Last Thursday, February 8, 2018, Bishop Lawrence Reddick, III, senior bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME) was presented with an award from the Operation PUSH Coalition (the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, President). In a recent message to the members of the CME Church, he shared his thoughts.
Some things come to people because of what they do, some because of who they are, and some because of where they are. In short, my honor came because I am your Senior Bishop. So that’s why I say, this is the honor received by me, but it is the honor you earned … and since they could not honor each of us, they honored the person who by office represents the CME Church.
I did not get a chance to say what I wanted to say upon receipt of the award, primarily because the luncheon had gone overtime (and we in the church know how that can happen!). However, I’m sharing with you the words I had planned to say within the quotes below:
Thank you for this award.
I have had the treasured opportunity to have been birthed into the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church family as an infant; then reared, nurtured, and challenged in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church congregations by loyal pastors, Sunday School teachers, ordinary pew members, and neighbors in our communities who prodded us to grow in our witness and to invest in God’s people, both like us and
unlike us, near and far.
Any award you give me belongs to those who have shaped me and blessed me and those who still stretch me. So, today, you honor not just me, but the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States, the Caribbean, and in 15 countries of Africa.
We also, as members of God’s family, committed to salvation, to education, to justice and to the empowerment of people across the world, recognize and applaud the Operation PUSH Coalition led by the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson for your leadership in these efforts. We are proud to stand with you as partners in God’s business.
In this world of hidden deeds and undermining actions by people in high and low places, we pledge with you to make sure that God’s Good News of salvation, education, liberation and empowerment will not be hidden, but proclaimed, lived, and promoted without shame; for God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made the light ‘shine in our hearts’ and in our deeds in order to give to us and through us ‘the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Christ Jesus’ for the healing and wholeness of all peoples (2 Corinthians 4).
Thank you for encouraging us – the people of the Christian Methodist Episcopal churches – with this honor today.
I thank all who wrote me words of congratulations. I was grateful to share with Pastor Jermaine Marshall and people of New York City’s Williams Institutional CME Church, with Pastor and Mrs. Rickey D. Helton of the Israel Metropolitan CME Church of Washington, D.C., and with Pastor and Mrs. Wayne Williams of Russell Memorial CME Church of Durham, North Carolina. They were present and made an impressive delegation.
But … I hope you accept that it was given because of what we do as the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Congratulations to you!
+ Lawrence L. Reddick III