Rev. Shirley D. Heermance
THANKS BE TO GOD!
The St. Mark's AME Church congregation is looking forward to re-entering our building soon. It has been three years that God has afforded for us to maintain our ministry on the ZOOM platform, and now that the restoration work of our historic building is about to be completed, we give thanks to our God, who deserves our praise. Sometimes we are made to believe that small places are not significant, we are honored by our God and Country for seeing the value in making our church a national landmark, giving to it national, state, and local registry status. We are grateful to the National Parks Service and honored by their decisions to award St. Mark's with resource enough to restore the historic building in ways that it should last for many years to come. We are looking forward to fulfilling the promises that we've made as we enter into the next phase of ministry and sharing it all with you. To those who think you have no value, or your church is too small to matter, think again. Just know that with God and your congregation trusting Him and serving Him together, you will find how valuable you are to Him. So tonight, I shout out into the universe ... THANKS BE TO GOD!
THE SEASON OF PENTECOST
The Lord has promised to pour out His Spirit upon all people. In times like these might we ask of the Lord, that He will allow the power of His Holy Spirit to:
flow into our lives
and over our souls
to take control
to make us whole
to give courage to our fears
to enable us to draw near
to teach us to love,
so that we can be freely loved
by our God above
Today Lord … pour out the power of your Holy Spirit and let your promises be made manifest in our lives, in ways that others might believe and receive … then pass the promise of your salvation to others. In the precious name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
143rd Church Anniversary Day and Mother's Day
On Sunday May 14, 2023, the Historic St. Mark's AME Church will take time to acknowledge our 143rd Church Anniversary Day and Mother's Day. When we, along with the rest of the Country, were impacted by COVID19 and having to vacant in-person ministry we never expected that we would still be virtual today. It has been such a long journey, but God has been ever present with us along the way to encourage and to inspire us. We give Him all the credit for the work that will be completed in a matter of weeks, through the restoration of our building. In spite of the setbacks, some discouraging moments, unforeseen struggles, price hikes, inflation, supply issues, workforce shortages, and etc. we have stayed fast in faith that God would complete in us what He had started. Though sometimes things don't always happen as we plan, or our plans don't always come to fruition as we hope, but all the time the Lord is good for what He promises. When we continue to trust in the Lord, wait on Him and lean not to our own understanding, He will make manifest His will for us, when He is ready to reveal.
As I think about good the Lord has been to us, I want to thank God for how He has considered us, for the value that He has placed on us, both inside and outside of our physical building. I want to thank Him for showing us that, in Him, all things are possible. I want to thank God for reminding us that we are the living stones that help to make up His Church and the restored building is His house that we are fitted into. I want to express though we yearn to be back in the restored historic building, we are grateful for the restoration work that God has accomplished in each of us as Believers. And to say I am sure that when we are physically back at the altar, and in the choir stand, and seated in the pews, and standing in the pulpit once again, we will feel a greater sense of how God has nurtured us, even as a mother would her beloved children, and has cradled us in His love. Thank you Lord!
LENTEN SEASON 2023
#2- The Psalms are perhaps some of the most inspiring words of the Holy Bible. During the season of Lent, reading from the Book of Psalms can also be empowering in ways that can shape how we find ourselves in relationships with God. As the season of Lent is designed for us to grow our relationship with the Lord, it reminds us that reflecting on our personal lives can help us to achieve the kind of closeness with God that we cannot have unless we come before Him exposed. This past Sunday I used the 51st Psalms as my focus scripture to preach from. It is an amazing prayer of King David's, who after anguishing over sins he had egregiously committed, went before God in sincere repentance seeking for God's tender mercies to be given to him.
In essence, King David wanted to be forgiven by God for what he described as unforgiveable transgressions. King David admitted that he was guilty of his sins and seriously burdened by what he had done. In the text it reveals that every day the sins he had committed were staring him in the face, he could not hide from what he had done, and he knew that his sins were not hidden from the Lord. He wanted to be forgiven and converted! King David was depressed, at the time of Psalms 51 and wanted the joy of salvation to be restored unto him, through God's tender mercies and loving kindness. Ultimately King David came to be known as "a man after God's own heart."
As you travel through this year's Lenten Season, feast upon the words of the 51st Psalms, especially if you are in need of mercy and forgiveness for something you have done, that you know God considers as sin. Remember that God will hear you as you pray. Never forget that God loves you, and His greatest desire for you is to be in close relationship with Him. Just know, if like King David, you sincerely go to God seeking mercy and forgiveness, you will find the tender mercies of God and the fulness of His loving kindness. Don't be afraid to expose yourself to God. He already knows all things about you, He's just waiting on you to ask.
#1 - Welcome to the season of Lent! During this season, we will invest in the opportunities that God will afford, to reflect, to fast, and to pray. Thank you for celebrating, during the Epiphany Season, Christ Jesus as the Light of hope and joy for the World! As we move down the path toward Easter, I would like to use this space to share with you some prayers, reflections, and other items that will prayerfully inspire you throughout this season. For today, I want to ask you to join me in this word of prayer:
Dear Christ Jesus,
As we embark on this journey toward Easter, help this to be a time of personal reflection and preparation. As we pray, fast, and give of our time, talent, and treasure, throughout this season, make manifest our personal and collective need to daily spend time with you. Help us to imitate sacrifice and endurance, even as you sacrificed while fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, and while being subjected to the temptations of Satan as you prepared for your ministry to save us. Bless this day, and empower us with your Holy Spirit. Forgive us for the sins that we have committed through words, thoughts, or deeds. Help us to be fully aware, today, that you are our Lord and Redeeming Savior. Cause us to think about you, to strive to be like you, and to yearn for that day when we will at last see you face-to-face. Help us to live life that we might hear you say at the end of this day ... "Well done ..."
In your precious name, Jesus, I pray. Amen.
THE EPIPHANY SEASON
I'm offering this space to those who may not know about the Epiphany Season, which begins on the Sunday between January 2 and 6 and runs until the first Sunday of Lent, which begins seven weeks before Easter. The season commemorates the Magi's visit to the baby Jesus and the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. A season to remember Jesus as both fully human and fully divine. Yes! Epiphany celebrates Jesus being revealed to the world! The message of Epiphany is hope and joy, the light of hope, that God gave to humanity.
During this season I pray that the Lord will bless you, your family, and your home. I pray that He will grant to each of you good health and strength. I pray that our God will show you his goodness and mercy in ways that you have not yet experienced. I pray that you will meet each day with thanksgiving and the love of God filling every moment to give you, His victory. And I pray it all in the matchless name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.
MAY GOD'S UNTOLD BLESSINGS
FOR THE NEW YEAR!
DREAM THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM
Isaiah 54:1-10 MSG
St. Luke 12:29-32