Please Join Us on Resurrection Sunday!

PRESIDING BISHOP CHARLES E. BLAKE, FIRST LADY MAE L. BLAKE

and the

WEST ANGELES WORSHIP AND ARTS MINISTRY with Dr. Judith McAllister

 invite you to worship with with us on

EASTER SUNDAY: RESURRECTION SUNDAY!

RESURRECTION Sunday2017

Easter flyer 2017 copy

 AND –

RESURRECTION concert 2017

Morning Services at The West Angeles Cathedral
Address: 3600 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Evening Concert at The West Angeles North Campus Sanctuary
Address: 3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

The American Journey of Black History Month

The American journey of Black  History Month begins around 1915, 50 years after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. In September of that year, historian Carter G. Woodson, known as the “Father of Black History,” founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a National Negro History week in 1926.

The American Journey of Black History Month - Carter G. Woodson, Father of Black History Month.

Carter G. Woodson, Father of Black History Month.

 

CREATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH

The son of former slaves, historian Carter G. Woodson was the second African American to receive a PhD from Harvard University. Like W. E. B. Du Bois (who was, incidentally, the first African American to receive a PhD from Harvard), he believed that truth could not be denied, and that reason would prevail over prejudice [2]. Through his organization, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), he conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass[1]. The NAACP was also founded in February in 1909.

Woodson lobbied schools, churches, and organizations to participate in a special program to encourage the study of African-American history. The response was overwhelming. Black history clubs sprang up, teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils, and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort.

By the time of Woodson’s death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. Mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Negro History Week. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all color on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture.

By the 1970s, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses.  During America’s Bicentennial Celebration in 1976, President Gerald R. Ford recognized Black History Month as a national celebration, calling upon the public to “seize theThe American Journey of Black History Month opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”[2]

HONORING BLACK HISTORY MONTH TODAY

Since its official, national recognition in 1976, Black History Month has been designated by every American president as a time to reflect upon the history and accomplishments of African Americans, and to honor the individuals and groups which have worked tirelessly toward racial justice.  Other countries around the world also devote time to celebrating Black History.

American Presidents have also adopted the practice of endorsing specific themes for the month’s observations. The 2013 theme, “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington,” marks the 150th and 50th anniversaries of two pivotal events in African-American history.

For Black History Month in 2014, President Barack Obama in his Presidential Proclamation  said the following:

“As we pay tribute to the heroes, sung and unsung, of African-American history, we recall the inner strength that sustained millions in bondage. We remember the courage that led activists to defy lynch mobs and register their neighbors to vote. And we carry forward the unyielding hope that guided a movement as it bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.  Even while we seek to dull the scars of slavery and legalized discrimination, we hold fast to the values gained through centuries of trial and suffering.”[3]

As the Black American journey continues to uplift the hopes and dreams of those of other cultures worldwide, the stories and testimonies found in African American history serve as a constant light and reflection of the true soul and promise of America. Carter G. Woodson, in promoting the study of black history, has inspired a nation to honor the resilience and spirit of a people.

 

Video, courtesy, Biography.com.  Many thanks!


[1] – “About Carter G. Woodson”, Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). https://asalh100.org/our-history/carter-g-woodson/, accessed 2-7-2017.

[2] – “About African American History Month,” excerpted from an essay by Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University, for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. http://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/about.html; accessed 2/4/2016. 

[3] – “African American History Month”, The National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts. http://www.national-consortium.org/Special-Recognition/African-American-History-Month.aspx

FEATURED PAINTING – Aaron Douglas: “From Slavery to Reconstruction, Aspects of Negro Life”, 1934; courtesy, The New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Art and Artifacts Division.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • In September 2016, the Smithsonian Institution opened the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC. Thirteen years since Congress and President George W. Bush authorized its construction, the 400,000-square-foot building stands on a five-acre site on the National Mall, close to the Washington Monument.
  • AfricanAmericanHistoryMonth.gov is a collaboration between The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  • The Library of Congress has a branch dedicated to law and legislative documents. The Law Library of Congress has compiled guides to commemorative observations, including a comprehensive inventory of the Public Laws, Presidential Proclamations and congressional resolutions related to African American History Month.

 

 

TONIGHT: Join Us for a Powerful Time of Prayer

Please join the West Angeles Prayer Ministry tonight for

A SPECIAL TIME OF PRAYER

in conjunction with the Annual January Consecration

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

At the

WEST ANGELES NORTH CAMPUS

Address: 3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

Phone: (323) 733-8300  for more information.

 Please bring a friend, and remember:

“IN THIS CHANGING WORLD, LET US HOLD ONTO OUR UNCHANGING FAITH”

cogic-2017_theme_concept_2_horizontal_left_scriptures

To download the 2017 Consecration Calendar and Guidelines, please

CLICK HERE.

