Funeral services were held Monday at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church for Nellie Florine Patterson, the wife of the late Cal Patterson, who for many years was the Community Journal’s sports and food editor. She was 71.
Mt. Zion is located at 2207 N. 2nd Street. Rev. Louis Sibley officiated.
Patterson met her husband Cal while both worked alongside each other at the Milwaukee Courier.
They were married in 1976 and cherished 26 years of marriage.
She was also a court stenographer for the late Atty. Clarence Parrish, and worked at Bank One (formerly known as Marine Bank), eventually retiring from the Milwaukee Department of Child Support Services.
Patterson was also politically active, working as a poll volunteer through the Election Commission.
She and her twin sister Corine were dedicated to serving organizations focused on Breast Cancer support and research.
Patterson was also a master quilt maker whose creations were not only given to her grandchildren, but were donated to Froedert Hospital Hospice and displayed at her church’s quilting exhibitions. She also had a mastery of the Milwaukee County Transit system, with the knowledge of bus schedules for every route she might need.
Born in Milwaukee in 1941 to Whit and Izola Harris who proceded her in death, Patterson attended Lee Street School, Roosevelt Junior High School, North Division High School and Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). Patterson is survived by her children Zachary Harris, Tonya Armstrong-Harris, Glen Harris, Anthony (Yvonne) Harris, Pamela Harris, Michael (Mary) Harris, Kelvin (Cheri) Cowan, Keith (victoria) Cowan, Terrence (Vanessa) Harris, Ronald Harris, and Nathanial Patterson. She is the beloved sister of McAlister (Billye) Hayes, Mary (Willie Jr.) Seals, Curtiss (Helen) Harris, twin Betty Corine (late David) Nevels and Alberta Bebe Bradley and a loving grandmother of 22 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.
Advent season begins with hope for all the people on God’s great earth. It is the anticipation of only good things to come. Does any human emotion run as deep as hope? Some believe fairytales are nearly as universal as Hope, which simply passes down from one generation to the next an almost irrepressible sense of belief that in the end, the forces of evil will lose their struggle and the brave and good will somehow triumph.
However, one small flicker of Hope remained: the ancient promise of a Messiah. And on that single promise, the people of Israel kept their hope alive. Then suddenly, the stories and the rumors began to spread around about the possible birth of a child that would be like any other. A new and forever change in the lives of mankind was unfolding right before the world.
Let me try and explain just what God was up to. These are some of the events that precede Jesus’ birth:
There was an elderly married couple, a priest named Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. There was never a doubt of their love and loyalty to God. Their only regret they had was in all their years together they never had a child.
One day Zechariah was approached by the angel Gabriel, and was told he and his wife were soon to give birth to a baby son, and they were to name him John. And John would go out and tell the world of the “One” that will come after him.
Soon after, the old priest and his wife were bringing up John the Baptist.
However, before the birth of John, when Elizabeth was in her six month of pregnancy, the angel Gabriel had visited her cousin the Virgin Mary, who was engaged to a local carpenter named Joseph.
Gabriel told Mary that God had sent him to let her know she had “found favor with God;” and that she would soon be “with child,” and give birth to a son and that she would name him JESUS.
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am still a virgin?” Gabriel explained that the Holy Spirit “would come over her.” After also telling Mary about his previous visit to her cousin Elizabeth, Mary believed him, and then meekly responded to Gabriel, saying “I am the Lord’s servant.”
Mary now knew she had received the greatest honor God could provide to her and the world; the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Think about the people in this wonderful story: the elderly couple that had given up on having a child, and what a child he would grow up to be. The Virgin Mary, not yet married and the responsibility God had bestowed upon her.
No when I speak to you of faith, it is not something that we just acquire and use. It should be a way of life. We need to nurture our faith just like we nurture a small child that we want to grow into someone special.
The more we put into our faith journey, the more we will receive from it. When we continue to work at and practice our faith, we become more confident that the Lord will never forsake us or leave us all alone.
As we leave this Advent season, don’t leave Hope behind. As we get closer to the New Year, let us not make resolutions that are just for the moment or will not have a lasting affect on our lives here or our Eternal one in Heaven.
Let us make resolutions that we resolve to be better disciples in spreading the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us try to be more patient with each other. Take the time to say thank you, and constantly repeat to yourself: “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM THAT STRENGHTENS ME!”
