MIAMI, April 12, 2020 (360WiSE MEDiA) — “As Pastors, we need to take the health of our community seriously, particularly our most vulnerable to this virus,” says Reverend Tracy Mooney, Pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church and Afresh @ Asbury.
“Do you believe churchgoers are using common knowledge or blind faith congregating in the church today amidst this COVID-19 death trap?,” asked Robert Alexander President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) of South Florida.
“While Christians believe that worshipping together is a necessary part of our spiritual growth, to physically come together at this time would be disastrous, especially for those of our congregation who are most likely to be adversely affected,” said Reverend Tracy Mooney who is also Co-Chair of the Evangelism and Outreach Committee of the Peninsula – Delaware Conference.
“It is imperative that churches create new opportunities for worship and reaching out to all those who are searching for a spiritual connection. We need to live what we preach, which is, the church is not a building but a group of people who believe in the power of God to transform lives,” said Reverend Tracy Mooney.
“If you value your loved ones, please take it seriously” was the headline from Pastor Tyrran A. Smith (Pastor of Arise at Peninsula McCabe United Methodist Church in Wilmington), as he describes the shock of losing his mother Denise Bradshaw on Thursday, just as she was on the tail end of a battle with the novel coronavirus.
That’s why Pastor Smith and his sister Ta’Tra are speaking out about their experience watching their mother fight COVID-19, because they couldn’t do it in person. Ta’Tra said, “When you are admitted to the hospital for COVID-19, you’re admitted alone.”
“My mom lived with me, and it was tough to not be able to see her here physically in the home, and then I couldn’t go be with her. I can’t touch her or see her. Thank goodness she had her cell phone so we could FaceTime with her day-by-day. That’s the hardest part, you’re helpless. Your loved one is going through so much, and they need your touch, and your encouragement, and your love, and we could only provide that through a screen.” — As reported by Sean Greene of WDEL
When I, Robert Alexander, President of the South Florida Southern Christian Leadership Conference, SCLC, contacted the Rev. Joseph Archie III and asked if the church would survive this coronavirus, I pointed out that Pope Francis would be making history today when he delivers his 2020 Easter blessings inside the cavernous St. Peter’s Basilica standing alone at the altar, and when it comes to social distancing I reference to Pope Francis in an interview last week with The Tablet, an online Catholic weekly. The Pope was quoted saying, “We are sticking to the measures ordered by the health authorities… Everyone works in his office or from his room, using technology”… So my question to the Rev. Joseph Archie III was, “What exactly is the current state of church as we know it here in the USA?”
“The Church has endured through 2000 plus years of persecution, strife, plagues, and other disasters, both natural and human-caused,” said Rev. Joseph Archie III, who is the current Wilmington District Superintendent Peninsula-Delaware Conference of The United Methodist Church. “In this time of COVID-19, we must care for one another by being physically distant, while still using every means available to reach and show love and care, especially to the most vulnerable among us. We are praying for perseverance, courage, patience, and wisdom as we live through these difficult times together. We trust that our loving God will bring healing to us as communities, nations and the beloved world community. As we celebrate the Lord Jesus’ resurrection this weekend, we take heart in knowing that we serve a God who has overcome death, hell, and the grave. Christ is risen indeed! Stay safe, keep others safe, and keep hope alive for a future together that will be better than our present.”
“We have lots of decisions to be made in this new world, the flood has come and we are now one global community, like it or not,” said Robert Alexander President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference ( SCLC ) of South Florida.
While speaking with my elder, the Great Reverend Lester Justice, he is quick to point out that, “it seems like that good ole boy named ‘systemic racism,’ continues to raise its ugly head due to lack of health care, economics, and limited employment opportunities.” “We must not omit the fact that pre-existing health conditions are major factors among the African American communities. Some of those conditions include but are not limited to high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease to name a few. Often times some have to decide whether to pay the rent or purchase their medication,” said Reverend Lester justice, the president and director of strengthening the black church in the Congress of the United Methodist Church.
|Rev Tyrran A Smith|
|Pastor Arise @ Peninsula McCabe|
|Co-Director of Russell Delegation|
|Rev Tracy Mooney|
|Lead Pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church|
|Afresh @ Asbury and eChurch|
|Co-Chair of the eTeam – Evangelism and Outreach Team Peninsula Delaware Conference of the United Methodist Church|
|Rev Joseph Archie III|
|Wilmington District Superintendent Peninsula Delaware Conference of the United Methodist Church|
|Executive Director of Methodist Action Program (MAP)|
|Rev Lester Justice|
|Director of Strengthening the Black Church Peninsula Delaware Conference of the United Methodist Church|
The very beginnings of the SCLC can be traced back to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The Montgomery Bus Boycott began on December 5, 1955, after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on the bus. The boycott lasted for 381 days and ended on December 21, 1956, with the desegregation of the Montgomery bus system.
The boycott was carried out by the newly established Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). Martin Luther King, Jr. served as President and Ralph David Abernathy served as Program Director. It was one of history’s most dramatic and massive nonviolent protests, stunning the nation and the world. The boycott was also a signal to Black America to begin a new phase of the long struggle, a phase that came to be known as the modern civil rights movement.
They issued a document declaring that civil rights are essential to democracy, that segregation must end, and that all Black people should reject segregation absolutely and nonviolently.
Further organizing was done at a meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 14, 1957. The organization shortened its name to Southern Leadership Conference, established an Executive Board of Directors, and elected officers, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as President, Dr. Ralph David Abernathy as Financial Secretary-Treasurer, Rev. C. K. Steele of Tallahassee, Florida as Vice President, Rev. T. J. Jemison of Baton Rouge, Louisiana as Secretary, and Attorney I. M. Augustine of New Orleans, Louisiana as General Counsel.
At its first convention in Montgomery in August 1957, the Southern Leadership Conference adopted the current name, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Basic decisions made by the founders at these early meeting included the adoption of nonviolent mass action as the cornerstone of strategy, the affiliation of local community organizations with SCLC across the South, and a determination to make the SCLC movement open to all, worldwide regardless of race, religion, or background.
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South Florida Miami Southern Christian Leadership (SCLC)