A Case for Michelle (Not That She Needs It)…

Shara Stewart honors First Lady Michelle Obama and reflects upon the importance of her role in her husband’s historic time in office, on this final day of the Obama Presidency, January 20, 2017.

 

Please click the images below to enlarge the slideshow.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates”

– Proverbs 31:30-31 (NKJV)
 

Michelle Obama is, and will always be, the definitive “Shero” (not a typo… She-Hero) for every little Black girl and every enlightened Black woman. She is the living embodiment of every poem that Maya Angelou has penned, and while everyone sees that Barack continued the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, let us never miss the fact that Michelle Obama has grabbed the baton from Coretta Scott King with a type of grace and poignancy previously unimaginable.

I remember reading an article which indicated that Michelle was somewhat of a reluctant First Lady. I can relate, as I remember being reluctant to take on a certain title of my own (In my case, I had no problem supporting the man and his dream, even when I found that my place in said dMICHELLE wavesream was unclear. But that’s a story for another day). She managed to take my exact fears and show me how to walk right through them. I learned from her. I followed her. I realized, even with my doubts, that I, Shara, could be someone’s Michelle.

And to think, a woman who once wore the same nappy pigtails I did, whose high cheekbones and thick thighs match my own and those of the women in my family, has spent the last eight years planting vegetables on the White House lawn. She did this not because she was paid to, but because she chose to as a hobby. On a slow Sunday morning. Sipping lemonade. My God, my God.

She is the Wife we hope to be, adored, adorned, supported, and completely satisfied by the life she chose and the man she stands behind. She is the Mother we pray God will allow us to be, raising two daughters who are so clearly poised to be queens.

She allowed (YES: allowed) her husband to stand and lead, while knowing that she was just as smart, capable, and competent as he. She shows us the unmistakable beauty and strength in the submission the Bible charges us aspiring Proverbs 31 women to take on. She wears that submission beautifully, knowing that she has chosen to submit to a man who loves her exactly the way that Christ loves the Church.

 

Michelle has breathed new life into the elegance of intelligence. In my daydreams, I see Barack giving her the rough draft of his official address, and her final edits turn it into the speech he gives to the American people. I listen to his speeches and hear where he chose to use her words. Every time I hear her speak, I am completely convicted and charged to do more, to be more, to study harder, to read one more book; to become who she would want me to be. Her mind is as beautiful as her smile; her mission as powerful as her gait.

She shows us all, but especially us black women and girls, what it looks like to Win. She is undoubtedly herself, and yet, she is all of us.

I thank her. From the bottom of my very very grateful heart. I am nothing but selfish, wishing her four more years as First Lady; not for her sake, or even for the sake of the country, but for my own. I want to watch her just a bit longer. There is more for her to teach me.

Stay “Mo”… stay.


Unless otherwise credited, all photos, Pete Souza for the White House; many thanks.

Pray for Fort Lauderdale

Several lives were lost and many were injured during a shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport on Friday. Please pray for those affected by this violent tragedy.

Read more on CNN.

#GIVING TUESDAY – Support West Angeles Family Life Center Campaign!

An architectural rendering of the future West Angeles Family Life Center.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. has a God-centered vision for you and your family to live the best life God intended!

West Angeles equips the whole family through its over 80 ministries, programs and departments, including:

  • The Brotherhood Organization
  • The Young Women’s Christian Council
  • Youth & Young Adult Ministry
  • College Prep (Education Enrichment)
  • Drug & Alcohol Ministry (Free N One)
  • The Prison Ministry
  • The West Angeles Christian Counseling Center
  • The Skid Row Ministry
  • Christian Education

Please click the photos below for a slideshow of some of the West Angeles Ministries:

 

President Barack Obama and Former President Bill Clinton have praised Bishop Blake and the West Angeles ministry model as a shining example of Christian ministry and community-building at its best.

Be a part of the first edifice of its kind in Los Angeles, CA.  PLEASE CLICK BELOW to give to the Family Life Center Campaign today.

donate-hands

Remember to add #GIVING TUESDAY!

Convocation Expected to Inject Millions into STL

Originally posted on STLAmerican.com

The Church of God in Christ’s 109th Holy Convocation projected to make over $30 million economic impact to St. Louis metro area. This gathering of more than 40,000 attendees, scheduled for November 7-13 at the America’s Center and the Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis, is one of the city’s largest conventions.

“We expect a record number of attendees this year, which means our organization will have an increased economic impact on the St. Louis area,” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr. said.

The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) is one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the world and the fourth largest Protestant group in the United States, with churches in 83 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 million adherents.

