Friday, February 29, 2008

Thanks for Black History Month 2008

I've been so busy lately that I have not had time for much blogging. I want to break my silence to say thanks to many of the people who have made this Black History Month so informative.

1. I am grateful to the Valley News Dispatch for the announcements and coverage it has given for the many Valley events that have occurred during Black History Month. I am especially grateful for the series of articles about how local educators in each of the school districts handle Black History Month and diversity education year-round. I am glad the teachers were given a way to share their perspectives with a broader audience than their students.

2. I am grateful to Pittsburgh Presbytery and its Racial Justice Taskforce for the hour we spent with Tony Campolo at the last meeting at Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church. I am also grateful to Pittsburgh Presbytery for the series of presentations at each presbytery meeting in 2007 to celebrate 200 years of African American Presbyterianism.

3. I am grateful to whoever put up the small Black History Month posters outside the hospital cafeteria at the Alle-Kiski Medical Center. I learned something every time I stopped to read a poster in that high traffic location.

4. I am grateful to the Alle-Kiski Cultural Enrichment Center for organizing the "Great Debate" on Saturday, February 23, with a re-enactment of Booker T. Washington's "Atlanta Compromise" Speech.

5. I am grateful to the the Alle-Kiski Historical Society and the Bethel AME Church in Tarentum for organizing the Black History Program on Sunday, February 24, and for inviting Doris Carson Williams of the African American Chamber of Commerce - Pittsburgh to speak.

6. I am grateful to the Allegheny Valley Association of Churches and the Alle-Kiski NAACP for organizing the Alle-Kiski Valley Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Service on Sunday January 27, and for inviting Dr. Richard Arnold to speak.

7. I am grateful to all of the people with whom I have spoken during the last month for the fact that not once did anyone ask me when it would be time to have White History Month.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Snow and activity

Snow and ice everywhere.

This week has been a crazy one around Tarentum, starting with very cold temperatures and proceeding into snow and rain that have been heavy enough to slow everything up. Highlands School District had a 2 hour delay Monday, closed school Tuesday, started today with a 2 hour delay and then closed school for the day at the last minute.

The Townwide Meeting that Tarentum was going to have tonight as part of its revitalization program was cancelled, and will be rescheduled, according to an email from Bill Rossey, Borough Manager.

The series of Lenten services and luncheons at the First Baptist Church continued today with a smaller crowd than the first week. Pastor Bob Walker pointed out that usually the attendance grows during this series, but today the weather probably had some effect. Rev. Jim Gascoine, pastor of the Center United Methodist Church in Fawn preached this noon and encouraged us to try something creative in all of our churches to spread the gospel to others. At the close of the service, before we sang the Doxology as our grace, Pastor Bob Walker suggested that one of the creative things we could do would be to bring a friend to next week's service.

Meanwhile, on the Presbyterian front, the PCUSA website today has the final decision of the GA PJC in the case of Bush et al v. Presbytery of Pittsburgh, Remedial Case 218-10. The effect of the decision, which is sure to get lots of commentary on the web, was to void the second and third paragraphs of a controversial resolution Pittsburgh Presbytery adopted in October 2006. (The whole packet for that 2006 presbytery meeting is here. The resolution in question is on page 15 of the packet.)

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Friday, February 01, 2008

They tell me there's a football game this weekend

They tell me there's a football game this weekend. No, I don't plan to watch it. I do plan to let people out of church in time to see it if that is something they want to do.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not boycotting the Superbowl to support any megachurches being persecuted by the NFL.

It is just that the Steelers won't be playing — for some technical reason. It can't be that important a game.

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