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taleka-blogDecember 16 update:

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Tagged in: missing teleka patrick
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tn tale of two people[One sunny summer day, outside Jericho; names have been changed to protect the innocent.  I admit to freely stealing from Pastor Johns' “38 Years a Slave” sermon]

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tn faith steps wide t nvAs many of you may know, I am a senior at Oakwood University. During my tenure here, I have had various living situations:  I started in the dormitory, moved to living with family and now I have my own place with two roommates.

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fuzzywuzzyI’m always amazed at the object lessons Christ teaches me through my interaction with children.  This year, I had the opportunity to serve as a small group leader for our Athens Vacation Bible School program.  I thoroughly enjoyed my vibrant troop of 6-9 year olds. I can’t tell you how many times I laughed till I cried at the comedy those children brought me every single day.  I’d like to share the lessons I learned from a short conversation I had with a little girl on the last day of VBS.

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tn who is my neighbor wide tUnder the direction of Pastor Johns, our young adults, even those new to Metro, have been leading us in ministries to help the community surrounding the church.  These times we are living in are called ‘Post Religious’, meaning religion does not matter anymore; so I get excited when I see young adults taking the lead in ministries that embrace the community and spread God’s love. It says a lot about our church when others see people of all age groups working together.

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panicThe last thing I wanted to do this past Sabbath was to go out into the community. It seemed like the week was never ending.  I’d had several sleepless nights and I had started to feel defeated.  It wasn’t until God spoke through one of the ladies on the praise team that I decided to go.

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tn XsandOs tOn Sabbath, June 15, Principal Dunn from Ridgecrest Elementary visited us and shared how grateful and excited she was about what Metropolitan has been doing, and will do, for her school and her students.  She was so enthused about joining us on our Jericho Walk that she stayed after church waiting to go out with us, even though her daughter’s birthday party was taking place at the same time!  (As soon as I found that out though, I sent her straight home!)

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tn sacrificial faith offering wide tChurch Family,
 
We finally have our own place!  What?  You hadn't heard?  That means you don't attend business meeting or prayer meeting; those people already know what's going on!  Anyway, let me fill you in.
 
At business meeting on June 22, Pastor B asked the church to engage in some serious prayer - on the following Wednesday, June 26, we were scheduled to have the county inspection to see if we could finally, finally get our full occupancy permit for the MAC (yes, we've been operating under a temporary permit all these years).
 
The appointment was set for Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m.  At 10:00 a.m., the inspector hadn't come.  At 10:30, there was still no sign of him.  Finally - at 10:40 a.m., he showed up.  They went through everything, looked over everything, walked around everywhere - and, Lord be praised - WE GOT THE FULL OCCUPANCY PERMIT!!!
 
Metro - you should be shouting, stomping, clapping, dancing a holy dance - whatever form of praise you can find within you to express your gratitude to God.  Pastor B said she went home after the meeting and cried.  As I stop to think about how far we've come - from selling 1/2 bricks under Pastor Roberts' watchful eye - to now having full occupancy of the building, after many, many, many - did I say MANY? -  years, heartaches and trials, all I can say is "God is good!"
 
Now there is one little, little caveat.  Even though we are now authorized to do whatever we want with the place whenever we want, we still owe A WHOLE BUNCH OF MONEY on it!!!  However, because I have seen God move mightily in helping us get the building constructed, and now allowing us to have our full occupancy permit, I have no doubt that He will also take care of the finances.  We want to demonstrate our faith, and our thankfulness, by bringing a sacrificial thank offering to service on July 13.  
 
We want all groups of the church to participate - our children, our teens, our young adults, our adults and our seniors.  Each group will have the opportunity to present their offering to God. 
 
Interestingly enough, this week's Kindergarten lesson and this month's Beginner lesson are about Joash - the boy king who encouarged the nation of Israel to come together and supply the money that was needed to repair the temple.  If you give your child(ren) a special offering this Sabbath to give to God, know that it will resonate strongly with them, reinforcing the lesson they've been studying.
 
When Pastor B made the announcement at prayer meeting on June 26, I decided that I would get my offering by giving up Chick-Fil-A for these two weeks (true confession - I'm a serious Chick-Fil-A addict and their stock price has probably gone down since I stopped buying).  Is there something you can give up to help get your offering?  However you choose to get it, we're asking you to dig deep, and truly make it  sacrificial.
 
