Woke Church

24 06 2020

Woke Church by Rev Dr. Eric Mason gives us on-time helpful communication.

There are specific points in his book that I have not found elsewhere. My recommendation is that Americans who call themselves “Christian” read this and prayerfully consider the implications, regardless of if they think could ever be “woke” or ever be part of a “church”. The following are a few of my thoughts in agreement and summaries to help us.

We all have problems in this world. In every challenge, we face there are opportunities for us to find a life of peace and fulfillment. This should include an awareness of who God is and what God is doing. It should also include a deeper awareness of the nature of the pain and suffering experienced by our neighbors.

The Good News of Jesus offers us grace and calls us to love God and care for our neighbors in the same way we take care of ourselves. God is alive, aware, able, and active. So we should be aware of the contrast between our broken world and the implications of God’s truth, willing to acknowledge where we are today, accountable for it and active in solutions.

The Good News of Jesus includes a living God who is at work, “making right what is wrong in the world”. “More than half of the books in the Old Testament speak of (‘righteous’) justice as an attribute of God and a responsibility of His people.” This is linked to God’s desire that all people experience His peace as a “universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight”.

Jesus has changed my life. As I take the next steps in following Jesus I have found this to be true: “As incarnational missionaries, our mission flows from the mission of the gospel of practicing peace. As the church, we are called to be peace practitioners”. I am “supposed to be opening up my life so God can give me common ground with people who are not like me”.

The love of Jesus motivates me to walk away from selfishness toward compassion for others. This should include learning about the life challenges of my neighbors. In this way, I have learned about the brokenness other people are experiencing. Some may be similar to my own. Some of their pain may be unique from my own. The love of Jesus motivates me (should motivate anyone who calls themselves a Christian) to learn about their pain so that I can best be a part of the solution.

This should include lament (entering into the experience of brokenness and being honest about it). “When the realities of a fallen world hit us, we need room to worship the Lord in honest expressions of unedited grief.” Rev Dr. Mason and Soong-Chan Rah have done helpful work that all current American Christians should read on this subject. Here Eric Mason gives us specific points to consider worthy of lament. They include the facts (among others) that the “Black Church Had to Be Created, Evangelicals’ Dismissal of the Black Church, That Justice Is Not Seen as a Primary Doctrine, and That the Church Didn’t Create and Lead the Black Lives Matter Movement”. What timely communication for us to consider!

“When Christians spend time arguing about what’s going on in the public square and not engaging it, we miss redemptive opportunities.” Here we read specific suggestions relevant to each of us.

Further, Rev Dr. Mason’s call for “prophetic preaching” and how he defines it are a right-on-time must-read for young Jesus-followers yearning for something better and for mature believers who now have an opportunity to speak! It “is the act of the covenant community of Jesus boldly calling all people through the gospel and Word of God back to what it looks like to reflect God’s intention for all things.” It “reflects God’s heart,” with the “big picture” and carries “street-level impact”. We should be “biblically soaked and culturally informed”. We must be “centered on Jesus, clear on the issues, providing visionary hope, and offer clear statements of action”.

Our world can be better. We must think beyond our personal limitations, considering what positive change may be possible as we work together, following God’s guidance, and take action in God’s grace and peace. This should include specific “big picture” church training, activities, and partnerships. All of this should be done with a clear picture, “seeing through the lens of the end”. “We need to have a biblical worldview on all that is happening today, with an eye always on our glorious future.”





June 19 update

19 06 2020
This weekend Baltimore City enters Phase 2 of return to public interaction. Our Safe Facility Team and I would like to communicate with you, with this video.
Please remember that we are making available Life Group every Thursday night. Our weekly Sunday services are available on our Facebook page and on YouTube. Each message can also be found on our website.

Thank you for interacting with us,

Ben Malmin, Pastor

City Harbor Church




Juneteenth

18 06 2020

You may be aware that June 19th is called Juneteenth, in an effort to honor the end of slavery. This is the 155th anniversary of when the last enslaved people were released from their bondage in Texas after the Civil War ended.  

 
Please understand that Baltimore City has canceled many events through August out of concern over coronavirus. If you are choosing to go out to public events, wearing a face mask, and taking all caution:
 
Tomorrow, June 19th, from noon to 3 pm at the intersection of Pennsylvania and North Ave. there will be an outdoor “UpLift Bmore” rally with music, speakers, and “uplifting” signs. Starting at 3:15 pm there will be a guided tour, starting at Avenue Bakery 2229 Pennsylvania Ave, walking through “Baltimore’s Black Arts District”.
 
 
Online Zoom spiritual event:  
“A Lament for Racial Injustice” is one way to respond– with grief, tears, and prayers.

We will offer this virtual service from the Corhaven Graveyard, a burial place for enslaved African American’s in Virginia, on Friday, June 19 from 3-4pm.

This event is part of #Lament2020, an initiative of the Repentance Project.

We will hear reflections from a variety of voices; we will offer silence for prayers and reflection; and throughout, we will show scenes from the Graveyard to remind us of how its legacy remains present with us. We invite you to pray with us and lament with us the racial injustice of our country, in hopes that God will hear our cries and move our country toward the racial justice that is inherent to God’s kingdom and that we all desire.

REGISTER HERE https://inthecoracle.z2systems.com/np/clients/inthecoracle/eventRegistration.jsp?event=175

It is FREE. If you register you will receive this zoom link:

Zoom meeting link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88396781508?pwd=Vy9TbStSN25CeWZTaEZ6NzVLeTNIdz09

Meeting ID: 883 9678 1508
Password: 907309

Prayer, confession, learning, and action are essential parts of our spiritual lives. Thank you for considering this,


Ben Malmin, Pastor

City Harbor Church
410.929.1619 office




June 16 Coronavirus udpate

16 06 2020

For the sake of informing our prayer and action I want to make available current information:

The Maryland Department of Health will operate a free testing site at the Baltimore Convention Center from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday and Friday. No symptoms or doctor’s orders are required to get tested, but appointments are recommended.

https://myportfolio.umm.edu/MyChart/openscheduling/

Baltimore City Government still at a place of urging the church to hold outdoor services.

