JANUARY 2021
COMMUNICATION BRIEFINGS
FEATURED ARTICLE
CELEBRATIONS
MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2021

On the third Monday of January every year, we celebrate the birthday of civil rights leader and activist Martin Luther King Jr. While today’s civil rights landscape still has a ways to go before achieving true equality, MLK’s historic contributions to racial justice for Black Americans are undeniable.

Martin Luther King's Day is more than a day off! Take some time to learn more and to celebrate in meaningful ways. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Educate yourself and those around you, because history classes rarely gave us the whole truth. The ways in which the topic of race in America is taught in history classes around the country vary drastically, so make sure that you have a good understanding of why there is a day dedicated to MLK.
  2. Talk to your older family members. For Black Americans—talking to your older family members could be especially enlightening. Many of us have grandparents who are living history, and who may very well have attended a protest or watched King on television.
  3. Do some good. It is a day of service, after all—If you are able to go out and give your time by cleaning up neighborhoods, serving at a soup kitchen, or just spending time with members of a community in need, then start by searching for volunteer opportunities near you. 
  4. Create. Use King’s message of acceptance and justice for the marginalized to inspire your art. Write. Paint. Make music. Whatever mode of expression you prefer, use the day as a springboard to let your talent be your activism.
  5. Support organizations that fight for racial justice. Don’t forget to support organizations that make it their mission to fight against racial injustice. Join a protest, raise funds, and learn more about the work that Black Lives Matter and other organizations are doing to empower Black communities.
  6. Support a Black-owned business. You can’t have equality without equity, and Black business owners often face additional barriers to their success because of their race. For a day that is about giving back, you can also empower individuals by supporting Black businesses in your community or online.

However you choose to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., make it impactful and meaningful to you and your family.

IN MEMORIAM
Rev. Dr. Edgar Allen Wallace,  beloved Pastor of First United Christian Church in Xenia, Ohio, died on December 2, 2020, at the age of 76. A devoted public servant and educator, he served as Vice President of the Xenia City Council, and as a professor of social work at Wilberforce University for many years. At Bethel Christian Church, his first Disciples ministry, he developed Bethel Housing, a fifty-one unity HUD 202 for the elderly. He also served churches in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky. In Lexington, he served as President of the Lexington National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Read more here
Elder Eddie Evans Griffin, beloved elder at Park Manor Christian Church in Chicago, IL, died on December 21 in hospice care. She served as a key officer of the Board of Trustees at Disciples Divinity House of the University of Chicago, and also served on the General Board on the Time and Place Committee, and the New Church Start Committee. She was a pioneer in several realms, having been the first Black student to enter, and subsequently graduate from, the master’s program in social work at the University of Illinois. Most of her professional career was at the Chicago Child Care Society. She began as a caseworker and became a senior administrator. At Park Manor, she was also a chair of the board and chair of the Christian Women’s Fellowship (now Disciples Women). 

Her father, Lorenzo Evans, was the first African American staff of the National Convocation in Christian education, beginning in 1947; in 1960-61 he became one of the first group of the merger staff of the NCMC and UCMC. He was a co-founder of the Star Supporter scholarships. Read more here
UPCOMING EVENTS
CALLING ALL SINGERS AND MUSICIANS
to join the Disciples Virtual Choir project 

The National Convocation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) invites you to join the Disciples Virtual Choir as we present the anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” in February. A poem written by James Weldon Johnson, it was first recited in 1900 by a group of 500 children. The poem was set to music by Johnson's brother, John Rosamond Johnson, in 1905. Since then, the enduring anthem has been sung all over the world. It is included in almost 30 hymnals, including the African American Heritage Hymnal. It is often referred to as the “Black National Anthem.”

Let’s join our voices in singing a song of faith, courage, and hope to encourage each other during this time of isolation. Singers and musicians of all ages are invited to sing or play along with their musical instrument. We hope to see all of the faces of Jesus in the choir, and that our siblings from every expression of the church will join in singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Follow the directions listed on our website.

Please submit your video by January 27. 

Back in September, the venerable Southeast Symphony Orchestra celebrated 70 years as the oldest predominantly minority orchestra in the United States with a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After a performance of Gustav Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony, 250 musicians from the Southeast Symphony, Southeast ...
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SAVE THE DATES: JULY 20-23, 2022
BOOKS SPOTLIGHT
SPIRIT PRAYERS
by Dr. Devoree Clifton Crist

Spirit Prayers: Praying Through the Pandemic and Social Unrest. These prayers were written in response to the fear, anxiety, and pain caused by the pandemic. The book is now available on Amazon as an ebook and as the printed book for pre-order. The printed book release is Feb 3
A BOOK OF LEGACY
by Rev. Dr S. W. Hylton Jr.

Dr. Hylton's book is in the final stages for observation and reading and this applies to those that knew Dr. Hylton or for those willing to learn about his religious and social contributions.

For questions, contact Sam Hylton, son of Reverend Doctor S. W. Hylton Jr.
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