Sunday, February 20, 2011

Is the Black Church Dead?

Below is an edited transcript of a roundtable discussion on the future of black churches in America. Speakers include Reverend Otis Moss III, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago; Reverend Eboni K. Marshall, Abyssinian Baptist Church, New York; Josef Sorett, Columbia University; Anthea Butler, University of Pennsylvania; Eddie Glaude, Princeton University; Fredrick C. Harris, Columbia University; Obery Hendricks, Jr., Columbia University.
Josef Sorett: Fred has set us up quite well for a discussion on the life and death of the black church, and we will actually proceed in the exact reverse order of the introductions in alphabetical order, if you will. So we’ll turn to Dr. Butler followed by Dr. Glaude, Dr. Hendricks, Rev. Dr. Marshall and Rev. Moss, and we look forward to the conversation.
Beginning in a general sense, allowing each of you to take this in whatever direction you want, we presume that because we are all here, at least in some capacity black churches are living and breathing, doing different sorts of work, would ask for each of you to open up the conversation by identifying and elaborating upon just one thing that you see as a major pressing issue that black churches are currently addressing or need to do a better job of addressing, something that black churches are wrestling with in this current moment.
Read the rest here

Ministers Speak Out For and Against a School Merger - WREG

Ministers Speak Out For and Against a School Merger - WREG

Pastors pledge support for Memphis-Shelby County Schools merger

We here at G'Life support the surrendering of the city school charter. Here is a story in the Memphis Commercial Appeal that speaks of pastors who support this position. Our pastor, Dr. Andre Johnson was a part of this group.

Twenty Memphis pastors gathered Friday at an inner-city church across the street from Booker T. Washington High School to pledge their support for the "YES for Unity" campaign.
Among a cast of influential clergy asking voters to approve the March 8 schools referendum was Stacy Spencer, young pastor of one of the region's fastest-growing churches, and James Netters, a significant figure in the history of Memphis politics and faith. They were among several who framed the push to merge Memphis schools with those in the suburbs in part as a civil rights issue.
"Don't let anybody fool you and say you don't have enough information," said Netters, pastor of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church and among the first black men elected to office in Memphis when he joined the first City Council. "These elected officials who are here today have given it to you. Use it to your wisest and best advantage."
Read the rest here

The Vanishing American Religious Male

To the endangered species of our world, let us add another: the vanishing American religious male. While he's not near extinction, he's definitely PBS-special worthy. His disappearance isn't just within Judaism -- his lack of participation extends to every religion in the American landscape. And rabbis, priests, pastors, imams, demographers and sociologists are trying to understand why.
The far-reaching Pew U.S. Religious Landscape Survey indicates that women outclass men in all the most important indices for religious belief and participation: affiliation, belief in God, regular prayer, and -- most tellingly -- the reported importance of religion in their lives. It is actually quite stunning how much resistance to female religious leadership still exists in America, considering how many more women than men engage in spiritual practice.
Read more here

David Waters: Introducing new forum on faith in Memphis; be a part of it

Welcome to Faith in Memphis, a new weekly section devoted to, well, I guess that's obvious.
And for those of you reading this online, welcome also to, a new website dedicated to enlisting you in broadening and deepening our coverage of religion and its impact in the Greater Memphis area.
Yes, you.
In the Analog Age, journalism was a private club. We stood at the door with our notebooks, talking to people we thought had information you'd want and need, and then we'd decide who got inside.
Truth is, there was only so much space in the club. Notebooks and newsprint have their limits. We never had the time, space or resources to talk to enough people.
Read the rest here


A Called Centered, Mission Group Oriented, Servant Leadership Church

Our Mission as a church:
 To establish a Christ-centered church for the holistic care of the people of the world in a way that provides a people-inclusive environment conducive to praise, worship, and spiritual growth. This church will promote the uncompromised word of God in the feeding of the hungry, healing and deliverance of the sick and oppressed, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger, visiting the prison bound, educating the unlearned, and loving the unloved. We will also support other ministries and organizations sharing our mission so that communities of believers are formed and transformed by the renewing of hearts and minds to the good and acceptable will of God. 

The Urban Oasis

         Imagine a place where people can find safety and security. A place where one can find water to quench one's thirst. A place where healing and deliverance can take place. A place where the hungry can come and find a meal. A place where education and learning take place. A place where dreams can be shared and lived out. A place where gifts and abilities can be practiced and demonstrated. A place that is a sanctuary of shalom in the middle of a storm.
        Imagine a place where you can come and discuss the tough questions. Imagine a place where you can be whoever God has created you to be. Imagine a place where children can discover who they are and what they are called to be. Imagine a place where the elders of the congregation take time and sit down with the young people not to berate and belittle, but to encourage and inspire. Imagine a place where the sprit resides and the spirit has its way. Imagine an urban oasis. This is what we are striving to become and we would be glad if you came and shared this vision with us

G'Life Has Entered the Blogging World

Gifts of Life Ministries has entered the blogging world! Not only will you be able to keep up with activities and ministry operations at our church, but also read inspiring and uplifting articles. You will also get a chance to read some original writings from our membership and friends as well. We are excited with this opportunity and look forward to your comments and suggestions.