Posts Tagged ‘United Methodist Church’


With all recent concerns about the recent shootings in Louisiana, Texas and Minnesota, and countless others the issue of Trauma is an ongoing concern and subject that lingers in our daily lives. Mainly it effects our children at a young age, and believe it or not, adults can have this effect as well.

For two days, my home church in Milwaukee had hosted two days about Trauma and yes, despite the turnout under 100 that came out, many more in Milwaukee should have came out based on the subject at hand.Yes this was a church event, and many have this disdain about churches and that pastor with that money and those hypocrites. But you know what, I’ll bet many should have given it a chance just to come out anyway. This is not just about “The Church”. This is about the community and the community that harbors!

It began with this statement: What is trauma is, and why do we speak about it.

One of the things I picked up that “Trauma is not an event.” It really isn’t. Trauma is not an event that you pick up on DirecTV or Online Streaming for a Facebook Challenge. It’s not some event in the making. Trauma is a real incident. A lifelong incident  that many have endured and still will endure. Mainly, our children will the ones have to face this concern because whenever things happen, and they are around, they will experience it and it might have a general effect on them for the rest of their lives. Almost like for those that left Milwaukee because of all the shootings. And they moved to Atlanta or Texas to get away from all that. Not very so. I’ll explain that further.

ACE’s was another topic. ACE’s is a acronym for Adverse Childhood Experiences, and it is “single greatest unaddressed public health facing our nation today.” Why it is unaddressed. Why has ACE’s has NOT been talked about in the discussions before. We viewed this video by Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris and there were highlight we summarized.

 

What we learned in summary: According to Dr. Burke-Harris, she summarized that those with the disorder, the population of those that have it is around the 67% area. 4 or more is around 12.8%.  The exposure of that with ACE’s with 4 or More might develop Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD at 2 1/2 times. Hepatitis: 2 1/2 times. Depression: 4 1/2. Suicidality: 12 times.  And some of the studies that those who have been exposed to ACE’s might be exposed more to develop heart disease or cancer. Either it could be bad behavioral habits, that negatively impact heart such as smoking, substance abuse, etc.  The High Doses of adversity affects Brain Functions, MRI Scan and DNA Structures, and yes the problem is treatable. And the final lesson of that is to get everyone involved.

We also summarized that the ACE’s Study from 1998 confirmed the negative impact of the ACE’s on health behaviors and health outcomes in adulthood. 10 areas have been highlighted that was summarized of primary of White, middle-class, and highly educated individuals: Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Emotional Neglect, Physical Neglect, Mother/Stepmother Treated Violently, Household Substance Abuse, Household Mental Illness, Parental Separation or Divorce, Incarcerated Household Member. The Philadelphia Urban Ace Study had indicators that ranged the following areas:

Witnessed Violence at 40.5%, Felt Discrimination at 34.5%, Unsafe Neighborhood 27.3%, Experienced bullying 7.9% and Lived in foster care 2.5%.

Overall the day back and forth, one of the highlights had opinated views in which teachers whom are black and white see the Trauma effects on students in schools. Also some of our youth members spoke about in the schools they attend that not many social workers are in the schools. They also talked about that some students hold the problems to themselves and don’t fully acknowledge the problems that were transpired. So the basis of trauma, in the sense as I indicated is all around us.

We concluded the first day with five phases we have to know about Trauma’s self care:

  1. Physical
  2. Emotional
  3. Psychological
  4. Spiritual
  5. Social

We also must realize that Trauma, is associated with fear. This goes back to the Philadelphia ACE’s thing about Witnessing Violence, Unsafe in Neighborhoods and experienced the bullying. Does it sound familiar? Look what is going on now with all the shootings and killings of unarmed blacks. And the kids see this first hand. Again, does this sound familiar?
Day Two: The seminar continued with a male version of Trauma. My cousin, Vernon Drew a former MFD Firefighter recently present his viewpoints on hand. Why a male version? Trauma doesn’t discriminate and also this was a highlight for Men’s Health Month. He began with the statement: “There is trauma all around us. We see it everyday.”

How many times we see this? How?! We already know that.

Plus he said, that Trauma is a pure driven response.  Normally, they go up and down and they have to be identified.  We have to be aware. When Trauma happens, no matter what shape or form, we have this reaction to respond. A respond to action, a respond to identify and a respond to solve. We got to be aware at all times. Or just to “stay woke.”

He also identified four different Traumas, and I’m sure we have heard of this: Direct Trauma, Precarious Trauma, Countertraction Trauma, and PTSD. Is there a witness in the house that knows this? It should. But knowing everything else, it’s all connected. A combination of it if you will. My cousin also realized that we have to discuss it. And yes, he also said that we can run from the uses or concerns of Trauma, BUT WE CAN’T IGNORE IT! Just like any other concern of health, crime, or similar situation that we see and view every single day. There are those of us who run from doctors. We can’t ignore doctors! There are those of us who run from mental health. We can’t ignore the fact that Mental Health does exist. I know this is off topic, but there are those who run from being quiet like being introverted. Guess what: Introversion can’t be ignored. So stop apologizing for being quiet! What is one thing we can do, you ask? For a situation like this: Everybody must be trained. Even us must realize that the current system of the is broken. We must realize that in order to repair that system, we must be trained to understand and study why this happens alot. That goes for anything.

A major lesson in regarding about confronting the individuals who do wrong in all: We need to keep going. Another lesson from the discussion was that we need to talk to the children about this. The masses of the children that we know. And to plug in all of the knowledge that we know into them. I know it’s hard to do, and many of them don’t listen, but we need to make them listen! And you the parents who are asking “why is my son or daughter is like this?” Maybe you didn’t go hard enough.  Or not enough training. But seriously, WE ALL MUST be trained, alert, study, review, summarize, discuss and plan to confront the concerns of Trauma. Especially dealing with our own Children!

No one, especially those of us in the black community, must not take it for granted!

No matter if it’s your church, your business, your community organization, your homies, your girlfriends, your fraternity, your sorority or any group you pay your way, or if you just joined up like right now. I know many can run from it, or make a joke about it, but it can’t be ignored!

Let’s get to work.


Guess what?

I did this for Mother’s Day. And now, just in time before Father’s Day. Now for every father in the building have a great Father’s Day to you all. But before that happens, I’m about to scratch my head again of the most recent events. By the way, there will be no same neckties! Not in that order.😉

Father’s Day falls of Juneteenth Day this year. Who’s down going after church?

AGAIN: If all lives really matter, again what is up with the still hate of Black Citizens?

For those watching Voltron: Legendary Defender, can you catch up on the 80’s version that Gen X knows?

For the LGBT folks: would you fly this flag?

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Milwaukee: are you ready for Summerfest?

Still can’t stand the hypocrites in church huh? Do those have hypocrites in the workplaces also? Even at your owned business? Or the Hangouts? Don’t worry I’ll wait. Especially if you are on Facebook or Instagram talking comments.

Is Lebron James ready for another ring, or will Chef Curry have the final say in Game 7?

Look America: so you still can’t stand bathroom issues with the Transgender folks. My question is, when you were using the bathrooms at public places or at your JOB, haven’t you noticed that for years?

I need to ask: why many people think that the Steph Curry Under Armour White Shoes is ugly? Are we back in High School?!!! I can hear this now: Look at the white shoes! Look at the white shoes! Look at the white shoes! Lord.

 

The GOP is imploding. Good! Have they learned their lessons, yet all the mess out of Donald Trump?

CALLOUT: Why isn’t Children’s Day is acknowledged more like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day? And Children’s Day is on June 12th.

Has the United Methodist Church listened to the concerns of the demonstrations of the Black Lives Matter movement out at the General Conference in Oregon? And WILL that same influence impact on every UMC Conference, and specifically at EVERY BLACK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH?

Donald Trump is still taking it to hole. A black hole. Will you supporters actually pull out of the hole?

It’s stupid. Those that hated Muhammad Ali for years all because he didn’t join the military, or being so radical. So what? Just because those didn’t serve, doesn’t mean they don’t get a pass.

If Milwaukee just now getting to the bottom of the lead pipes, why wasn’t this discovered WAY before 2015? And you know what I’m talking about.

Black folks: We should adopt the montage “Never Forget” in regarding slavery, or concerns or anything that those might say get over it. Just like jews with the holocaust. Can we?

We know the Orlando shootings made the worst list of massacres in US History. But…..you know there been others, right? Wounded Knee, Black Wall Street? Just saying.

August 9th is coming Milwaukee. Who is really ready to vote?

Wisconsin Democrat contenders Russ Feingold and Jason Fields want their seats back. Could this happen?

Is America really that great, that can be great again? or will we be down with the HRC?

Where are the “I Love Dad” Pics on Facebook?

Will the United States finally adopt “International Men’s Day” overall?

Will BET actually Bring it for it’s Prince tribute?

Sheriff David Clarke will fully endorse Donald Trump for President. OH REALLY?!  That truth will rear it’s ugly head.

