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. 



Rotary Club Of Hamilton Place Chattanooga Hosts Pastor Appreciation Event

The Rotary Club of Hamilton Place Chattanooga celebrated pastors by hosting a Pastor Appreciation Event.   Pastors from several local churches were invited by club members and attended the event. (click for more)

Mitch McClure To Speak On "We Can Join Them" On Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "We Can Join Them" in the  10:30 a.m.  service on  Sunday .   Each  Sunday  at  9:30 a.m.,   Sunday  school classes are available for all age groupings.   Presently  the pastor is leading ... (click for more)

Reworked Miller Park, Connections To Cost Up To $8.4 Million

A reworked Miller Park with improved connections to Patten Parkway and MLK Boulevard will cost $7.6 million. With contingencies, the price tag is tabbed at $8.4 million. The city only had two bidders on the major downtown project. Thomas Brothers Construction had the low bid of $7,637,413. Dillard Construction was just behind at $7,768,113. The city lists the "total project ... (click for more)

Dionne Upton Named New Principal At Woodmore Elementary School

Hamilton County Department of Education Interim Superintendent Dr. Kirk Kelly announced Friday the appointment of Dionne Upton to serve as principal at Woodmore Elementary School. Ms. Upton has 21 years of experience as a teacher, instructional coach, and assistant principal.  Along with her various educational experiences, she has also participated in the Leadership Fellows ... (click for more)

Scrutinizing Defense And Other Public Spending Is Right Thing To Do

I saw in the news today where U.S. senators were investigating and scrutinizing an Army "debacle," which has already spent $6 billion on a communications system developed by a defense contractor (WIN-T) that is virtually ineffective in use.   This is on top of a recent Navy scandal (Fat Leonard Scandal) where several current and former Navy admirals were sentenced to prison ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Suicide Letter

Two weeks ago there were five suicides and a fatal drug overdose in the same Chattanooga community. That absolutely tears me up inside because I am assured almost every day there is a better answer. I make no secret I struggle with depression and it is real. I want others to see if I can get through the valleys to climb the mountain, they can too. I take medicine every day that ... (click for more)