LISTEN: Marvin Winans Celebrates Perfecting Church 30 Year Celebration and Gala (BCNN1 09.16.19)

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According to Religion News Service, The president of the historically black Progressive National Baptist Convention traveled to the Bahamas island of Grand Bahama this week to assess the damage from Hurricane Dorian and came away with stories of damage and determination. The Rev. Timothy Stewart, a Nassau native and resident, visited the island Wednesday (Sept. 11) and has also fielded calls from clergy of his denomination’s 30-some churches in the Bahamas. The PNBC, with an estimated 2.5 million U.S. and international members, is spearheading an initiative to raise funds and collect supplies for the devastated islands of the country. Stewart said the PNBC started its new ministry year on Sept. 1, the day Dorian hit the Bahamas with Category 5 force, leaving at least 50 dead and at least 1,300 people missing. The denomination’s new focus is “In Pursuit of Wholeness” — a timely topic, Stewart said. “We’re looking at the revitalization of the community,” he said. “I think it seems as though God knew something even before I did.” Stewart talked to Religion News Service on Thursday about what he has seen and heard of Dorian’s aftermath, how people in the Bahamas have been affected, and how he views the tragedy as an opportunity to put his faith into action.

According to EURWeb, Pastor Marvin L. Winans and the Perfecting Church Choir shined brightly as musical guests at the recent Democratic Presidential Debates held at the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan. Winans created special arrangements of, “America the Beautiful” and the “National Anthem” that was performed and aired live on CNN’s domestic and international platforms. Pastor Winans has now turned his attention to the Perfecting Church 30 Year Celebration and Gala on Friday, October 11.  The black-tie affair is being held at the historic Henry Ford Museum 20900 Oakwood Blvd. located in Dearborn, Michigan.

According to Reuters, OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP filed for bankruptcy protection Sunday night, succumbing to pressure from more than 2,600 lawsuits alleging the company helped fuel the deadly U.S. opioid epidemic. Purdue’s board met Sunday evening to approve the long-expected bankruptcy filing, which the company is pursuing to restructure under terms of a proposal to settle the widespread litigation. Purdue, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in a federal bankruptcy court in White Plains, New York, reached a tentative deal to resolve lawsuits with 24 states and five U.S. territories, as well as lead lawyers for more than 2,000 cities, counties and other plaintiffs, the company said. Two dozen states remain opposed or uncommitted to the proposed settlement, setting the stage for contentious legal battles over who bears responsibility for a public health crisis that has claimed the lives of nearly 400,000 people between 1999 and 2017, according to the latest U.S. data. Thousands of cities and counties, along with nearly every state, have sued Purdue and, in some cases, its controlling Sackler family. The lawsuits, seeking billions of dollars in damages, claim the company and family aggressively marketed prescription painkillers while misleading doctors and patients about their addiction and overdose risks. Purdue and the Sacklers have denied the allegations.

According to the Daily Beast, Following his acrimonious departure from the White House, former National Security Adviser John Bolton has insisted that he will have his “say in due course.” It hasn’t yet been a full week, but it appears he’s found a vehicle for clearing the air. According to two people with knowledge of the situation, Bolton has already expressed interest in writing a book on his time in the Trump administration, and has been in contact in recent days with literary agents interested in making that happen. “He has a lot to dish,” one of the sources said, adding it was not clear if Bolton had settled on an agency yet. Reached by The Daily Beast on Monday afternoon, Bolton only replied, “No comment” when asked about discussions with book agents and his potential project.

According to Religion News Service, A fire that destroyed a historic synagogue in northeastern Minnesota doesn’t appear to have been a hate crime, authorities said Sunday in discussing the arrest of a suspect. Matthew James Amiot, 36, of Duluth, was arrested Friday in the fire last week at the Adas Israel Congregation in downtown Duluth, the city’s police chief, Mike Tusken, said at a news conference. Tusken said he has no reason to believe the fire was a hate crime, although the investigation is ongoing. Police are recommending that prosecutors charge Amiot, who has no permanent address, with first-degree arson. A criminal complaint is expected to be filed mid-week, he said. The blaze started in a shed outside the synagogue and spread into the building early Monday, fire Chief Shawn Krizaj said. No accelerants were found. One firefighter who was struck by falling debris was taken to a hospital, treated and released. That firefighter is still recovering from a concussion and doing well, Krizaj said.

According to Reuters, South African soldiers will patrol gang-ridden Cape Town streets for an extra six months after President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday extended their deployment to the end of March 2020. The army was deployed in July to help quell escalating violence that has killed hundreds this year and that some officials have likened to a war zone. High rates of unemployment and drug abuse have fueled gang activity in a sprawling area of the city called the Cape Flats. Bloodshed in the mainly poor, black and mixed-race neighborhood since the beginning of the year has killed more than 2,000 people, almost half gang-related, Western Cape provincial officials said. “Members of the regular and reserve forces of the SANDF will undertake operations in cooperation with the police, and will support the prevention and combating of crime,” Ramaphosa said in a statement extending the mission for six months. The original deployment of the national defense force was for a period of two months ending Sept. 16.

Associated to Daily Mail, New York Yankees pitching legend Mariano Rivera said Monday at the White House that learning to speak English was the most important step he took as a young baseball player toward becoming an American. Rivera, newly inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Donald Trump, who cited the aggressive but well-loved relief hurler for his bat-shredding cut fastball and his legendary humanitarian streak. Trump praised him as the only Major League player ever elected to the Hall of Fame with unanimous support. The Yankee legend has bucked a trend among professional athletes by embracing Trump from Day One, serving on his Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission from the earliest months of his administration. Rivera has also co-chaired the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. Rivera ended his pro career with 652 regular-season saves, a number that statisticians doubt will ever be equaled. He saved 42 games in the postseason, and posted an Earned Run Average of just 0.70 during the playoffs. Trump, a longtime Yankees fan, praised Rivera on Monday as ‘maybe the greatest pitcher of all time.’

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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks for listening and may God bless your day!