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Monday, December 31, 2018

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".

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Quote of The Day

Friday, December 28, 2018

Sights of the Christmas Season

Suburban Square in Ardmore, PA

Click on images for a larger view!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding joy!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Let The Countdown Begin!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The State of the Union 12/2018 😠

So, let's recap, shall we? We have no Attorney General, no Chief of Staff, no Secretary of Defense, no Secretary of State, the stock market crashed, our government is shutdown, and #45 is either in a state of delusion or denial about the chaos going on in our government right now. And yet, there are those who still believe that all of this and building a wall is going to 'Make America Great Again'. Are you serious? What reality are they living in? In 2013, #45 said "A shutdown falls on the president’s lack of leadership. He can’t even control his own party and get people together in a room. A shutdown means the president is weak." The 3-ring circus going on inside the White House with #45 as the dysfunctional ringmaster is absolutely unbelieveable! WTH is going on?

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Stripe Day @ AmeriKick

My grandson got a second purple stripe on his #OrangeBelt in
karate class today, so he's another step closer to the next belt level!
πŸ₯‹ #PurpleBeltBound

Friday, December 21, 2018

PBG Welcomes Another New Club

Barack H. Obama Elmentary School of Technology tweeted that they had a Facilitators’ Meeting with the founder of the Pretty Brown Girl Movement, Mrs. Sheri Crawley! BHOEMSOT is proud to be the first public school in the Atlanta metropolitan area to have a club. Great things are in store for these young ladies!

Thursday, December 20, 2018


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

This Google Ad is Hilarious!

If you've seen this ad on TV, it turns out the original full-length video (4:36) was posted on YouTube 11/24/14. Only a snippet of it is used in the ad and as of this posting, it has over 13,000 views. Click on the image or the following hashtag to watch the full video! πŸ™‚ #ThingsKidsDo

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Jesus Is The Reason For The Season

Today, we attended morning worship @ UCMCA so we could see the grands and their cousins perform in the Christmas program. All of the children sang and participated in a short play about the birth of Jesus. The play was my oldest granddaughter's idea and she directed it. And, both of my granddaughters have been taking piano lessons on Saturdays, so they each played a song on the piano. A Christmas dinner was served immediately following the service.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Tip of the Day

Great idea for #AmazonThieves! πŸ™‚

Friday, December 14, 2018

Farewell #FancyMissNancy

We lost another great voice yesterday. When I was growing up, my parents had her in rotation on the record player quite a bit. As a result, many of her songs are woven into the musical fabric of my life.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Congratulations, Farewell & God Bless Vernon!

You will be greatly missed! #JobWellDone

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Autism Resource: Jaden's Voice

Mission & Vision Statement

We advocate, educate, and support individuals diagnosed with autism, by funding organizations and families with the goal of creating an inclusive world that encourages those affected to reach their full potential. Our ultimate goal is to impart hope and healing and be a voice for the voiceless. We want to serve as a global resource and pioneer in the development of innovative solutions for individuals diagnosed with autism, their families, and those who service them. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Trump is a total hypocrite when it comes to the issue of patriotism!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Blue Christmas Service

On Sunday, December 16th @ 3:30pm, Leverington Church ⛪️ located at 6301 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19128 will hold a special Christmas serviceπŸŽ„especially for those who are feeling blue 😒 this holiday season. Losing a job, the loss of a loved ❤️ one, and other stresses can make it hard to get into the Christmas spirit. People can feel isolated and alone in a typical Christmas Eve service.

This simple, beautiful service is for anyone who would like to be in a contemplative setting that takes the heartaches of this life seriously, while still holding out real hope through the love of Jesus Christ. ✝️ Piano, cello, voice, 🎡🎢 and an encouraging homily will be included. Light a candle πŸ•― in honor of a loved one. Bring a picture πŸ–Ό of them for The Table of Loved Ones, or just go and be still in a beautiful space with other people seeking hope and God in a broken world.

Please feel free to copy, repost, and help spread the word so this special service can be a blessing to someone who might want to attend. Parking πŸš— and admission are free. Call the church ☎️ (215-482-0293) for more information. 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Quality Time w/ The Grands

Sights & Sounds of Christmas!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Cats & Christmas Tree Shenanigans!

Gone But Never 4 Gotten ❤

Whether she was hiding and playing 'peek-a-boo' in the tree, swatting at the balls and lights on the tree, sitting and walking on the gifts under the tree, or knocking the tree over, Pebbles gave us some wonderful Christmas memories across the 16 years she was with us and this is the time of year I miss her the most. Even though these old photos have faded with age, her memory is still bright and colorful in my mind. I imagine she's still messing with Christmas gifts and trees in heaven, so have mercy on her Lord. She's a cat and can't help herself! #Pebbles (1988-2004)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Women Working Wisdom

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Sunday, December 2, 2018

E.B. White Classic

My daughter took my oldest granddaughter to see 'Charlotte's Web' at The Arden Theater today and she really loved the play. Afterward, she got a chance to pose for pics with Ayana Strutz who played 'Charlotte' (left) and Campbell O'Hare who played 'Fern' (right) and she was all smiles! πŸ™‚

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Quality Time w/ The Grands

Our grandson experienced hibachi
for the first time today and he loved it!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Food For Thought

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Quote of the Day

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A Very Special DIY Project...

Sleeping Mat For The Homeless
Using plastic bags from grocery stores and supermarkets as yarn,
my sister-in-law crocheted this mat. Click on the image for a larger view!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

It's Giving Tuesday!

Join the worldwide #GivingTuesday movement and help redefine the giving season by donating to the Greater Philadelphia Autism Society (ASA Philly). ASA Philly proudly supports the autism communities in Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks, Chester, and Philadelphia counties. Please click on the image or use the hashtags to DONATE directly on the website. They are dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of thousands affected by autism, their families, schools, communities, and partner organizations–it’s just what they do! Help them help all affected by autism! πŸ’™ #AutismSupport

Monday, November 26, 2018

Quote of the Day

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Photo of the Day

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Ebony Magazine September 1958

Go to Google πŸ” and type in Ebony Magazine followed by the
month and year you were born, then post the cover on your blog!

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Grands on Turkey Day

They're making a Winter Wonderland Gingerbread Village.
For some reason, these gingerbread projects never end up looking
like they appear on the box, but they had fun doing it just the same!

Watch your step!

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