MAJOR QUESTION: They say June is Men’s Health Month. I knew this years ago with the light blue ribbons. Why is this occasion is not as popular as breast cancer awareness month?

Dang what is up with these folks still trying to get folks hooked up in the wrong places?!

Can the Single folks have a national day or month without all the marriage hassle talk? Same stuff everyday.

I like seeing all the rainbow stuff glow on buildings in honor of Pride Month. Will this be more of this every year? Not just for those whom passed on.

Can Milwaukee have real meaningful jobs like of Chicago, DC, New York, LA, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, NASA, Instagram, WWE, or Facebook?

Again, no offense but why is Mother’s Day is slightly higher than Father’s Day?

Will the workplaces and the churches finally accept introverts? As well as more Seasoned Vets who can still be available to work and do more techie stuff over 40 years old like the Millennials?

Is Milwaukee ready to go through another missing element of African World Festival, AGAIN? You really can’t have a “City of Festivals” without black folks!

Midtown and Northridge haven’t been the same as usual in Milwaukee. What is it gonna take besides talking?!

I know it’s past, but can the sports universe remind Ayesha Curry that when Golden State beat OKC in the playoffs was considered “Rigged?”

We know the Milwaukee Streetcar is coming. AGAIN. But why there are those in the Black Community still think it would not benefit them? I need ask, are those IN the black community willing to work on the Streetcar project and later ride it in 2021 in Bronzeville? (Without complaining)

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Everybody is still tripping about this “Father’s Day for Single Mothers”. Are we in the black community that sensitive about a darn greeting card from 2011? If I recall, I blogged about this 5 years ago. Go back and read it.fathers-day-card-for-mothers

Or is it we knew someone that was or is in that category?

The first time I heard “Happy Father’s Day to the Mother’s” was around 1996. And it was in church and there was no complaints. So look, we know that Father’s Day is for the Fathers. The Grandfathers, Uncles, Male Mentors, Single Dads, Male Cousins who are Fathers, Foster Dads, Godfathers, and anyone that looks out like a Father (yes this includes single mothers), Community Fathers, etc.

If you are single black man WITHOUT kids, does that make you a father?

 

Other than that, enjoy your day Fathers.


This probably might not set well with those of my demonination. But this will get an attention: The demonination of the United Methodist Church. Right now in Portland Oregon, there is the General Conference taking place and in this conference, like many will see monthly will talk about the decisions made to see where the direction of the UMC might go in terms of variety of topics, concerns, groups, or many other aspects. The actual defininton is as follows courtesy of the United Methodist Church:

The highest legislative body in The United Methodist Church. The voting membership consists of an equal number of clergy and lay delegates elected by the annual conferences. General Conference convenes every quadrennium (four years) to determine the denomination’s future direction. It is the only body that can speak officially for the denomination.

This we know mostly.

But this is not what I’m talking about.

The main concern of all of this, is what happened in the pause of the moment concerning this demonstration:

Yes, what you are looking at is a protest and demonstration of the actions of Black Lives Matter. Yes, the movement has now reached the door of the United Methodist Church. And I have to say, with all what’s going on with use of some of black UMC churches with some elements of the LGBTQI folks in the mix of concern, this is another conversation that the church MUST ADDRESS! We need to wake up!

Now there are those either in The United Methodist Church and outside of the Church are on the side of “Oh look the UMC Members got those BLM Gangsters in there conference. Very hypocritical. ALL LIVES MATTER!”

REALLY?!

I need to tell you so-called “All Lives Matter” vocal fans that when you mention that in a sense, don’t you dare EVER say or think that notion. Obviously, you really don’t know what ALL LIVES MATTER means yourselves. You probably might bust out all the “I got Black Friends” speeches, and again spar up the ol’ MLK Speeches about color and charcter. I’m going to bust heads open: Clearly many of you saying this or implying this and it doesn’t matter if you are UMC or not, you are part of the problem! Yeah I said it! And for far too long, black folks’ voices and concerns have been NOT heard, or spoken to address the situations of what is really taking place! Racism, Sexism, targeting those whom are innocent and Black, effects of Slavery,  the new Jim Crow, and those whom are refusing service due to being black. Think about it! And it happens in 2016. And a long time.

And don’t bust the comments of “black on black crime”please. It’s not here for it. Not once here also, there weren’t any commentaries of “white on white” crime. Which does happen by the way!

Here in Wisconsin for example, there are “alleged angles” that Black Churches in UMC were and are under attack  about subjects or concerns that were hitting the fan! Even also if the chrurch’s pastors who have served A LONG TIME, got the boot to make way for those whom are younger and appeal to the current era of worshipers.And sometimes it might take a black D.S. to do the dirty work. Even taking out mininsters who have all the credentials and acculades, and black and sometimes disabled are being shut down to be lay leaders. There are only a few BLACK United Methodist Churches in Milwaukee know about this too well similarly. One black pastor was ousted forcefully on inappropiate purpose due to the fact the church previously served, was in declining numbers per say and is now out of the UMC doing his own church. Other ministers probaly felt the shifts and left. And on a side note, I have a connection to these churches because again, I grew up United Methodist and one of the UMC Churches I go to has been in business since 1949 in Milwaukee. And at times, I hate to say that there was many times that the Wisconsin Conference (with all due respect on the nice things accomplished) has NOT had the back of these Black UMC’s! I believe it’s time from the TOP ON DOWN that the Bishops and many other districts NEED TO HEAR the concerns about the Black United Methodist Churches that is ongoing and hidden to talk at the table. And not to be left out of the talk period. The last bishop, whom was black, LISTENED to us Wisconsin UMC black folks of our concerns. Period.

And I say this unapologetically, as a 4th Generation Member of the UMC.

This mix of Black Lives Matter and the General Conference of the UMC appears to the haters like oil and water. But when those say “All Lives Matter” is nothing more than a mere smoke screen with White Supremacy. That’s right I said it! On the pic, there was a sign that read All #BlackLivesMatter, and below: it listed the items: Bisexual, transgender, poor, heterosexual, lesbian, gay, disabled, women, men, young, and children. Well, I have to say again, this might not sit well with the rest of the denominaton, but the talk of the concerns in our Black UMC Churches and Black UMC things  MUST BE ADDRESSED MORE! Just like the others.

I know we got the BMCR. And for many many years the BMCR has addressed the black concerns in and outside of the church. But I think NOW the BMCR and the high authority of the UMC must address the issues of Black Lives Matter as well as any other Black concerns that the high leadership of the UMC MUST LISTEN!

We are all suppose to eat, sleep, breathe, drink, pray, worship, spread the good news, and fellowship as God’s Children, right? We know we do. But many of us need to be reminded of that. And even though that many do follow that notion, some of us I hate to say need the “Come to Jesus meeting”. Even if you say “All Lives Matter!” in a sarcastic, anti-conscious and threating manner. But you know the All Lives Matter, MATTERS to God. Just my opinion.

For those that lead the fight or this new fight in the UMC, I say as a black man that is a member of the UMC, out of Wisconsin, 4th generation in all: that is what the fleek I’m talking about! My childhood Pastor said in a sermon, “Speak truth to power, and power must listen!”  Don’t hold back nothing but the butt naked truth! Let them know!

Mad respect to those who lead that protest. Mad respect to the Black Pastors and Associates that did this! I’m assuming that the spark from that Black Lives Matter demonsration will be the new fire that many United Methodist Churches of Color must pass along!

Enough with the sitting quietly and listen. But even silence, will spark also new voices to commence.

Like the pastor said at the end of the protest, “this is our church as much as it is their church.”

As it should be.

Can they get an Amen?

Read more about the protest here via the Reconciling Ministries Network and the United Methodist Church News.

 

 

 


For this exclusive, I’m going to highlight just the recent incidents that happened in Milwaukee. For the last couple of days, the city has had issues concnering Carjackings or young boys stealing cars like it’s out of Grand Theft Auto. And usually it’s those that is unwatchable. Plus, I’ll address a deep commentary of my own in dealding with the issues of homosexuality with a concern that dealt and currently deals with a “leading African-American Community Leader” and a “victim” that was recently victimized at guess what: 16 years old. Hold on your hats!

Part I: Milwaukee – These carjacking acts and car stealing MUST STOP NOW!

We have seen these carjacking acts in which we are getting tired of. All those whom have these 13 year olds, these 16 years who are doing this mess MUST STEP UP! Nevermind if you have to work 2 jobs. Go out and get your children off these streets and into the house! The main reason why this is going on is the fact that many are scared to step up to the kids and say don’t you dare! Who’s going to step up and ACTUALLY do this? Like I said they are treating this like it’s a game. This is no game! You are dealing with real lives with this. The reason why it hits home with me because one of my relatives was involved with stealing cars way back. And the thing is, he did his time in jail, got out. And then, went back and did the same mess again and now in jail for the second time around! This is not a joke! Milwaukee, it’s time that we need to step up and tell those who are doing this, that it MUST END NOW! What is really happening here? These parents who don’t raise these kids don’t know squat themselves. YES I WENT THERE! You ask why, why are these kids whom do the Carjacking and Auto Theft stuff? Who is influencing them to do this? Is it the other boys? And it’s not just boys. Girls are doing this too? Who’s is influceing them?!! We need to come out of the gate and monitor those whom do this. On Social Media, one of the DJ’s from V-100 Reggie Brown put out a reminder and a warning about the acts that the young folks might be on when stuff like this happens with carjackings:
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Oh, just a reminder. Wisconsin is a Open Carry State.

