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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Watch Night



The following information was actually written as an essay by Charyn D. Sutton, The Onyx Group, in December 2000 and revised in August 2004. The essay appears here in its entirety...

If you grew up in a black community in the United States, you have probably heard of "Watch Night" Services, the gathering of the faithful in church on New Year's Eve. The service usually begins anywhere from 7:00pm-10:00pm and ends at 12:00 midnight with the entrance of the New Year. Some folks come to church first, before going out to celebrate. For others, church is the only New Year's Eve destination.

Like many others, I always assumed that Watch Night was a fairly standard Christian religious service, made a bit more Afrocentric because that's what happens when elements of Christianity become linked with the black church. And yes, there is a history of Watch Night Services in the Methodist tradition.

Still, it seemed that most white Christians did not include Watch Night Services on their calendars, but focused instead on Christmas Eve programs. In fact, there were instances where clergy in mainline denominations wondered aloud about the propriety of linking religious services with a secular holiday like New Year's Eve.

However, in doing some research, I discovered there are two essential reasons for the importance of New Year's Eve services in African American congregations. Many of the Watch Night Services in black communities that we celebrate today can be traced back to gatherings held on December 31, 1862, also known as "Freedom's Eve."

On that night, Americans of African descent came together in churches, gathering places, and private homes throughout the nation, anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation had become law. Then, at the stroke of midnight, it was January 1, 1863 and according to President Abraham Lincoln's promise, all slaves in the Confederate States were legally free. People remained in churches and other gathering places, eagerly awaiting word that Emancipation had been declared. When the actual news of freedom was received later that day, there were prayers, shouts of joy, and songs of praise as people fell to their knees and thanked God.

But even before 1862 and the possibility of a Presidential Emancipation, African people had gathered on New Year's Eve on plantations across the South. That is because many owners of enslaved Africans tallied up their business accounts on the first day of each new year. Human property was sold along with land, furnishings, and livestock to satisfy debts. Families and friends were separated. Often they never saw each other again in this earthly world. Thus, coming together on December 31 might be the last time for enslaved and free Africans to be together with loved ones.

Black folks in North America have gathered annually on New Year's Eve since the earliest days, praising God for bringing us safely through another year and praying for the future. Certainly, those traditional gatherings were made even more poignant by the events of 1863 which brought freedom to the slaves and the Year of Jubilee.

Many generations have passed since that time and most of us were never taught the significance of gathering on New Year's Eve. Yet, our traditions and faith still bring us together at the end of every year to celebrate once again, "how we got over."

Please pass this information on to your family and friends so that they will know the true history behind the tradition we call "Watch Night".


SBC Watch Night Services



Meet us at Sharon TONIGHT as we bring in the New Year. And, if you're coming to the 10:00pm service, don't forget to join us for the after party happening ALL OVER the church campus! #OneForTheSon


Friday, December 30, 2016

Accentuate The Positive in 2017




Quote of the Day...




Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

Oh, No... Not George Michael Too!




A Different Corner, As, Careless Whisper, Cowboys & Angels, Desafinado, Everything She Wants, Faith, Fastlove, Father Figure, Freedom, Hand to Mouth, Jesus To A Child, Kissing A Fool, Last Christmas, Mother's Pride, Move On, Older, One More Try, Praying For Time, Roxanne, Soul Free, Spinning The Wheel, The Strangest Thing, To Be Forgiven, You Have Been Loved... I could go on and on. Suffice it to say, he will be missed.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!



Children of Destiny Autism Prayer
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Merry Christmas From The POTUS & FLOTUS!



Christmas Video Message From The White House
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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



Children of Destiny Autism Prayer
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Friday, December 23, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



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8 Shades of Gray


President Obama 2009-2015



Thursday, December 22, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



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Monday, December 19, 2016

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



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R.I.P. Zsa Zsa Gabor





Saturday, December 17, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



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Tribute To The Commodores



There are 22 of the most popular song titles by the 
Commodores in this tribute. Can you find all of them?
© 2016 Written by The Lady (Bug) of the Household


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



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R.I.P. Alan Willis Thicke



Monday, December 12, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



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Quote of the Day




Sunday, December 11, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



Children of Destiny Autism Prayer
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Christmas Greetings From The White House



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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



Children of Destiny Autism Prayer
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King Family Christmas Party

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!
City Hall Community Center - Chester, PA
Saturday, December 10, 2016






Friday, December 9, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



Children of Destiny Autism Prayer
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Divine Lorraine Hotel: Open & Restored



1 Bedrooms Starting @ $1,350/month 
2 Bedrooms Starting @ $2,540/month




Stainless Steel GE Appliances including Dishwasher & Microwave, LG Washer & Dryer in ALL Units, Granite Counter Tops, Modern Plank Flooring, Vintage Industrial Light Fixtures, Plenty of Closet Space, Subway Tiled Showers, Ceramic Tiled Bathroom Floors, Premium Shaker Birch Wood Cabinets, Commercial/Fusion Style Kitchen Faucets, Contemporary Bathroom Fixtures. Click on images for larger view and text links to visit the DLH website.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



Children of Destiny Autism Prayer
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Our Christmas Cards


Greetings From The Lady (Bug) & The Hubby!


Greetings From The Grands!



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



Children of Destiny Autism Prayer
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



Children of Destiny Autism Prayer
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Monday, December 5, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



Children of Destiny Autism Prayer
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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Countdown To Christmas



Children of Destiny Autism Prayer
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As a Christian who is active on the internet,
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