Highlights for the week include:

Thursday, November 10. COGIC Cares Community Clean-up. Meet in front of the America’s Center at 10 a.m. to help clean up St. Louis’ 4th Ward. To volunteer, email [email protected].

Thursday, November 10. COGIC Urban Initiatives presents “An Education Affair” in collaboration with the United States Department of Education, in America’s Center Atrium from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Thursday-Saturday, November 10-12. COGIC Health Fair in America’s Center Atrium, 2nd Floor, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily.

Friday, November 11. COGIC Urban Initiatives 7th Annual Job Fair in America’s Center Atrium, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Saturday, November 12. Christmas in November blesses the St. Louis community with free groceries, clothes, appliances, cosmetics, toys, hot lunches, haircuts, and free cell phones with minutes for those who qualify, at 5300 Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Children must be present to receive toys, and adults must show an ID. This event requires registration at COGIC.org, or call 314-583-0610.

“This will be the sixth year the convention has been held in St. Louis,” Bishop Blake said, “and we are excited to return to such a hospitable city.”

For more information about COGIC’s community outreach efforts during the 109th Holy Convocation or to view the schedule of

activities, visit www.cogic.org.

FILM REVIEW: Disney’s “Queen of Katwe”

An ambitious young man on the other side of the world is torn between his dream job as an engineer and his mission to help impovershed youth succeed – To Sir With Love, 1967

David Oyelowo as Robert Katende and Madina Nalwanga as Phiona Mutesi in "The Queen of Katwe."

David Oyelowo as Robert Katende and Madina Nalwanga as Phiona Mutesi in “The Queen of Katwe.”

 

One of my favorite films is 1967’s To Sir, With Love, based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by E.R. Braithwaite (…what can I say: I love old films). In it, Sidney Poitier plays an out of work engineer who takes a position teaching  street youths that no one else can manage.

Fast-forward to 2016. Disney’s new film, Queen of Katwe is based a book by Tim Crothers. In the film – also based on a true story – Robert Katende, an out of work engineer, takes a position teaching street youths that no one else seems to care about… but that’s where the uncanny similarity ends. Robert has something that “Sir” didn’t have: a brilliant chess prodigy named Phiona.

Queen of Katwe is based on the incredible, heart-warming, true story of 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi, a girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess. With Katende’s training, and the support from her family and community, Phiona is instilled with the confidence and determination to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.

(At least) 3 verses of scripture came to mind while watching the film:queen-quote2

  • Matthew 25:40 – And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me;
  • Psalm 23:5 – You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; and
  • Proverbs 18:16 – A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men (all NKJV).

For Phiona Mutesi (played by beautiful newcomer Madina Nalwanga), life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle, Her mother, Harriet (played by Lupita Nyong’o), is fiercely determined to take care of her family and works tirelessly selling vegetables in the market to make sure her children are fed and have a roof over their heads. When Phiona meets Robert Katende , a soccer-player-turned-Christian-missionary who teaches chess to local children (played by David Oyelowo), she is captivated (plot, courtesy of Disney.com).

Queen of Katwe picks up the mantle of the wildly successful To Sir, With Love; showing how far the love and vision of a good teacher can take a child, and how that love can ignite genius: even a child with no hope or vision of their own.

SUBTLE GENIUS

Forced to drop out of school after the death of her father and sister, Phiona did not read or write; yet she has the remarkable skill, analytical acumen, and quiet genius to master the game of chess. “Anybody can be taught moves and how to react to those moves, but to reason like she does at her age is a gift that gives her the potential for greatness,” said Dina Kagramanov[1], a Canadian national champion who Phiona plays against and is represented in the film. Phiona finds her “greatness” in mastering the strategies of chess, in spite of the fact that she lacks education, and is surrounded by unspeakable poverty and hopelessness.

The real Phiona Mutesi in a game of chess.

The real Phiona Mutesi in a game of chess.

The remarkable story first came to the attention of Walt Disney executive Tendo Nagenda after reading about Phiona in the ESPN article. Nagenda, who is of Ugandan descent, knew that it would make a great movie, and became its champion within the ranks of Disney. The film is groundbreaking in that it provides an inside look at life in an African country; specifically of those who live in poverty: a first for a Disney film. Yet, its triumph-over-adversity theme is quintessentially Disney, and it brings to mind popular films like Slumdog Millionaire, which took place in the slums of Mumbai. An amazing fact about Queen of Katwe is that none of the children in the film – including its star, Madina Nalwanga – have ever acted before.

See Disney’s Queen of Katwe,  a wonderful, inspiring film for the entire family. Directed by Mira Nair, the film stars Golden Globe® nominee David Oyelowo, Oscar® winner and Tony Award® nominee Lupita Nyong’o and Madina Nalwanga.

