Author Archives: Teresa Jackson

20th Anniversary

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Greetings Beloved,

I would like to say congratulations, and acknowledge the 20th anniversary of our Administrative Assistant, Rev. Teresa M. Jackson, on August 25th. Rev. Jackson has served The Congregational Church of Park Manor faithfully during the past 20 years. I commend her for her love of God, which is readily seen in the passion with which she serves her ministry as an Administrative Assistant to this church. Please join me in celebrating Rev. Teresa M. Jackson.

Today begins our church’s Annual Revival.  The theme for this year is “Re-igniting The Church.”  Each Sunday in August will feature a special acknowledgement. Today we celebrate “Family and Friends”, the second Sunday is “Young Adult Sunday”, the third Sunday is “Homecoming Sunday”, and the fourth Sunday is “Comeback Sunday”. These Sundays will serve to attract young adults. I encourage you to invite your grandchildren, grand-nieces, grand-nephews and all young adults that you know.

The Great Commission continues to be the task of “The Church” today. How well this task is being carried out, challenges us today. I challenge us to ponder the following questions:

  • How well are we passing the baton to the next generations?
  • Are we preparing and equipping the following generations to be “The Church” that Jesus Christ envisioned?
  • What will be the legacy of The Congregational Church of Park Manor?

“Re-igniting The Church” will challenge us to light our spiritual flames, and revive our spirits to carry out the Great Commission with passion, enthusiasm, and joy.


Jazz Worship Service

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Greetings Beloved,

Today is our 3rd Annual Jazz Worship Service. We celebrate and praise God for the internationally renowned ministry of today’s vocalist, Tecora Rogers and the melodic sax tones of my Pastor, Rev. Dr. Ozzie E. Smith Jr. We are in store for a true blessing from two anointed instruments of God.

Jazz music is mostly associated with smoke filled, dimly lit night clubs and lounges and therefore was deemed by many people as inappropriate for worship on Sunday morning. Duke Ellington performed “Sacred Concerts” in churches throughout the U.S. and Europe. Jazz was birthed from the gospel and blues genres. You will find many elements of jazz in our churches ever since our enslaved ancestors merged Christian hymns with West African rhythms.

In his book “Blue Note Preaching”, Pastor Otis Moss III says, “…Jazz is structured around the Blues. Blues is birthed from spirituals and work songs and call-and-response narrative in the church. Jazz is dangerous because it dares to create new composition while playing the old. Right in front of the people, something new is created. We call it improvisation, call and response, the Holy Spirit.” God uses whatever God chooses, to give Himself praise. Today, we choose to praise and worship God through the music, melodies, and rhythmic tunes of Jazz.

Maybe the senior Pastor of St. Albans Congregational Church in Queens, New York, Rev. Dr. Henry T. Simmons, was ahead of his time when he started the St. Albans’ monthly jazz communion service back in 2001. I believe Dr. Simmons’ goal was to preserve jazz and the discipline it demands as an example to young people. Today, we seek to reach more than an example to young people. We seek to honor God and invite God’s people to acknowledge that nothing is off limits when it comes to praising God.


Wheat and Tares

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Greetings Beloved,

 

This has been an interesting week. Our streets continue to be filled with violence, OJ Simpson won parole after serving 8 years of a 33 year sentence for a victimless crime, and “number 45” continues with his antics on Capitol Hill.

Today’s lectionary text has drawn our attention to Jesus’s parable of the “Wheat and Tares.” The teaching of this parable is about “the kingdom of heaven” in the world. In the explanation of parable, Christ declares that He Himself is the sower. Christ, therefore, sows His redeemed seed (true believers), in the field of the world. It is through His grace, that we bear the fruit of the Spirit. Our presence on earth is the reason the “kingdom of heaven” is like the field of the world. When Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand,” He meant the spiritual realm exists on earth, side by side with the physical realm of the evil one.

The enemy in the parable is (the evil one) Satan. In opposition to Jesus Christ, the devil tries to destroy Christ’s work by placing false believers and teachers in the world who lead many astray. However, we are not to pursue such people in an effort to destroy them. For one thing, we don’t know if immature and innocent believers might be injured by our efforts.

God alone has the responsibility for separating true believers from false believers. Christ allows the false believers and the true believers to remain until His return. At that time, angels will separate the true believers from the false believers. At the end of the tribulation, all unbelievers will be judged for their sin and unbelief; then, they will be removed from God’s presence. Then only the true followers of Christ will reign with Him. What a glorious hope for the “Good Seeds!”

 


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