Posts Tagged Charleston

A Day of Repentance – Mayor John Tecklenburg

“Sometimes I think that we should have a day of repentance in Charleston for all the bad in our past, especially racism.” Mayor John Tecklenburg said while speaking at the fourth and final Lenten Series for 2017 held at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

“After repentance, then what? How do we make amends for the past?

”Perhaps better education for everyone or affordable housing or more equity in our law enforcement, these would be good ways to start. I was in the eighth grade in Orangeburg when the Orangeburg Massacre occurred and I was running for the Office of Mayor of Charleston when the massacre happened at Mother Emanuel Church.  The dialogue instantly changed from how will our city survive after Joe Riley leaves office to what is next for our city. The response of the people at Mother Emmanuel set an example for our city and Charleston set an example for the whole world.

The music for the program was outstanding. Following the message there was a time for laying on of hands for blessing and healing conducted by the ministers from the cooperating churches: St. John’s Lutheran, First Baptist, First Scots Presbyterian and St. Michael’s Episcopal.

St. John’s provided a lunch for all attendees after the service. I was torn but opted for lunch at the Variety Store.

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“You Are Already Forgiven.” Rev. Anthony Thompson

“You are already forgiven,” proclaimed the Rev. Anthony Thompson, at the joint Lenten Service held at First Baptist Church of Charleston at noon today March 22, 2017. “God is just wondering when you will forgive yourself.” His powerful message of forgiveness was delivered before an almost full house. “You forgive others so that your own healing can begin,” he continued.

Rev. Thompson’s wife was one of the nine worshipers killed by Dylan Roof at Mother Emanuel AME Church during a Wednesday night Bible study. At the bond hearing that followed the next day, Rev. Thompson was able to forgive the killer and to invite him to a relationship with Jesus. His example set the tone for the response of Charleston to the carnage of mindless racial slaughter. Charleston in turn has set the example for the rest of the nation.

The Lenten Series is a product of cooperation between First Baptist Church, First Scotts Presbyterian Church, St. John’s Lutheran Church and St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. There were many other congregations represented in today’s service. Rev. Thompson is pastor of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church. Beverly Bradley was the organist.

The program next week is at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Mayor John Tecklenburg of Charleston is the speaker. A lunch follows each program hosted by the church of the week.

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Our Father: Discovering Family at Charleston Baptist Church

My friends Sarah and Randy Moody have invited me to speak to the Forever Young Seniors group at Charleston Baptist Church on Wednesday March 1. I am looking forward to this event with these delightful folks. I have visited their group before.

My topic is, “What I Learned Writing a Spiritual Autobiography.” Believe me the learning did not stop when the book was sent to the publisher. Learning from the experience continues. Our lives are not static. We continue to grow as human beings and hopefully we continue to mature spiritually. The direction of all life is growth.

Our Father; Discovering Family, records a moment in time when I paused long enough to discover where I am on my faith journey. I hope my experiences are helpful to others who struggle with some of the same circumstances that I faced. We are all more alike than we are different. We often feel that we are alone in our struggles only to learn later that others have walked through the same or similar troubled waters.

I was fortunate as a young Christian to have a pastor who said to me, Mitch, God is not bothered by your questions.” He went on to assure me, “God made all of you. That includes your brain. He did not intend for you to park it at the door when you come to church.” What a blessing.

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Kindness Is Always in Order – Celebrate World Kindness Day

Principal Rex Whitcomb at Morningside Middle School in North Charleston, South Carolina told his students, “If you want to know how to have a successful school year, just be kind.” What great advice. Kindness is always in order.

After that, I wrote a little book, Random Acts of Kindness. In it I listed 110 simple acts of kindness that cost absolutely nothing to perform. Of course, the list can grow and grow. There are millions of people who are hungry for a simple act of kindness. All of us have many gifts to share that would brighten someone’s day.

November 13, is World Kindness Day. We can all participate by performing a simple act of kindness. Call a friend. Acknowledge a stranger. Write a thank you note. Thank a clerk. Leave a generous tip. I never tire of the advice attributed to John Wesley which I quoted in my book.

“Do all the good you can,

By all the means you can,

In all the ways you can,

In all the places you can,

At all the times you can,

To all the people you can,

As long as ever you can.”

Dr. Arthur Caliandro, the late pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City said, “Be kinder than you think it necessary to be because the other person needs it more than you know.”

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