Mercy Junction Holding Candlelight Vigil For Missouri Teenager Killed By Police

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mercy Junction, along with St. Marks United Methodist and Renaissance Presbyterian churches, will hold a candlelight vigil and prayer service on Monday evening, following the funeral of the Missouri teenager who was killed by police on Aug. 9.  The Chattanooga vigil is part of a nationally coordinated action with events taking place in cities across the United States.  The vigil and prayer service will be on the Walnut Street Bridge, beginning at 8 p.m. Mercy Junction invites other faith communities to join in hosting the event.

The Walnut Street Bridge was chosen as the location for the prayer vigil because of its direct ties to Chattanooga's own tragic race history. In 1906, Ed Johnson, a young black man, was murdered by a lynch mob on the bridge despite a stay of execution issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In Missouri, a public funeral will be held for 18-year-old Michael Brown, on Monday.
Protests have continued in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson since police shot the unarmed black teenager nearly two weeks ago.

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, and raided a church that was offering safe space to organizers and activists.

The police response 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 even resulted in 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.

The Rev. Brian Merritt, founder and evangelist at Mercy Junction, traveled to Ferguson last week, after the Rev. Landon Whitsitt, executive and stated clerk of the Synod of Mid-America issued 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.”

Rev. Merritt will talk about his time in Ferguson at Monday night's event. This will be followed by prayers and the lighting of candles.

Faith communities who wish to join as hosts can contact Mercy Junction Social Justice Coordinator Beth Foster at 423-457-2519 or email holyhereticzine@gmail.com. Names of other faith communities joining will be added to the event on Mercy Junction's page at facebook.com/MercyJunction.


Middle Valley Church Of God Hosts Chili Cook-Off This Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God will host a Chili Cook-Off this  Sunday,  beginning at  6:30 p.m.   This annual event is designed to raise funds for the church's Cusuna, Honduras Missions Project.  Middle Valley COG works with other churches to provide a feeding center, medical clinic, and churches for orphans and widows in Cusuna.  This Honduran ... (click for more)

"Let's Get Better Together" Is Sunday's Topic At Middle Valley

Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, 'Let's Get Better Together'  in the  10:30 a.m.  service this  Sunday.   This is part of a new sermon series titled 'Loving, Accepting, And Forgiving Will Work.'  This series of sermons will focus on the need of all Christians to examine relationships and discover ways in which they ... (click for more)

Cleveland School Board Votes 5-2 To Terminate School Director Ringstaff Over Twitter Messages

The Cleveland School Board on Friday fired Dr. Martin Ringstaff, director of schools, for sending sexually explicit messages to an anonymous woman a year ago.  His termination is effective immediately and does not include severance pay.  The school board called an emergency meeting after Dr. Ringstaff, who is married, admitted to sending explicit messages to ... (click for more)

History Center Not Giving Out Any More Information On Past Spending Details, Current Status, At This Time

The president of the Chattanooga History Center, which has halted plans for a world class history museum near the Aquarium after raising over $10 million, said no other information will be provided at this time. Chattanoogan.com had sought details about prior spending and the salary of former executive director Daryl Black as well as the center's current status. Jo Coke said, ... (click for more)

A Missing Link In Chattanooga's Crime Prevention Program

I would like to begin by introducing myself. I grew up in Chattanooga and I love this city. As a child, the space program and lunar landings were in full swing. I dreamed of a progressive city. I grew up reading books about space, travel, and superheroes at the Bicentennial Library.  I am the only son of a local pastor and businessman. When I graduated from East Ridge High ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The School’s Search Begins

Jonathan Welch, the chairman of the Hamilton County School Board, had no idea he would be giving himself a well-deserved treat some months ago when he promised his son they would go on a mission trip together. This week has to be the first time his phone hasn’t blinked overload since a December tragedy triggered a tsunami and repeated shock waves that crashed the Hamilton County ... (click for more)