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Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins

Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins

If you missed Disciples’ General Minister and President Sharon Watkins’ sermon at the inaugural service at the National Cathedral, here’s where you can download the text version. I haven’t checked for video clips yet – if you come across any, let me know.

Also, if you’re looking for the scripture text read by Cynthia Hale, you can download the full program (including all the prayers, hymns, and scripture texts) from the National Cathedral’s website.

UPDATE: I found a link to video…Danny Bradfield has a link to C-SPAN’s website on his blog. You can watch video of the service here.

UPDATE #2: Videos (in 2 parts on YouTube) – Part 1 and Part 2. The first cuts off a bit of the beginning but starts with the Cherokee story of the 2 wolves. (Thanks, Eduardo, for letting us know about this)

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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 DisciplesWorld.com. 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!

An update from DisciplesWorld editor and publisher Verity Jones, who left Sunday for Washington, D.C.:

I’m off to Washington, D.C., today to the historic inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States.  I’m going on behalf of DisciplesWorld in order to cover the national prayer service on Wednesday Jan. 21, at which our own Sharon E. Watkins, the Disciples’ general minister and president, will preach.  We just learned that Cynthia Hale, pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Ga., will also participate in the service. The newly inaugurated president and vice-president will be in attendance as well, of course.

I’m thrilled beyond belief, for Disciples, for our nation.  I’ll be up in the balcony of the National Cathedral for the prayer service with all the other reporters, so I’ll have a bird’s eye view of the service.

I’m going to Washington, D.C., today, however, to find out what Disciples in D.C. are doing to recognize and celebrate the inauguration.

I’ll also attend the swearing in ceremony on Tuesday!  Look for me on television.  I’ll have on a black coat and tan hat — I’ll really stand out from the crowd.

Jones will be providing updates on Twitter, Facebook, the NewsMuse blog, and on DisciplesWorld’s website, throughout the week.

World Convention, the every-four-year gathering of the churches of the Stone-Campbell Movement founded by Thomas and Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone, opened Wednesday evening at the Nashville (TN) Convention Center and continues through Sunday afternoon, Aug. 3.

Disciples pastor and preacher Cynthia Hale delivered a powerful message on Wednesday night. Read more about that here. Also, if you’d like to see more of World Convention, Ted Parks has posted photos on his Picasa site and will be posting more through the week.

I did not attend the previous World Convention in Brighton, England in 2004 and was not sure what to expect. Frankly, I was skeptical that the ‘unity’ would be little more than polite tolerance, and there have been moments these past couple of days where I’ve wondered about the relevance and purpose of World Convention.

But while there have been a few disappointments (like no Communion being served during the evening worship services, to name one) there have also been unexpected gems. Like hearing about a 95-year-old who came to World Convention this time (he’s the oldest registered attendee) and has been coming since the 4th World Convention, held some time in the 1940s in Buffalo, NY. Wow.

This morning, DisciplesWorld publisher and editor Verity Jones and I went to the Emmanuel School of Religion breakfast this morning to hear Paul Blowers speak on the “Emerging” Stone-Campbell Movement. Blowers acknowledged the chaos and division within our movement, and that we have a lot of work to do. Then he reminded his audience that God specializes in bringing order from chaos, and said he believes God is still working through our movement, with its strong personalities and its messy history, to do great things. It was quite a message, and convinced me that being here (as a Disciple, a woman, and a person of more than a few opinions) is the right thing.

Thank you, Paul Blowers. You made my day.

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