LISTEN: Church of England Consecrates First Black Bishop In 21 Years; The Reconciled Church Holds Celebration of Unity Service (BCNN1, 3/21/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

1. According to Premier UK, Rev. Woyin Karowei Dorgu has been consecrated as the thirteenth Bishop of Woolwich in London. Karowei is the first black bishop to be consecrated in the Church of England for 21 years. The service took place at Southwark Cathedral on Friday. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby presided at the service and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, preached. Bishop Angaelos, the General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK also attended the service. Dr John Sentamu told the congregation that the new Bishop’s baptismal name, Woyin Karowei, meant priest: servant of almighty God and he urged Dr Karowei to take three actions from Ezekiel’s vision of the river of life. He said: “Follow the river of life but look in three directions; look to the source, to where the river has come from. Look down it to where it is going and thirdly look on the sides and see what happens on the banks as the river flows down.”

2. According to Charisma News, a racially diverse group of evangelical leaders and thousands of Christian followers met with police and community representatives Sunday night to discuss solutions to rising violence in our cities and racial divisions in our country. An estimated crowd of 2,600 attended The Reconciled Church’s Celebration of Unity Service at Free Chapel’s campus in Gainesville, a suburb located approximately one hour outside of Atlanta. The Reconciled Church is a movement working to shift the racial atmosphere of the nation by healing the racial divisions in the church. It held its first conference in January 2015 in the wake of police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York. Since then, such incidents have become increasingly common. Beginning the Sunday evening event with a series of short TED-like talks, leaders discussed generational poverty, violence and race within the context of working with national leaders and partnering together, as a faith body, to enact change.

3. According to Baptist Press, hunger and thirst often prevent members of Kamakowa Baptist Church in Kimusu, Kenya from attending worship, pastor Tom Ogalo Ngoya told Baptist Press in an appeal for aid to the country where drought is a national disaster. Kenya, where 2.7 million people are termed “food insecure” by the United Nations, is included in large swaths of the continent suffering famine and food shortages, extending from the Horn of Africa south through sub-Saharan Africa and into South Africa, according to the U.N. and various humanitarian aid organizations including Baptist Global Response (BGR). The U.N. has described it as the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the U.N. in 1945.

4. According to EEW Magazine News, Bishop Charles Blake and West Angeles Church of God in Christ hosted a men’s-only empowerment event to announce its partnership with NBA legend and business tycoon, Erving “Magic Johnson” to offer free advancement services to men in the Los Angeles community. The event dubbed, “Super Saturday” saw over 500 men pack into West Angeles Church of God in Christ’s North Campus in Los Angeles, California, to learn of the services being offered in the new initiative. Bishop Blake said, “Super Saturday was birthed out of a deep concern about lack of opportunities available to men in our inner-cities. We suffer from poor academic achievement, financial disenfranchisement, high unemployment, soaring crime levels, and the breakdown of the family unit that plagues our cities, urban and rural communities.” Keynote speakers were: Magic Johnson, Bishop Charles Blake and Actor, Romell Witherspoon.

5. According to Baptist Press, an extended statement, “Seeking Unity in the Southern Baptist Convention,” has been issued by Russell Moore and the executive committee of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Moore, in a 1,691-word portion of the March 20 statement, clarified criticism he had leveled at Christians who supported Donald Trump for president in the November 2016 election. The ERLC executive committee, in a 536-word portion of the statement, affirmed Moore’s ongoing leadership as president of the SBC entity. The ERLC executive committee acknowledged criticisms of Moore and stated “we are convinced that Dr. Moore has sought to be attentive and responsive to those who have brought concerns to him. We realize that divisions do not heal overnight, and as needs arise our Board will be happy to address them. But in terms of leadership and support, Dr. Moore is the man to whom it has been entrusted to lead this entity — speaking prophetically both to our culture and to our Convention. He will continue doing so with the confidence of our support.”

6. According to EEW Magazine News, since 2007, Empowering Everyday Women Ministries, Inc. Founder Dianna Hobbs has been planting seeds of hope, watering them with faith, and lots of inspiration through her “Your Daily Cup of Inspiration” blog. But the staff of one of America’s Top 100 faith bloggers, who has reached millions over the past decade, is said to be “overwhelmed” by the amount of love supporters are pouring back into the life of the ailing leader. An email sent from Hobbs’ ministry team to her subscribers Monday, March 20, thanked them for their loyalty to the 40-year-old, saying: “If it were possible to be all out of words, we would be.” Hobbs was recently diagnosed with two aggressive, chronically painful and incurable autoimmune diseases. She has been in and out of hospitals and emergency rooms for months, and has struggled to walk amid painful bouts of inflammation, causing numerous complications.

7. According to CBN News, Priscilla Shirer, Bible teacher and star of the faith-based 2015 box-office hit “War Room,” is returning to the big screen. This time she’ll be acting in the new film, “I Can Only Imagine,” based on the popular song by “Mercy Me” band member Bart Millard. Shirer said: “Bart Millard really made a decision to discover his gift because he had a strong teacher who said, ‘You are going to do it because I see something in you that you do not see in yourself.’ So I could not just pass up the opportunity to play the small but pivotal part to this story.” Shirer is joined by actors Dennis Quaid, Cloris Leachman, and Trace Adkins.