Midweek Message

Making Your Voice Heard

Carolyn Matthews

October 15, 2020

More on Voting (is that a surprise?) – Pastor Carolyn

“There are no white sheets, but there are judges in black robes in the U.S. Supreme Court who struck down Section IV of the Voting Rights Act, opening the floodgates in many states to pass more voter I.D. laws to block people of color and young people from voting…”Melanie Campbell, President National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, at the 2013, 50th anniversary of the March on Washington

From the city council, to mayor, to legislator, to governor, to president – all elections are important. Don’t think so? Look at what happened in Texas with the removal of mail-in ballot boxes and today (Wednesday, October 14, 2020) with the decision to shut down the census early. In Justice Sotomayor’s dissent she wrote in part, “the harms associated with an inaccurate census are avoidable and intolerable.” Note the words, “avoidable and intolerable.” The numbers collected in the census are not just numbers of people; they translate into the number of representatives in Congress as well as money that is sent to the states for essential services. VOTE!

The author, Nanette L. Avery, wrote, “Talk is cheap, voting is free; take it to the polls…”  Technically this is true. However, it took a constitutional amendment to eliminate the poll tax in federal elections. And lest we think this is from the 19th century, this was enacted in 1964 (the 24th amendment was ratified; click here to read about the Poll tax and 24th amendment).  What amounts now to a poll tax is enforced in other ways. Consider Florida where the voters decided to extend voting rights to those who had served their prison time. A law was passed that said that fines and restitution owed would need to be paid before they could vote. A case was filed and the latest judgment, handed down in September of this year, upheld the payments in order to vote. It is not called a poll tax but sure smells like one. Plus, it overrules the will of the people! It matters who sits in the seats of power – at every level. We need to pay attention to who is asking for our vote. There is no perfect candidate. Our work does not end once our ballot is cast. It is up to each of us to hold the elected officials’ “feet to the fire” to make sure they work on behalf of their constituencies – those who voted for them and those who did not.

Forum for Reformation Sunday

When: October 25
Time: 8:45 AM
Venue: ZOOM

What is Reformation Sunday? It is a time we commemorate when German monk and theologian Martin Luther’s proposals were nailed on the doors of a church in 1517. It is the beginning of the Protestant church movement. 

The Alliance of Baptists is offering a sermon by Rev. Dr. James Forbes to be shown in churches. This will form the basis of our forum in which we will view the sermon then participate in a discussion. Preaching from John 3:1-8, Dr. Forbes will proclaim the call for ongoing reform and renewal within the church. He writes, “We are reminded that an authentic ‘born again’ experience must include a continuous process of being renewed in the spiritual connection to the family of God.  To have a vibrant relationship with God demands that we treat our fellow human beings with justice and compassion. Racial bigotry and brutality are incompatible with the genuine claim of being ‘born again.’”  At a time when so much of our lives seem to be in upheaval, this is a timely message for us as individuals and for our church as we learn the lessons of this time and move forward to engage in ways to bring about  “the beloved community.”

Weekly ZOOM Meetings and Gatherings

10:00 AM Worship
11:45 AM Adult Bible Study

Monday –7:00 PM Youth Gathering
Tuesday – 6:00 PM No Soup, but Study (currently taking a chapter from each book of the bible in order – Numbers is this coming week)
Wednesday – 10:30 AM Prayer and Bible study (same as Tuesday)
Thursday – 6:00 PM Together in Spirit (Bible Study – beginning a study of the book of Judges)
Saturday – 10:00 AM Time for Prayer (reading through the psalms as a basis for prayer time)

Last Saturday of the month at 9:00 AM – LABC Reads (the book for the meeting on October 31 is, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens)

Coming Next Week
Wednesday, October 21, 6:00 PM – Dan Damon hymn writing class, part of our worship grant project (contact Sandra Lee with questions/details)