We all know that the city got the bad rap of being Segregated, Poor, and Human Trafficking. And the worst place to live for blacks, but when you have YOUR OWN FOLKS per say on the same race color per say as you, and being young and dumb, it’s clearly that the city has it’s work to cut out. We know what it always has been, but what is it about Milwaukee that we WANT TO SEE. As I write this, this weekend is Milwaukee’s 170th Anniversary as a founding of the city. Yes, I know. But what will  be the EXTRA WILL that will carry Milwaukee to explore for the next milestone? Come on folks. No matter what you believe, pray to, honor, or party to, generate the thoughts and SAVE THIS CITY! Starting with those whom are YOUNG! And those who WANT TO STAY and THRIVE! START THIS NOW!

 

Part II – It’s time to talk and really talk about Homophobic Stuff.

In the last two days, my ears have been in tuned on 860 WNOV. In which it always has for the last 3 and half years. However, there was a major shock of concern that happened in the black community that was so disturbing that I won’t repeat here. But I can say that the act of this news coming out that had many of the listeners in complete shock and disgrace. What was a disgrace? Having a leading African-American Community member having sexual relations with a 16 year old. YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT! This news of this matter had reached fever pitches of disgust, confusion and anger. And for the last couple of days, these came out of the voices of the callers, as published and reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

One female caller blamed the victim and claimed that because the person is trans-gendered, the person is more promiscuous. She went on to say that she feels that the child is the one who did the luring of the “adult” and that. if that’s the case, the adult should not be charged.

And here’s another statement: black folks. ENOUGH! It’s time that we need to address this topic. We need to stop deny of this misconceptions. It’s time to stop the barriers of religion in which some will use it to a disadvantage. It’s time to get inside of the minds of those thinking it’s false. LOOK AROUND YOU! It is around and it’s here! And people, enough about the skeptics of Gay Bombs and foods that found that might get you gay. Enough of the talk of Gay Bibles! You wanna get real with this topic that many of us have our heads stuck in the sand, it’s time to start getting real and real darn fast! And stop being afraid. ENOUGH!

She said if a child already has been sexually active then that child knows what he or she is doing.

HOLD THE DARN PHONE!

I gotta say this. At times and this mostly the truth, when it comes to sex or being engaged Sexually, in my opinion, the teens don’t know how to handle that. They really don’t! Let’s be real, they think they know, but don’t know squat! But in regarding this teen and this leading African-American Community Member, this is a deal that is so out of bounds. I do hope that if this person is revealed as the person being as is, kiss all those accolades GOODBYE! Yep, the career stuff will go down the drain and most likely will INDEED SERVE jail time. If anyone knows about serving time in jail and having the accolades stripped, ask the most recent guy that the Milwaukee Black Community knows: Mike McGee Jr. Yes, he’s out and doing his community activism duties. However, this story is not about him. More on that later.

The talk also continued on The Forum Today, in which the issue of religion and church has been featured. One caller called in about drums, sanctuaries and no panties on. No joke. I’m like really? We got church members in the game that do that? What church that is?! After hearing that portion that sounded like a mouthful, I immediately turned to the United Methodist Church and it talked about the issues of the rule of Safe Sanctuaries. I want all the Milwaukee Black Churches in the city to ask this question. No matter if you’re Methodist, Baptist, Community, Non-Denominational, Lutheran, or whatever: Does your congregation(s) have a rule of Safe Sanctuaries? If not, it’s best to start up one right now! Courtesy of the United Methodist Church’s website, here is the rundown of the Safe Sanctuaries rules:

How to Begin Developing and Updating a Safe Sanctuaries® Policy

The process of developing a Safe Sanctuaries® Policy in your congregation is not complicated. These 10 steps will guide you in reducing the risk of abuse and protecting children and youth in your congregation.

Step 1 – Find out if your congregation has Safe Sanctuaries® Policies and Guidelines in place, when it was last updated, and when leaders, teachers, and staff last attended training. If a policy does not exist, make every effort to implement the following steps as swiftly as possible.

Step 2 – Talk with the senior pastor, congregational leaders, teachers, parents, guardians, grandparents, and others who are concerned about the importance of keeping children and youth safe. As a group, discuss the existing policy or the process for creating Safe Sanctuaries® Policies and Guidelines. Meet as a group with the Church Council. Resources in Steps 3-6 will be helpful in this process.

Step 3 – Contact your Annual Conference Safe Sanctuaries® Coordinator or the Discipleship Ministries staff to obtain a copy of the policy and training adopted by your Annual Conference. If you are unsure of your church’s Annual Conference, use the UMC Annual Conference Finder or ask your senior pastor.

Step 4 – Use the Discipleship Ministries Self-Evaluation Tool to assess your congregation’s policy and guidelines needs for the prevention of abuse in your congregation’s ministry with children and youth. This tool helps identify the areas that require attention.

Step 5 – Gather current resources necessary for planning and maintaining policies that protect children, youth, and the adults who serve them. Keep these in a place for church leaders and teachers to easily reference.
Safe Sanctuaries®: Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church for Children and Youth and Safe Sanctuaries® for Children and Youth DVD: Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church were developed through Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church. The book includes: Information on recruiting, screening, and hiring workers with children and youth, Guidelines for developing policies and procedures, Training models, Suggestions for congregational response to allegations of abuse, Sample forms and guides. Also view the recorded webinar Safe Sanctuaries – The Basics.

Step 6 – Recommend that your pastoral staff read Safe Sanctuaries® for Ministers: Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church to gain a better understanding of the ministerial role in keeping children and youth safe in church and at church activities. This resource is written specifically for those serving as pastors in local church settings.

Step 7 – Write or update Safe Sanctuaries® Policies and Guidelines for your congregation, making sure to address the unique risks in your congregational setting. Your Annual Conference is vital to developing these policies. Acquaint everyone in the congregation with the policy and guidelines, and its contents. View sample policies and guidelines for congregations of all sizes.

Step 8 – Know your legal responsibility. In many states, clergy members and those involved in the care of children and youth are considered “mandated reporters,” meaning they have specific obligation to report suspected child abuse. Updated information on these mandates in your particular state can be found at Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Step 9 – Contact your local hospital, police department, social service agency or public health department for names of people in your area qualified to speak with teachers, leaders, parents, and church staff on local resources and procedures for responding to potential abuse.

Step 10 – In all you do, remember that as part of his public ministry, Jesus committed the then-radical act of welcoming children. Our commitment to reducing the risk of abuse in the church for children and youth is one way that we live out Jesus’ act of love.

Again this is the rule only applies to the United Methodist Church. BUT, if I were any of you non-demonitional or other denominational churches out there, IMPLEMENT a Safe Sanctuary Policy Rule to make sure that your church congregations, and vistors know that the worship services are safe for every man, woman and mostly children! It should be a vibrant time in the building without any harm or concern. Now what I have displayed here as an alert, I did not hear that on the Black Milwaukee Radio Connections. NONE! Neither from the callers or anyone. Mostly it was bashing. Not really much that the church should have safeguards for all. Why is that? If I was on the radio today, I would HIGHLY RECOMMNEND about the use of Safe Sanctuaries period. Forget about the MONEY, and where does the MONEY goes after church. But know this, the actions of the safety of children or teens, or sensitive grown folks that want to worship without any harm or concern should be a TOP PRIORITY of all. No matter who comes into the church!  Even if the person is homophobic but has a heart of mininstry that wants to serve! Even my childhood pastor said this and I’m saying it here!

 

And I think the montage of #BlackLivesMatter won’t come here. But the life of this 16 year old needs to be brought to life and ask does this teen’s life matter?

Gotta keep it 100, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 


I want to direct my attention to the readers here on the “spot” one question. How many African-American males (or black men in general) ever have been or are feeling “broken?”

Seriously ponder this question.

I don’t want the black female queens to chime in on this commentary, but feel free to view it if you want. Maybe your boyfriend, husband, neighbor, church member (yes I’m putting the church members in this!) co-worker, boss, leader, pastor, business owner, or any other significant other, or acquaintance that is a black male going through this. Or had gone though it. Actually I want you to do this to ask them this question:Have you ever been “broken?”

The reason why I’m putting this out, is because this is part of an on-going struggle of Black Men in America. We see the signs of despair, memorable past references that were deemed violent, destructive, manipulated, set up, mismanagement – either financially, mentality or spiritually. Plus, racism in all fronts, drugs and alcohol use, and many other barriers that lingers African-American Males in this era.

