2018-2019 Church Theme:
The Justice of Jesus Christ in Action: Advocacy, Education and Direct Action
Today, we begin our 2018-2019 church year. We are looking forward to an exciting year of continuing our calls for justice, extending our outreach and using the Word of God to win souls to Christ and providing uplifting worship, comprehensive Christian education, and soul-satisfying fellowship and relation-building. Today, we will rededicate our congregation to the work of Kingdom building. We thank God for all the Shiloh leaders who will direct our work this coming year in the spirit of Christ Jesus. “Eyes have not seen, nor ear heard…” what God has in store for us in this coming church year.
Our focus this church year will be the Church Covenant. Though we recite it monthly when we observe Holy Communion, we want to spend time examining it to fully grasp its meaning and its intent for our lives. We will study the Covenant for six weeks and focus on questions such as: From where does the covenant originate? Why do some churches use a different covenant? How do we meditate on the Covenant to discern how it applies to our lives? We encourage our entire congregation to attend each Thursday evening, beginning October 11, so that together, we can develop a better understanding of this crucial document in the life of our congregation.
Last week’s forum on missing and exploited children provided a much-needed opportunity to increase our awareness and better understand the plight of children in our society. Panel members and others pointed out that time and time again when children of color go missing, there is a stark gap in media coverage, and efforts to find them are not immediate and hasty as they are when white children go missing. Many in attendance felt that law enforcement and government agencies give only lip service, but in reality do not make finding Black and brown children a priority. It was also pointed out that sex trafficking is at the heart of many of these missing children’s cases and that money may be the seed of this epidemic. People of wealth will pay handsomely to buy children as sex toys, but when they tire of the children, they often throw them back on the streets or have them killed to protect their unscrupulous behavior from any possible legal action.
Our society renders certain folk, usually the poor and infirmed, as expendable. Until the church leads the way in teaching society about the dignity of all humanity, child exploitation will continue. We thank our Social Justice Ministry for continuing to shed light on many of the vexing problems facing society in the 21st Century.
At the time of this writing, the Senate was preparing to vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s questionable seat on the Supreme Court. I, like many, doubt and question his suitability on the Court; his angry partisanship diatribe hurled against Democrats was on display for all of America to see that he will not adjudicate cases impartially. For those who claim that there is no difference between the Democrat and Republican parties, I say the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Hyper-partisanship has led us to a place where women and people of color will have to face the most horrible injustices without even having a Court that will hear their challenges fairly. The gospel songwriter was correct: “If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need Him now.”