The Pastor’s Pen: September 16, 2018

We welcome to our pulpit today, the Reverend Dr. J. Wendell Mapson, Jr.,
honored and esteemed pastor of the Monumental Baptist Church of Philadelphia.
In addition to being a peerless preacher, Dr. Mapson is also a matchless scholar.
His book, Ministry of Music in the Black Church, has been read and studied in
seminary classes all over the nation. We thank God for Dr. Mapson’s voice of
consolation and message of hope and encouragement on this, our Service of
Remembrance Sunday.
Service of Remembrance is a very special day in the life of our church. It is the
time when we acknowledge and commemorate the persons who have crossed into
eternity in the last year. This year we will reverently reflect on the lives of over 40
persons who have joined the great cloud of witnesses. We will never forget their
legacy of faithfulness to God and their service to our wonderful congregation.
At the time of this writing, the Caribbean and the East Coast of the U.S. are once
again being threatened by another super storm. Wave surges are expected to be
some of the highest on record. It is time for the leaders of this nation to accept that
global warming is real, it is here, and we are the cause of it. Polar ice caps are
melting, sea levels are rising and storms are intensifying; yet, our government
continues to reduce the effectiveness of the Environmental Protection Agency’s
efforts to reduce carbon emissions, but promote instead the release of harmful
greenhouse gases such as methane to increase profits for businesses.
God entrusted us with the care of this Earth and gave us instructions to have
dominion over it. Having dominion does not mean destroying it. We are not
permitted to hunt animals to extinction or pollute our seas and rivers, making them
unsafe for water creatures and humans. A day of reckoning is coming. If we do not
heed to God’s directives to protect and sustain our environment, the human race
will soon die in its self-made ruins and devastations. We can no longer turn our
backs to our responsibility to take care of God’s creation and hope the problem
will go away on its own; we must act and we must act now!