Today, there was a workshop meeting about this at the Greater Mt. Sinai COGIC Church in Milwaukee. Two speakers, were represented as the featured guests. My current UMC pastor was the first to talk about the Biblical references about Brokenness or the act of being broken. From the first part of the workshop it was highlighted as this:

Adam was broken because he avoided responsibility and blamed others. He chose to hide rather than confront, and made excuses rather than admitting the truth. And the greatest reason for his brokenness was when he teamed up with Eve to bring sin into the world. (Genesis 3:1-19)

Cain was broken because when disappointed, he reacted in anger, and he always took the negative option even when a positive possibility was offered; and his violent nature caused him to be the first murderer. (Genesis 4:1-17)

Esau was broken because when faced with important decisions, he tended to choose according to the immediate need rather than the long-range effect; and the poor Marriage choices. (Genesis 25th – 36th chaps).

Samson was an example of brokenness because he violated his vow to God, and on many occasions disobeyed God’s laws. He was broken because he was controlled by sensuality and sexual desires. He constantly confided in the wrong people, and used his God given gifts and abilities unwisely. (Judges the 13th thru 16th Chps.)

Saul was a example of brokenness because he was impulsive by nature and tended to over step his bounds. He let jealousy of David dictate his life and he constantly disobeyed God! (1st Samuel 9th through the 31st Chps).

Judas Iscariot was the ultimate example of brokenness and total humiliation and unnecessary suffering because he let greed, selfishness, avarice, money and ambition causes him to suffer and commit suicide, rather than seeking forgiveness from God! (Matt 26:1-15 and Luke 22:3-6)

Now: you’re probably wondering what does that have to do with being “broken?” It was referenced before in bibical times during of those mentioned being manipulated by greed, lust, envy, deceit, anger, blaming others, and many more. How many of us know someone that does this everyday? Or even if it was in the past? Think about it.

Another part of the lesson came this:

Definition of the keyword “Broken”

Broken is the past participle of break; reduced to fragments; fractured; nonfunctioning properly; out of working order. To become inoperative or to malfunction as though wear or damage; to begin suddenly or violently or change abruptly into something else!

Or to yield, or submit to pressure, torture, or to have a physical or mental collapse; or to lose control of.

 About those examples, here they are again: 

“Root Causes of Brokenness”

  1. Poverty
  2. Racism
  3. Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  4. Unemployment
  5. Violence and Gangs
  6. Fear of Failure and rejection
  7. Negative Peer Pressures
  8. Being constantly exposed to shame and humiliating situations.
  9. Negative and unproductive relationships with women.
  10. Self-depreciation because of low self-worth and self – regard.
  11. Lack of a real and faithful relationship with God and Jesus Christ.
  12. Financial Management.
  13. Parental Rejection (abuse, harsh, criticisms, constant humiliation, abandonment, etc.)
  14. Demon Possession.
  15. Shame
  16. Failure to dedicate ones to complete life to God through Jesus Christ.
  17. Failure to realize that Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has and never will (Frederick Douglass).

Some of these things I highlighted already in the beginning, but here was an additional insight of why it is. Based on this list, even though it’s probably vague for some, but for many – this is an ongoing constant battle every single time. There were some examples from the list that were highlighted based on Parental Rejection. That involves abuse, being humiliated, feeling abandonment and other factors. Many of you who are Black Men, probably had those whoopings as a child growing up and your mother per say had to comment in reference “You’re just like your daddy!” Or someone had you do something that was on the daring side of an act against your will (i.e. allowing to be molested by a male or female or molest a female), another could be financial concerns – again that could be devastating towards any male. Blaming God is factor of brokenness, but it’s not a viable factor in ties with having those demons if you will. Even having that whole relationship to God and the teachings of Jesus Christ. I know some don’t really believe in God or Jesus, but there are those who feel that it is a true viable parable to reference.

Another highlight: A hip hop reference – Snoop Dogg once said: “There’s nobody out there teaching a man how to be a man. There’s nobody out there teaching a father how to be a real father, and there’s nobody out there teaching a husband how to be a husband.” Yes, you probably are saying why would your Pastor would reference Snoop Dogg in this? Snoop ain’t Broken! But what if he was? Mainly the lyrics, or quotes could translate to see yes there aren’t many men, fathers, and husbands can’t teach others to be real men, real fathers, or better yet, real husbands. Now we’ve been told to be good productive citizens. Like having a good suit real nice, wear a tie, act like what the other folks are doing, use proper language (ala yes maam and yes sir), and stay out of trouble per say. All of that is fine. But that does NOT dictate of being a real Male of the Black race! That’s like for you non-African Americans (who just happen to stumble on this blog just recently, but thanks for reading) were telling us about being Americans in all. And saying if an issue pops up, you comment “Don’t say that! Let’s go to a Packers game or watch the WWE Wrestling match at the BC”. Ummm……..even though we want to see Aaron Rodgers or John Cena, that is NOT going to make you a real man! I’ll give them credit for working hard and having an upbringing. Not knocking the hustle.

Continuing with the conversation:

The second to last part of the workshop came from Pastor James Boyd, who ministers at “The Lord’s Way International” in the city. He also is featured on a radio segment called “Coming Out With Pastor James Boyd” every Friday locally. His part of the segment was more in depth of being broken! What I mean in depth, I mean in depth! He had two men and others who were up and coming pastors in part of workshop that sometimes being broken can lead to healing. Two of the men he had to give advice were Homosexuals (yes they were Gay) and he wanted to let them know about letting go of the pain of the past examples to make room for the now and future. In terms to letting go what others thought and letting them know that the Almighty cares and is willing to make a way for the better. Now many of you probably asking this question: “Why the God references again?!! I don’t believe in God or what does that have to do with Broken Men whom are Black?” In the words of my former UMC pastor, I’m so glad you asked that question. That is the question I am prepared to answer! Many of the things we’re going through right now in terms of actions of we face, were also a reflection of what the biblical folks went through almost the same thing. And even though they didn’t have skyway pagers or cell phones or Facebook or Twitter, but the actions of being broken in all, is the same thing! Many don’t want to believe it now, but probably in the next lifetime, or towards the next lifetime when no one is around that is watching or looking, or taking care of you in the nursing home being sick or nursing back to health per say: Guess what? Minds or thoughts will be changed.

There were several references that came out of the discussion – One, Pastor Boyd talked about being “Publicly Successful”, and “Privately Failing”. Many of us can relate. When we are in the public and doing things well no matter what it is, we are seemed successful. And sometimes behind closed doors, we call fail privately in our actions and examples. Think about it. When was the last time (Note to the Black Males again) has this happened to you?

He also commented that everything we’re going through (no matter what it is) is study time. You guys are probably studying this blog for a future bible lesson right now and don’t even know it. Or how to strengthen an Alumni Group, or finding that new good paying career financially even more stronger than before! And to finalize, what is ever in you, gets caught in the current. I want to paraphrase, whatever is caught in you spiritually or inspirationally will be in the current. Flowing in the current like a river, lake or wind. For us folks who like nature or being wrapped up in nature, this to me ties into that. When feelings of hurt or misguidance, or faith stricken attitudes arises that happens, it will get caught and morely (again in spiritual sense of prayer) will be flowed out. Ever had someone to say, and I’m not the only one who had this comment to say: I’ll pray for you. Or may I pray for you? Ever had that? Now many again might ask, even some young black brothers might comment and ask, “What are they praying for? Who are they praying too?  or is it scripted for me to see it?” I have to comment that prayers at times CAN’T be scripted! They can’t! It comes from within not without. Every December 5th, I say the Lord’s Prayer on my birthday and thanking the Almighty for another year living to see another day of birth! Part of that, is not scripted. It’s already scripted since 1976. It was scripted through my family, and those who saw me since day one! And you will not see this on Facebook or anywhere else. Why? It’s unscripted from print. And it’s memorized by heart.

The mixture of black men today were some Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Straight, Gay, Married, Single, United Methodist, COGIC, Baptist etc. Even though we were different denominations, categories of status, members or visitors, it didn’t matter. What mattered was we all had several commonalities of stories and related commonalities of the subject of being broken. And also coming to grips to the ideas to face and solve the ideas of healing of the brokenness. Even I had issues of being broken. You all read about me being discriminated for jobs based on me being black, having being attacked mentally by well known Milwaukee non profits and temp services in relation with my previous education of distance learning with UW-Stout. I’m putting this here! Even also I forgot to mention: yes there were many times I used my gifts and talents in the church, and some felt like I betrayed them with a Church Men’s Day artwork. So yes Black Brothers, I’ve been “broken” in the Church, and I didn’t leave. I stayed not only to confront the problems but also finding new ways to rise above it. And making sure it does not happen to anyone else going in. Many  of us black men doing the judging in the Church, we need to watch it! This goes for black women too! Now black women we know you’ve got the upper hand in all the church departments and offices. But EVEN YOU have to understand that sometimes the actions of brokenness can flow to you also. No matter what it is. And yes, I know you’re peeping my blog in all to see what’s up.

