Come Sunday Declaration & Sankofa Call

We intend to make Sundays important and special again by:

• Studying our Bible lessons before Sunday School and being ready to engage in group discussion, Come Sunday.

• By laying out our clothes, getting our hair and shoes ready, even dinner so that COME SUNDAY we'll be on time and ready to give God the highest praise.

• Checking to make sure the church building is clean and made ready for worship with live plants and/or flowers and all the appropriate colors and symbols that remind us of the life and works of Jesus Christ. Rehearsals, sound checks, cleaning and all of the preparation for class and worship will be done before Sunday.

• Expressing to our children and those who live in our house, that everything that has breath will praise the Lord, and that won't happen in the bed at our homes, Come Sunday.

• Come Sunday, we will be looking our best and prepared to give God our best praise, our best offering and our best service. We believe that to come as you are is good but to come looking your best is even better.

• Come Sunday, we intend to worship and celebrate our God; we will come before His presence with singing and shouting and testifying...and praying, and then shouting again! Sometimes we may worship quietly, cry and just think on the goodness of the Lord.

• Honoring God for bringing our people through and enabling them to make things better for us than it was for them. We can't honor our ancestors enough for the big and small ways they resisted slavery, risked their lives and fought for freedom and equality. Yet, we can honor them by becoming Freedom Fighters and participating in the ministry of Social Justice.

• Come Sunday, we will include our children and youth giving them opportunities to participate, learn, worship, give in the offering, serve, be trained and express their love for God. It is our responsibility to nurture them.

• Come Sunday, we will come expecting to hear a life changing Word from the Lord by God's chosen vessel. We will listen, receive and respond to what thus said the Lord, by the lifting of our hands, saying Amen, (Preach Pastor!) coming to the Altar for prayer and by leaving church different than we came.

• We will spend quality time with family. We will visit our loved ones and/or those who are sick and shut in. We may even eat at the dinner table together at church or at home. We will put our phones down and actually talk to each other, Come Sunday.

Come Sunday, that's the day. A Happy Day! We're going to have a great gathering, a hallelujah good time and rekindle our faith, hope and love for God. We proclaim Sunday as the 1st day of the week, a holy day. A day to REKINDLE the time when Sunday was special and important.

2019: ICONIC

Iconic is defined as someone or something that is representative of something else. Something that is iconic is characteristic of an icon-an image, emblem, idol or hero.

An icon is a visual representation of something that represents a person, place, object, idea, business or group of people. More recent, iconic refers to highly original, influential, or unique works of art, artists or performers. In short, an icon is symbolic just as we take bread as a symbol of “the body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” and wine as “the blood.”

Both Dr. Martin Luther King and the Eiffel Tower are considered iconic; the person representing the Civil Rights Movement and the tower being symbolic of Paris. Bishop James Varick and the A.M.E. Zion logo are iconic; both symbolic of the Freedom Church.

In 2019, the expected outcome of the Ebenezer A.M.E. Zion Church is to become Iconic; an icon of faith, growth (personal & spiritual) and love as we continue to Raise through Worship, Reach through Missions and Rise through Discipleship. We will represent Jesus Christ and Zion-the Freedom Church.

And, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we envision our faith, growth & love enabling us to nurture healthy connections between our Home + Church + School + Work + the World. Our faith, personal growth and love will be expressed in iconic ways.

Vision Board Party @Ebenezer

The 1st Wednesday that we come back together in the new year, Ebenezer is hosting our 1st Vision Board Party. Many of our members have not done this before and some had no idea what it is, the purpose or the power of a vision board.

Honestly, I don't remember when I was first introduced to Vision Boards. I had heard for years about writing down you goals/vision, posting up your goals/vision and that kind of thing but I had not heard about actually finding graphics/symbols and designing a board that represents what you envision happening for you in the new year/season. I do remember that Lisa Raye had become popular for her Vision Board Parties and I begin to hear more and more about them with time.

So, one day I decided to do a Vision Board. I shall never forget how I had an elephant because I wanted to become active again with my sorority. I had a graduation hat because my goal was to complete my Masters of Divinity degree. I had a John Maxwell logo because I wanted to become certified with the John Maxwell Team. And, I had some other things too like a new car, a cruise and...I don't remember everything but not much more that what I've mentioned.

Well, today I am financial with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. I have completed my M.Div. I am certified with John Maxwell. I did get a new car but my daughter and I both signed for it and she drives it. On the other hand, I do have my passport but I haven't done the cruise yet. I did get a gym membership but I fell off of Planet Fitness. And...I share the whole truth just to say that even though you may not reach every single goal if you shoot for the stars...you know the rest. If you shoot for nothing, then you'll always hit your target!

