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'Lift Every Voice' Series Resources

Ok friends, are ready for all the links? And, yeah, I really mean All. The. Links!

Throughout these first three weeks of our “Lift Every Voice” sermon series we’ve offered a wide variety of articles, ideas, and people for your Black History edification. So many offerings that it would be understandable if you missed some. Here, then, is the full compilation of all those articles, ideas, and people for you to read, learn with, and follow.

(Obviously it is impossible to list everything and everyone worth reading and knowing. This is just a list of those we mentioned during this sermon series. Still, if there something from the series I missed here, please let me know!)

Articles on the history and impact of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” 
—the Black National Anthem that is providing the structure for this sermon series. Click the links for the full story!

This article in the History of Hymns series on the UMC website.

This piece from the Smithsonian

This article from the Washington Post

This short piece from the NAACP

This blog post from the Roosevelt Alumni for Racial Equity

For a different approach to the song read this critique of the suggestion that the song alone can heal racism 


Daily Prayer Resource
Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church offers daily prayers for anti-racism. Click here to read this week’s prayers and have the option to subscribe to their prayers for anti-racism emailed daily. 


Resources to better understand our history—and present
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

This informative “What is?” series by the General Commission on Religion & Race of the United Methodist Church


Folks to follow on social media
I’ve noticed that I tend to follow people and accounts that look and sound and think like me. Here is an attempt to alter that pattern. These are just a couple examples that I mentioned in part 3 of the sermon series. Please share others I should add to the list!

Chef and author of Kosher Soul, Michael W. Twitty 

Artist, activist, organizer, and Confederate flag remover Bree Newsome Bass

Author Cole Arther Riley, aka Black Liturgies. She wrote This Here Flesh and posts breath prayers and longer prayers almost daily.


All those inventions!
Yet another reminder that Black history is all our history. 
Everyday inventions created by Black inventors such as folding chair, traffic signal, potato chips, refrigerated trucks, closes dryer, automatic gear shifts, peanut butter, and more

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Midweek Message for Advent and Commitment Sunday

This Midweek Message is reposted from an all-church email sent a few days ago.

I know what you’re thinking: First, a Calling Post call came from Pastor Danita, and now, a Midweek Message from Pastor Dave?! As if the world isn’t mixed up and topsy-turvy enough as it is! What’s next, dogs and cats living together?! Mass hysteria?!

Ok, now that I’ve gotten some silliness out of my system, perhaps we can have a proper Midweek Message regarding Advent and Commitment Sunday. 

If you have participated in any of our worship services in the last year, you’ve almost certainly heard me say how grateful we are for your consistent, faithful financial gifts to your church. Your generosity makes possible all the ministries we do together. Thank you for that! 

Last week you received in the mail a lovely letter from Pastor Danita inviting you to prayerfully consider your giving to Woodridge UMC in 2023. Then, upon completion of that contemplation, she invited you to fill out a 2023 Estimate of Giving Form. Today, I’m reminding you to please bring your filled out 2023 Estimate of Giving Form with you to our worship service for Commitment Sunday this week, December 4th. (Need another copy of the 2023 Estimate of Giving Form? I got you! Click here for the form.)

Unable to attend the worship service in person this week? Simply mail your Estimate of Giving Form to the church office — please mark it for Financial Secretary. Or you may attach it to an email directly to our Financial Secretary, Geoff Morman, at

If you have participated in any of our worship service in the last year, you’ve almost certainly also heard me ask you to take a slow, deep breath. Intentionally controlling our breathing quiets our minds, stills our souls, and helps our bodies recover. It is no coincidence that in both Hebrew and Greek, the word for Spirit, (ruach and pneuma, respectively) is also the word for breath. This fact has so many wonderful implications—including God is as close to us as our next breath!

This Advent season, whenever the stress of all that is expected of you threatens to overwhelm, I encourage you to take a moment to Just. Breathe. And remember you are not alone. 

There are so many beautiful devotionals available to add your Advent experience, it is difficult to highlight only one. Yet that is what I will do! I adore the work author Cole Arthur Riley does on Instagram @BlackLiturgies. I encourage you to check out her posts there as she offers reflections, practices, and prayers for Advent. Here’s a taste:

In Advent, we put all our hope in the sacred blackness of a womb. As we wait, we remind ourselves that darkness, which is far too often reduced to a trite symbol for sin and death, in fact has the unique capacity to bear the divine. In Advent, we reclaim the holy dark.
Inhale: The world feels dim.
Exhale: But glory grows in the dark.

Amen to that! Keep on breathing and plotting goodness!

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