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The Rev. Rufus Smith next up at Hope Church

Rev RufusSmith-200The largest church in Memphis – and the second largest Presbyterian Church in the country – has announced a new senior pastor. But he's no stranger to the church.

Hope Church has named the Rev. Rufus Smith IV, its current senior associate pastor, to lead the church. Current Senior Pastor Dr. R. Craig Strickland will maintain a very active and visible role within the church in his new position as founding pastor.

Smith will be installed into his new role the weekend of Nov. 16-17.

Speaking the language of Spirit

LucyShaw-160LIVING THE LIFE I LOVE: Dear Lucy: Things have really been mixed up for me lately. I have done some things to the people I love. I have tried to explain to them. But I just can't find the right words. They are all mad at me and I want their understanding and forgiveness. It's like I am speaking a foreign language. I'm all talked out and can't listen to them beat up on me any more.

Dear "all talked out": It really is hard sometimes to explain to yourself and others the reasons for your actions, pain or transgression. Often it seems impossible. And friends and family can be just as confused and hurt as we are. In their confusion they try to make sense of it in ways that just bring more hurt and confusion. Next thing you know, everybody is wallowing in guilt, hurt, shame and guilt.

What to do when the question feels nosey

LucyShaw-160LIVING THE LIFE I LOVE: Dear Lucy: I was at a professional party recently and met up with an acquaintance who has just gotten a man in her life and told me all about him and how happy she was. She quizzed me about my love life and my guy wanting and expecting me to tell her as much as she told me. She was downright insisting that I give her details about who he is, how we met, what kind of work he does. I never asked her these questions. I don't get it. She caught me off guard and I tried to answer her only to be mad at myself later. How do you handle that? – Ticked Off

Dear Ticked Off:

That is routine middle class drama. Some people have homegrown manners and ask how you are doing. Others ask what, when, why, how, where you are doing. Some ask out of profound and heartfelt interest in your welfare and happiness. Others ask because they are nosey and want to be sure you have not gotten ahead of them.

 

Hope Church reduces energy consumption 23.5 percent; efforts save $425,319

hopechurch-400As the nation celebrates Energy Awareness Month in October, Hope Church administrators are having a celebration of their own – announcing more than $425,319 savings achieved through an innovative energy conservation program since April 2010.

The $425,319 savings is equal to 23.5 percent of the expected energy costs without the program. In environmental terms, the energy saved equates to 2,501 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions being prevented, or 449 autos off the highway annually or over 63,977 tree seedlings planted and grown in ten years.

"It is particularly appropriate to celebrate our savings this month," said Mack Oates, Energy Specialist. "Energy Awareness Month is all about teaching people to make good decisions about the energy they use, and that's what our program does. ...

Bishop Steib talks Mother Teresa & more

BishopSteib-600With a warm, captivating spirit, Bishop J. Terry Steib, SVD, who oversees the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, on Monday sat down with The New Tri-State Defender to discuss African-Americans in The Catholic Church, the mission of the diocese, and Mother Teresa's monumental visit to North Memphis 25 years ago.

Bishop Steib, the first African-American to serve as bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, will be the celebrant of the Jubilee Celebration Mass, which will commemorate Mother Teresa's visit and the "selfless service" of the Memphis outlet of the Missionaries of Charity, an outreach she put in place while here. The observance will be on Saturday (Oct. 5) at Holy Names Catholic Church.

"The importance of the celebration is that they (Missionaries of Charity) have been around for 25 years," said Steib. "It is a long time for someone to be in the ministry that they are involved in, and continuing to work in that."

Health challenge tests a pastor’s faith and resolve

pastor-400t"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

– Isaiah 53:5; King James Bible "Authorized Version", Cambridge Edition

Pastor Levy Conley comes to mind when I think of being tried and tested in faith.

Rev. Conley lives by Isaiah 53:5. He has trusted in God for more than 53 years and has stood firm in believing and delivering God's word to numerous individuals. His wife of 43 years will tell you that her husband was a humble pastor who would give his last dime to help those in need, often putting them before his own family.

Advice for queens and kings of procrastination

LucyShaw-160LIVING THE LIFE I LOVE Dear Lucy: In your last article you talked about goals and things we may do to block reaching them. You mentioned procrastination and that is my biggest problem. Can you say more about it? – The Queen Of Putting It Off

Dear Queen: Don't despair. Not doing is just the flip side of doing. You have the power to be the queen of the one you choose, moment by moment. Sometimes, not doing is as important as doing. The truth is that we all know when we need to choose a different way of being. That still, small voice speaks to us and relentlessly tries to move us to the best choice.

Recently, I was making a purchase on line and did not complete it. I got an email from the vendor reminding me to complete my order. It was cute and said this:

Eastern Star’s new pastor knows way around pulpit

EasternStarPastor-600Full of vigor, dedication and passion, the Rev. Evan Collins has accepted the call to lead Eastern Star Missionary Baptist Church and to take on all the associated challenges.

The 26-year-old Collins is the newly-elected pastor of the church at 334 William Fields Ave, (Cleveland Ave.) in North Memphis. Coming from a lineage of preachers, he answered the calling to serve God as an adolescent.

"My grandfather served as pastor of Progressive Missionary Baptist Church on Vance Ave. for 40 plus years," said Collins. "His oldest son, O.C. Collins Jr., who is my father, is pastor of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, his middle son, James Byron Collins, is the current pastor of Progressive, and the youngest son, Timothy Collins, is pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas."