For some Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a time of mourning, for the meeting between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag began a series of events that led to many tribes being wiped out. But for one Native American pastor, the observance is not a source of historical mourning or regret, rather he celebrated the occasion since a youth growing up on a Virginia reservation.
Ernest Custalow, pastor at Grace Church of Fredericksburg, told The Christian Post that he recalled celebrating Thanksgiving as a child on the Mattiponi reservation. Part of this tradition involved providing a deer and a turkey to officially give to the governor of Virginia to pay their state taxes, a custom that remains to the modern day.
"The way we paid taxes was to kill a deer and turkey to give to the governor of Virginia. We still do that," said Custalow, adding that, "I grew up hunting for the governor." more >>
Pastors nationwide continued to dialogue and voice strong opinions about the issues surrounding the St. Louis grand jury decision, announced Monday evening, not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, as well as the subsequent demonstrations.
"None of us really knows exactly what happened in the Ferguson shooting. Sadder is that even many Christ followers don't seem to want to know," posted Pastor James MacDonald, founding and senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel based in the Chicago area, on Instagram (see below). "What we appear to prefer is lining up without nuanced analysis entirely on one side or the other."
MacDonald gave examples of the views people line up with. "'All police are driven by racial prejudice and out to get racial minorities' – oh please! Or 'all police actions are justifiable and there is no abuse of authority or pent up feelings of righteous anger in our urban centers' – oh please!" more >>
Prominent Christian leaders quickly issued statements and used social media to voice their concerns shortly after a St. Louis grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.
St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury's findings during a Monday evening press conference at 9:22 p.m EST.
"The single antidote that will truly alleviate the tension and angst in Ferguson, Missouri, resides in the peace that only Christ can render," said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference/Conela. "The prophetic and conciliatory concept of 'Shalom' — a peace where nothing stands missing or broken — presents the prescription for a community divided by race and fear." more >>
As I read the story of Michael Brown who was shot and killed August 9th, 2014 by Darren Wilson, a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, my heart immediately went out to the family. The pain of losing a child, I'm told, is one of the most difficult to endure.
The St. Louis County grand jury decision will no doubt fuel the flames of racism and hatred, but what if we look through a different lens...
What if more people knew that many of America's founders did not support slavery? The truth is that many of the Founding Fathers were responsible for planting the first seeds of equality and for the eventual end of slavery. John Quincy Adams was often referred to as the "hell-hound of abolition movement" for his efforts against slavery. As historian David Barton rightly noted, "This was a fact made clear by Richard Allen. Allen had been a slave in Pennsylvania but was freed after he converted his master to Christianity. Allen, a close friend of Benjamin Rush and several other Founding Fathers, went on to become the founder of the A.M.E. Church in America. In an early address 'To the People of Color,' he explained: 'Many of the white people have been instruments in the hands of God for our good, even such as have held us in captivity, [and] are now pleading our cause with earnestness and zeal'." more >>
Outspoken Republican Senator from Texas Ted Cruz called on the in-coming Republican-majority Senate to block any presidential nominee until President Barack Obama rescinds his executive action on immigration.
In a column published by Politico on Wednesday, Cruz stated that the U.S. Senate should act to check President Obama's executive power.
Events sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, which takes place on Saturday, include the release of the organization's new documentary and Saddleback Church co-founder Kay Warren sharing her testimony, both available during webcasts.
"International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day can change your life," says AFSP. "It's the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope."
For many loss survivors, attending a Survivor Day event is the first time they realize they are not alone, say organizers. "Just hearing the stories—from people at all stages of healing—can be helpful," AFSP states. "The gathering also provides participants with a chance to share their own stories with those who understand firsthand the challenges of living in the aftermath of a suicide loss." more >>