HOMEGOING Services, in honor of Pastor William Lee Bonner

“His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord..”— Matthew 25:23

On Good Friday, April 3rd Bishop William Lee Bonner, beloved pastor of the renowned Greater Refuge Temple Church (GRT) in Harlem and Chief Apostle of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ (COOLJC), made his transition from labour to his great reward. He was 93 years young.

I can only imagine the type of faith Bishop Bonner had amassed over the years, watching the changes in the American landscape. Faith.  That power that surges through the soul and spills out, wrapping a community of believers inside a place of spiritual refuge.

93  years young, Bishop Bonner was a builder of dreams and unafraid of rolling up his sleeves and getting the hard work done. 

Bishop Bonner, affectionately known to millions around the world as “Pastor Bonner,” leaves a rich legacy that is unparalleled. Heralded as a spiritual giant by his contemporaries, Pastor Bonner was known for his ministry of preaching the true, unadulterated Gospel of Our of Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Pastor Bonner was sent to become the pastor of the now 2,500 member GRT after the death of its founder, Bishop Robert Clarence Lawson, in 1961.

In 1961, the dream was starting. The struggle dark and taunt with trouble.  Courage was needed. Looking back maybe it appears easy but history tells the truth even if it’s uncomfortable to acknowledge. 

Upon arriving and seeing the need, he immediately set about the remodelling of the “Mother Church” and headquarters of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Refuge Temple. Yet, Pastor Bonner proved that he was more than a preacher—and literally undertook the Herculean effort of serving in the role of general contractor in order to renovate the edifice that is now known as Greater Refuge Temple today.

Building on faith—the foundation of a strong church—was something Pastor Bonner achieved from the outside and inside, creating a strong body that glued the congregation and helped the church grow. 

This ultra-modern edifice has changed the face of Harlem’s historic “7th Avenue” and is undisputedly one of the most modern structures in the community. In addition to GRT, his passion for souls—and youth in particular—led him to create a multi-million dollar youth center known as the R.C. Lawson Building, also located in Harlem. His desire and vision to build and create establishments that would benefit the Kingdom and people of God continued well into his later years. 

For over fifty years, many across the country and even in foreign lands have testified of the great miracles of healing, deliverance and breakthrough under his powerful preaching and teaching.

Millions also experienced his evangelistic ministry via “The Hour of Truth” broadcast–which aired on nationally syndicated television outlets such as BET and The Word Network—as well as radio stations across the country and via live-stream. Over the decades, Pastor Bonner has simultaneously pastored churches in New York, New York; Detroit, Michigan; Washington, D.C.; Jackson, Mississippi; and Columbia, South Carolina. Considered one of the greatest ministers of all times, Pastor Bonner was the spiritual overseer of more than 700 churches worldwide on three continents. 

Sheila Harris, Public Relations Manager of ESSENCE MAGAZINE shared this:

“Pastor Bonner meant so much to our entire congregation. Personally, he was like a second Dad to me. He was always genuinely concerned for all of us—both spiritually as well as personally. He will be greatly missed, but we know that he is in a better place.” 

Pastor Bonner was preceded in death by his wife, the late Mother Ethel Mae Bonner, and daughter, the late Ethel Mae Bonner Archer. He is survived by his son, William Lee Bonner, Jr., his grandchildren, a host of nieces and nephews and beloved family, friends and co-laborers worldwide. 

Details for the multi-city Homegoing services in New York and Detroit are below. For more information, please visit www.greaterrefugetemple.org.

thegreaterrefugetemplechurch@gmail.com

HOMEGOING Services held in honor of Pastor William Lee Bonner on MONday, April 20th at 10 AM-6 PM: Pastor Bonner will lie in state at Solomon’s Temple (2341 East 7 Mile Road, Detroit, MI, 48234).  On Tuesday, April 21st at 10 AM: “Celebration of Life” held at Solomon’s Temple (2341 East 7 Mile Road, Detroit, MI, 48234)

Thursday, April 23rd at 1 PM-6 PM: Pastor Bonner will lie in state at Greater Refuge Temple (2081 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Blvd, N.Y., N.Y. 10027) at 6 PM: “Pastoral Celebration of Life”—hosted by the pastors and congregations of Pastor Bonner’s churches in N.Y., Columbia, S.C., Washington, D.C., and Jackson, Miss.)—held at Greater Refuge Temple (2081 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Blvd, N.Y., N.Y. 10027)

Friday, April 24th 6 PM: “International Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ Homegoing Celebration” held at Greater Refuge Temple (2081 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Blvd, N.Y., N.Y. 10027) Saturday, April 25th at 10 AM:

Procession to final interment begins at Greater Refuge Temple (2081 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Blvd, N.Y., N.Y. 10027) to travel to:Woodlawn Cemetery — Webster Avenue and East 233rd Street, Bronx, N.Y. 10470

From Russia to Brooklyn – Edward Snowden, The Whistleblower!

