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According to Religion News Service, In an Instagram post on Thursday, Carl Lentz, the lead pastor of Hillsong NYC, admitted to an extramarital affair, ending a day of speculation as to why he had been fired. On Wednesday, Hillsong founding pastor Brian Houston notified staff and members of Hillsong East Coast by email of Lentz’s termination. The email, which was obtained by Religion News Service, cited “leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures” as the reason for the firing but did not reveal more details, saying to do so “would not be appropriate. I know this will come as a shock to you, but please know that this action was not taken lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl,” Houston wrote. In his Instagram post, Lentz admitted to being “unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life. This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions,” according to the post. “When you accept the calling of being a pastor, you must live in such a way that it honors the mandate. That it honors the church, and that it honors God. When that does not happen, a change needs to be made and has been made in this case to ensure that standard is upheld,” Lentz said in the post. He expressed gratitude for his time at the church and said leading Hillsong NYC “has been an honor in every sense of the word. This is a hard ending to what has been the most amazing, impacting and special chapter of our lives.” In a statement Houston posted on the church site later in the evening on Wednesday, he repeated much of his initial email but added praise for Lentz’s work at Hillsong and said he was grateful for the years of service Lentz and his wife gave to Hillsong NYC. “They have a heart for people and we are confident that after a time of rest and restoration, God will use Carl in another way outside of Hillsong church. In terminating his tenure, we in no way want to diminish the good work he did here,” the statement said. Lentz, in his post, also acknowledged a need for rest, for rebuilding trust with his wife and children and “taking real time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need. In his statement, Houston assured readers ministry would “proceed as usual,” and the leadership team was “praying that God would bring about an exciting new season for our church and this region.”
According to Daily Mail, Donald Trump has picked up 20 per cent of black male voters – an increase of two per cent on 2016. While 80 per cent voted for Joe Biden, that figure was down from 82 per cent for Hillary Clinton and from 95 per cent for Obama. More than half – 52 per cent – of black men who identified as ideologically conservative cast their vote for the president and 1 in 3 black men living in the Midwest also voted for him. 26 percent of black men with a high school diploma or less supported Trump – while 22 percent with a bachelor’s degrees and 20 percent of black men with advanced degrees also supported him. Trump has gained endorsements from rappers like Lil Wayne and has partnered with Ice Cube to create an investment plan for the black community dubbed the Platinum Plan. Support for the Democratic presidential candidate reached a new low among black men in the 2020 election as some chose to vote for President Donald Trump instead, and others were turned off Joe Biden by a series of campaign gaffes. Biden received a significantly lower percentage of the vote among black men than Barack Obama, according to exit poll data from NBC, but also managed to win a lower percentage of the demographic than Hillary Clinton. The former Vice President received a lower number of votes from black women than both Obama and Clinton as well, although he still won their support over Trump by a landslide. The drop in black support for Biden was especially prominent in the Midwest and it comes despite Trump receiving some backlash for his response to Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.
According to Associated Press, In the battle for control of the U.S. Senate this year, the Deep South is fielding more Black candidates than it has since Reconstruction. In South Carolina, Jaime Harrison is raising a previously unfathomable amount of money in what has become a competitive fight to unseat one of the more powerful Republicans in the Senate. He’s joined by Raphael Warnock in neighboring Georgia, the leading Democrat in a crowded field running for the seat held by an appointed Republican. Mike Espy and Adrian Perkins, meanwhile, are launching spirited bids for the Senate in Mississippi and Louisiana, respectively. Their candidacies come during a year of deep reckoning in the U.S. over systemic racism and represent a more diverse type of political leader in the South, where Democrats have tended to rally behind white moderates in recent years in often ill-fated attempts to appeal to disaffected Republicans. “It’s continually a tough fight that we wage to help Democrats imagine a world where people who look like myself, are viable candidates everywhere — not just in your blue states, not just in the urban cities,” said Quentin James of The Collective, a political action committee that supports Black candidates. The Senate currently has three Black members: Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina and Democrats Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California. Harris is the Democratic vice presidential nominee.
According to Daily Mail, A mother and father in Texas are grieving after their five-year-old daughter died from coronavirus hours after being sent home from hospital. Last week, Tagan White, from Amarillo, tested positive for COVID-19 after sleeping all through the day and then getting up to vomit, reported KAMR. Doctors in the emergency room told her parents, Lastassija White and Quincy Drone, that the virus would not affect her severely and told them that Tagan should get rest. Later that night, Tagan’s mother walked into her daughter’s room and found the kindergartner unresponsive. She was rushed back to the hospital, but it was too late and, hours later, Tagan was pronounced dead. ‘My daughter was perfectly healthy. Perfectly healthy,’ White told KAMR. ‘There’s no way that should have happened.’ Tagan’s parents say they taught their daughter to wear her mask when she was out in public and, sometimes, she would even remind them to wear face coverings. ‘This doctor told us that our child would be fine, and our child didn’t even make it twenty-four hours,’ Tagan’s father, Drone, told KAMR. ‘She died within the next fifteen hours.’ He parents say they hope to share Tagan’s story so they can raise awareness of the risks of COVID-19, even in young children. ‘We feel as parents that our daughter could have been saved,’ Drone told the local station. ‘We just honestly feel like even if – they probably shouldn’t have sent her home. I mean it was just mistakes made…too many mistakes made that cost a five-year-old her life.’ ‘We’re trying to bring light, so this doesn’t happen again. We don’t want any parents to feel what…we can’t even tell y’all what we’re feeling right now.’
