“The way most people talk about darkness, you would think that it came from a whole different deity, but no. To be human is to live by sunlight and moonlight, with anxiety and delight, admitting limits and transcending them, falling down and rising up. To want a life with half of these things in it is to want half a life, shutting the other half away where it will not interfere with one’s bright fantasies of the way things ought to be.” ~Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark Dark is rarely used to describe something good, perhaps with the exception of dark chocolate. Dark is associated with bad, including its distorted use in the languages of caste and light supremacy where people with darker skins are often viewed as less beautiful and more dangerous.
Our distortions of darkness are dangerous at worst and a distraction at best. Many associate darkness with death. Yet without the darkness of the womb there would be no birth, no life.
In religion, darkness is often a metaphor for sin and evil. This distortion of darkness in religion leads to a defensive faith. Barbara Brown Taylor recalls her fear based baptism in her youth: “I asked to be baptized the way someone on fire asks to be hosed down. I wanted to be saved from the devouring power of darkness. I wanted Satan to know that I had gone over to the other side. The love of God had very little to do with it. . .”
Many associate darkness with fear. Some admit being afraid of the dark, and keep various lights on at night. Some describe being burdened by dark fears. Yet in an apparent paradox our scripture for Sunday from Psalm 128 associates fear of God with happiness. The psalmist says “Happiness comes to those who fear the Lord, and walk in God’s ways” (v1) and “. . .you will be blessed if you fear the Lord” (v4). Barbara Brown Taylor offers perspective on the paradox when she observes that when scripture speaks of “the fear of the Lord” it is referring to “fear of God’s pure being, so far beyond human imagining that trying to look into it would be like trying to look into the sun.”
Sunday’s message will explore the sacred dimensions of darkness. In preparation for Sunday, I invite you to join me in reflecting on this question: Is it possible for us to redeem the darkness that redeems us?
Rev. Elder Dwayne
Next Worship Series
We invite you to join us in conversation about our new worship series. We’ll meet via Zoom for six Sundays after worship, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Eastern, starting January 10th and continuing through February 14th.
We’ll gather to talk about the message of the day, to meditate and to think about the issues brought up in the chapters of Taylor’s book.
We will also have an opportunity to share with each other about what we have learned when we learn to Move in the Dark.
Here are three ways to connect at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday:
• Click here to open Zoom and join automatically
• Launch Zoom and enter Meeting ID 821 1321 8266
• Dial (301) 715-8592 by phone, using the same Meeting ID
For more information, contact Rev. Cathy at firstname.lastname@example.org
2020 Giving Statements Are Coming Soon.
The treasurer and assistant treasurer are preparing your giving statement for tax year 2020. Giving statements will be emailed in phases during the coming weeks. For those who do not have a working email address on file or who do not have access to email, the 2020 giving statement will be sent out via postal mail.
Please contact email@example.com with questions.
MCCDC Writing Ministry
Come Join Our Zoom Meeting from 16 Jan, 10 am – 12 pm. MCCDC Writing Ministry intent to explore seasonal devotions, spiritual writing-prayers, benedictions, and poems. Email Rev Robinhawleygorsline firstname.lastname@example.org to request zoom invite.
Join MCC Resurrection Book Study
Your invited to Join MCC Resurrection for a book study Sermon on the Mount, Dr. Jill-Amy Levine 13 January – 10 February at 8 PM EST
In Sermon on the Mount, Dr. Jill-Amy Levine invites us to grow in faith as we explore the powerful teachings of Jesus from Matthew 5-7.
This series will be facilitated by Dr. Carla Sherrell, interim programming support staff, RMCC, and Pastoral Intern, MCCDC.
MCC Denominational Events
Click here to explore events presented by our denomination and other MCC churches throughout our country and the world. (To sign up for this info via email, click here and subscribe to “MCC General News_ENG.”)
