An update from Verity Jones, in Washington D.C.:

DisciplesWorld's Verity Jones with CNN's Roland Martin

DisciplesWorld's Verity Jones with CNN's Roland Martin

I spent this morning talking to Steven Gentle, the pastor of National City Christian Church, while our General Minister and President Sharon Watkins conducted a few telephone interviews in the next room with print and radio reporters including CNN, AP, and NPR.  Watkins is bringing lots of media attention to Disciples.  Her appearance at the national prayer service on Wednesday may even be televised.  National City Christian Church is preparing to host a large group of Disciples from South Carolina who are coming with their regional minister, Sotello Long, to attend the inauguration.  Grown-ups sleeping on mattresses meant for teenagers in a church hall!  How’s that for dedication.

Other Disciples in D.C. are busy celebrating Martin Luther King Day.  Of course, this year’s celebration links King’s legacy to Obama’s Inauguration.  Disciples of note — Michael Kinnamon, Rita Brock, and Joan Brown Campbell — will participate in an Interfaith Peace Service at All Souls Unitarian church later this afternoon. More Disciples will gather at Michigan Park Christian Church for a dinner and celebration this evening.

The city, meanwhile, is in the process of lock down.  At 3:00 pm, most of the streets within a two mile corridor surrounding the National Mall will be closed to cars.  Only pre-approved buses, taxis, and limos will be allowed in.  National Guardsmen can be seen on every corner, even outside National City Christian Church.  They say they are practicing for tomorrow!

Last night, I attended the African American Church Inaugural Ball along with my sister, Serene Jones, the president of Union Theological Seminary in New York City, the birthplace of Black Theology.  Disciples were well represented at the ball.  Watkins and her spouse Rick Lowery, along with Cynthia Hale and her mother Janice, April Johnson, Delores Carpenter, Sotello and Dee Long, Lois Artis, and Michael Paige.  It was quite the event.  Luminaries such as Jesse Jackson, Desmond Tutu, and Marian Wright Edelman were present.  CNN commentator Roland Martin was the master of ceremonies, and even actor Chris Tucker made an appearance.  Singer Jessye Norman closed the event.

I’ll be posting updates to Twitter and photos to our Facebook page, in addition to the blog and news stories on Keep up with the happenings in D.C. this week!  I have a GREAT ticket to the swearing in ceremony.  I should actually be able to see!