Youngstown pastor on shootings in Buffalo, Laguna Woods


Reverend Lewis Macklin

The pandemic and its challenges have been superseded by concerns of a possible resurgence, a shortage of infant formula, inflation, escalating violence and now monkey pox. It’s actually an exciting time for His light to shine during these dark times.

Augustine of Hippo gently reminds us that “there is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future”. Have you ever noticed that the villain is a hero in his own story? It is my hope that we learn to extend the grace to others that we seek for ourselves. Many note that God is a second-chance God.

However, I am humbled and grateful to know that God is a God of another chance. This is great news because the first chance happened so long ago that many would not be able to identify it. Moreover, we do not draw closer to God by passing judgment on others. I pay tribute to my friend and brother, John Dellick, whose arduous journey has been widely reported in such a public way. It is a testimony of the unmerited grace of God.

My awesome brother Keith Vukasinovich observed that men, especially young men, rarely admit to feeling broken inside. From a broken place, they make broken decisions that shatter the relationships around them. It’s a downward spiral. You can’t fix what you don’t recognize. I’m proud that John faced the issues that some might have thought was his demise.

Sometimes a setback is preparation for a comeback. The former Canfield student applied to a few colleges and was rejected by one due to his background. Still, he resolved not to give up. He applied and was accepted to Cleveland State University. There he received the support and understanding of the staff without any judgement.

As he reflected on his journey, he now sees that God’s hand was in every detail. Where John once felt shame, remorse and embarrassment has been replaced with love and trust. He received beauty for ashes as the promise of Isaiah 61:3.

The life lessons we endure from our traumas and triggers can become our testimony! Scars and scabs are proof that healing has taken place. In time, these bruises and burns will reveal the blessings. I congratulate John for overcoming the trials of life to triumph.

Pray for our nation

The preamble to our nation’s declaration of independence – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness” – was challenged once again. escalating episodes of mass shootings do not reflect any community or place of worship is immune. Yet the antidote continues to be love. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Hate cannot drive our hate, only love can.

Dr. Emory James is credited with sharing this observation: “Grief shared is grief diminished.” We stand with each of our neighbors who are struggling with these devastating acts of violence. I agree with the pastoral statement on the Buffalo mass shooting from Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Michael Curry. His thoughts also apply to the recent church shooting in Laguna Woods, California:

“My heart is heavy to learn that a white supremacist gunman killed 10 children of God in Buffalo on Saturday. I grew up [within] walking distance to the scene of this hate crime, and my friends and I used to bike around the neighborhood. Buffalo’s black community raised and trained me. I cry with the city and the people I love.

The loss of all human life is tragic, but there was deep racial hatred behind this shooting, and we must turn away from the deadly path our nation has walked for far too long. Bigotry-based violence – any bigotry at all – against our brothers and sisters who are people of color, Jewish, Sikh, Asian, transgender, or any other group, is fundamentally wrong. As baptized followers of Jesus of Nazareth, we are called to uphold and protect the dignity of every human child of God, and to actively uproot white supremacy and racism that are deeply embedded in the core of our common life.

Let us continue to pray for the communities affected by these heinous acts against humanity. We are united in our expression of gratitude for the first responders’ response, which likely saved many more lives. Even in the midst of tragedy, even when the manifestations of evil threaten to overwhelm, let us hold fast to the good. It is the only path that leads to life.

It’s just a test

I would like to add lightness to this week’s column, to give balance to the important issues of the time. Our daughter Emily had to take calculus as a final requirement for graduation. As an incentive, I offered to teach her to drive if she got a B in the class. Not so quietly, I hoped she finished the course with a C.

Now, before you judge me harshly, I thought she would graduate anyway, while I would be spared the anxiety-inducing experience of teaching another teenager. Much to my regret, Emily was so motivated that she even got an A in the class.