So let this be a lesson, actually a line struck from the movie Batman Forever. The scene took place in the movie after Dick Grayson lost his family in the circus act. And Alfred looked at his helmet and asked him, “Is this a Robin?” and later commented that “Broken wings mend in time. One day Robin will fly again. I promise.”  And he said “Robin will fly again.” Not just the bird, but your new purpose and objectives. Plus an outlook of redemption!

Black men: I’m saying this now. Our wings seem broken for now. Our whole brokenness maybe exposed. Our actions of brokenness in various ways, maybe on the Injury list of what happened. BUT know this: it can be fixed for the better! It doesn’t matter who you are, and/or your current situation may not be “perfect” (and by the way, nobody’s perfect I don’t care what your status is), all broken wings can be mended. Even through grace!


Attention Church folks:

I have an announcement that you should know: the issue of Domestic Violence is out in the world, and we need to talk about it. And assemble about it. Last year on this blog of mine, I talked about Love Is – Healthy Relationships. And it was about the related topics and events about DV from a female and male objectives. Plus also I brought up a relative of mine, Antonia Vann of Asha Family Services who back in the 1980’s was a victim of domestic violence that lived to tell her story. And on that Sunday there were two speakers even a male representative about the concerns of the issue. Remember that? It’s on here.  Plus also, the United Methodist Church’s Women and Men Organizations a couple of years ago formed a unique historic partnership in discussing the dangers.

This year: it was Love Is – Part 2. The continued discussion about the concern. During the two day event, there were four guests that talked more into the topic. First, Erin Perkins of the City of Milwaukee was the first to speak.She gave an overview of the topics of domestic violence in which many do recognize. Ranging from examples of regarding age, sex, demographics, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and many other areas of the spectrum. She also identified the behaviors of Physical, Emotional, Sexual, Financial, Spiritual abuse by using one’s religious beliefs against another and Identity Abuse based on the control of demean or manipulate one’s character in the arguments. And the part of the victims that don’t escape or leave their partners are due to the following examples:

  • Fear of physical harm, retaliation, dealing with the legal system, or changing their situation
  • Love for their significant other
  • Lack of resources (housing, money, accessible programs)
  • Isolation from supportive friends and family members
  • Familial pressure
  • Normalization of violence in the relationship
  • A sense of guilt or responsibility for the abuse
  • A desire to help their abuser
  • Potential public shaming or humiliation
  • Optimism that things will change
  • Religious belief and values

These examples and many other are a ongoing effect of the use of domestic violence and in terms that many still struggle today. Plus also it’s also a reminder that these issues are still have to be discussed in various manners of concern.

The second speaker, Dolly Grimes-Johnson whom I know through family, was the next guest speaker for the event. She works for the Sojouner Family Peace Center here in Milwaukee, and her perspectives was very thought out. Some of the highlights she pointed out were explanatory of Domestic Violence in terms of Exercising caution – as in the signs, feelings, not changing habits or thinking, denial, etc. Abuse in terms of this can be both ways. Not just one way. Even Secrets or hidden agendas can factor into conflicts. And as far as the church is concerned, especially the church with Children, they need to hear the concerns too. Mainly with the Pastors, Members and others effected by Domestic Violence. And the reason why the church is in this because they have to recognize the concerns. Maybe some in the church can relate, or have gone through the examples listed. And when it concerns children and teens (mainly today) that have experienced that in their parents  houses or families, it’s a moral issue to tackle and also needs to be on deck.  And also when that arises, Dolly made a suggestion to developing safety plans, call family members, pastoral support and places to go when necessary.

 

The Final Speaker of the first day was from the Alma Center here in Milwaukee. This time, is coming from a male angle. James Mosley was the featured speaker and he opened up with a presentation with this video. This clip entails more about the effects of Domestic Violence.

I know what you’re thinking. What kind of video was this? This might be a cartoonish type presentation, but it does present a powerful message. Especially about when men are told that they are not to cry or show emotion. They are supposed to be tough, have sex with girls and many others. What I also learned after the video: the latter discussion of the manbox. Let me ask this question: Does any reader, any male of any race, or anyone in general knows what a manbox is? Has anyone heard or seen a manbox in various examples? Seriously, has anyone experienced manbox effects growing up? Has anyone in the female areas has talked about the manbox?

The reason why I’m bringing this up, is because it’s part of the reality that lingers with this issue. The manbox described in the video is like this sheltered rules that has been handed down. That is like a trait. And that trait is a deadly drug waiting to be taken or forcefully taken by those who just need to have it. In the Manbox, I learned several examples of why this is. All about the male not supposed to be like sissies, or pansies if you will. They are not supposed to cry or should that sensitive side per say. The Manbox tells the man to be tough, fight back, be the breadwinner. Not supposed to backdown. Not be a B.A.N. If you don’t know what that means it’s like a B-word A-word and the infamous N-Word. Including having power and control over females. And like I said it’s usually it’s a handed down trait. Why do I say this? You might have heard stories like, my daddy was like that, or I had uncles, grandfathers who were once like that. Or older cousins, etc were like the same thing. That also can contribute to the effects of Domestic Violence.

Men, we have to be real about this. This is a call out no matter who you are.

Plus also what I have learned that sometimes you have to fight back. I know I’m not the only one that has been in fights. For the first time in years, I had to highlight my news from elementary school to about the 9th grade. There were times growing up in Milwaukee, I’ve been a target of those who were bulling me. Yes, I was bullied. I was one of the students that was picked on not only by males but also by females. Now for the females the advice I got from my mother was the best way to fight back against them was to sit on them. Real talk males! Females, word of warning. But when it came to the males, was different. In elementary school to about middle school I was picked on as usual. And when word got out though my family about this I had to take self-defense classes with my late uncle, Robert Burton. After learning about the use of self-defense from the punches and kicks something was born in me of standing up for myself. Defending myself. All of that was just building up. And I was 11 years old. When middle school came there were folks that had to pester me. I fought back. Literally. When High School came, this was a different scene, but when I was a freshman at Marshall High School (again in Milwaukee) there were alot of food fights. Keep in mind this was December 1991 and I just turned 15 at the time. There was a time I was a subject of a food fight victim. The person kept bring it up in a English classroom and at the last miniute, I punched the guy in the back and we fought. I was suspended from the school for about two days. And everyone was talking about, who won? Who won? Nobody won. What I learned also, even when folks were “ribbing on you” sometimes you have to fight back. You can have all the contract student treaties signed all you want to. But the fact of the matter is, when you are provoked, sometimes you have to fight back! That person who made the “ribbing comment” back in high school was wrong. Even the peacekeeper who had to made me and the other student signed the treaty had to realize that also. But when my mother spoke to the Vice Principal at the time, she knew at a point in the conflict that I was provoked in that situation. And my mother is a former Milwaukee Public Schools teacher who dealt with the examples in her tenure. So yes, Mama knows! Even my father knows also. Simple there was time he had to get the advice from my late grandmother that if he didn’t fight back in school, my grandmother was going to come up to the school and beat him instead of him coming home and crying alot. True story. Ask any baby boomer that knows. Even my Vietnam Veteran Pastor said the same thing.

Lot of you reading this had to be like, WOW!!!!!!!! And some of you had to be like really?!!!! You got bullied and got suspended from Marshall? I mean good dudes like you shouldn’t be suspended from that.” That don’t mean nothing. It don’t. Was I pissed about it? Pardon my french: Hell yes! Keep in mind this was 1991.

But what does that have to do with Domestic Violence or this “Manbox”. For the Manbox portion, this was a prime example of fighting back. Taking charge. Either he rules over you, or you strike back. And no I didn’t use no guns. The only weapon I used was my self-defense. And if anyone thinks that words or ribbing if you will don’t make you fight back. Guess what, sometimes they do. For many who don’t feel that way, check the mirror. Especially in this day of Social Medias and junk. Has anyone made a rattlesnake mad? Or a provoke a dog to fight or bite you? Or poking  a bear? If those animals (no matter how deadly they can be), they can strike back. And the reason why, is because you made the move to bother them!

So for all you who feel it’s no big deal, think about it. Matter of fact, ponder on it. I know I’m not advocating violence here. Or making those feel put down. But this was my experience. And many of you probably had gone through the same thing.

Finally, on Sunday the guest Speaker Pastor Valerie Hill of Faith Church Milwaukee gave a sermon about Love Is and her perspectives. Her sermon reminds us that even though there are concerns, of violence even domestic violence, the use of Love still lingers. Her message also says that there are times that God wants us to do more with our neighbors, families and friends. She also said, in regarding the use of Love in various examples,  “We must be resilient.” and “We must be God Fearing.” – Now when she said God Fearing, we have to be mindful that God can take away gifts! Take way things and talent we hold dear. And it’s like saying that if you use the gifts that the Lord brings you, it’s gone the next. You can love God all you want, but fear should not be taken slightly. That’s part of the fear. Other examples of the use the word Love in her sermon, “If I love you, then I will work with you until God says otherwise.” So in meaning if God put me with a person to work with, per say I’ll work with that person until the Almighty says so. Nothing more. And one of the lasting thing she commented: “We the church are challenged today. And whoever shows up, shows out!” – Yes, spotters: The church is now being challenged today. It’s being challenged in lessons, community, people, believers, and also non-believers. I comment alot previously about those who like to post commentary pics of those who like to stop religion or believe  that church is fake, Christ wasn’t a real person, or the Hypocrites have taken over. Its’ all over the place. It’s all phony! All sheeple talk.

