‘Joyful noise’ or a ‘bunch of noise?’

Dear Lucy: I sing in the choir at my church. I love singing and I love being in a choir. But this choir has become a place of contention, spite, jealousy, back biting and plain old hell raising.

I just don't understand how this can be happening in the church. I'm so sick of it I want to either get out of the choir or leave this church. Any ideas?


Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church – a South Memphis pillar

pilgrimrest-1Built into Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church's celebration of its 100 anniversary was the honoring of trailblazers, service to the community and look into the future.

The centennial salute was noted throughout September and culminated with events Sept. 28-30. It was a reflection of achievements and a ministry as PRBC went outside of the church walls, combining the monthly soup kitchen with a spoken word event, "Rock the Mic." Local Christian poets, hip-hop artists, comedians and singers gathered outside to minister to the community.


Walk through the fire and let ‘nosy’ be

Dear Lucy: My son just got out of prison. He made some really bad mistakes over and over and wouldn't listen to me. He ended up doing time. He is out now and it really seems like he has found the Lord. He is still embarrassed and talking about leaving town so we don't have to answer nosy people's questions. I'm embarrassed too but I want him to stay right here and learn to live a different way around his children and me. How do you get people to stop asking questions so we can just get on with life?


‘Fear, Inc.’ driving anti-Islam views

WASHINGTON – A 2010 Time Magazine poll found 28 percent of voters do not think Muslims should sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, while almost one-third of the country thinks Muslims should be barred from running for president.

Things haven't gotten better: A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll revealed 49 percent of Americans held an unfavorable view of Islam.


‘Faith walk’ defines revival at St. Paul Baptist

Marvin SappAs attendees filled St. Paul Baptist Church on Tuesday night (Sept.18), excitement filled the sanctuary. There were smiles and whispers, all in anticipation of the church's annual fall revival. While many people view revivals as an evangelistic effort to allow individuals to accept Christ, Senior Pastor Dr. Christopher B. Davis had different expectations for this year's two-day event.

"Our faith walk, while a joyous one, can also be a frustrating one at times. So from time to time, like anything else, we need to be refueled, we need to be renewed, we need to be recharged," Davis said.


Movies as ‘graven images’ – what’s up with that?

Dear Lucy: In one of your recent articles you talked about going to the movies. It's hard to find a movie today that is not a fantasy, a fairy tale, an animation or something gruesome. I have grandkids and it's hard to know what's OK to see. What's up with that?


Press ‘play’ then step into your sacred circle

Dear Lucy: I am so bored with my life. It seems that I do the same things over and over. I seem to be in a rut. Nothing really interests me. In one of your articles you talked about the "stupid rest" or being stuck on stupid. Whatever you say I will try.


RELIGION BRIEFS: Monumental’s dance ministry presents ‘In Him We Move’

The Wings of Wisdom dance ministry at Monumental Baptist Church will host its fifth annual praise dance program on Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. The theme is based on Acts 17:28 – "For in Him we live, and move and have our being..."

Martha Balfour Green and Daphne Davis are co-chairs for the event.


Struggling? Make your call, let go and let God

Dear Lucy: I feel as if I have been struggling all my life. No matter what I do, I just seem to survive. My brother, on the other hand thrives. I think I am as smart as he is. but I just can't seem to ever reach that special stride and keep it up. What can I do?


Shooting prompts extra security

Washington, D.C. – The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) – a coalition claiming 34,000 African-American churches –and its board of directors have ordered security for its president, Rev. Anthony Evans, because of the group's stance against same-sex marriage.

The decision comes after an Aug. 15 shooting at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. that left a security guard injured.


Wuf-wuf! Thank God for ‘Mr. Lee’

Dear Lucy: I have a dog that I love dearly and have had her for 10 years. I am a widow and she is my constant companion. When I go out and have to leave early because of her, I am not upset but others seem to get upset! Some friends accuse me of treating her like she is a person or letting her dictate my schedule. I resent this. I do not think of my dog as a person. She is a dog and I well know that. Why is it that when you are a certain age, live alone and have a pet people like to label you "pet lover" in a mocking way?


Waller Awards reward ‘Christian Excellence’

WallerAwardFour scholarships and two namesake awards were conveyed during the annual event in salute to the "Christian Excellence" of the late Rev. Eugene Waller and his wife, Aurelia Waller.

The observance was hosted by The Missionary Society of Cummings Street Baptist Church, with Ada Westbrooks serving as president and Carrie Grant as president emeritus.


‘Writing new chapters’ in Southern Baptist history

SouthernBaptist-Fred-Luter"So the Thursday after I was elected, I get a call and a voice on the other end says. 'This is the White House, and the President would like to speak with you.' So I come to the phone, and I think it's one of my buddies playing a joke. I get to the phone, and I say, 'Who is this?' And someone says, 'This is the White House. Would you please hold for the President?'

"'Yeah, right,' I say. Sure enough, "Hail to the Chief" begins to play, and the President picks up the phone and says, "So, Dr. Luter, how does it feel to be the most popular president in the United States?"