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. It’s the season to be jolly ‘fa la la la la, la la la la’, full of happiness, and fellowship with loved ones and friends. But for many people, the season brings the “holiday blues” which is when the anticipation and hope turns into feelings of depression. Symptoms can include headaches, insomnia, uneasiness, anxiety, sadness, intestinal problems, and unnecessary conflict with family and friends. According to Mark Sichel in an article published in Psychology Today titled “The Therapist Is In” notes “part of what happens in the holiday season, in terms of mood changes and anxiety, may occur because of the stressfulness of holiday events. Overdrinking, overeating, and fatigue may also cause it. The demands of the season are many: shopping, cooking, travel, houseguests, family reunions, office parties, more shopping and extra financial burden.” Mark Sichel offers these 10 tips for beating the holiday blues as well as ways to prevent problems and misery for yourself and your loved ones.
1. Be reasonable with your schedule. Do not overbook yourself into a state of exhaustion–this makes people cranky, irritable, and depressed.
2. Decide upon your priorities and stick to them.
4. Be careful about resentments related to holidays past. Declare an amnesty with whichever family member or friend you are feeling past resentments. Do not feel it is helpful or intimate to tell your relative every resentment on your laundry list of grievances.
5. Don’t expect the holidays to be just as they were when you were a child. They NEVER are. YOU are not the same as when you were a child, and no one else in the family is either.
6. If you are feeling under scheduled or under planned volunteer to serve holiday dinner at a homeless shelter. Work with groups that offer community service opportunities. No one can be depressed when they are doing community service.
7. Plan unstructured, low-cost fun holiday activities: window-shop and look at the holiday decorations.
8. Don’t overindulge and don’t drink. Contrary to popular opinion, alcohol is a depressant.
9. Give yourself a break; create time for yourself to do the things YOU love and need to do for your physical and mental wellness: aerobic exercise, yoga, massage, spiritual practices, taking long fast walks or any activity that calms you down and gives you a better perspective on what is important in your life.
10. Most of all, if you find yourself feeling blue just remember: The choice is always yours: The sky is partly sunny, and the glass is half full and revel in your gratitude for your bounty, health, hope, and your courage to face each day with hope and determination.
Most importantly – if you remember Jesus is the reason for the season, there will be no “holiday” blues.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
– John 3:16
Have A Blessed and Safe Holiday Season!
The House of Peace, a Capuchin ministry located in Milwaukee’s central city, is in need of over 5,000 new toys this holiday season.
“Our central city children are depending on the community,” Gerri Sheets-Howard, House of Peace Executive Director, explains. “The House of Peace serves three zip codes in the central city. Most of our families are considered working poor. They need to make hard choices each month. Do they pay the electrical bill or do they purchase groceries? There’s just not enough of their paycheck to cover everything. The children of these families will not have any toys to open Christmas morning.”
“The House of Peace has done a toy distribution for the last 44 years,” Gerri continues. “This year I am worried for our families. We have received very few new toys. I don’t want the children to be disappointed on Christmas morning. For a country that has so much, I am hopeful that people can help us this holiday season.”
New toys can be dropped off at the House of Peace, 1702 W. Walnut, between the hours of 9 AM-Noon and 1 PM-4 PM.
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.
As the praise team and congregation belted out “We serve an awesome God,” the stage was set at Mt. Zion Assembly of the Apostolic Faith Church on Sunday morning as members recognized the service of outstanding civic leaders in the community by bestowing the honor of the “Servanthood Award.” Awarded for their dedication to serving and contributions to the greater good of society were (from l to r) Sis. Beverly Adams, General Superintendent of the Mt. Zion Assembly Christian Education Department; Inspector Edith Hudson, deputy commander of the Milwaukee Police Department’s Neighborhood Policing Bureau; Capt. Terrance Gordan, MPD 5th District; Detective Shannon Jones; and Lt. Ricky Price, Jr. of the Milwaukee Fire Department. Dr. Cora Parchia is pastor and Evang. Monica Parchia Price is co-pastor of Mt. Zion Assembly. (photo by Patricia Lloyd Tyree)
The young gymnast, who isn’t old enough to vote, says her journey has been about faith.
Gabby is releasing a book, “Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith.”
“I want people to be inspired by my book,” Gabrielle said in a video that promotes the prose now available at Amazon.com.
“My faith stands [as] definitely the most important [thing] in my gymnastics career. God has given me this amazing talent, and He’s woken me up everyday, and kept me safe in the gym so He’s played a big role in my life,” she said.
She says no matter where she is, even if on an “international assignment,” her Bible comes along, she told Sister 2 Sister.