Edward Snowden Busto New York

The world needs more whistle-blowers. This is what seems to have passed through the minds of those who placed Edward Snowden’s bust in Fort Greene’s Park. Was it really John Oliver’s interview with Snowden on ‘Last Week Tonight’, which triggered it? Or is it that America, or at least Brooklyn, decided to sing to the tunes of whistle-blowing!

The 4-foot-high, 100-pound sculpture, portraying the man who is now exiled in Russia was sneaked into the public park just before dawn at the beginning of the month. It wasn't done on April 1st, so it isn't an April’s Fools Day prank. It rather seems to be a tribute to Edward Snowden, done by a group of admirers who didn't pick by chance the Revolutionary War memorial. For instance, the activists besides hoisting the bust added to a column the name of the former contractor who had leaked classified information from the National Security Agency to the media. Although, Snowden's artistic appearance was short-lived. At daybreak, police said city parks officials ordered the sculpted Snowden removed. And by evening, his bust was being held at Brooklyn's 88th Precinct pending an investigation. The idea for the tribute was conceived by two New York City-based artists, joined by a West Coast sculptor.

Edward Snowden according to his followers is equal to those 11,000 American prisoners of war who died aboard British ships during the American Revolutionary War, which are remembered in the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument. He represents continuity: the plight of Americans who gave birth to their country and whose sacrifice slipped into anonymity. The artists who have mobilized for this action have declared: “We feel that Snowden's actions really continue that story. It is built upon a set of ideals to live freely, not be confined or posed to surveillance or monitored by your government. You can’t have freedom of expression to pursue liberty if you feel like you're doing it under a watchful eye. It’s not just about Snowden. It’s about the ideals that he was trying to work towards and push others to care about.”

Well, it does seem that this topic does need some serious and wide discussion. At least so that the American public can be informed of the truth, and can make informed decisions as to where they stand on this issue. Section 215 of the Patriot Act which has helped drive the so-called “snooping and surveillance” by NSA, expires June 1, 2015. Before or if it gets renewed again, there has to be a through review of the real benefits of the NSA’s surveillance activities, and maybe define some legitimate boundaries around what’s right, and what’s not. After all as John Oliver said, US may not give a shit about anything else, but public definitely cares about ability to freely and privately share their junk!

In the mean time, if you missed the episode of Snowden’s interview with John Oliver, enjoy it here https://youtu.be/XEVlyP4_11M

Come, Lets's Celebrate 150th Anniversary of W.B. Yeats’ Birth!

"Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing."—William Butler Yeats (W.B. Yeats)

It's W.B. Yeats' 150th birthday. Come to his party. Like many people in this world, you often quote the immortal poet,  despite the fact that he was born in 1865 and made the transition back to the cosmos in 1939.

Mark your calendar for Sunday, April 12th from 1–4:30pm. The musical and storytelling event will also include a delicious buffet Lunch ( 1:00 - 2:00pm) with performances beginning at 2:00 - 3:30pm followed by Cocktails from 3:30 - 4:30pm.

The gala event is also part of ‘Yeats 2015—which will be a year of festivities that is being organized in Ireland and around the world.

W.B. Yeats has the luck of the Irish. He is immortal. His words ring true then, now and I suspect, they always will.

The pride of the Irish should be “up" when talking about the work of Yeats. His life was remarkable and he was more than a poet. He was also a scholar, statesman, and Nobel Prize winner; exploring his conflicted attachment to County Sligo, a striking landscape rich in history, folklore, and Irish mythology that he described as the “Land of Heart’s Desire.

Yeats advised (to), “tread softly, because you tread on my dreams,” and to that end his homeland of Ireland is celebrating the poet’s 150th birthday with an afternoon of storytelling and song. 

Oh Yeatswhat would he say about this event honoring his body of work, I think he would add:  "I think Hope and Memory have one daughter and her name is Art, and she has built her dwelling far from the desperate field where men hang out their garments upon forked boughs to be banners of battle.” 

An event raffle will support Concern Worldwide, a non-governmental humanitarian organization founded in Ireland and now operating globally to eradicate extreme poverty.  Ireland is called the 'Emerald Isle and is so green, the astronauts made notice of the lushness high above the skies canopy.

To explore the richness and legacy that is Ireland is at the core of Yeats’ Heart’s Desire. Innovation being on the top of the list, the buzz surrounding the new app Cultural Roadmapp: Irelands Wild Atlantic Way fits neatly into the program.

Cultural Roadmapp: Irelands Wild Atlantic Way is the first hands-free cultural travel app for motorists on Irelands spectacular 1500-mile driving route.

The downloadable GPS-enabled app will comprise four audio tours drawing on the music, folklore, poetry, and history of Irelands culture-laden west coast. Proceeds from ticket sales and contributions will support development of the pilot audio tour in the series. 

