Monday, October 25, 2010

Saturday Open House and Sunday Church Services with Rev. John Makokha

by Rev. Stephen Parelli, Other Sheep Executive Director

The Rivers of Living Water
Family Worship Center
Dance Ministry
Rev. John Makokha arrived at LaGuardia Airport, New York City, Friday evening, Oct. 22, 2010, and went immediately to The Riverside Church where he spoke to a small group of people in a meeting hosted by Maranatha, the LGBT group at Riverside.  (See photossee blog.)

Saturday evening, Rev. Makokha was in the Parelli-Ortiz home in the Bronx to meet friends of Other Sheep. Four guests were in attendance; other would-be guests sent their greetings. The interaction with Rev. Makokha and those present was stimulating and informative. (See photos.)

Sunday was a busy day with Rev. Makokha speaking at a pre-service brunch and attending three church services. He began his day by meeting the Pastor of New Day Church (see photo) in Bedford Park in the Bronx (a UMC church), where Rev. Steve Parelli caught up with Rev. Makokha to accompany him throughout the day and take him to meetings Other Sheep had arranged.

Brunch at Rehoboth Temple where John spoke
Rev. Makokha's major speaking opportunity was at the leadership training brunch hosted by The Well Rehoboth Temple Christ Conscious Church where young people of the church and others joined in hearing Rev. Makokha speak of his personal journey and the ministry of Other Sheep. Rev. Makokha related how a personal friend of his during their teenage years committed suicide after being outted as gay young man by the leadership of the school where he was boarding. Rev. Makokha said this left him deeply concerned for the welfare of sexual minorities and the part that the church must play in addressing homophobia.

In attendance at the brunch were Adam and Jendi Reiter, strong supports of Other Sheep. John lit up with a huge smile when he personally met the Reiter because they had sent him his first laptop computer for the Other Sheep Kenya ministry.  (See photos.)

Adam and Jendi Reiter
with Rev. John Makokha, left.
see photos
Following the breakfast, Rev. Makokha and Rev. Parelli attended the regular church service of Rehoboth Temple. Elder Joseph W. Tolton, the pastor, received a call during the service from a brother in Uganda who gave us greetings. The youth of the church who were graduating from their leadership training were recognized. (See photos.)

Immediately following the service, Rivers of Living Water Family Worship Center entered the sanctuary to celebrate the 40th birthday of their pastor, Vanessa M. Brown and to show their deep appreciation and love for her. Yvette Flunder was the featured speaker. In her opening remarks, Bishiop Flunder recognized other clergy, including Rev. John Makokha and Rev. Stephen Parelli and gave comment on the work of Other Sheep. (See photos, including the Dance Ministry photos.)

Rev. Makokha of
Other Sheep Kenya
speaking at MCCNY
see photos
From there, Parelli and Makokha went to Metropolitan Community Church of New York (MCCNY) where John gave a brief welcome and status of Other Sheep Kenya to the evening gathering (see photos). He spoke just following the preaching and just prior to receiving the communion. The Rev. Dr. Edgar Francisco Danielsen-Morales gave the sermon. Rev. Pat Bumgardner introduced Rev. Makokha to the congregation by giving a brief bio of Rev. Makokha and the history of the beginnings of Other Sheep in Kenya.

Freinds of Other Sheep at the Parelli-Ortiz open house
for Rev. John Makokha of Other Sheep Kenya
 The Saturday and Sunday events were remarkable, and Other Sheep thanks all those who received and welcomed Other Sheep Kenya and Rev. John Makokha.

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