The folks can protest all they want. But will that protest last on their death beds or hospital tables? Or asking for help when those have been abandoned? We better learn today Inspirational Faith and non-Faith folks!

Overall, we as a church are being challenged to do more. The church should step up and step out as not just a once a week thing, but an everything common cause. I get it. I say this as a 4th Generation Church Member of the UMC.  Even to advocate the concerns of Domestic Violence and Healthy Relationships. So yes, folks. I will say that the church knows what’s up. We see the joys and the concerns. Some of us will show up and out to assist which is not a bother. But the message we’ll take about this matter will indeed continue.

For further clarification: Check out the City of Milwaukee Health Department on Domestic Violence, The Sojouner Family Peace Center, and the Alma Center for more info about the related topics of Domestic Violence.

Plus also: The United Methodist Men and Women have forged a partnership years ago about this topic and I think ALL United Methodists should be engaging in this manner. Even if you are not United Methodist but still be in the conversation. No matter what church or religious, or community advocate group you’re part of.

 

 

 

 

 


Folks: Don’t be alarmed.

Usually I don’t write stuff about church that much, really because I belong to a church family. And yes, I’m a 4th Generation UMC Member. But however after listening and reading conversations about why church folks don’t do enough, or those like to make a mockery of the inspirational giving, it’s apparently that yes, being a church goer believing in God the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit fully can be a huge battle. It’s a battle that raged on for centuries, generations, eras, and changing times. It’s even a battle today, even on Social Media. Now, I don’t mean to get picked on, or talked about, it’s really nothing but hate of understanding. Yes, there are those who mock the church things. Those who have to display on their platforms about what the church should be doing than not doing. I get it. There are those who probably went to church earlier in life and got all confused with some snarly wisdom that those who feel that it was hypocritical. I will admit, church folks (no matter what denomination or faith) can be some what hypocritical at times. BUT some can be forgiving and reminders of what the positive can be if given a chance. And by the way, folks outside of church can be hypocritical anywhere. You might have hypocritical co workers or bosses. Or neighbors, friends and family. Some say it’s all fake. It’s not real. Jesus Christ was just a figment of an imagination. Or the story of Christmas with the Christmas tree was copied from a tree wrapped around with a snake. – Um, SO! Where the reference? When folks actually get these “sources” no matter where they are from, usually it’s not the actuate truth. They probably just got it from someone without any true reference. Where’s the bibliography, the sources of footnotes? UM Hello those like to post things like that on Facebook! And Instagram. You say its the truth, well…..where’s the truth? That’s like saying, “hey son: I want to show you this picture of a real Christmas tree. You know how it got started?” “Where did it come from?” the son asked. “Oh, the Internet. This such and such website”. Many folks need to review how things got referenced. I’m just saying.

Now fast forward, and this is an old story. You may have heard this on the radio, or online about “these church folks who go to church on Sundays need to come out and knock on some doors to help the community!” You know as strange as that sounds, it’s agreeable. HOWEVER: I need to address this to the black community, and I don’t care if you are in Milwaukee, here is something that I know: many of you or some of you don’t want church folks around period. Oh, I just ruffled some feathers. Let’s face it. How many of you reading this blog had ever had a church member or a church group tried to help you out in some way, and you turned away a said no – in this case in a mean manner of disrespect? And some of you USED to go to church, or claimed to be a non-going person that was talked among your friends who thought were telling the truth. Think about it. You probably got friends right now thinking this. You probably got family members believing this. Or maybe you got those that you went to school, college, the Military, Fraternity, Sorority, neighbor, boss, co-worker that probably said the exact same thing! And some probably got you on their list on Facebook or Instagram. Or any other social media platform.

Yeah you “hear all this” from your friends in all, or from a radio station that mentioned it, and you tend to believe them. For me, I think I feel sorry for them. Just like when per say, you grew up this and that and have this hatred against a certain denomination. And you remember going to the services and then out to eat and go home. Is that ALL you’ve done?

Here’s my question, I want the current former folks of the church to ask this: When you were going Pentecostal, Methodist (either United Methodist, AME or Pan African Methodist), Baptist, or any other group living and breathing, what activities, or ideas did you bring up while you were there? What were you supposed to look for but didn’t ask further for help? What was some of the things that you wanted but never had accomplished? And also, did any of those things you tried to do changed? I’m not calling you out as bad folks. The bible says judge not. But what I am asking is what have YOU tried to do differently when you were under the membership? Personally I want to know that one. With me, y’all know I’m a 4th Generation UMC Church member right? Said it so many times. My late Great-Grandmother and Grandmother on my mother’s side were charter members. My mother is 3rd Generation. And my church didn’t start in no building. It started in the homes in Black Milwaukee. But during my UMC upbringing, I was in the choir, Sunday School, Conformation class, acted upon as an usher, showcased my gift on the saxophone (still do), and now doing work as a Communications Chairperson in recording sermons, taking pics, got my first job as a summer worker and currently working as Secretary. And keeping with the Facebook users, and Twitter Followers. Overall, I have given 18 years of my church time thus far on Sundays doing these things. In other words, I have worked my way up.

Now many of you are saying, “Oh that’s good. BUT what about outside of the church? Like feedings in all? WHAT ABOUT THE HUNGRY FOLKS? AND THOSE WHO NEED CLOTHES FOR FREE? AND SHELTER? AND PROGRAMS? HMM…….Where are those at? And are they still in tact? I don’t see them here, Godboy.”

In my extended resume, I have helped out in Food givings, prepared clothes for those who needed them to keep warm or the preparation of it. I have participated in watch meetings and block parties. Helped organized special events that are community based in dealing with Domestic Violence Prevention.  – In speaking of that, from a UMC perspective, did you know that BOTH the United Methodist Women and United Methodist Men several years ago held a joint partnership in discussing the dangers of Domestic Violence? And also participated in Scholarship Walks to raise money for college students. In which was the same program that helped me to get assisted funds for my college textbooks and supplies. And my church is a member of the organization that is named after Dr. King that is still doing it. Plus also my church does have blood pressure screenings at least once a month after church for those who want to keep up with their health. Even currently honoring Veterans for their service in uniform.

Any other questions folks?

Oh, let’s not forget the activities that are “church influenced” that I am doing, like helping out my High School Alumni Association Board of Directors. Last year, I was selected as Treasurer for Alumni group in which was another first. I am the first 1990’s African-American Male High School Alumnus from my old high school to be selected and serve at this level. Plus I devoted my time at my old high school to go support the current students in sports and events! I even donated to my old high school. Also, I go to my alumni events of College/University and I have donated to the Alumni Association/College Foundation group in support of the current college students for their future scholarships or a new idea to keep the school programs intact! Even becoming an advocate for higher learning! And just to add more fuel to the fire of the haters – I am a City Election Inspector in registering new voters, reactivating old voters, and working the polls on selected Election Day events. And I’ve been doing this since 2006. Even helped out during the Obama Campaign of 2012.

AND GUESS WHAT? Those items I listed above, where do you think I got this influence from? Guess where? One place: the church.

So I have to say that yes many might joke up, display dirty, or call out many things against the church. You know what, let them hate all they want. Let them get this off their chest (if they have a chest period), let them front with words of warning on Social Media. Let them do all they want. Frankly: I DON’T CARE if they boo me at a Wrestling match. Or cheer for me at a class reunion. I DON’T CARE!!!!! I’m still going to remain the game until the race is over! Oh yeah they might front in all. But what happens when all the fun fronting from them is over? What might happen when all of that is dead and done? What happens when that battle is long gone and the church is still standing up in the end?

Let me say it now to be clear, I am not here to make anyone believe anything that I believe. I am not here to make those who go on my twitter timeline each Sunday and view all the excerpts from the sermons I hear. If those want to follow me on twitter each Sunday: @smcclintonjr. And/or look for the hashtags of #rethinkchurch #umc #Milwaukee #Wisconsin. If those don’t want to, they don’t need my approval. Just scroll on. Why the #rethinkchurch hashtag? This is what the UMC is trying to do. Rethink Church. Rethink the ministry. Rethink the use of the church in a new way to get involved in the folks outside looking in. Rethink the attitudes or mindset of those that haven’t been tried or failed to reach. Rethink the objectives and rethink the conclusion to have a new understanding of this message to the masses. Plus this Rethink Church thing should not be a catchphrase. It should be a way of life for everyone in the church each day to try new ways to minister inspirational life. The old ways aren’t working out.  It’s time to find THE NEW for THE BETTER. And when that happens, hopefully salvation can be renewed or reformed.

As an example for those who want to view my tweets on Sundays: “We are conquerors! We want to be of the world.”


