The Salvation Army is celebrating a Super Bowl-like victory of its own – the 2012 Red Kettle Campaign was a great success. The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County surpassed its Annual Red Kettle Campaign goal of $3 million dollars, receiving generous donations totaling $3.7 million dollars.
“Thank you Milwaukee for your generous, generous support,” said Major Roger Ross, Salvation Army Milwaukee County Commander.
“Along with expanding programs and services, contributions made during our annual Red Kettle Campaign will ensure critical needs of the unemployed, underemployed, homeless and others who are often over looked and under served, are met,” continued Ross.
“With eighty-four cents of every dollar donated used to sustain 85 distinct year round programs and services including emergency shelter, food and clothing, disaster relief, utility and rent assistance, employment services and summer lunch programs for children, The Salvation Army maximizes the generous contributions made by the wonderful people of Milwaukee County,” said Major Ross
Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer LeRoy Butler who served as the 2012 Red Kettle Campaign Honorary Chairman recalled his childhood relationship with the Salvation Army saying,
“I remember being one of the kids in a food line. Like so many of those kids, I received my first pair of new shoes from The Salvation Army. The services they provide are essential to needy people all across the country. It’s an honor serving with this organization.”
Brentwood Church of Christ’s 3rd Annual Black Marriage Day event will be held on Saturday, March 16, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at 6425 N. 60th Street Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The theme will be Marriage Changes Things.
Evangelist Barry L. Gainey, minister, Hampton Ave. Church of Christ will provide an inspirational presentation and comedian Marlin Hill will be the featured entertainer.
A dessert social will be held following the event.
Black Marriage Day is a national observance that celebrates the value of marriage in the Black community. The event is open to the general public; including singles. Tickets are $15 per individual and $20 per couple, they can be purchased in advance or at the event. Please contact Thomas & Clarene Mitchell at 414-736-1546 for more information and tickets.
William Murphy can always be counted on to deliver anointed praise and worship; it is part of his DNA. The
pastor and singer possibly best known for his stirring lead vocals on Shekinah Glory’s seminal “Praise Is What I
Do” has been living and breathing praise and worship for most of his life and, on February 5, gives the Gospel
community a new dose of his musical gift with the release of ‘God Chaser.’
“There is no doubt that William Murphy, III was born to worship,” says Bishop Paul S. Morton. “His life is evident
of the special calling and anointing that God has on his life. He has not only caused me to go to deeper depths
in my time of worship, but he has blessed the lives of so many across the globe.”
Murphy continues in his calling, continues to bless people around the globe, with ‘God Chaser’ – which Murphy
says is a collection of prophetic songs, known in the church as “songs of the Lord.” “The essence of my ministry,
my calling, is to usher people into the presence of the Lord in a way so powerful that they become true God
chasers. That is the essence of my life. So the CD is a collection of prophetic songs that came to us in prayer and
in times of worship.”
“I really believe that as people embrace the music and embrace the prophetic message in these songs, people’s
lives are going to take a shift, and it’s going to help bring people into new seasons,” says Murphy.
The first single, “You Reign,” is quickly approaching Top-10 at Gospel radio. “The song is
absolutely Sunday morning,” says Murphy. It is one of those songs that anybody and everybody
in church can sing and will sing – which makes for an explosive worship experience.”
‘God Chaser’ also includes the rapturous ballad “Make Me Righteous;” “Praying for You” a
song of bold exhortation to listeners; and “You Are My Strength” – a beautiful, acoustic song
that declares total dependence on God.
The House of Peace, a Capuchin ministry located in Milwaukee’s central city, is commemorating its 45th anniversary with three Wednesdays of Lenten reflections followed by a simple lunch of soup and bread. Well known Capuchin friars and the House of Peace director will be the speakers.
“We realized that the House of Peace performs the Corporal Works of Mercy every day for the last 45 years,” Gerri Sheets-Howard, House of Peace director, explains. “We wanted to commemorate our 45 years while examining how we all can help one another in Milwaukee’s central city. It’s not easy to be poor and the House of Peace has tried to be an anchor for our neighborhood.”
