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TCR EDITORIAL

Posted on Fri, Aug 22, 2014

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Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Chair, Commission on Publications
The Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr., Publisher
The Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III, the 20th Editor, The Christian Recorder

1. TCR EDITORIAL – MODIFIED VACATION ISSUE:
 
DR. Calvin H. Sydnor III
The 20th Editor of The Christian Recorder
 
This week’s issue of The Christian Recorder Online is a modified vacation version. I am out of the office and am not in Tennessee. We wanted to post the AME Church Statement regarding the killing of unarmed black males and the Bereavement Notices.
 
 
2. AME CHURCH STATEMENT REGARDING TARGETING, PROFILING, AND KILLING OF UNARMED BLACK MALES:
 
(August 16, 2014) The African Methodist Episcopal Church joins with citizens across the United States and around the world in condemning the unjust and merciless shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18 year old African-American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9th by a local police officer. We extend our sympathy, prayers and support to the Brown Family and the residents of Ferguson, Missouri as they bear this tragedy and bid farewell to a son, family member, friend and loved one.  But we can and must do more.
 
As pained, hurt and outraged as we are over the shooting of Michael Brown, the national outrage about what happened in Ferguson, Missouri is about more than Michael Brown; it is about what is happening to black males all across the United States.  This young Black man joins a long list of unarmed Black males shot by police - our law officers sworn to protect us.  News outlets report the killing of three other Black men by police within the last month. Eric Garner (age 43) was strangled in Staten Island, NY on July 17th.  John Crawford (age 22) was gunned down in Beavercreek, Ohio on August 5th. Ezell Ford (age 25) was shot and killed in Los Angeles, CA on August 11th.  There may be others now known only to local communities and/or those who acted under the guise of “standing their ground” which has resulted in taking the lives of young Black males.
 
The African Methodist Episcopal Church speaks out because this list of fatalities must end. We cannot and will not allow it to continue to grow. Law enforcement and those who claim to act within the bounds of the law must be brought to justice for unjustly taking the lives of our sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers. Over at least the last decade, it has happened far too often. Black males of all ages have been shot and killed, while unarmed. There have been too many Mothers burying their young, spouses left alone, children left without a father, and too many communities left with too few men. The African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first protestant denomination formed on American soil, speaks out because the issue at hand is about a system of modern day injustice, mass incarceration, and ultimately disenfranchisement of a group that has born the brunt of systematic discrimination in the 227 year history of this country.
 
The pattern of justifying “the shoot” after the fact played out again on yesterday as the Ferguson Police chief was not satisfied that a life had been taken, but sought the ultimate “kill” with an effort to destroy the character and reputation of the deceased. In other words make the victim, the villain. Ferguson Police yesterday said that Michael Brown robbed a store in town of some cigarettes before being stopped by police and killed. The attempt is to make people see Michael Brown as the villain, and the police officer as protecting the people when in fact this is only an allegation, and the police chief himself later said, what happened to Michael Brown had nothing to do with the robbery. The suspicious “six day later claim” made by the police does not change the fact that police for no reason at all, stopped Michael Brown and  killed him.
 
The African Methodist Episcopal Church demands justice in the Ferguson, Missouri matter. We refuse to let this be “another whitewash”, another cover-up, another instance where those in law enforcement do not face justice. This will not be another time when after a few weeks, we go back to business as usual. We also demand justice on behalf of our other brothers who also were unarmed and unjustly killed, including Marvin Louis Booker beaten to death by Denver police almost 5 years ago, Treyvon Martin, Eric Garner, John Crawford, and Ezell Ford. We call upon the Department of Justice, Attorney General Eric Holder, and the FBI to insist that justice prevails by supplementing the investigations of state and local officials in Missouri, New York, Ohio, and California.  If necessary, we urge separate investigations to protect the civil rights of these American citizens whose human rights are being violated.
 
In the next twelve months, supporting the urging of President Obama, “We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wound”.  It is also appropriate and necessary that law enforcement at every level - local, state and federal have training in key areas – community relations, military equipment deployment, crisis management, etc. More importantly, the role of law enforcement in understanding the American values that are a valuable part our multi-cultural base calls for cultural sensitivity training, diverse police forces (racial, gender, age, language, ability, etc.). Accountability can also be insured if we install cameras on police vehicles, in jails/prisons, and work to insure just sentencing in our courts.
 
