Monday, February 26, 2018

Abundant Health, Abundant Life


Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b)  Our God is not a God of scarcity but of abundance. Nothing could be more precious than life: abundant life in this world and eternal life in the world to come. 
The health of our bodies is important to God, and so is the health of our soul and spirit. That is why The United Methodist Church has “Global Health” as one of its “Four Foci” (four areas of ministry focus). Health is important to us all; and the things that make for abundant and healthy bodies should be stressed emphasized as a part of our personal Christian stewardship.
Along with that, we need to be doing the things that promote abundant health around the globe. According to UMC Abundant Health, “Children are our future, and yet nearly 6 million children under the age of five die every year.  Millions of children and adolescents still don’t have access to the life-saving information, services and supplies they need for a healthy fulfilled life.”

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Octavius V. Catto

On September 26, 2017, a statue of Octavius V. Catto—who lived from February 22, 1839, to October 10, 1871—was erected in Philadelphia in the southwest apron of City Hall. It is the first statue of an individual African American to rise among the city’s 1,700-plus statues of white people.

This great leader was shot in the back Oct. 10, 1871, at age 32, the night before a closely contested mayoral election, according to John N. Mitchell, writing in the Philadelphia Tribune (Sept. 22, 2017).  Catto was a civil rights advocate before the phrase was coined; and in his young, abbreviated life he accomplished twice as much as most people.  

He fought for desegregation of ridership on the city’s horse-drawn streetcars. He transformed the Institute for Colored Youth (the only school for Black children) into one of the best schools in the city. He served as a Major in the National Guard. 

Most notably, Catto came alongside the iconic civil rights icon Fredrick Douglass to fight for the abolition of slavery and the right for African Americans to vote. This energetic, dedicated visionary also worked tirelessly to assist newly freed slaves who arrived in the city in search of a better life. 

His life was taken as a result of his support for a progressive mayoral candidate. There were tensions between the African Americans and the large Irish American community at that time. Many police officers were of Irish heritage, and some were found to have interfered with African Americans trying to vote.

Catto was the third person to be murdered during this election. His assassin was not tried for the heinous crime until five years later but was acquitted by an all-white jury.