I’ve been saving this for days. Even months, and even years. And I’m going in on those who really feel that the church is all about money. Let me tell those that partially, it’s not. The majority of those who stay home, and I’m not attacking everyone feels that the churches in the country, or the north side of Milwaukee, is all about the cashflow. The moolah. The greenbacks. Or in this case: Money.

I HAVE A QUESTION: IS YOUR COMPANY ABOUT MONEY?!!!!

Is that what these folks think? I was on my Facebook news feeds earlier in the month in which Milwaukee and the rest of the Midwest was under the deep freeze. Or the real Polar Vortex. All in all, I kept reading over and over again about Churches should be open during the deep freeze. However the person kept going on and on, and having the notion about “Oh, you churches are all about MONEY and don’t care about the homeless!” What?!! Who thinks that at a time like this? Money. For the record, there were churches reported that the doors, and the American Red Cross were opened up.

For the record, my Wisconsin UMC Denomination did something that was swiftly: they sent out email messages out to the community churches in the state ahead of time, making sure that EVERY United Methodist Church Congregation in Wisconsin was aware about being prepped for the cold. Even getting tips from the State Of Wisconsin Department of Health.  Plus also, the message in the Email had also included that the churches should also open the doors for the needy during the cold weather that took place. Now, my home church wasn’t open. Also we don’t have a church building currently of our own. If the call came in, I would have referred to my sister churches in Milwaukee for availability. Not my Sister’s Church. My SISTER CHURCHES. Now for those who want to know, what is a sister church? Think of it as another Church that has in working partnership with your home church.

Several years ago, my current pastor gave a sermon in which I had to get some quotes from the speech of Mustardology and the importance of Offering. Oh yes, SOME OF US CHURCH FOLKS GET IT! And it’s a good thing that I do tweet in the pews every Sunday:

  • “Are we here for money or for souls?”
  • “The church just doesn’t need money. It needs inkind.”
  • “It should be never a method in raising money to pay the bills.”
  • “All churches need money to operate.”

Can I get a witness here?

Look at that last line bullet: All CHURCHES need money to operate. And also the second line  – The Church just doesn’t need money. It needs inkind. – Hey all of you so called activists, you anti church going folks who always had to rant about money. All of you who feel that staying home on Sundays is a needy thing: Don’t mean to judge but, cut us Church folks some slack for once! Is your company about money? I say that because I think the “majority” of the non-church goers who criticize those who go, they might be in your circle who are or once your neighbors, friends, family members (yep I said Family Members who used to go) classmates, or some up and coming activists, per say. Not all churches are not about the all mighty dollar. Not all churches are about using money for evil deeds. Not all churches are about money over congregation, or staff, or community. And certainly NOT ALL CHURCHES are like the movie The Undershepered. Anyone seen that movie on TVOne? If not, go to your Walmarts, Best Buys or where ever you do your money spending on Videos.  Speaking of Family Members: I was reading my hometown news article, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and in the article it was a article about getting men back into church. When I was reading the comments (mostly the ones that wanted me to vomit) I read comments like, “oh, I had drilled in me, and my family made me go”. Some stuff like that. Well – If you were living in your mama’s house or parents house, or grandparents house and if you were a child: YOU HAD TO GO! IT WAS THEIR RULES! GOD, what is so hard about that? DUH!!!!

Mainly speaking of money, I know where my money goes. And I made sure that it helps the future projects of the building, scholarships, grants, inkind donations, and get this free will offerings! HELLO! All important needs for the Church! Even to get deductions for my Taxes! Can I get an AMEN?! I’ll show a document to prove it. Keep this in mind: We church folks, at the end of the day are in the struggle as you are. We go to work, school, travel, raise families, enjoy the single life, get our club on, ride motorcycles, conversate virtually, enjoy football, and many other things that the non-going church folks do. Even serving in Fraternities and Sororities and many other groups that you also like to appreciate. Since the month of January is here: Kappa Alpha Psi, Zeta Phi Beta, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Phi Beta Sigma. – You all better have a good founder’s day month and the struggle continues. I will agree that yes, NO CHURCH should not be under any domes. No church should not be greedy or selfish. No church member should not look down on those who don’t have credentials. No church should not turn away those who are in need of jobs, health, or a place to go for the youth, and homeless! AND NO CHURCH should not be criticized from those who feel it’s all about MONEY!

Every company, business, organization and even those who are in the self business is about the cashflow! Don’t front. I’m just saying! Now if the folks like to line up around the store for Air Jordans, or a new TV, or a new Iphone. Or that movie that is a must see like 12 Years of Slave(which is good) , what about donating your tithes? Just like to see LL Cool J, or Jay Z. Or that actress on your favorite show. Uh-huh! What about that?!!

 

 

 

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I’m going to shift gears for a bit. I want to talk about Domestic Violence. Yes, I’m a African-American male, and yes I want discuss why this happens, and why aren’t there enough discussions about it. This past weekend, my home church hosted a two day event called “Love Is – Healthy Relationships” in Milwaukee. In which also had a subject discussion about Domestic Violence. Now don’t be surprised that my commentary of Domestic Violence centers around Women. But guess what, even Men can be victims of Domestic Violence as well. More on that later.

The first day of the event, was a Healthy Relationships Workshop. The CEO and Founder of Asha Family Services, Antonia Vann led a discussion about the multi-uses of Domestic Violence. By the way, Antonia is a blood relative of mine, just a FYI. In the discussion she first laid out four important issues:

1) Domestic Violence is a Crime!

2) Domestic Violence is one of the most COMPLEX issue on the planet;

3) DV is no respecter of persons! – it doesn’t matter if you are black, white, latino, straight, LGBT, poor, rich, or struggling in the Middle Class. It effects everyone!

4) There is help available!  – The US Department of Justice reports that women and girls comprise the largest group of victims at 87%, with males comprising the largest group of perpetrators whether the victim is female or male.

In the workshop, what I have also realized that it’s not only about patterns of abusive behaviors, it’s really about two things: POWER and CONTROL!

Where does it come from? How does it happen? It usually starts with learned behaviors through family origins. Such as, when a young male commits a DV Crime, and the question of others ask where does he get this attitude from? It’s usually starts with a parent like a father, or an uncle, or a grandparent. Another could be through observation, the culture, reinforcement, community and many other elements. Health issues like stress, genetics, illness, or relationship issues can also contribute to Domestic Violence. According to the State of Wisconsin, Domestic Violence is defined as this: “The international infliction of or threat to inflict physical pain, physical injury, illness, impairment of physical condition, sexual contact or sexual intercourse without consent.”

And the three main factors from abusers: Physical, Emotional and Sexual.

Physical:  in sense of using weapons, bear hugging, Slapping, biting, Rape and making threats of killing you or a loved one.

Emotional: Forces you to sit in his presence. (or to paraphrase) or her presence. , Mindgames, Attacking verbally, calls or texts you repeatably all day, Insults your values, beliefs, religion, race, heritage or class, refuses to socialize with you and your family and friends, refuses to pay the bills or having their loved one or partner to pay the bills in a demanding fashion, tantrums like throwing things, drop papers or clothing. Plus manipulation.

Sexual: Rape, angrily jealous, gets angry if the partner or loved one in the relationship doesn’t want to have sex when he (or she) wants it, call you names like whore, b*tch, extorting unwanted sexual acts, insists of unwanting touching, and having multiple affairs.

Now many are asking what does this all mean? Many of you probably reading this, thinks it’s all smoke. Guess what, when there’s smoke there’s fire. Antonia herself was a victim of Domestic Violence back the 80’s when I was in Elementary School. No joke. Her presentation was not just for all show and tell. It was really about educating ourselves that is becoming an awakening. Many that showed up was kind of low. Some might said it was depressing. But that depressing thing can be a warning to look out for.

Now what about the rest of the weekend? My church had two guests of Dr. Pamela J. Lucas who was a AM Speaker from Alverno College. Her message about “Love Is” was in sync with the uses of being loved by yourself, and by others. She expressed that Love is not selfish, not full of pride, does not think evil, and most of all the word Agape was mentioned in which it ‘s a different kind of love, and it’s kind. Plus also during the afternoon service, the men had a representative of Shawn Muhammad, a devout Muslim, (yes he is a Muslim) but his message about Domestic Violence was on a intellectual level. He also expressed that the church should be attractive to young people, the mothers are the first nurses, teachers and queens, and most of all, examining God to use the oppressed to create something new. He also lectured that you don’t have to go outside of your circle just to get help from others who might not know the knowledge of helping Milwaukee. But those in Milwaukee, should be able to express answers.

