Tag Archives: church in sw dc

Preparing to Leave, Preparing to Arrive

stack of books

Strewn along the tops of the tables in the Foster Room are books from the Jerry Davis Library. There are books from the 1960s, some of which deal with issues that threatened the unity of churches (Black Power and Civil Rights, homosexuality, gender equality) and on this side of the 21st Century, it is fascinating to see how our brave little church stood up for Civil Rights, women and gay men and women. Those issues at that time were fuzzy, murky and unclear but our church found a way (and still does) to speak with clarity.  There are books about war and politics and there are of course a myriad of religious books.

Speaking of which, I noticed there are several hymnbooks (some given as gifts to the church in honor of loved ones at Fifth Baptist Church).  These hymnbooks are somewhat dated but I have said more than once that a practice of piety that you can count on is to have a hymnbook at your night stand so when you cannot sleep or are troubled, you can open that hymnbook and read a hymn as a prayer.  There are several–help yourselves and in the process, enrich  and encourage your spiritual life.

We are sifting and sorting now.  Our summer will be a time for such and then, end of September, we should be exiting this building and stepping into our interim worship arrangements.  It is not easy to say goodbye to a building that has offered us sanctuary and where we have evolved as individuals and as a congregation into God’s people. We will do so with dignity and hope. Christ tells the Church (in The Revelation of John), “Behold, I make all things new.”  We will trust in him to do so with us, for we have been and are in dialogue not only with our architect (Phillip Renfrow), but we are and have been in prayer with the Architect and Designer of worlds.  Of all the things we take with us, let us be sure to take our brave discipleship.  Of all we leave behind, may we leave malice, anger, grudges or anything else that weighs us down in our journey.  I love how Numbers (10:11) describes the journey about to begin as Moses led the children of Israel into their interim wandering through the wilderness:

Then the Israelites set out by stages

from the wilderness of Sinai

By stages, methodically, full of faith and dedicated to Christ who calls us to the future, let us prepare to leave. Let us prepare to arrive! ~ See you Sunday

Oasis-smaller

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.

Koinonia Lunch This Sunday

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This Sunday after worship we begin our third Sunday of the month luncheons. Bring something if you like but most of all, bring yourself. The only purpose is food and fellowship.  And that is what this New Testament word–koinonia–means:  fellowship.  That is friendship in Christ, folks and it is a beautiful thing. Especially over some lemon chicken prepared by hour hostess, Sheba Greene!

The sermon title this Sunday is: Remembering Jesus, The Jews, And Those Who Killed Them.  The sordid history of Christian anti-Jewish rhetoric and destruction must be countered and a good first step toward that is to critically engage problematic scriptures in the New Testament that have been used to promote such evil.  This past Wednesday, Pastor Bledsoe participated in Days of Remembrance at the Holocaust Museum (as he has done for years), reading the names of victims.  This coming Tuesday, he will speak to a ninth grade religious studies class at Temple Micah on why he is a Christian. The promotion of mutual understanding and respect between Christians and Jews is deeply cherished by Pastor Bledsoe.  We invite you to worship with us on Sunday at 10 a.m.