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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Town Hall meeting planned for Cobb County cops and community

Dear Fellow Community Leader,

I trust and pray your day is going well. In light of the recent murders of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and the five Dallas police officers whose names are Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Michael Smith & Lorne Ahrens. I think it is past time for the Faith Community to stand up and foster communication. People in the confines of churches are hurting, mad and frustrated. 

We need to have real dialogue to address the root of the tragedies of this past week. As a community, we should be concerned when persons of color are being killed with nothing in their hands as well as when officers are gunned down in retaliation. Violence is not the answer to violence, we must be willing to dailogue and find opportunities to improve.

On Saturday, July 16th, we are organizing a town hall meeting to discuss Cobb, Cops & Community. The event will be held at “THE LIFE” Church, 1839 Powder Springs Road, Marietta, GA start time is 6:00pm. I would like to personally invite you to join the conversation and hopefully we could serve as a catalyst for change as well as serve as a model of how to address injustices in the community.

I firmly believe we are the answer to the world's problem.

Esther 4:14 Amplified Bible (AMP)

14 For if you remain silent at this time, liberation and rescue will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish [since you did not help when you had the chance]. And who knows whether you have attained royalty for such a time as this [and for this very purpose]?”
It's time now, for us to speak and more importantly ACT! 

For more information, call 770-792-3535.

Prayer vigil scheduled in metro Atlanta

The Cobb County Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) will hold a Prayer Vigil at noon at the Marietta Square on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) and ask that you please come.  
The Prayer Vigil is being held in response to the recent killings of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota; Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and the killing of five police officers in Dallas, Texas by Micah Johnson. 
We know that these are turbulent times and that violence is not the answer.  We know that prayer is a powerful force, that prayer changes things, and that prayer is necessary to help us move forward. Please attend.

Rev. Dr. Cheryl Graves, Board Chair, Cobb SCLC

Monday, July 11, 2016

Photo of the day...

Protesters in downtown Atlanta by C.J. Jones:

Solutions to end racism already given; must act on it!

Kurk and Tomi Johnson with Fr. Jerome and Deacon Turbo (Photo by Michael Gavalas)

"...teach us to love one another, even if love is not initially returned."
Sts. Cosmas & Damian Bookstore, Anniston, Ala.

Repentance, forgiveness, and education on the contributions blacks have made to Christianity are major tools to be used to end racism and reach racial reconciliation, according to religious leaders at a conference held in Atlanta Saturday on Cherokee Avenue.

Convening at St. John the Wonderworker Orthodox Church, the "One Heart, One Mind" event was sponsored by the Brotherhood of Saint Moses the Black and included celebration of the divine liturgy followed by a free blueberry pancake breakfast with all the trimmings. About 40 people attended.

The parish priest, Fr. Tom Alessandroni, initiated the proceedings by recounting what Billy Graham said when he retired from the ministry 15 years ago. Fr. Tom said Graham was concerned in his heart that racism was the number one problem facing Christians in America - that there was still no peace and reconciliation among the races. At the time, reconciliation was not a polarizing issue which led to continuing programs addressing the problem, Fr. Tom said.

"People who have nothing more to depend on, who are impoverished, downtrodden, etc, cling to God more," he said, and history is a testament of the spirituality of blacks even though their ministry is often unpublished.

"Christians were living in Africa long before Mohammad was born," he said. "Suffering made slaves Christian martyrs who were triumphant and victorious over their despair," he said, and he encouraged attendees to read the book Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South by Dr. Albert Raboteau.  

Basil Moses says visuals are important when explaining sainthood. There are over 1,000 African saints.
Subdeacon Basil Moses, who formerly worked for the Department of Corrections, said, "I'm at the right place with God," when describing his position in the orthodox church. "I am serving and have found the ultimate spiritual solution," he said. 