“I just pray that God keeps me humble and keeps me grounded. I don’t want to be this on top diva. I want to be this role model,” she said. “I want to be that blessing on other people.”
We are going to celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent this coming Sunday. Our readings are: Baruch 5: 1-9, Philippians 1: 4-6, 8-11, Luke 3: 1-6. The first reading is from Baruch, a book that is not included in the Protestant Bible. Many Protestant bibles will include it and call it “apocryphal.” Catholics will include it and 11 others and call them “deuterocanonical” books.
Last Sunday, this Sunday and next Sunday the gospel reading will feature John the Baptist, calling for a reform of life and pointing out the one coming after him. This week we hear about his baptism of repentance. He baptized “to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins.”. And John was compared to Isaiah the prophet who was ” a voice crying out in the wilderness: prepare the way of The Lord; make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be leveled. The crooked will be made straight and the rough places made smooth. All humanity will see God’s salvation.”
And Baruch, hundreds of years before John, like Isaiah, preached the same message from God: ” take off your mourning clothes and oppression, Jerusalem! Wrap the justice that comes from God around yourself like a robe. Get up, Jerusalem! Stand on the high place, and look around to the east! See your children gathered from the west to the east by the holy one’s word, as they rejoice that God has remembered them.
And Baruch ends the book by proclaiming that ” God will lead Israel with gladness by the light that shines forth from his glory, with the mercy and righteousness that comes from him.”
All of us who claim “Christian” as our name have these same promises uttered by Isaiah and Baruch. We must be clothed in justice and righteousness and see our own lives as prophetic too. It is our turn, no matter how our own lives may be going, to preach the good news of peace and justice and to work hard to make it happen.
Paul reminds us in the reading from the Philippians: we are partners with him in spreading the gospel. And our spreading the gospel might not be with words! As St. Francis said: ” preach the gospel always….and if necessary use words.”
We prepare for the coming of The Lord by doing justice, by working for peace even though we sometimes feel the futility of our work. People who are hurting today count on us. Not that we think we are the messiah, but that we know the Messiah lives within us and is urging us on to make his peaceful rule come, on earth as it is in heaven.
Look around, brothers and sisters and see how you are fulfilling the words of Paul from this next Sunday’s reading from Philippians: ” I am sure about this: the one who started a good work in you will stay with you to complete the job. You are all my partners in God’s grace.”
I recently had the opportunity to attend the play “Church Diary: Letting Go of Sacred Secrets and Private Wounds.” The play, adapted for dramatic presentation by Elder Jermaine Reed and Mary Coleman, was performed at Destiny Youth Plaza.
From the onset of the performance Elder Reed made clear that there were certain issues that the play sought to deal with directly. Those issues included but were not limited to: financial abuse, sexual abuse of children, ‘pastor worship,’ marital infidelity and clergy misconduct.
As a Christian and a pastor, I admit I was both intrigued about how the topics would be broached and concerned that the church universal not be bashed as a result of the misconduct of a small percentage of corrupt leaders. I, however, found that the play was not only charming, but overall it provided a fairly balanced snapshot of some of the things that can go wrong when the wrong people are left to lead.
Elder Reed was also forthcoming verbally and in writing in the playbill about the reality that more children are harmed in their own homes and schools than they are at church. Further, he made clear that the purpose of the play was not to be critical of the church universal, but rather to publicly address issues that are too often ignored.
“Church Diary” opens with five characters writing in their diaries about the current events in their lives. The subsequent scenes in the play reveal how each scenario unfolds in dramatic fashion. The play was polished and the actors performed well. I am certain that as the play tours audiences will enjoy the storylines tremendously. The adaptation is so well written that the guest vocalist, while a nice touch, is not an essential element in the production.
I believe that people who attend church regularly will especially appreciate the play as every character represented a stereotypical church scenario or character type. The play created laugh-out-loud moments for the audience as people shared in the trials and triumphs of the characters. This play was a also a reminder of the depth of talent in Milwaukee that is often unnoticed nationally.
A portion of the ticket sale proceeds and a separate donation was taken for the AIDS Resource Center. The fact that people stood in line during intermission to donate shows that there is a clear willingness in the African American church community to be of assistance in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This demonstration of love, support and awareness debunks the myth that African Americans are unaware of the major impact of HIV/AIDS in our community.
Reed and Coleman did a good job of balancing the need to address the crisis of HIV infection rates, the effects of infidelity, and the issue of homosexuality without compromising biblical truth.
