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Bishop’s Newsletter 3rd Quarter

Reviving Churches, to Remind Believers, to Reach their Community

December 2016 – February 2017 3rd Quarter

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A NEW YEAR OF INCREASE AND ABUNDANCE

(Bishop Adolphus Scott)
In this Post-Modern Christian World that we live in it is very important that we allow our light to shine especially in the church. Our unwillingness to make UNITY our number one priority has crippled our church over the last 100 years. Too many Pastors and Leaders in the UAME church refuse to let their personal preferences go and swallow their pride so that the church can move forward. Our church was founded on the idea of ONE CHURCH in many locations. Peter Spencer’s vision was to unite all of his churches to educate and empower our communities to overcome the struggles they faced in everyday life. He realized we didn’t have the resources nor the manpower to accomplish this goal as individual churches, that’s why he chose to adopt the Methodist system. In this system we would only be as strong and our weakest church and we would all be our brothers keeper. But many of our churches would rather die alone than live by coming together and advancing the Kingdom of God.
Paul declared : “Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose,” (Phil. 2:2). Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would all be ONE
One of the signs of apostasy (falling from the truth) in the Christian Church is the bickering and disunity among Christians. Jesus said that the world would know that we were His disciples by the love that we have for one another (John 13:35). In Col. 3:14, it says that love is the perfect bond of unity. The New Testament speaks about us being unified in Christ (Eph. 4:5). In response to Christians who follow after individuals rather than Jesus, Paul says that Christ is not divided (1 Cor. 1:12-13). Though Christ is not divided, His body of believers is. It is all right to have differences of opinion on the non-essential matters like worship styles or days, dress codes, schedules, the importance of Quarterly Meetings and Conferences etc. Whether you believe one or the other, they do not affect salvation. Yet far too many Christians use these non-essential differences as justification for division and sometimes even insight anger. When this occurs, instead of loving God pride takes over in our hearts. Instead of saying to one another, “I am right and you are wrong,” we should be saying something like, “It is certainly possible that you are correct. Now, let’s work together to glorify God and expand His kingdom.” Perhaps this is too simplistic, but at least it displays an attitude of humility that helps to bring unity. It is the devil that wants us to fall into the self abuse of division and bickering.
The UAME church, as a whole, needs to repent. We need to look at ourselves. We need to look at our churches. We need to look at one another and decide that we will stand on the essential doctrines of the faith and that we will be united against the enemy. I am asking every Pastor and Minister in this district to lay aside all of our self—centered ideas and to come together as one to make an impact in our communities. When the leaders come together and unify, then out congregations will unify. WE ARE ONE CHURCH, IN MANY LOCATIONS! The U And ME Church.

The Young Adult Conference
It’s About the Kingdom
If Nothing Changes, Then Nothing Changes
Who are the Millennials?

The Millennials are those born from 1980 to the present and there are currently about 81,000,000 in America and they are poised to overtake the Baby Boomer generation. These young people are part of the technology age and have the largest number of college graduates of all previous generations.

The Young Adults exemplified a true spirit of love and unity working together with Theresa Cooper to make their first Conference a huge success. We started the conference with a dynamic worship experience with the Young Adults singing together and a dynamic message by Rev. Levi Combs III. Workshops such as parenting, finances, home ownership and insurance were made available to the Young Adults, and a seminar on Why Millennials Don’t Come to Church was presented to the adults who were in attendance. After Lunch we continued with the workshops, team building exercises and fellowshipped until dinner. Our Christian Rap and Comedy Show was amazing, what a breath of fresh air, a relaxing fun filled evening in a Christian environment. The rap artist lyrics were all biblical based and the comedian was amazing.

On Saturday morning the Young Adults went bowling while the Adults participated in a team building exercise followed by lunch and a wrap up session. From my observation of this conference I learned that our Young Adults love the Lord, the UAME Church and are willing to serve if given the opportunity. They are excited about God and want to know him better, they desire relationship rather than religion. When they come to church their desire is to experience God and not rituals. They are already planning their trip to Atlanta, Young Adult Day at Annual Conference and next year’s Young Adult Conference.