Now why I should I say, that church folks should start talking Domestic Violence? It’s a community issue. No, it’s a humanity concern. It’s both a local and national concern. Many of you reading this blog probably knew someone that was abused domestically in a relationship. Even in the church! Black Churches especially! I also want to comment that the this is should be one of the top priorities with dealing with this issue. Just don’t throw it in the trash. Just a couple of years ago, the United Methodist Women and the United Methodist Men Groups forged a historic coalition in advocating Domestic Violence. It stated back in 2006 according to the council of bishops:

We proclaim…that violence against women exists in all communities, including our
own, and is morally, spiritually and universally intolerable.
We commit ourselves to working toward
the day when all women will be safe and abuse
will be no more.
Yes, even though that the partnership is a few years old, but it’s really a wakeup call for those who want to get mobilized. So if you know someone who is going through the storm of this issue, tell them don’t wait another couple of years. Tell them to report it NOW! No matter who you are. I did say earlier that even though Women are centered with Domestic Violence, but also Men who are in Same-Sex relationships could be targets as well. So Domestic Violence can swing both ways like a double edged sword. And the one thing in common in both these similarities, Men are usually the aggressor in this angle.
Finally, the story of this should not be ignored nor pushed aside. It is a humanity concern that needs to be addressed and addressed THOROUGHLY! Just like with AIDS, Health Concerns of Cancer, Diabetes, MS, and other sort of human concerns.
For more information about Domestic Violence in the Milwaukee/Wisconsin Areas there are many resources available:
Community Information Line: 211
Faith Institute – A website that all faiths can get information in regarding Religion and Domestic Violence. Plus another website, enditnow.org

I’ve been saving this for quite sometime now. Today, I will be sharing a common thing that is going on in churches and also via social media. Tweeting in church. Oh yeah, I’m going there. But before I do this, I want to let those who might be offended or extremely sensitive about this: It’s not. And no it’s not going to get you into hell nor dance with the devil. Allow me to explain.

As most of you know based on my past blogs, I am apart of the United Methodist Church. I’m actually a 4th Generation member of my church in Milwaukee. A couple of years back, I started to tweet messages from my church’s sermons in which I feel is a common thing among the 21st Century churches. Plus the United Methodist Church has a moniker of Rethinking Church  in terms of being thinking outside of the box. That’s like going to the Motown Museum and seeing the actual studio office that Berry Gordy had one question after 9:00am, What’s next? By the way it’s a good site to go to while visiting Detroit.

But back to the lecture at hand: Why do I tweet in Church? Now alot of you Ministers or you Lay Leaders, or an Old School Usher that always has the finger up. Or maybe being dressed up in a nurses outfit. I see them in the Baptist churches. Or if you’re Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, or another person of faith that may not like this, but it’s a way to be on the cusp on communication. This is what the young kids are doing now. Mostly. Technically, I’ve been tweeting in the pews for the last few years. And I have to say that it has been a good thought of expressing Sermon quotes from the pulpit. Another reason is, that let’s say that you or someone you know may have missed that church service, and wondered about what the pastor said in that sermon. If you can’t remember that title of that sermon, usually I put up a Quote followed by the words: Sermon in Church now. And I do the hashtags for catching on either with or without the connection of twitter. Let me give you an example:

“Facing The Darkness” – Sermon in Church now.

As far as the hashtags: #rethinkchurch #unitedmethodistchurch (or #umc) #milwaukee #wisconsin; usually I add an occasion like these hashtags like  #lent2013 #advent #easter #mensday #womensday #ashwednesday and others I think it’s vital. It’s good thing in which ONE can do while doing and listening to a sermon in church. Again, I know that most or some may not feel that Twittering is a good thing. Believe me, I got the folks like “oh you’re facebooking in church. You better pay attention.” You can connect your tweets to your facebook wall. Now this was one of my friends since elementary school that blurt this out. What I’m doing in church with Twitter (sometimes with Texting more on that later)  is nothing more being relevant! That is what John Wesley wants UMC’s like me to do! John Wesley for those who are non-christian or non-United Methodist was the founder of Methodism, which many years later transcended to the now known United Methodist Church. Heck, even my Wisconsin Conference UMC thinks this is a good idea, Why? Because I told them based on their Rethink Church Communications Workshops that I attended in 2011. Technically it’s a “Legal Eagle”.

Now I’m going deep here. And I want to address this who like to follow me on Twitter every Sunday: whenever I type in a tweet message from my church pew or church special service, DONT EVER JUMP THE GUN! The reason why I’m saying this, because  I had a person back in September who didn’t know me on Twitter, commented to me on my twitter feeds. The topic I typed in was known as “What is the Church?” – a simple question right? However this came up in which I thought I would never happen. Usually I don’t put those on blast, but I want to call out this person  who put me on blast last fall:

This was the convesation that took place via Twitter mind you:

  1.  ‏@smcclintonjr “What is the church? It supposed to be love, faith, forgiveness.” Sermon quote. #umc #milwaukee #wisconsin #rethinkchurch
  2.  @halehawk  @smcclintonjr I thought it was supposed to be the Body of Christ. #big #difference
  3. @smcclintonjr @halehawk: That can be true. Which it is. But my pastor today talked about it in general terms. He was just saying in general.

    @halehawk @smcclintonjr Jesus is generally taboo in our culture. “Relevant” sermons tend to forget Him too.

     ‏@smcclintonjr @halehawk; Well let me just say this. No sermon should not forget about Jesus. What my pastor said today overall was not forget about(cont)@smcclintonjr @halehawk his teachings and love. As I listened to the sermon today (entire sermon not bits and pieces) his viewpoint to me was (cont’d)@smcclintonjr @halehawk just as equal as having that mindset. I think at times we need to clearly examine what they have to say and how it (cont’d) @smcclintonjr @halehawk (con’td) effects our daily christian lives. Just my two cents.
    Yes, this was the conversation. But I also provided with this comment via Twitter and Facebook:
    Tweetjack: It seems that my tweets from the pews every Sunday is good to many but recently raising eyebrows to some. I write these (cont’d) in order to help spread good news from my church’s sermons every Sunday. Why? its not because of technology, but also to enlighten (cont’d)someone or somewhere. So with that, I’m going to keep tweeting from the pews. However, in order to understand a sermon or speech (cont’d) You have to read or hear EVERY WORD! Not bits, or pieces. Know the 5w’s and articulate them in YOUR christian life, everyday! (cont’d) And also use that to be relevant in the church as well as outside of the church. I’m just saying as a church going, tweeting person.(cont’d) So either to agree or disagree, fine. Just my two cents. TweetJack: (con’td) But I’m glad that the lines of my church’s sermon is reaching out that may need to hear inspirations. #realtalk
    Real talk. We today in the world hear bits and pieces when it comes to sermons. But if I were a person who want hear EVERY WORD, I come into the church sanctuary and hear the entire sermon, say what the pastor has to say, and THEN I can make my own commentary statement. Unlike “@hallehawk” from last September, she didn’t do that. I know her real name which I will disclose, but her twitter name is not. If you know this person, in Florida. Tell her this: Come to Wisconsin.  Come to Milwaukee. Have a sit down talk with the Pastor about why he said what he said and get it over with. And tell her also, what I do with these tweets is not for fun. I don’t get paid for it, nor have an endorsement for it. I do it out of my leisure to those who WANT TO HEAR AND SEE good news from the pews via Twitter.  Whether you are United Methodist Church related or not. If that was so important to her, why not ask for a transcript or a recording? I’m just saying. And for those who feel I’m doing a bad thing by calling her out, let me say this, folks called me out on social media, which at times I fired back. I’m not a minister. No, I don’t hold no papal degrees, or Ministry of Divinity. If the United Methodist Church were to have a Twitter Social Media Ministry in which I could GET PAID Every Sunday per tweet, as a career choice, you darn right I would be paid up the ying/yang. And while were on the subject: I think the United Methodist Church members who do use Twitter, for communications or everyday work, should get compensated. Put that in your UMC Conferences, Annual Conferences, or any other conference that you feel should be beneficial. I’m just saying. And if you are a UMC Member, tweet it up! Or in this case, write letters to your District Superintendents, Bishops and etc. I’m just saying! And part of that can come from Apportionment. We know how we UMC’s do it. Just saying. Hey: Rethink Church! And plus since those in the church who are WAY OLDER THAN ME want to talk about how can the church get more YOUTH and YOUNG Folks into the church, maybe you have to include this.
    According to the standards in which I learned from the 2011 Rethink Church Workshop, which was hosted by The United Methodist Communications:
    • 1.7 Billions are online  – new mission of getting the church online.
    • 75% of Adults are online
    •64% use the internet for faith related reasons
    –Online has become a campfire around which people gather to tell their stories, meet people, and form relationships – all about connections – for resources.
    I had to put this out. Really. And hopefully lessons can be learned from this without judgment. Don’t judge my path if you have walked my journey! And goes for those who feel Tweeting, Texting, Facebooking, Googling, Binging, TweetDecking, and other forms of Social Media is a bad thing by sitting in the pews, and if you are a pastor, lay person or a person of faith that thinks it’s a bad thing or a distraction: Remember this from my pastor, not to call you out but just remember: “Jesus faced darkness. He was successful.” Sermon quote. And to add: Don’t hate the player, hate the game! That needs NO scriptural references! Many might be asking questions.  I know this. But hey, just real about it. And plus since those like to say, why can’t they all that stuff outside of the church? Well guess what. This Twitter thing I do, is a first step!