Many people do not understand that just because the church community does not advocate certain lifestyles it in no way reflects a lack of concern and love for those who practice them. Too often Christians are bullied and marginalized as “old fashion,” “out of touch” and “irrelevant” for staying true to biblical texts which forbid pre-marital sex, adultery and homosexuality in both the Old and New Testaments. The truth, quiet as it is kept, is that Judaism, Islam nor Christianity permits sexual abuse, sexual misconduct or homosexuality among their converts according to their foundational texts.
“Church Diary” makes clear that people should be able to trust that their leader and their church congregations respects, honors and follows the tenants of the faith in word and even more importantly, in deed.
People indeed have the right to feel and be safe in church – yet church has not done its full work until the members in the pews are empowered to know that they have a right to be safe wherever they are. We are the workmanship of God and He has never called any of His children of any age to be abused or to be abusers.
This week, celebrate the talent that is in Milwaukee and prepare to see “Church Diary” when it comes to a stage near you.
Compiled by MCJ Staff
Felmers O. Chaney, Milwaukee’s first African American police sergeant and long-time president of the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP is dead at age 94.
A lifetime champion for civil rights, Chaney devoted his life to Milwaukee’s Black community, improving the quality of life and ensuring that the voices of the disenfranchised are represented and heard.
Born in Spooner, WI, Chaney was the first African American graduate of that town’s high school. A veteran of WWII, Chaney was a MPD officer for more than 36 years. He became noted for keeping order on Walnut Street, which he patrolled.
Chaney wore other hats besides that of a police officer. He served as president of the Central City Development Corporation, CEO of the North Milwaukee state Bank, director of the Better Business Bureau, the Commando Project and USO. He is also a former president of the Milwaukee Urban League.
As president of the Milwaukee NAACP, Chaney fought tirelessly for equal and civil rights, participating in or leading many demonstrations on behalf of civil and human rights, from working to have Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday declared a national holiday, fighting against apartheid, to creating greater opportunities for Black Milwaukeeans in the trades.
Even after he retired from the police department, Chaney remained active in community activities including serving as acting chairman for the community advisory board for the Milwaukee Women’s Center/Marshal E. Sherrer Correctional Center Community Advisory Board, a member of the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation Board, and the Wisconsin Crime Victims Council Board.
In 2000, then Gov. Tommy Thompson dedicated Milwaukee’s then new Men’s Correctional Center after Chaney, the Felmers O. Chaney Correctional Center.
Thompson cited Chaney’s community service work and distinguished record when dedicating the facility, noting that the facility embraces the belief that Chaney held: People can change if they are given the opportunity, the resources and the direction.
Funeral services are tentatively slated for Friday and Saturday at the Williamson Funeral Home. Chaney is survived by his wife, Jessie Chaney, and a sister.
I am a huge fan of the show “Chopped,” a three-round contest on the Food Network where four chefs compete to make an appetizer, entrée and dessert out of four mystery ingredients. The ingredients may be wild boar, oats, maple syrup and cake mix. The purpose of the contest is to use what you have, no matter how mismatched, unexpected or unsavory and create something great out of it.
It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving was a week ago. Like many of you I had so much left over that I have not had to cook anything substantial this week. All I needed to do was use what I had. In using what I had, not only did I save time, money, effort and energy, but I also found myself being creative in how I used (and reused) the ingredients. I changed the main protein and the side items into tasty configurations that kept me satisfied without leaving me feeling overstuffed. Even after reheating and repurposing there was still more food left and more room for creativity.
I began to think about life and how many times the things that we have to deal with are thrown at us unexpectedly and we have to make the most of it. You and I must deal with the reality that many times life does not hand us the ingredients that are most conducive to a “gourmet” life experience.
This time of year presents a unique challenge in that many people are struggling with the events of the entire year. They are still finding themselves reeling from a job loss, the death of a loved one or the reality that marriage and parenting was more challenging than they ever imagined. As you look over the remainder of the year, focus on what you have and what you are called to do with what you have left.
Life is extremely short. Without excuses or regrets, you and I have a decision to make; that decision must be to use what we have to get to the place that God intended for us. Harriet Tubman used her feet, George Washington Carver used the peanut, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) used the power of collective organization and limited resources to do history changing things.
What talent, gift or ability do you possess that you could use for the betterment of your home, your community or world? You and I have the capacity to rise and do great things in much the same way. This week, refuse to get lost in the challenges and push in all new ways to successfully cross the 2012 finish line, using what you have!