A REVIEW OF OUR FIVE YEAR PLAN

The vision for the 2nd, 3rd & 5th Episcopal District is to become a Church with Unified Congregations, Speaking the Same Thing, Helping One Another to Impact the people in our Communities by showing them how Christ can change them “Spiritually, Emotionally, Economically and Physically.
Our Mission is to Equip Leaders for Change (through support and education) so they can Equip their congregations to run with the vision.
When I was elected to the Office of Bishop I shared that I would give my all to help our congregations accomplish and obtain what God has for us. Thus far our administration has accomplished the following:
1. Restructured the Ministers Pension: We’ve asked every Church and Pastor to set aside 11% of their Salary for retirement. This program is available to all ministers and laypersons. Our goal is to provide a real pension program that will help our people after they are retired. Unfortunately many of our Pastor’s and churches have not signed up!
2. Church Insurance: We have partnered with Brotherhood Mutual Church Insurance to provide the proper amount of Insurance for our churches and leaders at a reasonable premium. We are in negotiations now to be enrolled in a program that would give the conference $10,000.00 per year if we have no losses which would cause them to pay-out.
3. Minister and Lay Training: We have started our Ministerial and Lay Training throughout the connection. Bishop Rideout and I feel strongly about equipping our leaders. All Ministers and Lay-Leaders must complete this course by Annual Conference 2017 or if you are a minister you will not be resigned and if you are an officer in a church you will be removed until you complete.
4. Legal Issues: We have worked on several legal issues throughout our district. From getting a church out of foreclosure (no mistake of their own) to avoiding losing property due to tax liens in 1990. In addition we have restructured mortgages and obtained mortgage releases. We are currently looking at church incorporations to protect the local church and conference from any legal issues in the future. We need the churches to work with us. We are for you and not against you.
5. Church Renovations: The General Conference has worked with us on assisting our churches in renovating and repairing many emergencies throughout the district; St. Paul Swedesboro (New Roof) Spencer Woodstown (New Roof) Peter Spencer Utica (New Roof) St. Michaels Clayton (Total Renovation) Grace East Orange (Renovations) St. Luke Lawnside (Renovation Downstairs) Chestnut St. Camden (ADA Chair Lift) Episcopal Residence (Repairs and Renovations). Our goal is to do much more but we need our churches to get behind increasing paying and General Claims,
6. St. Michael Church and Bishop Michael S. Moulden Family Life Center: God’s plan for our church does not change with leadership, Bishop Moulden’s vision for St. Michael’s Church was to create a Youth Center where young people would experience the love of Christ and be nurtured through teaching and mentoring. After discussing the physical condition of the church with the Trustee Board our first thought was to sell the building, but God said NO! We then prayed and God has opened doors so we are now in the final stages of completing the total renovation of the lower level (which will be a daycare) and repairs and improvements in the upper level (which will be the sanctuary). The existing Sanctuary will be used as a After School Program and Youth Center. I want to thank everyone who purchased a brick to make this vision come to past and encourage those who have not made their pledge to please consider doing so. We plan to reopen the church in January.
7. Boulden Seminary: We are excited about the progress being made at our Seminary. We are well on our way to becoming accredited. In addition we plan to have our online school up and running very soon. Dr. Tolbert and Dr. Brown have exemplified great leadership in bringing us to this point. We have also added new courses such as Church Administration and Biblical Counseling.
8. UAME Conference Center: Bishop Rideout and I have begun discussing the possibilities of purchasing a Conference Center. We spend about $150,000.00 dollars annually hosting Annual Conferences in Hotels, Our dream is to own our own Conference Center to use for our Conferences and rent out to other groups for retreats, conferences etc. By owning our own we would create additional revenue for our churches and jobs for our congregants. We are in the initial stages and we will be forming committees to see if purchasing a property is feasible.
9. Bethel New Life Outreach Ministry: We welcomed this new church into our connection, and we are excited about what God is going to do through their ministry. Under the Leadership of Sidney and Sessanie Walters the church is now sharing space with Grace East Orange. We Ordained (6) Elders, (2) Evangelist and Licensed (1) Local Preacher from Bethel New Life at the 203rd Session of Annual Conference.
10. Young Adult Ministry: Our District held it’s first Young Adult Conference on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3, 2016 at the Hotel ML in Mt. Laurel N.J. There were about 70 young adults in attendance throughout the conference. Our goal is to have an active YA ministry in every local church by Annual Conference 2018.
WE ARE ASKING FOR YOUR CONTINUED PRAYERS AND SUPPORT AS WE WORK TOWARD ACCOMPLISHING ALL GOD HAS GIVEN US TO DO. WE SOLICIT YOUR IMPUT AND HELP IN BRINGING THE VISION TO PASS.

TEAM MEANS: TOGETHER EVERYONE ACCOMPLISHES MORE!

About the Author: Shawn Williams