Daily Archives: June 21, 2015

Sunday's Sermon from Emanuel AME Church in Charleston SC

The Rev. Norvel Goff on Psalm 46

Psalm 46 [KJV]
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

See also:
Full Service from Washington Post TV
Moving Pictures

Posted in * South Carolina

A Word about the All-Charleston-Massacre-all-the-time feel of the blog posts at present

I am not sure how many know this, but I have been attached to the diocese of South Carolina since the summer of 1984 in some capacity or other. It is my family’s home. When you have an incident of this magnitude where you live I do not think you have a choice but to give it the attention you and your community experience, respond to and pray though in the midst of it. It is part of the incarnation and contextual aspect of blogging that makes individual blogs so diverse and, Lord willing, so interesting–KSH.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(AP) Charleston Shootings' emotional burden looms over Sunday sermons

Harold Washington, 75, expects the sanctuary to host even more newcomers after one shattered the group’s sense of peace and security.

“We’re gonna have people come by that we’ve never seen before and will probably never see again, and that’s OK,” he said Saturday. “It’s a church of the Lord, you don’t turn nobody down.”

Church leaders will try to address the heavy psychological burdens parishioners bring with them.

“I think just because of what people have gone through emotions are definitely heightened, not just in Charleston but with anyone going to church because it is such a sacred place, it is such a safe place,” Shae Edros, 29, said after a multiracial group of women sang “Amazing Grace” outside the church Saturday afternoon.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(UMNS) Joe Iovino–God is with us: A response to South Carolina church shooting

we cry at the violence thrust upon this congregation and wonder when we will be able to sing again. We pray for families, a congregation, and a community in grief. This doesn’t make any sense.

Despite our theological sophistication that tells us we ought to know better, the questions persist: Where was God when the shooter entered? Where is God now?

The answer is contained in the name of this African Methodist Episcopal church.

“Mother Emanuel,” as the members have historically referred to Emanuel AME Church, has known her share of pain. Through their building being burned under suspicion the pastor was leading a slave revolt in the 1820s, and during a time when black churches were outlawed, the congregation persevered. According to the church’s website, they “continued the tradition of the African church by worshipping underground until 1865 when it was formally reorganized, and the name Emanuel was adopted, meaning ”˜God with us.’”

The congregation borrowed the name from Matthew’s Gospel, who borrowed it from the prophet Isaiah.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Methodist, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

MUST NOT MISS–E:60 – Ernie Johnson's story for Fathers Day

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Media, Sports, Theology

(Local paper) Special Coverage–Remembering the victims of the Emanuel AME Church Shooting

The Rev. and Sen. Clementa Pickney, 41

Tywanza Sanders, 26

Susie Jackson, 87

Ethel Lance, 70

Myra Thompson, 59

The Rev. Daniel L. Simmons, 74

The Rev. DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49

Sharonda Singleton, 45

Cynthia Hurd, 54

Take the time to read about all nine.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Death / Burial / Funerals, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(Local paper) Mourning Emanuel AME faithful to return home Sunday for worship services

Charleston police gave church members clearance Saturday to return to their space, several members said. A group then met in the ground-level fellowship room where those killed had gathered to discuss the Gospel of Mark.

Harold Washington said it was an emotional moment.

“They did a good job cleaning it up. There were a few bullet holes around, but … they cut them out so you don’t see the actual holes,” he said.

Many parishioners are eager to return to their church home. But others aren’t, not with death and horror still so fresh. They will fan out into the area’s other houses of worship to seek much-needed support.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, City Government, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Daily Prayer

O Lord Jesus Christ, in all the fullness of thy power so gentle, in thine exceeding greatness so humble: Bestow thy mind and spirit upon us, who have nothing whereof to boast; that clothed in true humility, we may be exalted to true greatness. Grant this, O Lord, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God for evermore.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.

–Psalm 66: 8-9

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Congratulations to China and Germany who are Moving on in the Women's WorldCup

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Europe, Germany, Globalization, Sports, Women

(ESPN) Panthers owner Jerry Richardson donates $100K for Charleston tragedy

Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson donated $10,000 to each of the families of the nine people killed in Wednesday night’s shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

The team founder also donated $10,000 to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where the murders occurred during a bible study.

The $100,000 donation was made in a letter sent Friday to the Mother Emanuel Hope fund. The letter was shared by Bakari Sellers, a Democratic member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, on Twitter.

Read it all (hat tip:KIA).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sports, Stewardship, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(WSJ) Charleston Mayor Joe Riley Rallies City After Fatal Shootings

At a Friday night vigil organized by Mr. Riley at TD Arena at the College of Charleston, the mayor received a standing ovation. The large and diverse crowd sat quietly, as Mr. Riley spoke at length about Charleston’s role in the slave trade and its long battle to overcome that history.

By Saturday, an aide said Mr. Riley””like many Charleston residents””was exhausted, and couldn’t be reached for interviews. The aide said the mayor would spend Father’s Day with his family and likely wouldn’t be at Sunday’s planned march across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, an iconic part of the city’s landscape.

“He’s done a wonderful job,” said Dwayne Greene, a prominent black African-American activist. “He was there the night of the shooting. He made a very compassionate statement, and the city has done everything it can to bring people together.”

Mr. Riley, after decades in the job, will leave office this year after his term ends.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, City Government, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Spirituality/Prayer, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(The State) From the pulpit: Midlands SC pastors reflect on Charleston massacre

[The] Rev. Ronnie Elijah Brailsford Sr., pastor, Bethel AME Church, Columbia

“We are a resilient people of faith in God. Why? Because God is with us. Emmanuel means, ”˜God is with us.’ We (the AME church) are a people of the Christian faith. We will celebrate 200 years of being formally organized as the AMEC in July of 2016. Nearly 200 years ago, the founding father, Bishop Richard Allen, lead his people courageously through many trials, temptations, tests, threats and dangers. He had to fight to be free and remain free. He had to overcome fears from within and without. He had to overcome racism and bigotry. Yet, with faith in God, he stood strong and boldly.

“So this is not the first time our resolve as a people of faith, whose color happens to be black, has had to withstand difficult and trying times. . . We have come too far to turn around. The power of our love is too strong for hate.

“And our faith is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. Thus, we stand. The work of the Lord shall go forward. Why? Because we are the people of Emmanuel. God is with us.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(W. Post) Remembering the Charleston church shooting victims

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Peter Jensen rallies the Gafcon Faithful in Ireland

A meeting of church leaders from across Ireland has been challenged to remain biblically faithful but to ”˜dare to do new things’ in the face of a ”˜new spiritual darkness’ in the west.

The General Secretary of the Global Anglican Future Conference, Dr Peter Jensen, who addressed the event at Belfast’s Willowfield Church, told the story of GAFCON’s beginnings in the landmark conference of Bishops, clergy and lay leaders in Jerusalem in 2008, through to the Nairobi meeting in 2013 and the movement’s unifying work today across the Anglican world.

“Out of the Conference emerged an historic and noble document, the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration. It made clear that we would not reject the world to live like hermits. It made clear that we wished still to win the world. But it also made clear that the way to do that was not to abandon historic, biblical Christianity but to be true to it and flexible in the ways of promoting it.” Dr Jensen said.

“Christianity is a missionary religion and those who have embraced the secular culture have done so in the belief that thus they can ”˜make a difference’, Christianise the social order and bring people back to church. On such projects they will spend money and buy influence. Ironically, much of their time and effort is devoted to persuading their fellow believers to become like them.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Global South Churches & Primates, Ireland