Like To Sir, With Love and Phiona Mutesi herself,  Queen of Katwe has all  that it takes to become a triumphant success.  This timeless classic is a testament to the resilience and power of the spirit.

Queen of Katwe opens in U.S. theaters on SEPTEMBER 23, 2016.

SEE THE OFFICIAL TRAILER HERE:

[1] – “The Game of Her Life”, ESPN The Magazine,  Jan. 10, 2011.  http://www.espn.com/espn/news/story?page=Mag15gameofherlife .  Accessed 9-21-2016. 

 

 

 

 

How to be a Positive Example to Others

Dr. Tonya Lewis discusses three ways we can be a positive example to others: with our speech, with our actions, and with our lives.

WATCH WHAT YOU SAY

Talk, talk, talk! It is much easier to say things – whatever they may be – than to actually do them. It doesn’t take long before others become weary of the talk we’re proud to use to influence them. We forget that “talk is cheap.” Instead of talking about it, we must “be about it.”

How many times have we missed the blessings and the good we could have been experienced, if only we had done what we talked about? When it is all said and done, deeds impress us, rather than words. In 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul penned,

…Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

To be means that effort will have to be applied to produce the results of being. We must demonstrate Godly qualities in every area of our lives; for who we are will be exhibited in every area of our lives. For instance, if we lie to our employers, then we will lie to others. We must therefore practice being trustworthy in what we say, and in the way we live. Our outstanding and credible character should precede our names. Our words and lives should be so respectable, that those around us would hastily run to our defense when others accuse us.

 

ARE YOU LOVING?scripture-graphic1

Love is an action word; therefore, our lives must be full of loving actions. Some questions to ask ourselves:

  1. How do we react to the pain of others?
  2. How do we express our compassion, encouragement and support of others?
  3. Are others enriched because they have interacted with us, or are they, instead in a reduced state after interacting with us? 4. Do we encourage trust and patience in the love of God, or do we project worry, doubt, and fear: both to others and to ourselves?

If our Father is the Great God of the Universe whose very essence is love, then we must reflect His loving essence in our own lives. Our confession of faith in God must be genuine; it must be demonstrated beyond Sunday morning services, and impact what we say to others and to ourselves.

 

ARE YOU HOLY?

We don’t want to just proclaim holiness; we don’t want to live questionable Christian lives. We want to be holy and God-like in all that we say, do, and believe. How we live and show love should clearly associate us with the Lord in the eyes of others.

God requires us to be examples of His glory – both to believers and to unbelievers –  for our actions do positively or negatively influence others. 1 John 3:7-10 (NLT) says,

“When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.

 

YOU ARE A LIVING TESTIMONY

We should desire for our lives the evaluation of Joshua 22:2-3,5-6:

He told them, “You have done as Moses, the servant of the LORD, commanded you, and you have obeyed every order I have given you. 3You have been careful to obey the commands of the LORD your God right up to the present day. 5- But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the LORD your God, walk in all His ways, obey His commands, hold firmly to Him, and serve Him with all your heart and all your soul.” 6 So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went home.

For this to be the evaluation of our actions, we must obey God. By being a positive example to others, we benefit them as well as ourselves. As Kingdom Citizen Representatives, let’s utilize every opportunity to be a positive example for the glory of God.

Photo, courtesy David Pugh.

Courtney B. Vance Honored by Merge Summit

Integrating faith & entertainment, THE MERGE SUMMIT is a series of exclusive events that provides education, inspiration, empowerment and opportunity. The event takes place August 25-27, 2016 at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, CA.

courtney vance

Courtney B. Vance

Founded by West Angeles’ own Robi Reed, the Merge Summit brings together leaders in the arts and entertainment industry to teach, prepare and inspire the next generation of leaders in music, film, television, business and ministry. Their efforts revolve around providing value to their participants by providing the opportunity to meet and learn from industry powerhouses.

This year at the MERGE AWARDS OPENING GALA honors West Angeles COGIC member and Emmy Award nominated actor Courtney B. Vance; Senior Vice President of Prudential Financial, Dorinda Walker; ESSENCE Magazine Editor-At-Large Mikki Taylor; and founder and senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, Dr. Bill Winston. The evening will be hosted by celebrated comedian, Cedric The Entertainer.

THE MERGE SUMMIT features over 20 Interactive Panel Discussions; Powerful Master Classes and Engaging Breakout Sessions, all taught by more than 60 of the industry’s top entertainers and executives.  The Summit also features The Merge Awards™ Luncheon, The Merge Showcase, & FREEDOM, The Merge Concert Experience.

Within the past year, THE MERGE has traveled nationwide with events in Baltimore, Atlanta, and Chicago.