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A PASTORAL WORD September 17, 2013

Yesterday, September 15, marked the 50 year anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL, that killed four girls (Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley) and wounded nearly two dozen others. It would eventually come to light that Klansmen had perpetrated the hate crime in response to the civil rights and integration movement. The horrible atrocity would instead further expose the cruel hate of racism and would help fuel the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Yesterday, the country remembered these senseless deaths and gave thanks for the overall progress made in civil rights and racial reconciliation.

And yet, there is still much work to do. Just last night, a woman of Indian descent was crowned Miss America. Nina Davuluri, Miss New York, was born in Syracuse, NY, and has lived in the U.S. her entire life. Following her crowning on the live show, some of the reactions on the internet and Twitter included hateful and racist comments about her heritage as well as questions about her nationality. Some made stereotypical racist jokes and false assumptions about her religion as well. Nina responded to some of these comments by saying, “I have to rise above that, I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

In two weeks, on September 29, many Disciples congregations will observe Reconciliation Sunday, as we remember our commitment to be an anti-racism, pro-reconciliation denomination. On September 22 and 29, you will have the opportunity to give the Reconciliation Offering, which supports the Reconciliation Ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Reverend April Johnson, who leads this ministry, was a speaker in our Lenten Supper Series on Forgiveness & Reconciliation this past Spring. Reconciliation Ministry serves as a representative voice standing against racism and promoting efforts of reconciliation. They also provide grants to churches and ministry efforts that promote reconciliation efforts in their own areas.

May the words of Dr. Martin Luther King spur us on in the effort to overcome the racism, hate, and divisions in our world: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Grace and peace,

Chris

Worship

Sunday School 9:30am

Sunday Service 10:45am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Middletown Christian Church

P.O. Box 43

1976 Thatchers Mill Road

North Middletown, KY 40357

 Pray Today
 Weekly Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference – Just for today! Amen.

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