The House of Peace is hosting the Noon Wednesday Lenten reflections on the Corporal Works of Mercy, February 20, February 27, and March 6. Well-known Franciscan speakers will reflect on God’s mercy and goodness. Lenten speakers include Father Bill Cieslak, former President of the Franciscan School of Theology, Berkeley, CA and well-known Milwaukee Capuchin friars Father Al Veik, Father Perry McDonald, Brother Mark Carrico and Brother Bob Smith. House of Peace executive director, Rev. Gerri Sheets-Howard, will also be speaking. All presentations will take place at Noon and will be followed by a simple meal of soup & bread.
“We are hoping that everyone will bring a guest with them,” Ms. Sheets-Howard continues. Due to space, the Corporal Works of Mercy reflections will take place at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, 1927 N. Fourth Street, Milwaukee. “Many don’t realize that the House of Peace was born at the House of Peace. We are going back to our heritage and will be enjoying St. Francis’ Franciscan hospitality.”
In order to plan our luncheon of soup and bread, an RSVP is appreciated. 414.374.8841, ext. 26 The House of Peace has served the central city since 1968 and assists families and individuals in meeting their spiritual, material, and emotional needs. The House of Peace helps families to remain together and to promote self-sufficiency. It provides food, clothing, and pastoral care to the poor plus houses a medical clinic and legal clinic that serves the same population.
The House of Peace is a Capuchin ministry and is part of the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph, which is headquartered in Detroit, and serves Capuchin ministries worldwide. www.HouseOfPeaceMilwaukee.org
Milwaukee-based Growing Power is mourning the passing of Jerry Kaufman, its longtime board president.
Kaufman touched thousands of lives through his dedicated work in community food system planning and urban agriculture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and through his commitment to the real-time application of those themes in urban communities throughout the country and particularly in Milwaukee.
Will Allen, founder and chief executive officer of Growing Power, said, “From a personal perspective, Jerry was not only a wonderful friend and mentor, but a father figure and his legacy will continue to live on and grow through all of Growing Power’s programs and new ventures. I affectionately called him ‘the father of food system planners’ because as I travel the country I meet many of his students and colleagues who have become passionate about developing equitable food systems for all the members of our society.”
Growing Power’s new vertical farm building in Milwaukee will be named the Jerry Kaufman Center in honor of his work and legacy.
Kaufman will be succeeded by Welford Sanders, assistant adjunct professor at the School of Architecture & Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and executive director of the Martin Luther King Economic Development Corp. Welford has worked with Growing Power for the past 15 years and has spent the last four as vice president.
Bishop John R. Bryant
The Right Rev. John R. Bryant, presiding bishop of the Fourth District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will be the keynote speaker January 20 for the 75th Annual Anniversary of Bethel AME Church, 4103 N. 35th St. The Rev. Billy Scott, Sr. is pastor.
The bishop will speak at the church’s 4 p.m. anniversary program.
Bryant is also the senior pastor of the AME Church, overseeing the entire denomination, which is one of the old and only Christian demonination founded by African Americans.
This coming Sunday, January 13, our Church celebrates the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. Our Gospel reading comes from Luke 3: 15-16, 21-22. John explains that someone mightier than he will come after him, someone who will not only baptize with water but with “the Holy Spirit and fire.”
John set the stage and Jesus came. A voice from heaven said: “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” And all of us who have been baptized should also hear the same wonderful affirmation–we are now sons and daughters of a good and gracious God.
In our Church, and maybe in others, the baptismal rite includes emersion or pouring of water on the head of the newly baptized.
Immediately after the water rite, we take oil infused with balsam, which has been blessed by the bishop, and anoint the head of the one being baptized. A white robe and candle are then given to the person.
This Sacrament, for us, is the Sacrament of Initiation, which includes the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Confirmation.
After the emersion and anointing with the Oil of Chrism, the priest or deacon prays over the newly baptized and reminds them and all listening that they are now a “priest, prophet and servant leader.” This is an awesome vocation that we have.
We are called to priestly, prophetic and servant leadership in the congregation and in the world. And no one understood this tremendous vocation more than Martin Luther King. He reminds us: “I happen to be a minister of the gospel…and in that capacity I have not merely a priestly function but also a prophetic function.”
We know from experience that it is much easier to stress worship and prayer, the priestly functions, of being a Christian than it is to be truly prophetic.