Fr. Deacon Turbo Qualls, a former rock band member who has been to Iraq and has six children, facilitates and manifests reconciliation services at his parish, St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Christian Church in Kansas City, Mo.  Fr. Turbo said when they baptize people at his church, they sing an old negro spiritual, "Wade in the Water."
Fr. Turbo has tattoos of Jesus revealed.
Wearing tattoos under his robe, Fr. Turbo said our society suffers from hyper-segregation which can be overcome. He recounted being jumped by neo-nazis and discovering years later that his roommate had been one of the racists who had attacked him. "We must have courage in the midst of adversity and allow ourselves to forgive others," he said of those who truly desire to reconcile with neighbors.

"We must be Christ's disciples," he said, and must "unpack" messages given in the bible.
Icon of Moses the Black
"God knows," he said of the hurdles we face in society. "He is not ignorant to these things...but we must pray without ceasing." Fr. Turbo recounted family racism Moses and his Cushite wife, Ziporrah, faced early in biblical history. "Don't speak against my prophet," was the answer given.  "We are called to be more than conquerors," he said.

"The cowardly will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven," he reminded attendees, and he encouraged them to dig deep into contemporary elder writings and understand how they overcame despair.
Fr. Jerome said Satan is behind racial conflicts, but we must follow the example of Jesus in dealing with hatred.
Recognizing your own sins is the first step involved in healing the spirit, said Fr. Jerome Sanderson, orthodox priest and pastor of St. John the Barefoot Parish in Nashville, Indiana. Fr. Jerome is also a skilled iconographer who painted the Saints of Africa. He began his artistic career carving carrots.

"We must stop the blame game," Fr. Jerome stated which was recorded in one of the first biblical stories. "Adam blamed Eve for giving him the apple, and Eve blamed the serpent...We must reconcile with God first," he said and remember that Lucifer is behind many efforts to divide and conquer us. "Racial turmoil has been instigated by Satan," he said.

Fr. Jerome said we must forgive our enemies and our friends. "A selfish man isolates himself," he said. We must be about forgiveness, prayer, taking the scriptures seriously, obedience to God, self-knowledge, confession, and knowledge of barriers to win the war against racism and truly reconcile with others.
St. John the Wonderworker Orthodox Church
The full video of the conference will be posted on the church's website. (

Q. Tomi Johnson: Even Jesus got angry. I don't see the outrage from the church. MLK was outraged about what was happening. It's like we're being lulled to sleep and being told just to pray and believe in God to save us. What weapons can we use, since we can't use robot bombs and long rifles, in this technological age to fight racism? You're saying all we need to do is pray and believe in God?

A. Deacon Turbo: You have to understand what praying and believing in God really is. It says in James that even the devil will tremble... When you see someone who has passed away come back again, when you see that the saints are real, that with the promise of God, that there is life in Him after the blood has passed... that's a powerful weapon. It takes away all the fears of this life. You then say, you know what, you can tear my body, take my home, this and that... the outrage is there but it's not outrage like the world has, where it's the gnashing of the teeth and the things that look like hell. 

Outrage comes when people like you and me are taking part in what you have been given - we can only deal with love. But here's the thing: people really haven't been taught what love is. They have been taught how to feel sentiment. It's not about sentiment.

I choose everyday to love my wife. It's not an emotion. It's a choice. It's an act of my will. Something I do with my mind, my body, and my heart. That's love. That's what the saints modeled for us. That's what Christ modeled for us. It is the complete opposite of hate.

The other weapon that we have in regard to the technological aspect of it, remember Jesus was a carpenter, and people forget that. My Lord knew how to make some stuff in this world...I don't demonize tools. If you can use that to disseminate love, then do it. 

Q. Kurk Johnson: Explain the importance of icons and orthodoxy.

A. Fr. Jerome: In the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant was an icon. It was created by man, right, but it was used by the church. It was a window; it's how God's presence would come

Remember the serpent in the wilderness, totally bronze, the bronze serpent? That was an icon. God told them to craft a bronze serpent, just like somebody painted an icon, but when they looked at it, that's all the instruction they had, when they looked at it, they were healed. What happened when they were healed? Grace moved through the image and healed people. So you see two examples when God demanded that they be made.

What's the difference in that and painting a picture icon?  Yes, we sometimes kiss those icons out of reverence, but there's a big difference. We don't worship a board. There's a big difference between worship and honoring, like kissing your Uncle Bill, you know? That's not worship, is it? 

