Friday, April 10, 2009

Visit to People’s Congregational United Church of Christ

Pastor Michael Murphy and group

Barbara shared this story about her visit with Peggy to the People’s Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C.

Throughout its history the Black church has maintained a long-standing tradition as an institution that plays a multi-faceted role in the life of our community. The Black church has led the way: in supporting racial uplift activities; providing comfort and aid to members and communities in need; providing networking opportunities and resources; in providing the learning environment where members could obtain leadership, management and overall “people skills”, especially when we could not obtain these skills elsewhere; fighting for social justice and combating social and political (big P/small p) injustice.

The Church has also served as an alternative educational institution to ensure that members of its community have opportunities to enhance knowledge and learning. Given this background, it was no surprise that the Pastor, Rev. Dr. Michael Murphy and members of the Evangelistic Outreach Committee agreed to host a presentation and book signing of “Go, Tell Michelle” at People’s Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C. on March 28th. True to their motto from their website:

“We are an open church. We are a Christian community where everybody is somebody because Jesus Christ is Lord. We invite you to explore these pages to learn more about Peoples Church. But even more, we invite you to be our guest at any of our worship services, special programs and events, as well as to participate in our ongoing activities. We will be pleased to meet and greet you and, we believe you will be pleased to meet and greet us.”

We were greeted warmly and had an extraordinary dialogue with the group that assembled for this morning presentation. We have an open invitation from Pastor Murphy to return to People’s and hope that we can do so in the near future. Thank you, Pastor Murphy, for your hospitality and your invitation.

We have to also acknowledge two women, a mother-daughter team, who were instrumental in the planning and implementation of this event. Hugs and kisses to Karen May and Marissa Jennings. Marissa was the first to suggest a lecture and book signing at her church and Karen quickly jumped into action and secured a co-sponsor for the event, The Association for the Study of African American Life and History. For those who don’t know about this venerable organization, the brief history is that it was founded in 1915 by Carter G. Woodson, the “father” of Black History and Black History Month. Of course, there is much more to the history of ASALH and I urge readers to go to their website to learn more, become a supporter/member. Look for more information about ASALH as Peggy and I, along with several members of the GTM Sisterhood Network, Adah Randolph, Mary Weems and Shirley Hanshaw have a panel scheduled at the ASALH annual conference in September 2009.


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