While we demand and end to the killing of unarmed Black men and boys by police force, we also recognize our own responsibility to end the senseless and tragic killing of blacks by blacks. One does not excuse the other. Parents, churches, schools and communities must do our part and share responsibility to end these unnecessary deaths.  The African Methodist Episcopal Church commits to do our part to be our brothers’ keeper.
 
The African Methodist Episcopal Church will continue to work in partnership with the other faith, civil rights, and human rights groups who are consistently and valiantly attacking these issues in the legislative, judicial, and administrative arenas.  Together, we call upon the United States to practice the social justice and human rights principles that we demand of other nations – here at home. Today, we not only ask, but we challenge our democracy to require justice for Michael Brown and his many other brothers, who died unarmed, needlessly and tragically at the hands of law enforcement.
 
Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, Chair
Social Action Commission
 
Bishop Jeffrey Nathaniel Leath, President
Council of Bishops
 
Bishop Richard Franklin Norris, President
General Board
 
Bishop John Richard Bryant, Senior Bishop
 
For more information, please contact the Social Action Commission:
Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Director; telephone: 213-494-9493; email: jdupontw@aol.com; websites: www.ame-church.com, www.ame-sac.com
 
Joint Statement of Heads of historic African American Church Denominations, independent churches, the National African American Clergy Network, and Faith Partnerships, Inc. regarding the brutal killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
 
August 16, 2014
 
In light of the long and bloody trail of lynchings, deaths, and killings of African American youth from Emmett Till, to Trayvon Martin, to Michael Brown, and scores of others throughout our nation, we call for action, justice, and transformation.  Michael Brown is dead.  Justice must not be buried with his young body.
 
The following is a statement regarding the untimely and unjust death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, who is spiritually "our child;" and a child of the African American and concerned American community.  We speak in the spirit of redeeming love, nonviolence, and reconciliation, in solidarity with the suffering community of Ferguson, Missouri.
 
In light of the injustice perpetrated by the Police Department of Ferguson, Missouri, the cover up, and late release of the "shooting" policeman's name (now hiding elsewhere in America, due to fear of reprisals), we recommend the following actions as a Joint Statement of heads of historic African American Church Denominations and Independent Churches, the National African American Clergy Network and Faith Partnerships Inc., concerned clergypersons of color, minorities everywhere in America, and clergy of goodwill.
 
Our moral outrage is expressed for the lack of justice, and an immediate call for true justice is issued in the death of Michael Brown.  Mr. Brown was a promising African American male in Ferguson, Missouri, who will be buried at the time he would have entered college.
 
We share an appreciation for the work done by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, local churches, legal experts, and all people of goodwill, who are working to resolve the inequities of this senseless murder.  We lift our voices as well against the senseless murders of so many young black youth and men, from Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin, now Michael Brown and nameless unarmed others who have been cut down in their prime for being “young, gifted, and black”.
 
We are family-oriented in our values in the African American community and believe that every child is our child.  Michael Brown has been and is our child, now in death as he was in life in Ferguson, Missouri. We, therefore, pledge to help the Brown family - Michael's biological family of origin - with burial costs.  We also support the establishment of an Educational Memorial Fund in Michael's name...so that he, and young men like him, will not be forgotten.
 
We will remember prayerfully all the young men who have lost their lives in senseless killings by insensitive police, who are untrained in community relations, lacking in cultural competency, or have chosen to pull a trigger prematurely, rather than exercise good judgment.
 
We request a meeting with United States Attorney General Eric Holder in support of his efforts to bring an end to this brutal pattern of injustice.
 
We call on all churches in the faith community, especially those representing the African American Diaspora, to hold Memorial Services this Sunday or next Sunday in honor of the memory of Michael Brown, in accordance with church calendars.  We call for an end to the cutting down of precious God-created lives like his and so many others.
 
All active denominations and non-denominations in the Faith Community must "push" for robust voter education, voter registration, and voter participation beginning in 2014.  This will ensure that those who are in office and choose to do wrong can be replaced by those who will represent the preservation of life in ethnic communities where a disproportionate amount of killings, unsubstantiated sentencing and jail time are unwarranted means for perpetuating racism and bias against ethnic minorities.
 
As a move toward community reconciliation, we urge the dropping of all charges against those who protested and were arrested for exercising their First Amendment Rights to lawful assembly.
 
In order that all of these actions are promptly accomplished, we pray to God that "justice roll down like water and righteousness as an ever-flowing stream" - Amos 5:24.
 
This document is signed by....
 
