PanHellenic Community of Essex County answered the Kingdom Call to Provide Scholarship Funding and to take time to Worship: A Mother Pearl Perspective!!
By-line: Isis Spokenpen
St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in (Brickcity) Newark, NJ a branch of the Kingdom of God… located in a college town. Right down the street from Essex County College, Rutgers (Newark), NJIT; a few corners around the block from UMDNJ and not that far from Berkeley College, Pillar College and Drake Business Institute was where persons of Greek affiliation and non-Greek affiliation GATHERED in unity on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 10:45am for Christian worship and scholarship. Rev. Ronald Slaughter, Pastor and Soror Jonnie Cannon, president of the church’s Pan-Hellenic ministry and (Beta Alpha Omega Chapter’s) own sent the Kingdom call forth.
We, the beautiful Ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., especially the “Mother Pearl Chapter of NJ” AKAed up and answered the call having had the LARGEST sorority representation in attendance!! As a clergy, nontraditional educator in higher education and AKA woman, I was grateful to finally have opportunity to be there. For it was my first time having attended this annual service. Faith and education are major platforms in our village. The African Diaspora depends on us, the “Talented Tenth”, to be pioneers and pillars of light in the Global community, when it relates to fundraising for scholarship. It is an act of civil engagement, a Kingdom call to ACTION.
The angel of the house Rev. Slaughter made the vision plain encouraging us to “Move beyond the Chatter”. Luke 23:33, Nehemiah 4:1:3 were the scriptural back drop for the conversation at hand… the message is available on the St. James’ website. Alpha Kappa Alpha women have always been women who moved beyond the chatter, our history tells that story eloquently. As the First African American sorority, our founders created the blue print by which service and sisterhood could be lived out; we have always set aside time for individual and corporate renewal. Worship is act of renewal and refreshing it is the time where the labors come in and are build up again. The service was refreshing a sight to behold the beautiful colors of each organization, the hospitality of St. James disciples (members), the music wisely select, the word in motion exemplified threw the dance ministry (mostly children) and created a contagious (explosive) praise. The time of meditation and prayer moved onward to the Spoken Word of God which led up to the doors of our father’s house being opened. Souls being reconciled to a loving Savior confirmed the church as a house of prayer; one with much laughter and joy with an obvious mission for Kingdom building.
One of the greatest laughs of the day was that the treasurer of St. James, a member of Sigma Phi Beta texted the pastor Rev. Slaughter who is a member of Omega Psi Phi. The texted read the Sigma men “would be sending all the puppies home”; a bold statement that carried “truth”, as the men of Sigma Phi Beta won for LARGEST fraternity representation in attendance. The roll call count did not end the love fest; it only preceded the offering of scholarship checks and one by one each organization came forth and gave. In addition, the Pan-Hellenic community as a whole presented a monetary offering showing our unity to answer the Kingdom call to fundraise for scholarship. In this 2013-2014 academic year St. James church has thirty plus students enrolled in higher education throughout the country. Without access to statistics, I dare to make an educated guess that we as the Pan-Hellenic Community of Essex County have easily provided close to a million dollars in scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year and so it was and shall forever be our world without end. AMEN!!