In closing, I will never forget that day I saw the advertisement for a special offer that John Maxwell's Team had going for a limited time only. I knew that I had put this on my vision board but I also knew that I could not afford to take advantage of the opportunity. I called anyway and when I hung up that phone, I just knew that I had to do it. I had to step out on faith and do whatever it took. I felt that as a result of the vision board this opportunity had come my way and I could not pass up this chance. It happened. That's why I am so animate about doing a Vision Board every year. Results are why I decided to do this VBP with my church. So if you are in the Waxhaw area and you want to draw opportunities to you in this new year then you are welcome to come join the party, Wednesday, January 3rd at 7:00p

 

My Advent Preaching Series 2017 by Pastor Tajuan Kyles

The Liturgical Calendar teaches and reminds us about the life and works of Jesus Christ. It outlines opportunities for us to fellowship, celebrate, work and grow. By fellowship I mean for example an Advent Breakfast. By celebrate, I mean like a Christmas Party. To work, I mean like to be intentional by planning & organizing ministry events designed to bring people into a closer relationship with God and God's church. And, by grow I mean that if we actually take these opportunities such as Advent, Lent, Pentecost and such to meditate, process, internalize and respond we could actually grow spiritually. 

So, this year I decided to not allow another Advent to go by without making it meaningful and life changing for me and my church. I prepared in advance by re-reading the meaning, purpose and significance of the season. I understood that it was a new beginning and start of the Christian Year but the question was what did that have to do with me? How could it be more than just lighting some candles and reading some litanies? What could I do to make this an Advent that we all would remember?

Yes, I made sure that we had the wreath and appropriate candles. I selected responsive readings that I thought were meaningful and relevant. I rearranged the worship program to incorporate more congregational involvement and to coordinate with the Advent themes: hope, love, joy and peace. Yet the main thing that I did differently is wrestle with the Advent focus words. I wrestled for example with peace because of the times that we are living in and the condition that our world is in today. I wrestled for example with love because for once I wanted to consider other people's feelings and empathize with those who just aren't feeling all Advent and stuff. I decided to not go the churchy route on the word joy but talk about the problems that I've had in the past for example with hope. I hoped that by doing this I could reach a different audience. I figured if Jesus is the Reason and the Answer and all that, then why don't we talk about the problem, the problems--the problems that we are facing right now-our issues. Let's in our Kevin Hart voice, consider why we really need to embrace and internalize Advent right now in this Trump era and why Jesus is such good news.

What's ironic about my approach to preaching in this season is that the more I wrestled with these Advent focus words the more comfortable I became with being honest to myself and with my congregation. The more I processed these words, the more willing I had become to preach the Gospel with my authentic voice and to tell my testimony like it is, like it happened, like I felt it. I was determined to preach it like I felt it and I haven't been holding back. I said, "Here's my problem with hope...." The next Sunday I got up and said, "Here's my problem with love...." And, when I told them some of my life experiences like that time when I jumped in front of my brother with my hands up because he was being held at gun point by a side girlfriend who had come to our house with pain in her heart and tears in her eyes. I don't know what I was thinking! I just kept saying, "Please don't shoot my brother, put that gun down. Please don't shoot my brother."

Yeah, this Advent Season has been real different for me. I'm sure its been different for my congregation too. I can feel them feeling me. I can hear them saying, Amen. And, I can see growth and God moving. But most of all, I can close with my hoop on why Jesus is the Answer. Honestly, I've had some problems with hope, love, joy and peace. But the Advent message is Come! And we are waiting with expectation for the coming of our Savior. Our answer.

 

5 on 5 Worship Service

Join Ebenezer AME Zion Church 6308 Providence Rd. S., Waxhaw, NC on Sunday, January 21st at 2:30pm for a "5 On 5" Worship Experience featuring 5 Bible Stories and 5 Gospel Songs told by 5 different speakers and sung by 5 different music groups. It's going to be a good time!

 

5on5.jpg

What is Advent?

Advent is the season of expectation, hope and celebration of the past, present and future comings of Jesus Christ to the world. Much of the focus is on the prophecy of the coming of the Messiah to Israel and the expectancy of that fulfillment.

The Advent cry is “Come,” even though Emmanuel has come. Jesus has come, presently comes into the hearts of believers through grace and is yet to return. This season is a time of anticipation as the Church makes ready for the coming of the Lord and the celebration of Jesus coming as a babe in Bethlehem. Therefore, Advent embodies a vital element of the Christian faith.

The Advent season has marked the beginning of the Christian Year since the eight century and consists of the four weeks before Christmas. The traditional color is purple which signifies preparation and penitence. The color blue is the contemporary or alternate color used by some denominations during Advent.

-By Dr. Mary Love

advent_wreath.png