Don’t Forget Flint!

Lead crisis: Flint braces as Michigan shuts down free bottled water sites

“My water stinks. It still burns to take a shower. There’s no way they can say it’s safe.”

by Erik Ortiz /  / Updated 

Shawn Jones, 42, right, and Tony Price, 54, distribute bottled water at a point of distribution in Flint, Michigan on Aug. 11, 2017.Terray Sylvester /The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP file

 

After Michigan’s governor announced the state will stop providing free bottled water to residents of Flint — afflicted four years ago by lead-tainted drinking water — churches and charities said Monday they’re bracing for a surge in people seeking help.

 “Normally we give out whatever a family wants,” said Bill Quarles, a deacon of the First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church. “But now we may have to limit that until more supplies come in.”

28 Days, 28 Films

28 Days, 28 Films for Black History Month

IT HAS BEEN ALMOST A YEAR since Barry Jenkins’s “Moonlight” won the Oscar for best picture. This awards season, Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” and Dee Rees’s “Mudbound” have received multiple nominations and accolades, optimistic signs that black filmmakers are receiving more opportunities in the movie industry. Soon these titles will be joined by two of the most anticipated releases of the year: Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther,” the first Marvel superhero movie from a black director, and Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” the first movie with a $100 million budget directed by a black woman.

The critical and box-office success of “Get Out” and the very existence of big-studio productions like “Black Panther” are good reasons to revisit the remarkable, complex story of black filmmaking in America. For Black History Month, we have selected 28 essential films from the 20th century pertaining to African-American experiences. These aren’t the 28 essential black-themed films, but a calendar of suggested viewing. We imposed a chronological cutoff in an effort to look back at where we were and how we got to here.

BTW: Passing Marvel stablemate Guardians Of The Galaxy on Thursday globally, Black Panther has lifted its worldwide cumulative audience to $780.3M. The breakdown through March 1 is $435.4M domestic and $344.9M at the international box office.

Back Pack needs

 

FCC Missions Ministry, in partnership with Community Partners in Action, is supporting our Back Pack program for the 3rd straight year. The program provides backpacks of toiletries for women being released from prison. Often leaving York Correctional Institution with little or nothing, these women have few resources and many needs. The Missions Ministry is asking for contributions of toiletries (or money, of course) to fill 40 backpacks for 40 women. Suggested items include:

  • deodorant
  • lotion, petroleum jelly
  • shampoo, moisturizer
  • sanitary supplies
  • hairbrush, comb, picks
  • toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss
  • soap, shower gel
  • tweezers
  • makeup: eye liner, mascara, lip gloss
  • nail clippers, emery boards
  • small mirror
  • small packs facial tissue
  • bath towel, wash cloth
  • white sweat socks

Bear’s Smokehouse Owners Raising Minimum Wage

Bear’s Smokehouse Owners Raising Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour For Most Employees

Kenneth R. Gosselin

Kenneth R. Gosselin     Contact Reporter     Property Line

Pope Francis Extends Power To Forgive Abortion To All Catholic Priests

Pope Francis Extends Power To Forgive Abortion To All Catholic Priests

Image resultPope Francis on Monday extended indefinitely to all Roman Catholic priests the power to forgive abortion, a right previously reserved for bishops or special confessors in most parts of the world. Francis, who has made a more inclusive and forgiving Roman Catholic Church a characteristic of his papacy, made the announcement in a document known as an “apostolic letter” after Sunday’s close of the Church’s “Holy Year of Mercy”. Read more here.
 

Religious Liberty vs. Nondiscrimination

Where the Public Stands on Religious Liberty vs. Nondiscrimination

Two-thirds say employers should provide birth control in insurance plans, but public is split over same-sex wedding services and use of public bathrooms by transgender people

The U.S. public expresses a clear consensus on the contentious question of whether employers who have religious objections to contraception should be required to provide it in health insurance plans for their employees. Fully two-thirds of American adults say such businesses should be required to cover birth control as part of their employees’ insurance plans, according to a new Pew Research Center survey, while just three-in-ten say businesses should be allowed to refuse to cover contraception for religious reasons.

When it comes to views about employer-provided birth control, services for same-sex weddings and use of public restrooms by transgender people, there are large differences between some religious groups.

Read more here.

I, Racist

I, Racist

What follows is the beginning of the text of a congregational reflection given by John Metta at Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ on June 28 to an all white audience. The sermon was begun with a reading of the Good Samaritan story, and a quote from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  The text continues:

You see, I don’t talk about race to White people…It was probably about 15 years ago when a conversation took place between my aunt, who is White and lives in New York State, and my sister, who is Black and lives in North Carolina. The conversation can be distilled to a single sentence, said by my Black sister: “The only difference between people in the North and people in the South is that down here, at least people are honest about being racist.”  This perfectly illustrates why I don’t talk about race with White people.  Even – or rather, especially – my own family.

To read the entire text of this interesting sermon, click here.

The 2015-2016 Youth Non-Violence Initiative

The 2015-2016 Youth Non-Violence Initiative

The 2015-16 cohort of the Youth Non-Violence program traveled to Washington, D. C. this month. Fourteen youth, who were accompanied by Pastor Camp and their chaperones, were able to make this journey. They spent two days in D.C. studying and discussing past and current war, violence and peace-making events.  The youth visited the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King memorial, the Holocaust museum, the Lincoln memorial, the U. S. Capitol, the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Smithsonian African Art Museum.

See additional photos documenting their journey in the slideshow on this page.

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On Views of Race and Inequality, Blacks and Whites Are Worlds Apart

 

 

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On Views of Race and Inequality, Blacks and Whites Are Worlds Apart

About four-in-ten blacks are doubtful that the U.S. will ever achieve racial equality

Many blacks are skeptical that the country will eventually make the changes necessary for racial equality

Almost eight years after Barack Obama’s election as the nation’s first black president –an event that engendered a sense of optimism among many Americans about the future of race relations1 – a series of flashpoints around the U.S. has exposed deep racial divides and reignited a national conversation about race. A new Pew Research Center survey finds profound differences between black and white adults in their views on racial discrimination, barriers to black progress and the prospects for change.

Read more here.  For the interactive article, click here.

Labels like “Felon” Are an Unfair Life Sentence

Labels like “Felon” Are an Unfair Life Sentence

Lately, the Obama Administration and others on the local level have come to recognize that the words used to describe those who have offended against society, the vocabulary of incarceration, matter. The way we discuss people can interfere with their ability to reintegrate into society. The demands we place on them and the identity they are assigned often prevents them from acquiring employment and housing, two strong factors in preventing recidivism. Read more here.