Wes Moore, guest speaker for Lay Sunday at AME Zion Church of the Temple of Liberty
By Marnita Coleman | AFRO
On Lay Sunday, a day after turning 44, 2022 Democratic candidate for Maryland governor Wes Moore was a guest speaker at Freedom Temple AME Zion Church in South Baltimore, where Reverend Dr. Frances “Toni” Draper is a pastor. .
Lay members were honored for their outstanding service in ministry within the body of Christ.
“I come from a very long line of preachers and teachers,” Moore said of her grandfather and great-grandfather. He then delivered a captivating message to a congregation of laity, clergy, delegates, dignitaries, supporters and friends regarding “mission”.
“It was just powerful,” said Kelechi Uzochukwu, a young woman in the audience. “It’s not just about being first, it’s not just about being elected and winning. It’s your calling, what you’re supposed to do. Like he said, how you’re supposed to make the world a better place. I liked it.”
Moore’s usual campaign rhetoric as a Rhodes Scholar, US Army veteran, CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation and bestselling American author was notably absent from much of his conversation.
As he stood in the pulpit of Freedom Temple AME Zion Church, he focused on his God-ordained calling. Moore said candidly, “What’s important for us to keep in mind right now is to understand the mission.”
Mr. Moore shared that his grandfather always talked about this idea of understanding the mission. The concept is taken from the Bible, in the Book of Numbers. This is the story of Moses, and how he spent years of his life wandering in the desert, leading the Israelites to the promised land. And finally, after 40 years, he reached the Red Sea, where he died.
Moore pointed out that mission is determined by God and isn’t always what we have in mind.
“My grandfather was always talking about this idea of saying how he could imagine that Moses must have had some kind of feeling about it. After doing all the work, leading people through extreme conditions, extreme hardships. And finally, as he opens his eyes, he sees the promised land, and it was then that the Lord called him home and asked Joshua to finish the job.
In about three weeks, Marylanders will head to the polls for the midterm elections with the power to change the political landscape across the state, should Democrats sweep the election. Of more than 2,500 governors ever elected in the United States, governor candidate Moore would be only the third African-American governor in that country’s history.
Aruna Miller, Moore’s running mate for lieutenant governor, would be the first immigrant ever elected to the state. Delegate Brooke Lierman, if elected, would be the first female comptroller in Maryland history. Congressman Anthony Brown would become the first African American to hold the title of Attorney General.
“Let’s be clear,” Moore insisted, “that’s not the mission. That’s not the point. The mission is not to make history. The mission is to make child poverty a story, we have a unique opportunity to make racism a story, we have a unique opportunity to make environmental justice a story. We have a unique opportunity to erase educational and economic disparities. This is the mission. Understand what we are being asked to do at this time. None of us are asked to do everything. We are all asked to do something. We are all asked to remember what the mission is.
Moore ended his sermonette by saying that the job is to run hard, run fast and run your own race, so when it’s time to hand over to someone else the only thing the Lord will say is “job well done” and “you understood the mission.”
Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones attended.
“I know very well the message that Wes Moore gave and I was happy that others could hear it. It is essential to obtain the things which we really need and which have been neglected in recent years”, has she said. “I know this firsthand because I’ve been through four governors, two Republicans and two Democrats. And I think this is the time and the place for him to move us forward. This is someone who truly understands our community. I can’t think of a better person to be our next Governor than Wes Moore.
In conclusion, Moore sends a special message to the people of Baltimore:
“I want the people of Baltimore City to understand that in our administration, you are going to have a partner in Annapolis. That for Baltimore to be all Baltimore needs to be, that means the state has to do its part. And, for the state to be what it can be, we need a prosperous Baltimore. And in our time and right now, we are going to have an administration that understands this, believes in it, and fights for it!
Honorable mentions to dignitaries present: Bishop W. Darin Moore, the 99th bishop in the line of succession of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of Zion, who eloquently introduced the speaker, Rev. Kobi Little, NAACP President, Joshua Harris, NAACP Vice President, Advisor Phylicia Porter, Delegate Brooke Lierman, Reverend Jerome Stephens
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