LISTEN: At black church in London, Theresa May urges Christians to talk openly about faith (06/01/17)

1. According to Christian Today, Theresa May urged Christians to talk openly about their faith as she visited Jesus House – one of the largest black-majority Pentecostal churches in the UK – on Sunday. The Prime Minister was interviewed by Pastor Agu Irukwu in front of thousands at the north London megachurch and was asked about black and ethnic representation in parliament, Christian persecution and marriage. Addressing concerns about a clampdown on Christians being able to voice their beliefs, May told the congregation: ‘One of the things I think we can all do in terms of faith is to give very clear signs of our faith and be prepared to talk about it so that people can see that that freedom exists and also so there will be roles models for people to look to and to follow.’

2. According to the Department of Justice, the founding pastor of New Birth Christian Center, a non-denominational church in Chicago, his wife, and three associates have pled guilty to defrauding a summer food program for low-income children. Robbie Wilkerson, 49, and his wife Tasha, 44, both of Oak Park, Ill., entered their guilty pleas today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins. Robbie Wilkerson pled guilty to wire fraud and money laundering; Tasha Wilkerson pled guilty to theft of government funds. The business administrator for the 2010 summer food program, Anthony Hall, 54, a NBCC pastor, of Downers Grove, Ill.; Richard Shumate, 51, program operations manager for the 2010 program; and his wife Evelyn Shumate, 48, who worked as an assistant for the program, of Romeoville, Ill., each entered pleas of guilty last week to one count of theft of government funds.

3. According to the Washington Post, a noose was found Wednesday in a public gallery at the National Museum of African American History and Culture museum, the second such incident on Smithsonian grounds in less than a week, officials said. David J. Skorton, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, said in an email announcement that he had to share “deeply disturbing news” that the rope was found in an public exhibition space Wednesday afternoon. It was in the Segregation Gallery on the second floor of the history galleries. Skorton wrote: “The Smithsonian family stands together in condemning this act of hatred and intolerance, especially repugnant in a museum that affirms and celebrates the American values of inclusion and diversity.”

4. According to the New York Times, President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, who have spent the past few months slowly figuring out the rhythm of post-White House life, have taken some time to invest in local real estate: They just spent $8.1 million to buy the mansion they’ve been renting in an exclusive neighborhood here. Last May, the Obamas decided to lease the 8,200-square-foot Tudor-style mansion in Kalorama, a Washington neighborhood that has long been home to diplomats, lobbyists, politicians and the occasional spy. The wealthy enclave is especially crowded lately: President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, her husband, Jared Kushner, and Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson have all moved into Kalorama in recent months.

5. According to Deadline, WGN America is officially out of the high-end original scripted series business. As expected, the cable network today cancelled acclaimed drama Underground after two seasons. It follows the recent cancellation of fellow drama Outsiders as WGN America is changing its programming course, while its parent Tribune is preparing for its acquisition by Sinclair. Tribune Media President and CEO Peter Kern said: “Despite Underground being a terrific and important series, it no longer fits with our new direction and we have reached the difficult decision not to renew it for a third season. We are tremendously proud of this landmark series that captured the zeitgeist and made an impact on television in a way never before seen on the medium. We thank the incomparable creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski and the great John Legend, along with the talented creative team and cast who brought the unsung American heroes of the Underground Railroad to life. We are grateful to the loyal fans of Underground and our partners at Sony Pictures Television. It is our hope that this remarkable show finds another home and continues its stories of courage, determination and freedom.”

6. According to USA Today’s For the Win, on Wednesday morning, LeBron James’ Los Angeles home was vandalized with racist graffiti. James was not at the house. On Wednesday afternoon, James faced the media for the first time since the incident and delivered a thoughtful response to the racist vandalism. Speaking to reporters ahead of Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals, James thought back to Emmett Till, who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 at 14 years old, and made a moving statement about race in America. James said: “It just goes to show that racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America. Hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living everyday, even though it’s concealed most of the time. We know people hide their faces and will say things about you when they see that smile on your face. It’s alive every single day. I think back to Emmett Till’s mom actually and the reason that she had an open casket is because she wanted to show the world what her son went through as far as a hate crime and being black in America. No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough. We got a long way to go for us as a society and for us as African Americans until we feel equal in America.”

7. According to the Washington Post, police in Jupiter, Fla., released dash-cam footage Wednesday of the arrest of Tiger Woods for driving under the influence two days earlier. The videos show the golf superstar unsteady, disoriented and struggling to comply with sobriety tests. Woods, 41, was arrested near his home in Jupiter after police noticed his 2015 Mercedes pulled over toward the side of a road. After failing his roadside tests, he was charged with DUI, as well as improper parking, although no alcohol was found in his system. Woods was taken to jail and subsequently released on his own recognizance. In a statement he released Monday, Woods claimed that he was suffering from “an unexpected reaction to prescription medications.” Officers noted in their report that Woods was “extremely slow to answer questions, had slurred and mumbled speech, and was slow to provide” documents such as his license and registration.

That’s all for today. You can read these stories and more online at BCNN1.com

In closing, remember, the good news of God’s love. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Thanks for listening. May God bless your day.