Thursday, October 29, 2009

His Excellency Brother Teddy Taylor "Presents Credentials" In Papua New Guinea: Now on the Job as U.S. Ambassador

A month ago, Brother Teddy Taylor was saying his goodbyes to the Brothers of Gamma Pi chapter. The South Pacific and the pinnacle of a career as a Foreign Service officer beckoned as he looked forward to serving as one of the few African American U.S. Ambassadors. Today, Brother Taylor has "made port" in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and is officially on the job as U.S. Ambassador to PNG (as Papua New Guinea is called), the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

In this October 26 photo (it was actually Sunday October 25 in the U.S.), Brother Taylor (and wife Antoinette) is seen with the Governor-General Paulias Matane at the presentation of credentials at Government House. Other members of his U.S. Embassy team are in the photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it. As part of the ceremony, His Excellency Brother Taylor reviewed an Honor Guard and delivered official remarks. An excerpt from those remarks is contained below. Here is a national news story complete with photo about the ceremony from The National Post, one of New Guinea's largest newspapers. Also, Brother Ambassador Taylor was interviewed by Australia Network News. Below, take a video tour of downtown Port Moresby and watch a video news report (EM TV of Papua New Guinea) on Brother Ambassador Taylor's credentials presentation ceremony.

"I am delighted to be here at a time when Papua New Guinea’s economic future looks so promising. Proceeds from liquid natural gas projects as well as other mineral and mining enterprises should enable you to address urgent needs in education, health, infrastructure and many other areas. We will be glad to share our experiences with you in accordance with your national plan. We are proud that American corporations such as Exxon Mobil and Interoil will be providing jobs, training and revenue to the people of Papua New Guinea."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Project ENRICH Program for Students Kicks Off Today: Chapter Promotes Scholarship

Every year about this time, the leaves turn from green to brown and begin falling from the trees to the ground below. The scorching hot days of summer give way to the chill of stiff, fall winds and "sweater weather." And you can always count on Gamma Pi chapter ringing in a secondary, albeit important, part of the Prince George's County school year with its Project ENRICH college preparatory program for 9th through 12th graders. The 2009-10 version of Project ENRICH kicked off this morning with the Opening Convocation held at the Center for Learning Technology at Bowie State University.

In a printed open letter to participants and their families, longtime coordinator Brother Roland Byrd set the tone for the occasion: "It is never too early to think about college, about the benefits of a college education, and about ways to put college within reach academically and financially. Throughout the high school years students make decisions that affect whether they will be eligible to enter college ... Today marks the beginning. Welcome!"

About 80 Prince George's County students have signed up to participate this school year. Project ENRICH is a four-year preparatory program (students must begin in grade 9 and complete the program through high school) originated and operated by Gamma Pi chapter for high school students that meets monthly on Saturdays at Bowie State. The students are required to attend sessions on such topics as time management, career planning, study skills and the college selection and application process from a variety of educators, many from within the chapter. Students also take a field trip to visit regional Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

One of the most anticipated parts of the Opening Convocation each year is when Gamma Pi members line up and take to the stage to individually address the gathered students and their families with their own stories of how they achieved through education. Through sharing their individual stories about education and career, Gamma Pi chapter members motivate the students to set lofty goals and chapter members serve as role models for them in their pursuits of productive lives. Take time to view other Project ENRICH postings on this blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Reaching Through Preaching: Brother Dr. Gerald Folsom Starts New Phase in Ministry Trek

Many times we will leave a spirited church service and utter the words, "Man, that brother can preach!" When the Brothers from Gamma Pi chapter say those words, we mean it quite literally, especially when it comes to our esteemed Chaplain Brother Dr. Gerald Folsom. On September 30, Brother Dr. Folsom fed a "heaping helping" of spiritual food to a huge contingent of Gamma Pi Brothers, family, other friends and members of the Community of Hope AME Church (pastored by Rev. Tony Lee) in Temple Hills, Md. who came out to offer support during the delivery of his much-anticipated Trial Sermon titled, "He Looked Beyond My Faults." In keeping with today's culture, Brother Dr. Folsom gave his sermon an alternate "remix" title of "It's Still the Dog in Me." (John 5:1-9).

Judging by the rousing reaction of Brothers, who are still talking about the experience, the sermon was an event in itself for Gamma Pi as much as it was for Brother Dr. Folsom's pursuit of the ministry in the AME Church. Gamma Pi members can already envision the AME church getting a sharp, spirited, committed young minister in the coming years after Bro. Dr. Folsom completes the long and winding road of preparation. The Trial Sermon is the latest milestone in that quest for Brother Dr. Folsom. Another milestones occurred today, October 21, as Brother Dr. Folsom preached at chapel at the Howard University School of Divinity.

As Gamma Pi Chaplain, Bro. Dr. Folsom has elevated the visibility of the job. He provides a Daily Inspirations to all chapter members via email and he recently began writing a religious column called "Chaplain's Corner," for the Gamma Pi Gazette newsletter. Brother Dr. Folsom also leads a session called "Ques for Christ" prior to every monthly chapter meeting and he is also working to re-institute periodic chapter group worship services at area churches. Brothers of Gamma Pi always anticipate Bro. Dr. Folsom's powerful and moving prayers before and after chapter meetings and events. In many respects, Bro. Dr. Folsom's prayers remind Brothers of the popular slogan of the old investment firm, E.F. Hutton -- "when he talks, people listen..."

If you missed Brother Dr. Folsom's sermon in person, don't fret. And if you heard it and would love to be stirred by it again, still don't fret. You can click on this link and download the mp3 file to hear the sermon on your computer or iPOD. After you've heard Brother Dr. Folsom's powerful and convincing message, you may want to pass the plate! Congratulations to Brother Dr. Folsom - a "testament" to Gamma Pi chapter's versatility!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Gamma Pi Preparing to Welcome ABC 7 News Anchor Leon Harris for Achievement Week 2009

by Bro. Patrick Johnson

Please join “The Super Chapter” for its 36th Achievement Week Program on Saturday, November 14, 2009. The program will be held at the Drew-Freeman Middle School (2600 Brooks Drive) in Suitland, MD at 1:00 pm. The theme for this occasion is “Unity through Friendship, Brotherhood and Fraternity.” This program recognizes the achievements of citizens, educators, religious leaders, students, and our fraternity brothers within our community. This year’s speaker will be award-winning newscaster, Leon Harris, ABC 7/WJLA-TV.

Also, members of the Fraternity are encouraged to join Gamma Pi at the Achievement Week Brothers-only dinner, held on Wednesday, November 11th at the Andrews Air Force Base Clubhouse.

Originally designed to promote the study of Negro life and history, today Achievement Week is used to seek out and give due recognition to those individuals at the local and national level who have made a noteworthy contribution toward improving the quality of life for Black Americans.