise critical funds for the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN), our denomination’s lead organization working to bring full inclusion for all LGBTQ persons within United Methodism.

The concert is sponsored by the Baltimore-Washington Area Reconciling United Methodists (BWARM). Tickets are still available here. In addition, our special guest on Friday evening will be the Rev. Frank Schaefer, who over the past 18 months has endured a difficult and controversial church trial, conviction and reinstatement. The concert comes at a critical juncture, as the Judicial Council (the denomination’s highest court) is now scheduled on October 22 to hear an appeal to Rev. Schaefer’s reinstatement. The RMN has played a crucial role in supporting Rev. Schaefer’s defense throughout his long ordeal. Funds raised by the concert will not only support these efforts but also a new initiative to promote better communication and reconciliation on this issue to UMC congregations in the southern US.

Rev. Schaefer will be on hand to sign copies of his new book, Defrocked: How a Father’s Act of Love Shook the United Methodist Church, at an elegant pre-concert reception starting at 6:30pm in the Great Hall. Tickets for the reception are $10 and may only be purchased at the door. For more information on the program details visit rmnetwork.org/catchingfire.

Rarely has it been so easy to engage in meaningful action on behalf of social justice: simply purchase a ticket, gather in a lovely sacred space, and let joyous music uplift and transport you. We hope to see you Friday!

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Neighborhoods that Vote Get Respect!

Neighborhoods that Vote Get Respect!
“Get Out the Vote” in South East DC
Saturday, October 25
On October 25, volunteers from Metropolitan and Wesley UMC will be working together with volunteers from our partner church Brighter Day UMC to encourage voters to participate in November’s mayoral election. While some see the outcome as a foregone conclusion, voting still matters! Because elected officials give the most attention to residents in areas most likely to vote.
This effort, undertaken with help from the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN), will keep pressure on elected officials regarding the renovation of the Parkway Overlook complex -- an abandoned, city-owned complex of 266 family-sized apartment units near Brighter Day’s A.P. Shaw campus. In June 2013, Metropolitan and Brighter Day held a joint worship service to draw attention to the need to reclaim this property for affordable housing. Mayor Vincent Gray attended that service, pledging his support. While positive steps have been taken, we have not yet crossed the finish line.  Our ongoing support is vital!

Please consider being part of this effort. Our volunteers will depart from the Metropolitan parking lot promptly at 8:30am.   At 9am there will be a brief training and orientation led by WIN leaders at Brighter Day’s AP Shaw campus. We expect to be finished with the canvassing shortly after noon.
As we knock on doors, we will also be inviting people to attend a community picnic Brighter Day is hosting at the Henson Ridge community center Sunday, October 26 from 2 -  4pm. Our volunteers are encouraged to take part in this event, as well. For more information or to volunteer, contact Ann Michel.

Friday, September 26, 2014

New In-Depth Bible Course: Covenant Bible Study

 New In-depth Bible Course: Covenant Bible Study
Beginning Thursday, October 2, 7:30pm, Fireplace Room
Join us Thursday evenings for Covenant, an in-depth group Bible Study that centers around our relationships with God, with each other, and with the world. It differs from other Bible studies in that it emphasizes the biblical concept of Covenant—the enduring commitment between God and people—as a unifying pattern throughout the entire Bible. It underscores the unique relationship that God chooses with us as God's people.

Covenant study covers the whole Bible by moving between the Old and New Testaments—discussing books from each in a way that shows the interconnectedness of scripture as a whole. Each week's episode includes a thought-provoking 20-minute video conversation between biblical experts that stimulates further discussion and reflection among the group members. Through community—through shared reflection and engagement together—we can best discover the Bible's transformative power.

To help the Covenant group deal with busy schedules, the episodes are structured in a modular way to provide flexibility without sacrificing committed study. Three 8-episode segments each explore a different aspect of Covenant life. Each will examine what Covenant means, and the progression of a Covenant relationship with God.
  • Creating the Covenant (October 2-November 20). Examine how the Covenant community is created and established.
  • Living the Covenant (January 8-February 26). Learn  how the community lives out their Covenant in faithful love—how it’s applied to actual relationships in everyday life.
  • Trusting the Covenant  (March 5-April 30...no class April 2). Discover the crises that sometimes call Covenant life into question, and how we are restored to trust in God when troubling things happen.
Covenant Bible Study creates a learning experience where scripture meets everyday experience—within and beyond the sphere of church life. It builds trust in others as well as confidence in scripture. And it provides an exciting new opportunity to better understand God's call, God's love, and God's unexpected favor. Space is limited to 12 participants, so register today at nationalchurch.org/covenant. For more information, contact Janet Craswell, Director of Christian Education.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jazz@Wesley Season 5...Get Up and Go!


Jazz@Wesley
Saturday, September 27, 6:30pm - 8:30pm, Wesley Fellowship Hall
Enjoy the sounds of latin jazz with Verny Varela and Alina Collins Maldonado! $10 entry l $7 Senior l 12 and under free. Purchase tickets at instantseats.com. Bring a nonperishable food item or a lightly used coat to jazz up someone else’s life. Donations for the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place.*5312 Connecticut Ave., NW.
Jazz@Wesley
Saturday, September 27, 2014
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Wesley Fellowship Hall Enjoy the sounds of latin jazz with Verny Varela and Alina Collins Maldonado! $10 entry l $7 Senior l 12 and under free. Purchase tickets at instantseats.com. Bring a nonperishable food item or a lightly used coat to jazz up someone else’s life. Donations for the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place.*5312 Connecticut Ave., NW. For more information, please feel free to call the Jazz@Wesley Information line at 202-966-5144 x-325 or email WesleyInfo@nationalchurch.org.
- See more at: http://nationalchurch.org/#sthash.mbmfioK8.dpuf
Jazz@Wesley
Saturday, September 27, 2014
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Wesley Fellowship Hall Enjoy the sounds of latin jazz with Verny Varela and Alina Collins Maldonado! $10 entry l $7 Senior l 12 and under free. Purchase tickets at instantseats.com. Bring a nonperishable food item or a lightly used coat to jazz up someone else’s life. Donations for the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place.*5312 Connecticut Ave., NW. For more information, please feel free to call the Jazz@Wesley Information line at 202-966-5144 x-325 or email WesleyInfo@nationalchurch.org.
- See more at: http://nationalchurch.org/#sthash.mbmfioK8.dpuf
Jazz@Wesley
Saturday, September 27, 2014
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Wesley Fellowship Hall Enjoy the sounds of latin jazz with Verny Varela and Alina Collins Maldonado! $10 entry l $7 Senior l 12 and under free. Purchase tickets at instantseats.com. Bring a nonperishable food item or a lightly used coat to jazz up someone else’s life. Donations for the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place.*5312 Connecticut Ave., NW. For more information, please feel free to call the Jazz@Wesley Information line at 202-966-5144 x-325 or email WesleyInfo@nationalchurch.org.
- See more at: http://nationalchurch.org/#sthash.mbmfioK8.dpuf
Jazz@Wesley
Saturday, September 27, 2014
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Wesley Fellowship Hall Enjoy the sounds of latin jazz with Verny Varela and Alina Collins Maldonado! $10 entry l $7 Senior l 12 and under free. Purchase tickets at instantseats.com. Bring a nonperishable food item or a lightly used coat to jazz up someone else’s life. Donations for the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place.*5312 Connecticut Ave., NW. For more information, please feel free to call the Jazz@Wesley Information line at 202-966-5144 x-325 or email WesleyInfo@nationalchurch.org.
- See more at: http://nationalchurch.org/#sthash.mbmfioK8.dpuf