Doesn't take Long

This morning, ROPP Candidate Jabari and his mother, Sis. Lisa, headed over to the community garden.
Here are some pictures and a testimony of how much of a difference we can make in a short period of time!

This is part of the row Sis. Lisa tackled. There was hardly any viable plant life on the row. It was overtaken by weeds and needed to be prepared for fall planting.

This row of tomato plants took a beating in the brutal heat and needed to removed so that new plants could be sown there.

And so, Jabari gets busy. He decided today's contribution will be clearing "tomato row" of all the dead tomato plants and as many weeds as possible. He was able to put much of his grandfather's gardening advice to work: 1) Your hands work better than hand tools for weeding. 2) Be sure to pull the root completely out or it'll just come right back. 3) Stomp the pulled weeds flat and spread them to create a foot path.

Voila! The weedy row is looking much better. Mother Nature said "thank you" for helping her "represent" well. =)

A side view of a cleared out "tomato row." Nice work. The vines Jabari left on the posts bear a lovely lavender blossom that make the garden pretty.

Finally! Well-earned rest. Jabari admitted he was reluctant to go work in the garden, but said afterwards that "it felt good, like working in my own back yard. I was relaxed."

What has your experience been like? Send us your pics when you work in the garden or do community service. We learn from each others' experiences! Send pics to:!

Core Focus Day- AUGUST 2011

The Core Focus for August is RELIGION.
During this month our objective is to learn more about our Christian faith and AME denomination.We are also exploring how we are the same as and different from other religious beliefs and practices in the world.

ROPP Candidates were given two books for their review this month.
One, Politics in the Pews, was written by our own Bro.Dr. Eric. He explained to ROPP Candidates that he studied what factors contributed to some churches participating in politics while others did not.
The second text, An Introduction to Black Church History, will be the primary resource for this month's Core Focus Challenge. ROPP Candidates have been assigned sections as required reading. While they are encouraged to read as much of the book as they can, their assigned section will be the part upon which this month's challenge will be based.

Candidates must choose two out of three of the following:
  • A written report
  • A PowerPoint presentation
  • A work of art
A link to the assignment document may be found here: "August Core Focus Assignment".

The day began with a discussion of the AME version of the Apostle's Creed. Candidates reviewed the major principles in the Creed and recited it together. Afterwards, candidates visited the Nueces Mosque, where they were given a tour of the facility by college students, Pari and Danya, and an overview of Muslim faith and practices by the Imam. Everyone agreed that the hosts were exceptionally nice and they were very well prepared for us, with literature, snacks/water and a very open door policy.
Next, the candidates visited Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, where several youth leaders, their director and Deacon Mario hosted a discussion about life as young Catholics. Several of the young adults gave testimonies about how reluctant they were to get "connected" with God, and how they are now so excited to do His work, through conferences, Sunday School, etc.

Deacon Mario shared a summary of the church's history, which began west of I-35 in 1907.The Hispanic congregants were told by the city they had to move east of 35, similar to the fate of Metropolitan! He shared the passionate tale of the procession of the whole congregation from 3rd Street and Trinity to the current location, children and adults carrying the lumber and supplies from the old location to the new. A child, he said, carried a sculpture of a bleeding Jesus, who Hispanic Catholics frequently use to remind themselves how Jesus can relate to their personal suffering. The sculpture is located near the front of the ornate, modern sanctuary that is now located close to Metropolitan at 1206 E.9th Street.