Chattanooga Minister Headed To Missouri To Stand With People Of Ferguson

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Rev. Brian Merritt is headed to Ferguson, Mo. Wednesday, answering a call “on the members and congregations of the Presbyterian Church (USA), over 90 percent of whom are white, to stand with the people of Ferguson and 'witness against and strive against' systemic, institutionalized racial injustice.”

The Rev. Landon Whitsitt, executive and stated clerk of the Synod of Mid-America, made the call on Tuesday and will arrive in Ferguson on Friday.  Rev. Whitsitt wrote: “If you live in or around St. Louis please come and walk with the protestors. Listen to their cries, and join them in the call for justice. If you live further away, find the members of your own community who are standing against this injustice. Listen to their cries, and join them in their own call for justice.”

Protests have continued in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson since police shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9. The demonstrators have been met with a militarized police force that has turned rubber bullets and tear gas on the people. Along with abuses to protesters, police have arrested, detained and targeted journalists and human rights workers, said officials. 

The police response has resulted in Amnesty International deploying a human rights team to Ferguson, the first time the organization has ever made such a deployment within the United States; and, has Egypt calling on authorities to use restraint in responding to the protests. 

The results of an independent autopsy showed that Brown was shot at least six times, all shots were fired from the front and one shot was to the top of his skull. A public funeral for Brown is scheduled for Monday. 

In his call, Rev. Whitsitt wrote: “Sisters and brothers, we must stand arm in arm with the people of Ferguson. Black bodies matter and our white bodies will signify that the killing of black bodies is unacceptable.”

In answering the call, Rev. Merritt said, “As a minister I feel compelled to heed Rev. Landon Whittsitt's challenge to Presbyterian ministers to 'do more than simply watch.' As a peacemaker in the Presbyterian church, I am going in solidarity with those whose human rights are being denied by police brutality, racial profiling, and the militarization of the police force. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has a strong social witness toward justice and believes that we must 'as the possession of God … stand where the Lord stands, namely against the injustice of the wronged.' I go to represent Mercy Junction of Chattanooga and Christ's call to stand with those persecuted.”

Read Whitsitt's complete text at this link: http://synodma.org/blog/2014/8/19/a-call-to-presbyterians-to-stand-in-solidarity-with-the-people-of-ferguson

For updates from Merritt's time in Ferguson, follow Mercy Junction's page at facebook.com/MercyJunction. Donations to support Mercy Junction can be sent by Paypal to opentableexchange@gmail.com or mailed to Mercy Junction, P.O. Box, 4074, Chattanooga TN 37405. 



Bob Tamasy: Learning Experiences

It’s sometimes said that experience is the best teacher. Some lessons learned through experiences can’t be grasped in any other way. That’s probably why so many parents find themselves on the verge of panic when their teenagers take their first solo drives. Even if you have complete confidence in them, there’s no way to prepare them for the unexpected. Only experience can do that. ... (click for more)

"Why A Baby?" Is Sunday's Topic At Middle Valley

Middle Valley Church of God, located at 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "Why A Baby?" in the 10:30 a.m. service this Sunday in a special Christmas Celebration.   This sermon is part of a special series of sermons based on the advent of Christ. In addition to the sermon, the church ... (click for more)

Erlanger To Proceed With Manager Bonuses In 2 Steps; Considering Employee Performance Incentive Plan

Erlanger President and CEO Kevin Spiegel said Wednesday night that the hospital plans to proceed with $1.7 million in manager bonuses in two steps. Current participants in the incentive program will receive 50 percent of the approved 2014 performance plan this month. The remaining 50 percent will be paid to the management group in July 2015. At the same time, Mr. Spiegel ... (click for more)

Caldwell Arrested In Rapes Of 2 Women Over 60 In Brainerd, Hixson

Investigators have made an arrest in the rape cases that were reported last weekend. Taken into custody was Derrick Dewayne Caldwell, 30. He is charged with two counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated burglary. Police said two women over 60 years old were raped in Brainerd and in Hixson in separate incidents. (click for more)

A Letter To The NAACP

I believe when a "unarmed" man is evil, he will try to beat a police officer on his head in hopes to knock him out, in hopes to kill him. We saw the bruises on the officer's face.  This evil force tried to take his gun away from him , Proof was in the autopsy.  Why did Michael Brown  try to take his gun away from him? Exactly, to kill the officer.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Last Day Of School

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story first appeared in the Chattanooga News-Free Press in the early 1980s and every year since then I have been asked repeatedly about it. It is easily the most famous story I have ever written – copies have been sent to me from numerous foreign countries -- and it may be the easiest story I ever wrote. All I did was write what the noted religious psychologist ... (click for more)