Let's plan to have a wonderful celebration of God's goodness on July 13.
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tn take it back wide t ntBefore Joseph was elevated, he needed to be reconstructed. He was sweet on the outside but rotting within. God saw his heart and diagnosed him as in critical condition and in need of immediate medical attention.  (1 Samuel 16:7)

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IMG 1828My ninth place showing in the inaugural Metropolitan 5K Run/Walk? Yeah, I’m proud of that! I trained for the race. I ate right the day before. I had a race plan, and I executed it. So when I crossed the finish line--where my wife and daughters were standing and cheering me on--it was mission accomplished.

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Tagged in: 5k autism health
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tn text updates wide tDid you know that you can get text alerts and messages from Metro?  Yep - you sure can.  For example, a couple of weeks ago when we had some snow on Sabbath morning - we sent out a text letting our members know that we were open for service.  Every week we send out reminders about prayer meeting & Prep School - with links to the study guides.  If there's an emergency we need to let you know about - this will be the quickest way for us to do so.

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tn new year resolutions wide tFor 2013, how about being intentional about reaching out to those in your circles who are un-churched?  Jonathan Dodson from Outreach magazine shares 8 easy ways that we can be "missional" this year (in Metro terms, they would be 8 ways that we can connect to our community). Can we resolve to do one or two of these each month during 2013?

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tn help wide tThis evening, I responded to a text from one of my girlfriends.  My response was a day late, and she responded that she'd already gotten the information another way.  Feeling a little guilty, I texted back and asked if everything was ok.  She responded - "Honestly - no!"  And went on to tell me that she was pretty much at the end of her rope.  She was mentally, physically, and spiritually EXHAUSTED (emphasis hers).  I read the text and didn't know what to do.  Without divulging all her business, she is a mom who has unexpectedly been left to deal with her three children on her own, as well as handle other stuff going on in her family.  We texted back and forth a bit - her feeling guilty that she was admitting that she could do no more, that she wasn't strong enough to do it on her own; me trying to get her to see that it's okay to be weak.  We ALL are weak at some point.  Finally, I offered - you need to go away.  By yourself.  Do it over a weekend, and I'll keep the children for you.  She said she'll think about it.

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outcasts-ebonyLast week, in spotlighting National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week, WAMU 88.5 FM (the local NPR affiliate) presented a story about a young, homeless mother that left me frustrated and utterly despondent. It went something like this:

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tn will-smith-quoteI’m not one that’s big on keeping up with the every move of celebrities. However, there are a few that I’ll lend an ear to when they have a radio interview or television appearance.  One of them is Will Smith. We saw him start as a rapper turned actor on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and now he’s one of the Hollywood elite. I may not like all of his projects or totally agree with his theology, but I respect his insane work ethic and his thoughtfulness. When I saw the quote pictured to the left, some questions came to mind. What if I didn’t know you during your struggle? Technically I was absent. Does that mean I don’t have the chance to know you during your success? Call it being facetious but I felt inclined to ask!

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spectrum-pastorbSpectrum Magazine has produced a series of short video clips on several female Adventist pastors in an article they've published on their website titled:

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tn voteThe national election takes place on Tuesday, November 6.  Here are the official voters board of election websites for Maryland, the District and Virginia:

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tn Homeless Outreach wide tWe continue to provide opportunities for our members to connect to the community.  We are reaching out to two homeless shelters in our area.  This will be an ongoing project that you can support at any time that is convenient for you.  Jenny Laquinte and Tammy Francois are the project coordinators and are happy to answer any questions you may have; email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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tn ive hear but now i see wide t nvAs a newly baptized member of Metro, I have been eager to get involved and give back in some way to the church that has given me so much in my short time being associated with them. On Sabbath, September 1, after vespers, Pastor B mentioned there would be a church
business meeting. Having never attended one of those things my curiosity was peaked, I wanted to know:

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tn mixed bouquetWhenever I feel anxious and weird in my spirit, nature is one of the most effective tools God uses to calm my spirit and teach me lessons. After a long day at work, I’ll sometimes drive into the country, park my car and just stare at the sky. I don’t have a garden yet but I make sure to have a piece of nature in my apartment once a month in the form of fresh flowers. Flowers have a way of brightening up my place and I appreciate their beauty.

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