Revenge of the Nerds movie and Connectionalism : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

I have pneumonia and a cracked rib, so I have to stay in bed for a few days, and I was thanking God for this discussion board and all the great people I have met. And it made me think of the movie "The revenge of the Nerds" it is a comedy about a group of nerds who do not fit in, anyway they try to join fraternities and no one would take them. Finally they try one that is out of town. And they get in. They continue to get beat up and finally they call the fraternity that is out of town and ask for help. Well the out of town fraternity shows up and they are black! And the black fraternity helps them out because they are connected. It made me think about the importance of being a part of connectional church. And how wonderful it is, what do you think about our church being a connectional church? And please share some stories. (I will admit I am on strong meds) so maybe the revenge of the nerds does not make sense! Though I least I made you laugh.

-- Anonymous, January 10, 2001


Sis Denise, My questions: 1. What is connectional? 2. How did you damage yourself? 3. How do you spell newmoania? 3. Just how many of those pills did you take before posting this? 4. Is "Revenge of the Nerds" taught at the AME seminary? 5. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

-- Anonymous, January 11, 2001

Pastor Rob you are funny! I did not attend an AME seminary. I am a graduate of Princeton Seminary. And how did I get pneumonia. I have no idea, my doctor justs shakes his head. I cracked my ribs from coughing. I know that sounds strange but 8 years ago I had open heart surgery and they wired my ribs back together, so they have a tendency to pull out of place easily. Right now in Bozeman the flu and other respitory illness are going around. Now to answer your question about a connectional church. Methodism is a connectional church in the sense that our collective resources support local churches, ministries, our universities etc. We are also a connectional church in the sense that our hierachy, Bishops, Presiding Elders have conferences and minister to the local church. We are all connected through our theology and the way we use our resources to help one another. Now how many of the pills did I take. One! And the revenge of the nerd reminded me of how methodists have a sense of connectionalism that is different than other denominations. Before coming to the AME I was United Methodist. So I have been a methodist for most of my adult life. By the way I am feeling better.

-- Anonymous, January 11, 2001

Hello Sis, Glad to hear you are on the road to recovery. At least you received some comic relief looking at the B-grade movie "Revenge of the Nerds".I'm embarrassed to admit that I have seen this movie on more than one occassion because of its quasi-moral message about rooting for the underdogs of life. Being smart may not make you instantly popular on campus or a "playa" with the AKAs, but at least you can maintain your self-esteem. Yes, laughter is often a very good antispetic for our internal pain. QED

-- Anonymous, January 12, 2001

Abbot: "Why would a gorgeous girl like that be interested in you? Have you looked in the mirror?" Costello: "Why would I want to hurt my own feelings?"

Straight man: "What kind of a fool do you take me for?" Curly: "Why? Is there more than one kind?"

-- Anonymous, January 12, 2001

Bill unlike you, I am not ashame to say I love B movies. One of my favorites is the attack of the fifty foot woman. But before I digress further, the point I was trying to make was the fact, that though no one on their own campus liked the nerds or would allow them to join a fraternity. Because they ultimately were a chapter of the black fraternity, they had support and a sense of connectionalism. Connectionalism is one of the qualities that I love about the Methodist church, we are all connected, because of our combined pulling of monies and a history that unites us. I feel confident that I can walk into any AME church and feel welcomed. Being new to this denomination I love the pride that is shown when to discuss what district we are from. And proudly announce the names of our Bishops. I am in the flourishing fifth district and my Bishop is John Bryant and my Presiding Elder is Ellis Casson. I just hope we do not take for granted that our denomination is special and one of the reasons is that we are a connectional church.

-- Anonymous, January 13, 2001

I grew up Baptist. We had a tremendous pride in that local assembly, but it was pretty much that - a single church. Now Baptists are conventional, as opposed to connectional, so there were moments of gathering with others, but typically a Baptist pastor may be at a local assembly for several years (unless he/she is "called" to another assembly, i.e., takes a promotion.)

I began affiliating with the AME church in 1972, while in college. I was walking down the street, looking for a specific Baptist church. When I got to the corner where I expected it to be, I saw no one going into a church building. But I looked down the street, and saw a near- procession going into another. Thinking my directions were askew by a block, I went the extra 300 feet - and changed my life. There I found St. Paul, Cambridge MA. On that initial Sunday (right after Christmas) Assistant Pastor Ellis Louden was at the helm, and did a very creditable job. I remember being very moved in church that day, and was embraced by one of the members of the church who had four sons of her own. I decided to return the following week, and the Pastor was back. A dynamic, thin young man, he definitely caught the eye with his red, brocade robe agape, trimmed with a black stole and green crosses. His preaching was as flamboyant as his attire. And so it was that the young John R. Bryant drew me into the Connectialism that is African Methodism.