Conveners:
 
Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Co-Chair, National African American Clergy Network
 
Dr. T. DeWitt Smith, Jr., Co-Chair, National African American Clergy Network
 
Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., Chairman, Faith Partnerships, Inc.
 
African Methodist Episcopal:
 
Bishop Jeffrey Nathaniel Leath
President, Council of Bishops
 
Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, Presiding Bishop
Office of Ecumenical and Urban Affairs
 
Bishop Cornal Garnett Henning, Sr. (Retired)
 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion:
 
Bishop George E. Battle, Jr., Senior Bishop
 
Christian Methodist Episcopal
 
Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick, III, Senior Bishop
 
Church of God In Christ
 
Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
Presiding Bishop
 
Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, International:
 
Bishop Joseph W. Walker, III
Presiding Bishop-Elect
 
National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
 
Dr. Julius R. Scruggs, President
 
Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.
Dr. James C. Perkins, President
 
Independent Church Leaders
 
Dr. Cynthia D. Hale, Pastor
Ray of Hope Christian Church, Decatur, GA
 
Dr. Frederick Haynes, Pastor
Friendship-West Baptist Church, Dallas, TX
 
Dr. Otis Moss, III, Pastor
Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL
 
Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, Pastor
Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, G
 
3. EPISCOPAL FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
 
Arrangements for Mrs. Adrenis Carter Reid, the mother of the Rev. Dr. Frank M. Reid III, Senior Pastor of Bethel AME Church Baltimore, Maryland passed away on Friday, August 15th, 2014. Mrs. Reid is also the mother of Stephanie D. Reid of Washington DC and Vanessa Lewter of South Carolina.
 
Mrs. Reid's body will lie in state at Bethel Baltimore, Saturday, August 23rd, 2014; 7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
 
Family Visitation Hours are from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
 
The Celebration of Life Service, 10:16 a.m.-12:01 p.m.
 
Condolences may be sent to Dr. Frank M. Reid III:
 
C/O Bethel AME Church
1300 Druid Hill Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21217
 
Telephone: (410) 523-4273
 
The Body is entrusted to:
Taylor's Funeral Home
108 W North Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21278
Telephone: (410) 962-8290
 
Cemetery: Arbutus Memorial Park
 
Funeral services for Mrs. Adrenis Carter Reid to be held Saturday August 23, 2014:
 
Bethel AME Church
1300 Druid Hill Avenue
Baltimore, MD
 
The Celebration of Life Service, 10:16 a.m. -12:01 p.m.
 
The Homegoing Celebration will be live-streamed. Login to www.bethel1.org and click the arrow that says "Watch Us Live!"
 
Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
1300 Druid Hill Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21217
 
Telephone: (410) 523-4273
 
4. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
 
We regret to inform you of the death of the Rev. F. Bernard Lemon, Presiding Elder of the "Lively" Lakeland District, West Coast Conference, 11th Episcopal District. He was the husband of Mrs. Laurastine Lemon and the father of Michelle Murphy, Marcus Lemon, Bridget Giles, Tonja Webb, Anita Lemon and Ryan Lemon and also a loving grandfather.
 
Services for Presiding Elder F. Bernard Lemon:
 
Friday, August 22, 2014
Viewing - 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Wake - 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
 
Hurst Chapel AME Church
875 Avenue O, NE
Winter Haven, FL 33881
 
The Rev. Ronnie Clark, Pastor
 
Funeral: Saturday, August 23, 2014, 11:00 a.m.
New Bethel AME Church
2122 N. Martin Luther King Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33805
 
The Rev. Eddie Lake, Pastor
Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr., Eulogist
 
Burial: Monday, August 25, 2014, 11 a.m.
Lakeside Memory Gardens
36601 County Rd 19A
Eustis, FL 32726
 
Final Arrangements by:
Postell's Mortuary
811 N. Powers Drive
Orlando, FL 32818
 
Telephone: 407-295-3857
Fax: 407-295-0307
 
Expressions of Sympathy may be sent to:
 
Mrs. Laurastine Lemon
794 Whisper Woods Drive
Lakeland, FL 33813
 
Email: thelemonteam@yahoo.com 
 
Hotel Accommodations:  Hampton Inn, 3630 Lakeside Village Blvd. Lakeland, FL 33803
 
Telephone: 863-603-7600 - Ask for Lemon Family - Please make reservations by Thursday, Aug 21, 2014:
 
5. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
 
We regret to announce the passing of Mr. Lloyd M. Price, the brother of the Rev. Paula Dredden, pastor of Bethel AMEC, Bristol, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia Conference, Philadelphia District). The following information has been provided regarding funeral arrangements.
 
Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.
 
Mt. Raymond UAME Church
341 Stuart Avenue
Downingtown, PA 19335
Telephone: 610-269-8170
 
The Rev. Esther Brown, Pastor
 
Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to:
 
The Rev. Paula Dredden
11 Golfers Way North
Thorndale, PA 19372
Email: revdredden@yahoo.com 
 
6. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
 
We are saddened by the loss of Brother Robert J. Mosby, the brother of the Rev. Anna E. Mosby, Pastor of Mt. Gilboa AME Church. Please keep the Rev. Mosby and her family in your prayers.
 
The funeral arrangements:
 
Celebration of Life Memorial Service
Friday, August 22, 2014
Visitation - 10:00 a.m.
Service -10:30 a.m.
 
Fort Lincoln Funeral Home
3401 Bladensburg Road
Brentwood, MD 20722
 
While words may fall short, at such a time as this, our heartfelt expressions can and will go a long way.  Your cards, condolences and expressions of love may be forwarded to Reverend Mosby at the address listed below.
 
The Rev. Anna E. Mosby
13117 Brussels Way
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
aem731@msn.com 
 
7. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
 
We regret to inform you of the passing of Mrs. Daphne Green, the sister of the Rev. Benita Keene, pastor of Bazil AME Church, Cockeysville, Maryland.
 
Funeral arrangements for Mrs. Daphne Green:
 
Viewing:
Tuesday, August 19th 4:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
 
Funeral:
 
Wake - Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 10:30 a.m.
Service - 11:00 a.m.
 
Interment: Garrison Forrest Veterans Cemetery
 
All funeral guests are welcome to attend the interment
 
Professional Services:
 
John L. Williams Funeral Home
4517 Park Heigts Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21215
 
Flowers can be sent to the funeral home, address listed above.
 
Other expressions of sympathy may be mailed to:
 
The Rev. Benita Keene 
P.O. Box 663
Riderwood, MD 21139
 
Telephone: 443-691-4871
 
8. CONNECTIONAL LAY OFFICER FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICE:
 
Regretfully We Share The Following:
 
Fannie Mae Edwards Beatty-Clayton, 81, of Tulsa, Oklahoma passed away on Sunday August 17, 2014. She served as the Initial Treasurer of Connectional Lay Economic Development Corp (CLEDC) - AME Church; President of the Central-Northeast Oklahoma Conference Lay Organization -12th District AME Church and as a Trustee of Shorter College in Little Rock, Arkansas.  She was instrumental in assisting the former 12th Episcopal District Lay President, Mr. Rucker Clayton host the 20th Lay Biennial held in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
 
The family will receive friends on Thursday August 21, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. and the Funeral Service to honor the life of Fannie Mae Clayton will take place on Friday August 22, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. in the Chapel of Serenity Funeral Home - 1470 E. Admiral Place - Tulsa, OK. 74115. 
 
The Eulogist is Reverend Dennis J. Hampton, Pastor of Bethel AME Church - Claremore, OK
Email: HamptonAMEChurchGrowth@gmail.com 
 
Interment:
 
Green Acres Memorial Park
12410 N Yale Avenue
Skiatook, OK 74070
 
Professional Services Entrusted To:
 
Serenity Funeral Home and Chapel
4170 E. Admiral Place
Tulsa, OK 74115
Office: 918-292-8411
Fax: 866-610-7421
Email: info@serenitytulsa.com 
www.serenitytulsa.com
 
9. CLERGY FAMILY BEREAVEMENT NOTICES AND CONGRATULATORY ANNOUNCEMENTS PROVIDED BY:
 
Ora L. Easley, Administrator
AMEC Clergy Family Information Center
Email: Amespouses1@bellsouth.net 
Web page: http://www.amecfic.org/ 
Telephone: (615) 837-9736 (H)
Telephone: (615) 833-6936 (O)
Cell: (615) 403-7751
 
Blog: http://ameccfic.blogspot.com/ 
 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AMEC_CFIC 
 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-AME-Church-Clergy-Family-Information-Center/167202414220 
 
10. CONDOLENCES TO THE BEREAVED FROM THE CHRISTIAN RECORDER:
 
The Chair of the Commission on Publications, the Right Reverend T. Larry Kirkland; the Publisher, the Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour and the Editor of The Christian Recorder, the Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III offer our condolences and prayers to those who have lost loved ones. We pray that the peace of Christ will be with you during this time of your bereavement.
 
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