I’m sure other parents have negotiated similar arrangements with theirs. It reminds me of the time when a teenager had just passed his driving test and asked his father when they could discuss his use of the car. His father said he would make a deal with his son: “If you get your grades from C to B, study your Bible and get your hair cut, then we’ll talk about the car.”

The boy thought about it for a moment and agreed. Six weeks later, his father said, “Son, you improved your grades and I noticed you were studying your Bible, but I’m disappointed you didn’t cut your hair.

The teens thoughtfully pondered his argument for keeping his lock.

“You know, Dad, I thought about it, and I noticed in my Bible studies that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair, and there’s even evidence strong that Jesus had long hair. Hair.”

The father replied, “Did you also notice that they were all walking everywhere they went?”

Youth Summer Jobs Program

The Mahoning County Department of Employment and Family Services is accepting applications for its Temporary Assistance for Needy Families summer employment program at the Oakhill Renaissance Building, 345 Oak Hill Ave., Entrance A, Youngstown .

Candidates can submit their applications on Monday, May 23 or Tuesday, May 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Program participants must be between the ages of 14 and 18 and will be assigned to work locations within the community.

Stop the Violence Campaign

Warren Mayor Doug Franklin and Warren Brethren Against Violence will hold a community meeting Monday, May 23 at 6 p.m. at Third Christian Church, 241 1st St. SW, Warren.

They are particularly calling on men from Warren and surrounding areas to attend this rally, which will address the recent spike in violence. The goal is to unite hearts and hands to invoke love, peace and happiness in the community.

A call to serve

God willing and God’s people consenting, the Most Reverend Mark Hollingsworth Jr., Bishop of Ohio and Prelate of the Episcopal Church, will ordain Dr. Robin Woodberry to Holy Orders of Deacons in the Holy Catholic Church on Saturday and Apostolic Service of Christ, May 28 at 10 a.m. at Trinity Cathedral, 2230 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland.

Dr. Woodberry was the former associate pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church and former executive director of the Mahoning Valley Association of Churches. Daughter of Reverend Gena and Deacon Robert Thornton, she is the third generation of gifted preachers and pastors.

Dr. Woodberry, who enjoys dancing and athletics, is married to Anthony Woodberry. They have a growing family of children and grandchildren. Best wishes, Dr. Rob, on this journey as you continue to discern God’s will.

walk for jesus

Downtown Youngstown will be the site of the Valley’s “March for Jesus” event taking place on Saturday, June 4. The event will start at 10 a.m., but doors open at 8:30 a.m. under the Market Street Bridge. During this time, t-shirts can be purchased and participating children will receive balloons for the event.

The March for Jesus is an event that will be celebrated in many cities in many different states on the same day. This is a mile-long praise parade around downtown Youngstown, ending at the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater at 1 a.m. with a prayer service.

Rise up!

El Shaddai Dominion Ministries will host the Community Rise Up Community Cookout initiative. Ten scholarships will be awarded June 4 at 5 p.m. at Wick Park, 260 Park Ave., Youngstown.

Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and intend to attend college or trade school to be considered. Apostle Edie Smith is the head of ministry, for more information visit the congregation’s website.

god loves you 2022

Many people are adrift today with no real hope, peace or purpose in life. This fall, Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will share God’s message of love through an evangelistic campaign in six cities, from Pennsylvania to Minnesota. The tour stop will feature live music and Franklin will deliver the message.

Franklin Graham chose the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater as his only stop in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. The free event is scheduled for Tuesday, September 27 at 7 p.m. He will share the good news and the Newsboys will provide the praise and worship.

Reverend Lewis W. Macklin II is the senior pastor of Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, chaplain of the Youngstown Police Department, president of the Council of Baptist Ministers, and local coordinator of the African American Men’s Wellness Walk of Mahoning Valley. He resides in Youngstown with Dorothy, his partner in marriage and ministry. They share the love and joy of six children and eight grandchildren and their mischievous dog, Sir Winston. Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New Living Translation.

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