AME Church Senior Bishop John Bryant is all too familiar with threats to and attacks on historically disadvantaged Americans. He is the 106th elected consecrated bishop in a lineage of servant leaders dating back to colonial America.
By Eric Stradford, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired
AMWS, June 20, 2015, Acworth, GA -- News reporting is one modern day reality in the aftermath of an event such the murders this week in Charleston, SC. But, modern day news reporting almost always comes up short in explaining Kairos Events on a Christian’s Chronos timeline.
Youth Achievers USA Institute Chief Executive Officer Stephanie A. Walker Stradford is one “angry black woman living in America,” according to a Facebook post. But, on Father's Day, Stradford and some 2.1 billion Christian friends-n-kin must honor their Father by their love and not their anger. The former AME Church business manager and founding member of the Black Public Relations Society of Washington, DC, awakened to unthinkable horror Thursday morning, learning of a terrorist attack at the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church.
Most mainstream news outlets overlooked the fervent effectual prayers of believers and layers of mercy between the Willie Lynch experiment and Republican Vice President Dick Cheyney’s clean heart.
Likewise, few mainstream correspondents could be expected to connect the dots between the Charleston, SC attack and Main Street, USA. But, one young congressional staffer, one Sunday morning, thought it not robbery to steal away for Sunday morning worship. Young Mack Parnell worshipped among a dwindling flock of believers at historic Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Acworth, GA. The historically disadvantaged congregants did not know he worked for a republican. They embraced him as one of their own.
The Reverend Leela Brown Waller, senior pastor of historic Bethel AME Acworth, is a former Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader. To some, she might be viewed this week as one angry Black woman who is on fire for Jesus Christ. A sister in Christ, The Reverend Raushanah N. Butler received a special appeal this week to model faith-based infrastructure for #HealingAmerica. Butler’s daughter Joi is one of some 80 corporate beneficiaries endowed with YouthUSA Money-n-the-Bank. They will need to set aside their own grief and anger to help counter threats to Our Street, USA.
Among the greatest barriers to #HealingAmerica is trust or the absence of it. President Obama has been uniquely accurate in quantifying a national security threat as “a gulf of mistrust.” Mack Parnell’s boss, freshman Congressman The Honorable Barry Loudermilk, R GA, has scheduled a Main Street, USA Town Hall Meeting for June 29, 2015 which may offer angry constituents a chance to rise above their problems as one resounding voice for America’s future.
“Securing our national defense has always been one of my top priorities,” said Loudermilk . “While threats to our homeland have always existed, America now faces a new wave of threats, such as cyber-terrorism, that seek to destroy our foundational principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Following the devastating terrorist attacks on 9-11, the House Committee on Homeland Security was established to provide Congressional Oversight for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and better protect the American people against a possible terrorist attack. Loudermilk also serves as a member of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency.
If the South Carolina attack, which killed nine American citizens is discussed as a Civil Rights issue, it will likely spur political debate. The race issue or any issue within the context of Justice or Education will likely not suppress unspeakable anger boiling in the bellies of Black women since Willie Lynch first framed the conversation for a majority-minority America. However, if one U.S. Representative stood before constituents and congress to declare in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, One Nation under God, a balm might be prescribed. Of course, crucifixion is always the other possibility for the courageously outspoken Christian.
Billionaire Republican Candidate, Donald Trump is perhaps overly endowed with capital to run for president of the United States. He could demonstrate leadership by flying his fellow republican candidates to a Barry Loudermilk Main Street, USA Town Hall Meeting. Any vision by any candidate will need to be backed with provision for #HealingAmerica. This is where we acknowledge the sins in our resumes along with a shared responsibility for securing blessings of liberty and ensuring the future of America’s Homeland.
The Obama Presidency might leverage enduring success by engaging an eventual Republican and Democratic nominee as partners for #HealingAmerica. They might all share-the-ride on Air Force One and Two and listen rather than talk at the next Main Street, USA Town Hall Meeting.
The Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor, III is no stranger to Kairos Events on a Chronos Timeline. A veteran of the U.S. Army and a respected authority on ethics, Dr. Sydnor is the twentieth elected editor of The Christian Recorder, the oldest existing black periodical in America. Published by the African Methodist Episcopal Church since July 1, 1852, TCR is the only news source in the United States whose existence pre-dates the American Civil War. Sydnor and Stradford met during CONVO meetings in Philadelphia, where church leaders engaged church members and friends to exchange ideas about the church’s future.
Dr. Sydnor’s initiative to collected emails followed a report by The Reverend Dr. Raymond Bryant, St. Paul AME, San Antonio , TX, which introduced legislation for the church’s transition into the information age. Since that time, the Stradfords and Sydnors have individually and/or collaboratively reported Chronos news events from a unique Kairos perspective.
Sydnor’s Zero Dark 30 wake-up call today, produced TCR’s most recent editorial. It reads, “Like churches across America, the pastor, congregation and the members of the Bible study probably had many discussions about how to attract more people to the church and more people to Bible study. And, I suspect that they were excited about the young visitor who joined their ranks. They would not have been concerned about his color.”
The African Methodist Episcopal Church has “African” in its name, but the denomination does not discriminate against any race nor does it address race in its book of The Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
“The terror in Charleston brings us to a decision point,” said Sydnor. He remembers when churches remained unlocked and we took pride in saying “the church doors are always open.” Unfortunately, we are living in a “different world” and have been living in a different world for a number of years. Church doors have been locked for many years. And, it is not unusual for churches to have security persons present during worship services.
The irony in General Officer Sydnor’s security assessment might be compared with the timeline between the Biblical books of Malachi and Matthew. A similar threat ensued requiring a restoration of trust. The Kairos events on the Chronos timeline between 1 and 30 A.D. are recorded in the Gospels of Jesus The Christ. One enduring command for 2.1 billion followers frames “The Word” for future generations.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35. It is as much a message to polarizing politicians as it is to potential deranged killers.
In contrast to TCR’s historically significant reporting, The Huffington Post published the less passive theme, “Yes, Seriously, It's About Race.” Its author, Minister Leslie Watson Malachi is the director of African American religious affairs for People for the American Way and the People for the American Way Foundation. She is the former national policy director for the Balm In Gilead and served for nine years as the director of the Multicultural Programs Department of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Kairos Events on a Chronos Timeline