Everyone has icons. You can consider your TV as an icon.  You don't have a problem with that, do you?

A. Tomi Johnson: But I don't kiss the TV.

A. Fr. Jerome: But you give it the time,  don't you? 

A. Tomi Johnson: You're right about that!

A. Fr. Jerome: Your TV is more of an idol than all those boards you see in church. It's something that captivates you. A true icon is a window from heaven. 

More info. on St. Moses the Black: 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Euphoria, hard work surround AKA international conference in Atlanta

Quensetta, Cynthia, Marita, and Tomi pose for Ryan Fitzpatrick outside Intercontinental Hotel

There was an unexplained rush I got upon seeing women I had pledged with some 40+ years ago in Bloomington, Indiana at AKA's Tau Chapter, and I had that feeling today when I saw them standing outside the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead. 

Tau Chapter Prayer Breakfast
The 67th Annual Boule, or international conference, is being held at multiple locations in metro Atlanta, July 9 - 14, and individual chapters also held events prior to the main conference. 
Bam Roberson (r) poses with another soror during Tau Chapter Prayer Breakfast.
Approximately 20,000 college-educated African American women representing a diverse range of professions - many of whom serve as community, business, academic, political and spiritual leaders - will be in attendance along with their families, local and global businesses, as well as entertainers, community and political officials. 

Just two days ago, International President Dr. Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, speaking on behalf of the sorority’s members, decried the senseless violence and called on the nation to find an urgent solution to the hatred, hostilities and violence affecting families and communities. 

“Many of us awakened this morning to a continuing nightmare,” said Dr. Buckhanan Wilson. “Those who gather in peaceful protest to raise their voices should not fear injury or death, nor should the law enforcement officials performing their duties to serve and protect. My heart is heavy for all victims of this attack.” According to a press release, the sorority  members convening in Atlanta over the next week will be developing action strategies to address these issues.

International Conference public activities include:

  • 23 Moments of Service: In tribute to 23 International President, Dr. Mary Shy Scott, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will embark on 23 Moments of Service throughout the 2016 Boule. Members along with the community will participate in various service projects across the metropolitan Atlanta area including refreshing multiple playgrounds, collecting backpacks, schools supplies, seasonal wraps, and eyewear for those in need, packaging 100,000 meals to help end world hunger, conducting home buying workshops, assembling hygiene kits for at-risk teens in the Atlanta area, among many other projects. 
  • Debbie Hayes and Willie Blow at Breakfast
  • Think HBCU Expo: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority launched the Think HBCU℠ initiative and $2 million fundraising campaign to highlight historically Black colleges and universities and their contributions to the sorority and society. During the 2016 Boule, HBCUs will be showcased as a critical venue for moving students to and through college. Local students and families can explore HBCU offerings during an interactive HBCU Expo on Saturday, July 9.
  • 2016 EAF Scholarship & Awards Breakfast: This event will spotlight some of our best and brightest students. Also, you don't want to miss the opportunity to hear R&B soul-singer Carl Thomas. Contribute to EAF and help make a difference! Purchase tickets at or 2016 Boule website.
  • Public Meeting: The purpose of the meeting is to acquaint the area with the Sorority’s mission and impressive record of service in the local, regional, national and global arena. Awards will be presented to international leaders during this event which is also free and open to the public.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., founded at Howard University in 1908, is the oldest Greek-letter organization established in America by Black college women. Membership presently is 230,000.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Traffic stop advice

This advice comes from Neely Fuller, Jr. on what to do when stopped by police:

1.  Put your hands up, as high as you can get them.
2.  Spread the fingers on each hand.
3.  Stand or sit like a statue.
4.  Don't move.
5.  Consider yourself a captured prisoner of war.
6.  Remember, you are behind enemy lines surrounded by enemy soldiers who may be racists.
7.  Remember, police have authority under the law to make arrests and to cause sudden death.
8.  To a race soldier, you are considered a dark enemy to the white supremacy establishment.
9.  Comply. Ask, "What do you want me to do, sir?"
10. Be polite. Don't play with fire or be theatrical.
11. Even if you follow these rules, you may wind up dead, so expect it!

