Tag Archives: black lives matter

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Never Was Christ Without Water

Sunday September 20th is Koinonia Lunch after worship. We take this word from the Greek New Testament for fellowship and actualize it each month on the third Sunday.  A time of food and fellowship, we enjoy deepening the bonds of friendship and love between us.  Pastor Bledsoe’s sermon for the day is entitled, “Never Was Christ Without Water.”

You know the summer is over, a new season is upon us and you know it’s good to be in the house of the Lord.  Let’s worship together.

~See you Sunday

Mr. Beck Leads A March Because, You Know, Some Lives Matter

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Glenn Beck has convinced 20,000 folks to show up in Alabama for a march declaring that all lives matter.  That’s a lot of people.  I’d be more convinced by this declaration of altruism if we could occasionally see 20 White people of conservative and Christian bent show up and declare their outrage when an unarmed Black American is gunned down by a policeman or, say, a self-anointed neighborhood watchman like George Zimmerman.

This is where the hypocrisy of such cant by the right wing cabal in this country is so vividly illustrated.  Let’s consider the paradox in a few simple statements.

1.  The only reason there is the chant “all lives matter” is in response to an assertion by others that Black Lives Matter.  That is to say, the chant is meant as a denunciation of the previous assertion. We know this. We see you winking.  We get it.

2.  Imagine someone telling Jesus, who just finished saying,  “the least of these matter,” hey, Jesus, all lives matter.  Not just the least of these, Jesus, but all of these matter.  That’s what you’ve done, Glenn and Becktians.  And by doing so, you’ve pretty much given up any authority to tell us how to understand Christ.

3.  You really don’t believe all lives matter or you would have shown up and supported mothers in their grief when their children, husbands, fathers, daughters and mothers were killed by police. Heck, you may have shown up and supported the parents of Sandy Hook in their grief when their first graders were slaughtered, but you basically rallied ‘round the NRA.   In other words, “all lives matter” is a cloak or a robe, if you will.  It hides the crasser message of a racial animosity. And Black folks in this country are quite keenly aware of how robes and sanctimony hide devious and demonic agendas.

4.  You have used God and Jesus to promote what on the surface is a positive message (after all, who can reject a message that “all lives matter”?), while continuing to support policies and strategies that harm African- Americans disproportionately.  That’s not just wrong, it’s devilishly wrong.

All lives matter, except your (Black) lives matter less, otherwise we would have been marching and speaking out for your protection instead of joining a right wing radio talk show host who has worked tirelessly to promote an agenda that denies poor Americans—White and Black–healthcare, rejects the President as a legitimate American citizen and otherwise embraces policies that roll back civil rights in our country.

Holding signs that declare,  ”God is the Answer,” in an effort to lend sacred legitimacy to that agenda is a rather daft and awkward and even embarrassing display, but mostly it is a violation of the third commandment.   All lives matter?  Of course. Except when they don’t and there’s the rub.

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Get Ready: Events at Riverside

As we move out of summer, the following events and ideas are being put into play.  Find a way to engage, interact, and link up.

Riverside Social Events Team (RISET) Game Night & Cook Out

Saturday, August 29th at 5pm we’ll meet at the church and play games. Make sure you respond to the Evite sent out by the RISET team or let Deacon Bukola know of your interest.  As always, bring something to share–a game and a dish.

Faith and Justice Team

Many of you signed up to be part of an effort to reach out to our community, first of all to identify with and help educate young people at risk and then to help create an event that will reach out to predominantly White clergy and churches in an effort to educate why Black Lives Matter is so important for our country at this point. Led by Cedric Lawson, we will meet after church on September 13th for further information and to brain storm about how we go forward.

Book Club

BOOK CLUB RETURNS IN OCTOBER (the 25th after worship)  Join the Riverside Book Club as we read Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River . The book explores the 1950s Midwest through the eyes of an asthmatic, 11 year old boy trying to make sense of good and evil as well as the miracles that seem to follow his father. First timers are always welcome.  We will be led by seminarian in residence, Aspirant Tonetta Landis-Aina.

Vietnam Veterans & Families Commemorated and Honored

As a Commemorative Partner, our church joins with other organizations across the country to honor our Vietnam veterans. The Commemorative Partner Program is designed for federal, state and local communities, veterans’ organizations and other nongovernmental organizations to assist a grateful nation in thanking and honoring our Vietnam Veterans and their families.  On July 5th, we began in our own church family, honoring over a dozen veterans and pinning several who were in attendance. It was a moving service as Trustee and Sgt. Robert Nelson, joined by Major Gen. Arnold Fields, spoke to us and then honored these veterans and their families.  We want to reach out to veterans in our immediate community this Veteran’s Day in November.  We will establish a date soon to do that but in the mean time, if you are a veteran or family member or simply someone who would like to participate and help organize this effort, please let Pastor Bledsoe know.

Finally, worship this Sunday continues with the pastor’s sermon series around movies.  So far we have had a sermon that referenced zombies and Zombieland, The Matrix and The Truman Show and this Sunday, August 16, the sermon will consider the comic aspects of the Gospels and religion. The title of the sermon is:  O, Brother Where Art Thou? or, Slapstick and Comedy in the Gospels

~See you Sunday (it’s Koinonia Sunday, so plan to hang out after worship and eat lunch with us. Bring a non-perishable item to share with Martha’s Table)

March On Washington With Us: Black Lives Matter

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This Saturday, December 13th, join us as we participate in a march on Washington together with Alliance of Baptist friends and raise our voices that Black Lives Matter.  The march begins at Freedom Plaza at 10:30 a.m.  I will be leaving Riverside’s parking lot at 9:15 to metro to Calvary Baptist Church where friends from Calvary Baptist, Covenant Baptist and others who come from around the country will meet for prayer on the steps.  We will then proceed to Freedom Plaza.  ~Pastor Bledsoe