“Virtual Church Events”
Come and join the Virtual Voices of MCC Choir! Lift your voice in our virtual rehearsals while singing from the comfort of your home. For more info, email Music Minister Deidre Mouton Gray at email@example.com.
Spiritual Gifts, Get Involved!
Your’re invited to consider sharing your spiritual gifts by making a Scripture Reading Video or sharing a Video Testimony on what MCCDC means to you.
It does not have to be long and the AV team is standing by to help you with the video. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Moving Spirit Dance Ministry
Come dance for God! No experience needed. Email Cathy Batson at email@example.com for more information. Check out past performances on our YouTube channel, including “I Can Only Imagine” (April 2019) and “Mighty River”(February 2018).
Singing to God
Join the Virtual Voices of the MCC Choir. Lift your voice in our virtual rehearsals while singing from the comfort of your home. Email Music Minister Diedre Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org
JOIN REV. DWAYNE IN PRAYER FROM NOON TO 12:30 PM Monday thru Saturday
Phone Number: 646-558-8656, Code: 407 740 6668
Intercessory Prayer Team
Meets the 2nd and 4th Thursdays each month at 7 pm
Contact LaMar Jenkins at 202-750-08887
Drama Ministry Practice Via Zoom
The 3rd Mondays each month at 6:30 pm Eastern
Contact Clara Carter at email@example.com for information
Tuesdays at 7:00 pm Eastern
Click here to Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/434566329
or Dial: (301) 715-8592 ,Meeting ID: 434 566 329
Contact Dale Madyun-Baskerville at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Pastoral Care Meeting
Meet 1st and 3rd Wednesday, each month at 6::30pm
Contact email@example.com for more information or interest in joining this vibrant church ministry this Fall
Join Us on YouTube and subscribe to the MCCDC YouTube Channel!
LiveStream Volunteer’s Needed!
Volunteer! No experience is required. We will train you or someone you recommend. (Perhaps a student interested in picking up new skills?) Opportunities include:
o Producing the livestream itself on Sundays and for special events (greatest need)
o Assisting on Sundays by video recording and managing cameras
o Video editing (this requires access to your own computer and video editing software)
Share our message! Inspired by Rev. Dwayne’s spiritual instruction? Moved by a praise & worship song? Post it on Facebook. Send a link to friends and family. They can tune-in to our livestream or watch worship services on demand at livestream.com/mccdc, through our website at mccdc.com, or browse clips on our YouTube Channel.
Email Johanna at firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to any one of the AV team members to volunteer or for more information
The Soundboard Ministry Needs YOU!
Soundboard volunteers are needed for 9 am and 11 am services. No experience needed!
You will be trained on a state of the art soundboard and learn how to set up mics for services.
Ideally, you will train at the 9 am service and continue training at the 11 am service, but we are flexible.
Please contact Michael Cunningham at email@example.com or stop by to talk with any soundboard volunteer.
Please lift the following people up during your prayer time:
Please lift the following people up during your prayer time:
*Jerry Giem’s Son, Jason and Nephew, Travis * Valeria Myers’ daughter Chantelle * Michelle Lax * George Kerr, III * Mama Cee’s sister and niece
* Rose Williams * Randy Punley * Lynn Sulyma * Esther Smith * Marcus Garnett * Renee Valentine * Rose Herring * Elaine Durden-Hunter’s mother, Earline * T. Green * Evelyn Jones * Valeria Myers’ son Donald * Bob Jones’ son Chuck & wife Karen * Steve Sloane * Glenn Conrad * Arden Shutt * Renee Valentine’s brother * Kim Battle * Juanita Dara * Jeffrey Luckenbach * Anthony Goode * Keith Richardson * Diedre Gray * Elaine Durden-Hunter’s friend Saint Williams family * Cathy Batson’s niece Lisa * Cynthia Melman * Delores Fowler * Bill Stanclift’s brother James, niece Krista, nephew Paul, and several cousins