COVID-19 continues to be a serious threat. Please consider the reality that you should protect yourself and your loved ones for the foreseeable future.

June 16, 2020  Cases overview

Baltimore

Confirmed

6,689

Recovered

Deaths

292

 

Maryland

Confirmed

60,613

+331

Recovered

Deaths

2,900

+6

 

United States

Confirmed

2.16M

+18,307

Recovered

674K

Deaths

118K

+384

 

Worldwide

Confirmed

7.82M

+133K

Recovered

Deaths

432K

+3,911

JHU: World  8.1 million cases and 437,604 deaths

 

Please consider this helpful information from CDC.gov

What you need to know

  • Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.
  • Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

Please consider reading through their Frequently Asked Questions section: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

 

Watch for symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

How can those of us responsible for community activities and facilities reduce the potential harm of new COVID-19 cases?

CDC Community Mitigation of COVID-19 risk

Individuals, communities, schools, businesses and healthcare organizations all have a role to play in community mitigation. Policies*, which include limits on large gatherings, restrictions on businesses, and school closures are often needed to fully put in place community mitigation strategies.

Each community is unique. Because some actions can be very disruptive to daily life, mitigation activities will be different depending on how much disease has spread within the community, what the community population is like, and the ability to take these actions at the local level. To identify appropriate activities, all parts of a community that might be impacted need to be considered, including populations most vulnerable to severe illness, and those who might be more impacted socially or economically. When selecting mitigation activities, states and communities need to consider the spread of disease locally, characteristics of the people who live in the community (for example, age groups, languages spoken, overall health status), and the kind of public health resources and healthcare systems (like hospitals) that are available in the community. State and local officials may need to adjust community mitigation activities and immediately take steps to scale them up or down depending on the changing local situation.

Putting mitigation into practice is based on:

  • Emphasizing individual responsibility for taking recommended personal-level actions
  • Empowering businesses, schools, and community organizations to take recommended actions, particularly in ways that protect persons at increased risk of severe illness
  • Focusing on settings that provide critical infrastructure or services to individuals at increased risk of severe illness
  • Minimizing disruptions to daily life to the extent possible

*CDC cannot address the policies of any business or organization. CDC shares recommendations based on the best available science to help people make decisions that improve their health and safety. In all cases, follow the guidance of your healthcare provider and local health department. Local decisions depend on local circumstances.

Also, I strongly recommend reading through the questions and answers found here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#Community-Mitigation

Additionally, the recent post of suggestions for foodservice providers I found relevant to people responsible for facilities being used by communities: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/business-employers/bars-restaurants.html

 

 





police reform

14 06 2020

Here are my initial questions and thoughts about police reform:





June book list

3 06 2020

The best book recommendations are personal and based on who you are and what you are interested in. My preference is to not give recommendations until after asking several questions.

April 3rd 2020 I posted 3 videos of book recommendations that can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/benmalmin/

 

This week people are asking what they should read. Here are suggestions from my own collection:

 

Woke Church: An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice

by Eric Mason

 

One Blood by Rev Dr John M. Perkins

 

Let Justice Roll Down by Rev Dr John M. Perkins

 

One in Christ: Bridging Racial and Cultural Divides by Rev Dr David D. Ireland

 

Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian by John Piper

 

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

 

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

 

The Struggle for Black Equality by Harvard Sitkoff

 

The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation edited by Russell Moore and Andrew T. Walker

 

White Awake: An honest look at what it means to be white by Daniel Hill

 

Coming of Age in the Other America by Deluca/Clampet-Lundquist/Edin

 

The Very Good Gospel by Lisa Sharon Harper

 

Divided by Faith by Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith

 

Return to Justice: Six Movements that Reignited our Contemporary Evangelical Conscience by Soong-Chan Rah and Gary Vanderpol

 

Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times by Soong-Chan Rah





Thank you

3 06 2020

Huge Thank You to everyone who made sure Baltimore’s protests would be as productive as possible, with as little distraction and violence as possible. You are everyday people, heroes. I saw you. Didn’t take pictures. You need to be recognized more than most. You serve your community with love and respect. Not for pay or recognition. Thank you!





Learning

3 06 2020

People are asking why I think the way I do.In an effort to be helpful, I would like to explain one of my learning methods… listening.

Most importantly, I’m learning to set aside what I want to say first so that I can ask someone good open ended questions (beyond yes/no) and then listen with an intent to understand. This is how love and respect for others looks. No more words from me until I ask myself if I am truly hearing them.

We are not growing, we are not learning when we have on the “blinders” of confirmation bias and false duality. If we want a better tomorrow we must be learning now.

How can we hear from individuals and communities at this time? One tool I use for listening is Twitter. Please consider it. Allow me to explain.

Community organizations often use social media for revealing what they have learned and what they are doing about it. Most have a Twitter account. I use “lists” on Twitter to organize the sources of information. Please feel free to look over my lists, and send me suggestions for who I should add.

Once you are logged into Twitter, search for my profile @benmalmin and there you can view my “lists”. When you first click on the lists you will see the most recent tweets from people on the list. If you then click on the list “members” you can scroll through and examine who I’m listening to. Notably, it is not just people that we would agree with.

This is something I started building when we were preparing for our church plant. It is a helpful way to learn. You will find articles and media posted by the accounts. Developing real world relationships has helped guide me in curating these lists.