Read about important Crossroads Charlotte events, information and activities.
Cornel West delivered a fast-paced monologue detailing the decline of American civilization.
The man who nearly 20 years ago delivered the groundbreaking treatise on race relations in America, “Race Matters,” kept a sold out audience at Queens University chuckling and co-signing on his views.
West addressed religious fanaticism (by Christians), corporate greed, love for one another, sentencing disparities and a laundry list of other problems contributing to what he called the decline of American civilization. His winding narrative through racism in America touched on Socrates, Stevie Wonder, Emmitt Till’s mother, Trayvon Martin and more. The delivery was lecture in the key of rap.
The Rev. Cassandra Jones stood in the pulpit at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, a guest pastor with a message of grace and salvation through humility.
Jones, an African-American who on most Sundays may be found serving as associate pastor at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, spoke to the largely white audience at The Plaza’s Holy Trinity on Sunday, March 25.
Her theme focused on a difficult passage from John 12: 20-23, in which Jesus humbles himself by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. He at once is ridiculed.
Yet Jesus’ reputation had already intrigued a pilgrimage of Greeks, who wished to meet him in person. “They didn’t just want a third-party message,” she said.
Jones explained that Greeks were an uncommon race in Jerusalem and yet they had journeyed there to join his flock.
In addition to her work at Friendship Missionary Baptist, Jones serves as an adjunct faculty member at Shaw Divinity School and recently joined the faculty at New Life Theological Seminary as a professor of Christian education.
- About 30 members of the 145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard, returned home March 23 after serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Over 100 members of the 145th Airlift Wing were activated in early November to provide support for the ongoing war on terrorism in the Middle East.
- A midday rally against President Obama’s health-care requirements drew hundreds to the federal courthouse uptown last Friday. Speakers urged the audience to rise up against what they described as a threat to religious freedom. Critics took aim at a new rule that requires employers to offer free birth control to employees.
- Extra police will remain at several Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools this week. Tweets and Facebook posts about gang violence led to beefed-up security at Vance, West Meck, West Charlotte, Myers Park and Harding high schools last week after a 17-year-old Vance student was shot to death.
- Conservative blogger Tara Servatius found a picture online depicting President Obama dressed in drag with a bucket of chicken between his knees. She thought it would be a good illustration for her “Meck Deck” blog discussing the president’s decision to speak out against N.C.’s proposal to ban same-sex marriage. The former WBT talk show host resigned last week in the wake of the ensuing outrage.
- On March 31, 100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte will partner with Community Blood Center of the Carolinas to co-host an inaugural “Sickle Cell Awareness Community Blood Drive.” The event is part of a new CBCC program aimed at increasing the number of African American donors to support area patients with sickle cell disease. The event will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the CBCC Charlotte Center, 4447 South Blvd.
A different sort of collaboration is broadening Xchange Sermons.
More than 60 pastors, imams and rabbis last year and dozens more this year have swapped pulpits – affirming by their words and presence the importance of reconciliation. Now, the Rev. Nancy Ellett Allison and Rabbi Jonathan Freirich hope that two upcoming gatherings foster even more understanding in this often divided world.
Allison, spiritual leader of Holy Covenant United Church of Christ in the University City area, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 2, at Temple Beth El in Shalom Park in south Charlotte. The gathering will mark the first anniversary of the marriage of same-sex couples in Washington, D.C., a ceremony officiated by Allison, Rabbi Judy Schindler of Temple Beth El and Rev. Robin Tanner of Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church.
Besides lifting up marriage equality, Allison hopes the gathering lifts up another principle: That this is a pluralistic nation whose diversity should stir connections, not anxiety.
Freirich, associate rabbi at Temple Beth El, will lead a Model Seder dinner at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5, at Holy Covenant. That’s the night before Passover begins, marking the Jewish people’s exodus from slavery in Egypt. Describing the dinner as “Seder 101,” Freirich says he’ll share the customs and essence of Passover. This being a celebration of freedom, people of all faiths will join voices to sing “Let My People Go.”
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