LISTEN: Black Church Leaders Give Advice to People Upset About the Election of Trump; Florida State University Center Helps Black Churches Focus on Heart Health (BCNN1, 2/26/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Sunday, February 26, 2017.

1. According to the Los Angeles Sentinel, as trauma, paralysis and anguish envelope some people upset by the election of President Donald Trump, three ministers offer advice to believers to overcome feelings of helplessness. The Rev. Kelvin Sauls, pastor of Holman United Methodist Church; the Rev. Eddie Anderson, pastor of McCarty Memorial Christian Church; and the Rev. Dr. Anthony B. Pinn, professor of religion at Rice University in Houston, Texas recently shared their thoughts on the role of the church in the era of Trump. While all agreed that the people’s anxieties are understandable and should be listened to, the preachers were united in recommending prayer and action as ways to alleviate the pain. Pinn said, “This is the same democratic process that gave us Barack Obama, so we have to recognize that although hate and fear won this election, the beauty is that it is not the last word.”

2. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, as the nation recognizes American Heart Month this February, Florida State University’s Center on Better Health and Life for Underserved Populations has successfully helped 36 black churches in Leon and Gadsden counties set a foundation for healthier living. Penny Ralston is the center’s director and dean emeritus of FSU’s College of Human Sciences. She and her research team received multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health beginning in 2008 to determine how effective a church-based health program would be in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. They received a subsequent grant in 2013 that ends this month. Although Ralston and her colleagues continue to comb through the data, they can already celebrate positive outcomes that include significant increases in eating fruits and vegetables as well as overall cardiovascular disease knowledge and significant decreases in systolic blood pressure.

3. According to 11 Alive News, for the second consecutive week, the Stone Mountain church owned by a Grammy gospel nominee’s family was burglarized before another Sunday service. A member of the Kingdom City Church told 11Alive Sunday morning the church office was disturbed, but the sanctuary was untouched. Last week, burglars cut power to the church before breaking in, thus disabling the alarm system, and then stole $30,000 in microphones, projectors, televisions and other equipment. The church is the spiritual home to Grammy nominee Jamie Grace, and is owned by her family. This most recent incident is the eighth time the church has been burglarized.

4. According to the Associated Press, police say an 8-year-old girl has been fatally shot after the vehicle she was in was involved in a car crash in Houston. Investigators say the girl, De’Maree Adkins, and her mother were traveling down a Houston roadway early today when their Honda Accord was hit by a speeding Pontiac. Police say the Pontiac and a dark four-door sedan were speeding down a street when the Pontiac crashed into the vehicle the girl was in. According to police, the drivers of the Pontiac and the sedan then got out of their vehicles and began firing. The girl, who was in the backseat of the Honda, was hit. She died later at a hospital. Police continue looking for the drivers of the Pontiac and the sedan.

5. According to Daily Mail, Denzel Washington is reportedly in talks with Fences producer Scott Rudin about playing King Lear in a London production. The double Oscar-winner said, “I’m talking to Scott. He brought up the idea of playing King Lear, but I don’t know yet — we’ll see.” The actor played Don Pedro in Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 film Much Ado About Nothing.

6. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Tracy Morgan is the latest comedian headed to Netflix. The 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live grad will star in a stand-up special for the streaming giant set to air in May, it was announced Friday. Titled Staying Alive, the special will see Morgan explore his new take on life, career and mortality after surviving a near-fatal traffic collision in 2014. Topics include coping with a traumatic brain injury, his learning to walk again and even “falling for” his physical therapist. The special was filmed at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, N.J. and will launch globally on May 16th.

7. According to the Associated Press, Bernie Custis, pro football’s first black quarterback who blazed the trail for future Canadian Football League stars Warren Moon, Chuck Ealey and Damon Allen, has died. He was 88. Custis made pro football history on Aug. 29, 1951, when he became a starter with the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who confirmed his death Thursday. He starred at quarterback at Syracuse and was selected sixth overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 1951 NFL draft. But the former college roommate of Al Davis was told he’d play safety with the club, a move he resisted. The native of Washington opted to sign with Hamilton instead, starting every game in his first season in the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union, one of the leagues that would later form the CFL. Custis moved to running back the following season and in 1953 helped Hamilton win the Grey Cup, 12-6, over Winnipeg. Custis finished his pro career with the Ottawa Rough Riders, playing running back in 1955-56.