We can pray and worship in a beautiful sanctuary and sort of forget that we are prophets and servant leaders also. The world and it selfishness, racism, sexism, poverty, and violence are the places we need to be.
We are not only concerned with a person’s soul, but the whole person. It is our task, essential for a Christian, to be involved in making peace and social justice a reality here and now. That is messy, I know. It is much easier to åstay in church, right?
The Church is here to bring good news to those who are waiting to hear it. Our baptismal calling urges us to bring God’s healing presence wherever there is brokenness and pain, poverty and violence.
We Christians have an awesome vocation, if we are welling to live it. Come and worship with us any Sunday at 8 or 10:30 AM, at 4051 N. 25th Street.
Pastor Cora Parchia (far left), Eld. Alvin Morris (second from left) and Pastor Monica Parchia (far right) of Mt. Zion Assembly Healing Temple, recently presented one of several boxes of items to Larry Walles of the Salvation Army to be given to the families of the children and educators who were victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
Christian group helps everyone in need
by William Roberts
This year’s Red Kettle Campaign has begun, the annual Christmas fundraiser that helps The Salvation Army collect money to meet human needs in local communities across the country. Each year’s campaign brings heightened media attention to The Salvation Army, particularly regarding its beliefs and practices.
In particular, we face such questions as: How does The Salvation Army help people in need? Are we a church? Perhaps most important, is the organization truly committed to serving all those in need?
The Salvation Army is a Christian organization, founded by a small group of people in London in 1865 to serve those who were suffering. They were fueled by their love of God and their belief that God was leading them to do his work on earth. The only qualification to receive help from The Salvation Army was to have a need. That has not changed in more than a century.
We serve nearly 30 million Americans in need each year, from a variety of backgrounds. We do not pick and choose whom we serve based on religion or any other factor, and no one should ever be turned away in need. The Salvation Army has doctrine and beliefs that help guide members of the church in life and on a daily basis. Many people have questioned why The Salvation Army holds certain positions on issues such as homosexuality.
This issue has created misunderstandings and confusion about The Salvation Army. This in turn has led many to think that the Salvation Army judges others and denies them services or employment. None of this is true.
The Salvation Army believes that all people are equal, regardless of
sexual orientation or any other factor, including race, gender and ethnicity. We firmly oppose the vilification and mistreatment of any
member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, just as we oppose the mistreatment of anyone. Any such incident is in clear opposition to all established Salvation Army policy.
Indeed, this promise is emphatically laid out in our organizational mission statement, which says: “The Salvation Army, an international
movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its
message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of
God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christand to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”
The Salvation Army is founded on Christian values and biblical standards, and those in need receive our assistance each year through a broad array of social services, which include food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter for the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children.
Many wrongly believe The Salvation Army lobbies the federal government to deny equal opportunities to people with beliefs that differ from ours.
For more than a decade, The Salvation Army has not engaged any lobbyists, nor does the organization have any lobbyists working on its behalf nationally to lobby for particular laws or to deny liberties to any American. This is not within The Salvation Army’s moral fabric.
Notably, The Salvation Army employs more than 64,000 people from all backgrounds across the country. Employment for holders of those positions, who include social workers, senior care providers, program administrators, athletic coaches, counselors and chefs, is based solely on how well applicants meet job requirements.
Only for employees within The Salvation Army that hold religious responsibilities, such as the 3,500 Salvation Army officers who are ordained ministers in our church, do we seek those whose faith and values are consistent with our theology. In that, we are no different from any other church in America.
The Salvation Army hires the best candidate for a position and offersemployee benefits to all, equally. The Salvation Army adheres to allrelevant employment laws and provides for domestic-partner benefits accordingly.
We offer benefits to all employees and do so in much the same way that other companies and private organizations provide them.
The people who work for and volunteer with The Salvation Army aim to serve others in need, to work with people and not against anyone. Over the years,
The Salvation Army has demonstrated a consistent ability to work with and alongside individuals and organizations that may not always be in agreement with our theology.
They support us with time and financial resources because of a common cause and commitment to serve people in need.
Like Jesus, we strive to love the unloved and be compassionate to all — even when we disagree theologically. When we serve those in need, we are serving him.
To act in any other way would contradict the very reason The SalvationArmy was founded.
William Roberts is national commander for The Salvation Army.