Its only $35.00 for an afternoon of great food and performance which includes internationally acclaimed flutist from leading Irish band Lúnasa, Vocalist-Lyricist Alisa Rose---who will compose a song just for the occasion---Kevin Crawford, Dr. James Pethica, Williams College Senior Lecturer in English and Theater, Actor Neil Bradley, known for his work portraying Yeats, Dr. Luke Gibbons, Visiting Professor of English, New York University, Deputy Editor of Irish America Magazine, Adam Farley and Popular Sligo-style fiddler Tony DeMarco.

Tickets: $35. Buy tickets online at http://www.culturalroadmapp.com

Where? At the Irish Arts Center—located at 553 W. 51st St. (at 11th Ave.) If you are driving, no issue. There is a convenient garage at  W. 51st St. (10th–11thAves.), outdoor lot on W. 51st St. (11th–12th Aves.). True blue New Yorker, take the (SUBWAY) A, C to W. 50th St.; R to W. 49th St. 

The Irish Arts Center is generously providing the venue but is not affiliated with cultural roadmap.

There are a few, interesting things about the new GPS technology, Cultural Roadmapp that make it rather unique. Although multimedia travel apps have been available for a number of years, and audio tours for museums and walks are now commonplace, not until very recently—and only in a handful of cases—have audio tours been developed for motorists, and with mixed success.

But now, with the recent advent of “geo-fencing” GPS technology, Cultural Roadmapp will be 100% hands free, allowing drivers and passengers to keep their eyes on the scenery (and road), and not on their smart phones. With cultural tourists as the fast-growing demographic in tourism and the early success of the Wild Atlantic Way (which opened to much fanfare in early 2014), this app should have major market share. 

A video featuring The ChieftainsMatt Molloy is available at http://www.culturalroadmapp.com.

Take a moment to roam around the website, click the image below.

Celebrity hairstyle: Lights, Camera, Action and...CUT!

The latest Fashion Weeks have revealed the most popular haircuts for the upcoming springtime. The most important trait, whether the hair is short or long, is that your head of hair has to be wavy and flow voluminously to frame the face. Whether it is about minimal cuts or layered hair styles, it has to look natural.

Those who feel more connected to Rapunzel must absolutely let their hair down, in curls, possibly the long bob version, rather than the inverted. So even those who have spaghetti-like straight hair will have to commit to vaporizing them, to enhance the volume and shape. Pony tails are still in vogue, best if low ones with a few rebellious locks on the sides of the face.

Wob style wavy is best for those who have a medium length hair, that can have a curly bob variation on the tips of the hair. The crimped effect will be extremely popular during the summer, to give that savage-chic allure.

Now let us focus on the pixie hair cut! British hairdresser Vidal Sassoon was the one who endorsed the female short coiffeur-style, cutting Mia Farrow’s hair, in Rosemary’s Baby, back in 1968, a year of great change not just in hair design! In 2015 the pixie cut is punk. The nape is completely shaved. You may also opt for the “à la garçon” hair-cut, i.e. the tomboyish style Audrey Hepburn has in Roman Holidays.

Last but not least what about bangs? Well it seems like the trend of the summer 2015 will be the Berlin fringe, which usually covers the forehead up to the eyebrows. Even the arched version and the asymmetrical zig-zagged fringe are still trendy. But if you truly want to feel like a rock star, go for the really short Katy Perry bangs...those never go out of style.

The Longuette is Back New York!

The “longuette” is the French term that refers to those pencil skirts that are usually slim-fitting, straight, narrow cut and rigorously fall below the knee. It is a common creed that  only very tall women can afford to wear them, nevertheless the last worldwide Fashion Weeks have sentenced that they will be adamantly back in fashion for spring 2015. 

Spring, indeed is knocking on our doors, and with it are colorful, floral patterns, on dresses and skirts, and needless to say on longuettes! At the New York Fashion Week Michael Kors presented Pre-Raphaelites-inspired pencil skirts that seemed to be contaminated by the flared structure that was so popular in the 50s. Dolce&Gabbana’s design also falls under the spell of the Bebop-Peggy Lee era, through a cascade of gigantic polka dots; that are also adopted by Valentino’s multicolored creations.

Pencil skirts nowadays can be fun even when they have a more casual style, such as the ones made by APC and Miu Miu, or the plissé version by Burberry. But if you want to opt for a luscious sensual longuette, better stick to the sheer effect proposed by Alice Olivia through the use of black tulle. 

Just like Mary Quant’s mini skirt revolutionized fashion during the swinging sixties, the pencil skirt represented a true innovation when Christian Dior first introduced it in his Autumn-Winter collection in 1954. Longuettes became popular very quickly, especially for office wear, to overcome the austere economic climate given by the Cold War. Shorter strides were forcefully imposed on ladies, because of the way the skirt envelops the female curves. This triggers women to move with major grace. These nifty evergreen wardrobe must haves, represent a timeless classic that differentiate a girl from a woman. No wonder Aretha Franklin was wearing a longuette when she sung “A Natural Woman.”