“The disciples learn from Torah, from lilies and ravens, from Jesus, and from one another. They are not part of the wider Gentile world that lives by the standards of the Roman Empire; they are disciples who live in a group that shares bread and forgives debt; they are part of a group that seeks peaceful resolutions rather than judicial or military conflict.” ~Amy-Jill Levine
When Jesus invites his disciples and followers to bring heaven to earth, he is inviting them to make heaven their first priority. The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, is a call to re-evaluate everything through an eternal lens. Ultimately, these chapters point towards human flourishing. With eternal values as top priority, we are free. Jesus says it simply in Matthew 6:33: “Seek God first, and the ways of God, and you’ll have everything.”
So what stands in the way? It is easy for us to be pulled away from deeper priorities into places of fear, anxiety and worry. Indeed we have something in common with the early followers of Jesus: we live in troubled and troubling times. It is easy to wake up with trouble on our minds. Melody Beattie says, “There is an important message for us first thing every day.” I agree. Yet I also confess I sometimes miss God’s message for me because my first thought is drawn to what disturbing headlines likely await. When I begin the day that way, I’m on edge, moving tightly with a feeling of dread. I end up losing focus on the highest priorities that open the way to flourishing.
Jesus noticed something similar in the spirits of his disciples. He could see they were constricted by fear. They were caught in a web of anxious questions and frayed emotions. Jesus speaks to their fears: “No one can serve two superiors. You will either hate one and love the other, or be attentive to one and despise the other. You cannot give yourself to God and money. That’s why I tell you not to worry about your livelihood, what you are to eat or drink or use for clothing. Isn’t life more than just food? Isn’t the body more than just clothes?” (Matthew 6: 24-25).
At MCCDC we exist to build a community that supports the flourishing of souls. We grow together, supporting each other in refining and living our priorities as a community and as individuals. At MCCDC we find the beloved Community of Heaven that Jesus describes in the Sermon on the Mount. There is plenty of room for differing beliefs, many styles, and endless questions. Doubt, anger, frustration and fear are not turned away here. Rather, a door opens into the beloved Community of Heaven where our differing approaches converge into shared hope. We are given space to flourish.
ACTION: Between now and Sunday, take note of your first thought when you awake. Is there a message from God in your first thought? Or is your first thought a thought of worry? Whatever comes to mind, don’t judge. Just notice, be aware, and consider how God would have you prayerfully proceed.
PRAYER: God, prepare our hearts for Sunday worship. Show us what it means for MCCDC to build a beloved community where all may flourish. Increase our capacity for your power to be released in us and through us. Teach us the ways of living with the priorities that lead to our best lives. Amen.
Rev. Elder Dwayne Johnson
The MCCDC Writers’ Ministry offered devotionals during Lent and will do so at other times, fulfilling our mission to offer our church and the world more reflections and spiritual gifts throughout the year.
We also gather monthly to support and inspire each other in our personal writing. Whether you are an experienced writer or want to begin writing, or do more, please consider joining us. Our next meeting will be Wednesday, April 21st at 7:00 pm.
If you’d like to join this project, please contact Rev. Dr. Robin Hawley Gorsline at firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Day of Prayer
Please join us on 6th May 2021, 12 PM/Noon Thursday for the Observation of National Day of Prayer during out normal prayer call. We will extend our normal prayer call to lift up our nation during these trouble time.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 865 7935 0349
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
Meeting ID: 865 7935 0349
As we continue practicing social distancing, many of us still want to celebrate Mother’s Day with our mom and mom-figure, whether blood or chosen. MCCDC wants to celebrate and remember with you, so we invite you to email a headshot of your mom with her name. Feel free to include yourself in the picture too. We will fill the sanctuary seats with cut-outs of moms across our church family.
Please send your pictures to Melvin Moore via email, email@example.com, or Click Here to Upload a Video k by Sunday, May 2.
Public health officials are urging us to help ensure people who are 65 and older know that they are eligible for the C19 vaccine. (Depending on your location, people with certain underlying health conditions are also eligible.) For more information, visit these links—District of Columbia, Maryland & Virginia —for vaccine procedures and answers to frequently-asked questions.
Another Web site reported by News 4 today helps you manage/plan your C19 appointment in one place no matter what state you live in. Click here to go to the web site.
“Church Ministries & 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com for more information.
Moving Spirit Dance Ministry
Come dance for God! No experience needed. Email Cathy Batson at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
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
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
The MCCDC Writers’ Ministry mission is to offer to our church and the world more reflections and devotionals throughout the year. If you’d like to join this project, now or in the future, please contact Rev. Dr. Robin Hawley Gorsline, Writer-Theologian in Residence, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 *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 *Buck Carlson at the loss o