According to The Christian Post, Coronavirus not only has hospitalized or killed a disproportionate share of Latinos and African Americans and their church leadership, it threatens the existence of some of their congregations and is shifting the platforms of many congregations, leading to a very significant downturn for in-person attendance. “I could name 15-20 people I know, brother pastors who have died,” sighed the Rev. Tony Miranda, president of the Convención Bautista Hispana de Texas, about the toll the coronavirus has taken on his organization. Even more of his colleagues from Mexico have passed away from the virus. Latinos and African Americans have been hospitalized for COVID-19 at roughly three times the rate of Caucasians, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hispanics are 36% more likely to die than whites, and the rate for blacks is 99% higher than Caucasians, APM Research Lab discovered. Several dozen officials of predominantly African-American denominations have succumbed, raising the profile of the impact of the virus on churches of color. Hispanic and black congregations long have been centers for their ethnic communities. Beyond preaching and teaching, these institutions have often advocated for those both on and off membership rolls, met basic human needs for the poor and provided listening ears and sensitivity for those coming through welcoming doors. A Pew Forum survey released in August found 37% of Hispanic and 42% of African-American churchgoers wanted their churches closed to in-person functions, compared with only 21% of Caucasians. Just one in five blacks and a quarter of Latinos who were formerly regular attendees had attended a physical service since the virus hit, but two in five of whites had. Of the three ethnic groups, African Americans at 77% were slightly more likely than the other two to have watched a televised or online service. That is a plus in the largely negative coronavirus culture, Bishop David Daniels of the Church of God in Christ told CP.
According to Daily Mail, A Virginia husband shot dead his wife of more than two decades after she reportedly approached him with separation papers in an apparent murder-suicide, authorities said. The unexpected tragedy happened at 10.01pm on Halloween night in Stafford County, where the Francis family lived in a residence on Baldwin Drive. Deputies arrived to the residence after they received a report of two gunshots sounding from the couple’s upstairs bedroom. Once inside, they discovered Peter Francis, 57, and his wife, Michele Francis, 53, dead inside the master bedroom. Both sustained a single gunshot wound. ‘The initial investigation indicates Peter Francis Sr. shot his wife, Michele ‘Mikki’ Francis, before killing himself,’ a statement said. An investigation into the murder-suicide is still underway, but Michele’s oldest daughter said the tragedy was about separation papers. ‘My father took my mom’s life simply because she got tired of his abuse and had decided to leave him,’ Tiffini Amber Pietrzak, 24, told The Free Lance-Star. ‘He’s been causing us pain our entire lives and now he’s caused pain that may never go away.’ Peter and Michele had been married for 26 years at the time of the incident. They had three children, including an 18-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter. Both siblings are in high school and were residents of the Francis’ Stafford County home. ‘I never imagined having two extra people to be responsible for,’ Pietrzak told The Free Lance-Star.
According to Baptist Press, Gospel singer and minister Lynda Randle imitates the voice of her late father Nate Tait: “I was always taught, my dad would say in his voice, ‘Baby, if you don’t mean it, don’t sing it.’ “I found songs that were just healing, that resonate in my spirit and have healed me, literally, and then I’m able to sing and communicate that to other people,” Randle said in advance of the Friday (Oct. 16) release of her Christmas album, “White Christmas.” “I think that’s how God blesses that.” Songs encapsulating Jesus’ compassion, love and forgiveness helped Randle recover from childhood sexual abuse, and she believes the medium of song can be a “healing balm” as America faces the limitations of COVID-19 during the Christmas season. Randle’s father was a pastor, but the daily family devotions, prayers and Bible studies her parents led in their Washington D.C., home were not enough to protect Randle and her siblings from pain. Randle, who has chosen not to publicly reveal details of the sexual abuse, said when she found the strength to tell her parents about it, like so many parents in their generation they didn’t know what to do. “They weren’t dismissing it because it wasn’t valid or it wasn’t a real issue. They were dismissing it because they didn’t know how to deal with it. They just didn’t,” Randle said. “And of course we know it happens in families all over the world; I’m not unique in that. “But it’s just how God has made me this victorious woman of God; not a victim. I’m not this victim held captive by my past and those things that happened, and I could have been. I could have been anything. I could have been in prison. I could have been on drugs. I could have been. … I thank God that He delivered me from what could have potentially been for my life not a good thing, and blessed me, and blessed our home. I’m just very grateful for that.” The Dove Award winner and Gaither Homecoming performer only sings songs she believes, songs suited to her vocal range and rooted in Who and What God has been to her. That is what she offers on “White Christmas,” her first Christmas album release in more than a decade.
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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “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.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!