Who Are We Becoming?

General Secretary Rev. Leon Moore, Jr.

Several pastors in The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church who attended Seminary at the ITC are familiar with this bird which represents the process of looking back to see how to move forward. It is a part of the Interdenominational Theological Seminary message. The “Sankofa” bird is a metaphorical symbol of a bird with its head turned backward taking an egg from its back. It expresses the importance of reaching back to knowledge gained in the past and bringing it into the present to make positive progress.

             The CME Church has an illustrious past considering the challenges and opportunities it has have faced, challenges and opportunities that helped to shape The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. In the words of Bishop Randall Albert Carter,” this tender plant of God” had taken root and was here to live or die.” Those words immortalized the importance of the church’s future.

             However, looking back must not cause us to remain in a state of nostalgia over the CME Church. The Sankofa bird, although mythical, offers us the opportunity to reach back to move forward with positive progress. We must envision vibrant congregations with domestic missions, international missions, and discipleship formation. Auto pioneer Henry Ford, who developed the assembly line and the Ford Model T, (which was the faster car-back in the 1930’s with a top-speed of 45 mph and cost of $850 dollars) was innovative and creative. His developments meet the need and change the world. However, imagine out-fitting the same car with present day innovations. Some would say that would decrease the value and originality, but how relevant and powerful it would be!

             Who are we becoming? Bishop Randall Carter also implied in his quote that all living things grow, suggesting that the church is a tender plant, meaning it grows. The root grows down and then upward which suggests that we do not grow in the past, we grow with future expectations. The Sankofa bird does not fly backward, it reaches backward, while moving forward. The post pandemic congregation looks back over the last two years and moves forward. The mission of the Church is the reign of God. The question is not singular in thought but plural, what does the future of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church look like?

             Dr. Leo Pinkett, General Secretary of Ministry to Men of the Cristian Methodist Episcopal Church says, “Keep Moving Forward Always!” Yes! this we must do, but we cannot replicate the past to become a Matthew 28:19-20 Post Pandemic Church. Leaders lead, and each leader must work towards the goal while sharing technics, information and processes that has moved their congregations forward. We can get more done together; let’s grow our church TOGETHER!

Rev. Dr. Leon C. Moore, Jr.

General Secretary of Evangelism and Missions

Pleasant Hill CME, Conyers, GA

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