At first, being of Baptist mindset, I had no idea about the Connectionalism. I was more than delighted to have a church family and to be under the dynamic preaching of Rev. Bryant. But over about 18 months I noticed people got excited about things like the arrival of a bishop (I recall bishops Talbot, Reid, and Bryant coming to St. Paul), and eventually over something called the Annual Conference. I didn't attend one until 1973, and it was only then that I began to understand what Connectionalism was about.

In the Baptist denomination we exercised our missions through the Lott Carey organization. In African Methodism, because of Connectialism, we were able to provide pastors to Eliza Turner in Monrovia, Liberia, fromt he staff of St. Paul (Fred Lucas and Frank Reid while Iw as at St. Paul).

Another aspect of Methodism that is fascinating is the itineracy. It has impacts on both the local assembly and the emerging clergy. Listening to our current presiding elder in private session gave me some sense of the struggle the elders and bishops face when addressing the needs of both. The church has the need for strong leaders in its largest pulpits, and for inspiring leaders in its growing pulpits. But the church also has the need for caring leaders in every pulpit. While every pastor may not be a John Bryant or a Grainger Browning, every pastor can be a reflection of God's love. So whether a charge stands as one of the monuments of our Connectionalism, or meets once a week in a Mexican restaurant, its core needs are the same - a powerful message, a developing program, a caring pastor, a richness of faith. Connectionalism is only a step toward the goal of Jesus himself - that We may be One. I encourage each of you to read "the Lord's Prayer" for the church in John 17. His desire was for a unity within and among us that reflected the union He had with the Father. Unfortunately, comfort has given us the luxury of disputation, and the Enemy has turned that to his advantage and our despair.

Yet even in this despair, there is still hope. As I read the scriptures, I have learned that God is never without a remnant. It may only be a Noah and family that makes it onto the ark, or a Daniel that prays in a strange land, or an Elijah that stands against worship of falso Gods, but there is a remnant. Thus, one will find true Christians in every house claiming to be His, no matter the affiliation.

Joyfully within Connectionalism, in this case African Methodism, one will find a similarity of worship that makes one comfortable no matter where you are. I can go to Bozeman and sit in Pastor Rogers' new assembly (in a Mexican Restaurant), and expect to hear and experience the Doxology with as much fervor as at Ebenezer, Ft. Washington. The gathering may be smaller than Ebenezer's choir, but the fire that burns in both places is from the same holy cauldron. It is this adherence to "Method" that gives so many of us comfort in various settings and places.

A few years ago I had to travel on Sundays. I had the occasion to visit two Methodist churches while travelling. I was blessed to be invited to the keyboards in both places, and felt right at home in both worship services. In both places the people graciously opened their doors to me, feeding me on many occasions in their homes. When I returned to my home office, my boss was very disturbed that I hadn't spent much money for food while on the trip. :-). Just recently I saw a musician from one of the churches at the Church Growth and Develoment conference, a Connectional meeting. Even though I am forty pounds heavier and one head whiter, she recognized me instantly. I am very grateful to the good people of Mt. Moriah, Cocoa Fl, and St. James, Titusville FL. They entertained me as a stranger, and embraced me as a brother. It was a reminder to me that we are of One Faith, One Lord, One Baptism. Perhaps one day the greater church will come together.

-- Anonymous, January 14, 2001

Jerryl thank you so much for your powerful testimony. And yes we have the power of the Holy spirit at St. Pauls, though we meet in a Mexican restarant. I might add that owner of the restaraunt has had to continually deal with racism. But she has only returns love when greeted with hate. My presiding elder told me to be creative in finding a space to meet. He reminded me that the AME church would meet in peoples homes and anywhere they would be allowed to gather. It is so important for their to be an AME presence in Bozeman, MT. Today we also have witchcraft to deal with in this town. The gospel of Jesus Christ of love and hope is seldom preached here. Today in church we all pledged that we would be disciples for Christ in this town and that no adversary would defeat us. I gather strength from being part of a connectional church. Reading your messages let's me know I am not alone. I tell the congregation of all your prayers, and we joyfully press on. It does not matter where we meet, it only matters that we meet to worship God and take the message to others. We are truly a mission church. We do not have a piano, or hymnals, or even a pulpit. But the love we have for Christ is bigger than what we don't have. We sang this "little light of mine" with such fervor it sounded like 300 voices. My prayers to God is that when all the paperwork is done, that my Bishop. The STILL YOUNG Bishop Bryant, that he will turn me loose on this mission field. Yes there is a small church that meets in a mexican restaraunt, but the power of God is annointing us. And we truly believe that we are part of a bigger plan. I am proud to be a member of the AME denomination. And I do feel connected to all of you! For the KKK and the aryan nation has wanted to get a foot hold here.

-- Anonymous, January 14, 2001

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