So, prepare to meet your Maker!  

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Breaking news: people shot in Dallas, Texas

While watching Fox News coverage of a protest march in Dallas, Texas, we saw as many as four people lying on the ground around a police car... this story is still developing.

Breaking news: people shot in Dallas, Texas

Quote for today

"The most obvious of the social sources of power is political, yet Negroes have failed so far to translate their vote into effective action in their own behalf...the conflict of power then becomes a struggle between conscience and economic loss or between conscience and political pragmatism."
---Kenneth B. Clark, Dark Ghetto: Dilemmas of Social Power, 1965

Racial Reconciliation and Orthodox Christianity event scheduled

Photo of Father Myers, deceased, at St. John the Wonderworker Orthodox Church

In light of today's racial tensions, our culture is searching for answers. What will it take for us to live in peace among our neighbors? How can we overcome centuries of hurt and division? 

One Heart, One Mind: A Gathering on Racial Reconciliation & Orthodox Christianity will take place Sat., July 9, 2016 at 8 am to 12:00 pm in Atlanta.

St. John the Wonderworker Church
543 Cherokee Avenue SE
Atlanta, GA 30312

Admission is free and will include divine liturgy, a pancake breakfast, and conversations on race and Christianity.

St. John the Wonderworker Church will be hosting the event to mark the integration of the Atlanta chapter of the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black. This Pan-Orthodox group is best known for the wonderful conferences they sponsor on "Linking ancient African Christianity with the African American experience."

Fr Jerome Sanderson, who is African American Orthodox Priest and a founding member of the Brotherhood, will be the featured speaker. The subject will be reconciliation between the Races from an Orthodox perspective.

Breaking news on Philando Castile shooting

Even though his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, referenced a Rosevale Police Department Chinese officer as the man who shot her boyfriend, Philando Castile, the St. Anthony Police Department will be investigated by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, a division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. It is unknown whether the Rosevale Police Department was also on the scene at the shooting.

"I'm outraged...we're being hunted," said Valerie Castile, mother of the deceased in an early morning interview on CNN. Castile's uncle, Clarence Castile, called the man who killed his nephew a "destroyer."

We called both police departments and the Bureau. According to Kim (would not give me her last name) at the St. Anthony Police Department, Ms. Reynolds and her daughter were taken to the police station and questioned as witnesses after the shooting Wednesday and then transported to an address of her choosing.

A request for a press release and a police report has been made by Wingcom Watchdog to Jill Oliveira, Public Information officer for the Bureau. An update will be posted upon availability.

On the video that Ms. Reynolds recorded and posted on Facebook/YouTube, she mentioned that there was a gun and marijuana in car. She has posted provocative pictures on her Facebook page under Lavish Reynolds.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

What would Ida B. do?

Alright, this killing of blacks by police is getting out of hand. It's not o.k., and it's leading to mass hysteria in the psyche of blacks living in the United States under President Barack Obama.

That's why I'm not buying anything but food and fuel until this stops.

Four months ago, my car was hit by a black man, a security employee, at 9 a.m. when he fell asleep at the wheel. I didn't call the police because I was afraid some drama might occur.  It's bad when you don't get a police report because you're afraid that when the police show up, there may be an altercation, and you may wind up dead.

Alton Sterling is another wake up call.  

Unfortunately the police and the mainstream media are working together for NEWS purposes. 

Thank God for witnesses with cameras. Thank God for cell phone videos.

Why didn't those cops think; why did they have to shoot him like that?

Of course they weren't thinking about how Sterling's family would be affected...

From the video, "trained" police had Sterling subdued,  but they decided to kill him.

And their cameras were dislodged...

What can we do to stop this, Ida B.???

Breaking news: Police kill another black man in southern U.S.

Alton Sterling has been killed by police in Baton Rouge, La.

SCLC, NAACP, and Nation of Islam have called for an economic boycott.

Waiting for press release from police department to complete this story...