Let me take this opportunity to thank our wonderful Shiloh family for an exceptional anniversary. The preaching and worship were extraordinary. President Timothy Stewart, preached masterfully, and our choirs, as always, were in a class by themselves. I attended a meeting Tuesday at the Progressive National Baptist headquarters and our visitors from the Caribbean were still gushing about the quality of the music. The dinner after the service was completely sold out, and the food was incomparable. Every aspect of the anniversary, was, “Off the hook.” Special thanks to our wonderful ushers, the congregation that attended in spite of the rain, and particularly the 155th Anniversary Committee for making last Sunday a service to remember!
Special thanks to the Social Justice Ministry for last Thursday’s forum on missing and exploited children. The event was not only informative but provided clear directions what our churches can do to bring attention to this terrible stain on our communities. God established the church to care for the least among us. Social Justice reminded us of our responsibilities in carrying God’s message to all.
This week’s picture on the front page of the Washington Post of Bill Cosby being led from the court in handcuffs after he was sentenced to serve 3 to 10 years for violent sexual assault, left me with a deep feeling of melancholy. It wasn’t that I felt the sentence was unfair. What Mr. Cosby did was unspeakably heinous. And, I was not a Bill Cosby fan. I thought his depiction of the Huxtables gave the impression that all Black families could be equally blessed if they worked hard and played by the rules. I have always resisted exceptionalism that takes a few as the yardstick for the many. And, I was often incensed at the rampaging moralisms from the comedian which were blatant attacks on Black life generally. No, my angst at seeing the photograph was that another famous Black person had fallen prey to his own belief that success made him above the law. While Brett Kavanaugh who likely was a serial abuser will be promoted to the Supreme Court, Mr. Cosby was on his way to a jail cell in a Pennsylvania state prison. As the voice of Justice for the Black church, I want to make clear that there always has been and, in all likelihood, will continue to be a different set of rules for African Americans, no matter their wealth and power, than for citizens of the majority culture. To all young and rising Black Americans, this message must never be forgotten.
That said, we at Shiloh move into the new church year with our theme:
And we will continue to work towards our vision of Understanding Justice Through the Lens of Jesus!