Mel Blount Youth Home 15th Annual All Star Celebrity Roast
Written by Debbie Norrell
POWERFUL TRIO—Mel Blount, TiAnda Blount and LaMarr Woodley
On April 5, at the beautiful Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown, hundreds attended the Mel Blount Youth Home 15th Annual All-Star Celebrity Roast: A Roast and Tribute honoring Pittsburgh Steeler Linebacker LaMarr Woodley. Current and former Steelers arrived early to sign footballs and Steeler memorabilia for the grand auction.
In a program message from Mel Blount he says he can’t believe it has been 15 years since his wife, TiAnda, wanted to do something special for his 50th birthday. “She had been praying for guidance from the Lord about how she could help me in my effort at the youth home. I was reluctant when she came to me with the original idea of the dinner. Now 15 years later I am thankful she followed the prompting of the Lord.”
On this wonderful evening LaMarr Woodley was honored. Blount says Woodley is a great role model in the NFL. Woodley returned to his hometown of Saginaw, Michigan and contributed over $60,000 of his own money to keep a football program alive. He is doing countless things in the Pittsburgh community as well. Woodley pledges $500 for each sack he records in a season, to support organizations serving disadvantaged kids in Saginaw and Pittsburgh including the Boys & Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania and Prevent Another Crime Today (PACT). Woodley donates an initial $5,000 and seeks sponsors to match.
Blount says in the months to come he will share information about plans for the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Youth Home.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 09:56
Finding Heaven: Tips for believers, non-believers
Written by Courier Newsroom
(News and Experts)—Americans believe in heaven—since 1997, the numbers have fluctuated from 72 to 80 percent, according to Gallup polls.
But what is heaven and what does it look like?
“Too often the popular idea of heaven is a place where you’ll have nothing to do but tell a jealous God how good he is over and over for all eternity—and that wouldn’t be much better than hell,” says Charlie Webster, former senior engineer for NASA, Bible scholar and author of “Revitalizing Christianity” (www.NewCenturyMinistries.com).
“That’s not Jesus’ picture of heaven,” he says.
Heaven will be a place with exciting challenges against a background of caring love from everyone and to everyone.
“But you don’t have to wait ‘til you die to experience some of the most important benefits of heaven,” Webster says. “Anyone can create a real foretaste of heaven wherever they are. And you don’t even have to believe in God to experience part of this—though it certainly works better if you let God help you.”
“Caring about and helping with the needs and pains of others brings real joy,” Webster says.
It’s the same thing Jesus said two millennia ago: When you focus on yourself, you are the only one interested in helping you, he says.
“Even in places of worship, most folks are asking, ‘What can God do for me?’ instead of ‘What could I do to make this world the caring place God wants it to be?’”
Here are three ways Webster says anybody, regardless of creed, can get a taste of heaven here on Earth:
• Forgiveness: When you forgive a hurt or transgression, there’s a great sense of relief—a weight has been lifted. Animosity eats at the bearer. But how to forgive? It takes both faith and sympathy—“faith that if the transgression needs to be punished, it will be, and sympathy because you can’t know what caused someone to anger you,” Webster says. “Take a road-rage scenario—some speeding motorist almost kills you. Your immediate reaction is anger. But do you know the reasons behind his risky driving? Maybe it’s just that he thinks everybody should get out of his way. God will deal with that. But maybe he’s responding to a genuine emergency that you might have handled the same way. If you turn the matter over to God, you can arrive home stress-free. Better yet, offer a prayer for the offender. Whatever the cause, he needs prayer.
• Helping Others: Rather than stressing over time, money and travel logistics for a vacation focused on pampering yourself, Charlie suggests helping others in the form of a mission trip—an all-around win. Volunteers often see a new part of the world; but more importantly they come home with wonderful new friends and the knowledge that they’ve made the world a better place. And you can usually find a trip that’s already planned and priced at reduced rates. When your mission vacation is over, you’ll truly be recharged and refreshed and you’ll have memories you could never get on a vacation focused on yourself.
• Having a Marriage that Works: By far the best marriages are the ones in which couples have asked themselves “how can I make his/her life better” rather than saying “I want him/her because he/she satisfies my needs.” Such marriages almost never end in divorce, Webster says. “Even couples who never go through a ceremony can experience this. God never demanded a ceremony—he demands the unselfish love that he knows will bring us true joy.”
“In the end heaven is really more about relationships than where you are,” Webster says. “It’s not fluffy clouds, scratchy robes, and awkward wings. The heaven Jesus taught about is an active life in an environment of unselfish caring—the kind of environment that builds strong bonds.”
“If you accept that the after-life taught by Jesus is real, then doing this in your daily life prepares you for an eternity of ever-greater joy. It’s a life of unselfish caring that brings the kind of joy that will make heaven, heaven.”
About Charlie Webster: As an engineer, Charlie Webster headed NASA projects for several years; as a Bible scholar, he has taught biblical studies at the college level.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 08:36
Written by Courier Newsroom
April 18—Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church, 6111 Rodman St., East Liberty, will host the Lott Carey Spring Conference 2013. The three-day seminar will feature Rev. Dr. John Mendez, Rev. Keron Sadler and Rev. Dr. Madeline McClenney-Sadler. The theme is “Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations.” For more information, visit www.lottcarey.org.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 09:53
Franklin Center celebrates Emancipation Proclamation anniversary
Written by Courier Newsroom
CHIEF WILLIAM F. ALSTON, ALIQUIPPA’S FIRST BLACK POLICE CHIEF
by Joby Brown
For New Pittsburgh Courier
African-Americans who made history, both locally and nationally were recognized as Aliquippa’s Franklin Center hosted the 150th Celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation.
A museum like atmosphere greeted visitors at the Broadway Café in downtown Aliquippa where the event was held. Citizens from Beaver County, Allegheny County and eastern Ohio, along with public officials attended the public exhibition. Students from several school districts attended mid-day sessions.
Leanne B. Spearman, from the Big Beaver Falls School District facilitated one day. The event was considered a huge success by Franklin Center official, Cheryl King, who beamed, “I am very pleased with the turnout, the exhibits and what they represent.”
The same feelings were shared by those who attended.
There were displays honoring national history makers like President Barack Obama, W.E.B. DuBois, former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice and many others, including an exhibit of George Washington Carver and many Black inventors and inventions such as the ironing board, the iron, hair curlers and other devices.
The most striking display was an authentic set of shackles that slaves were forced to wear, binding the neck, wrists and ankles. Adjacent to this exhibit was a wooden replica of the actual “quarters” that kidnapped Africans were forced to occupy during the trans-Atlantic voyage from the Motherland to North America, South America and the Caribbean.
The shackles were unbelievably heavy just to pick up, it is unimaginable what it would have been like to actually wear them, not to mention move about with them on.
Many from Beaver County were recognized on both wall and table displays, including William F. Alston, the first African-American police chief of Aliquippa; Dwan Walker, the first African-American mayor of Aliquippa; and Deacon George James, Beaver County’s first Black judge.
Lieutenant Calvin Smith of the Tuskegee Airmen; Delitha Green, Beaver County’s first Black RN and head nurse; and Joan Cockfield Tyson, one of the first three to graduate from Providence Nursing School were honored.
Rosalee Alford, one of the first teachers was recognized, along with Joseph Brown, who umpired Negro League games as they barnstormed in the Pittsburgh area, and his father, John who operated a very successful trucking business during the Great Depression.
Re-Konception!, the first local ministry to win a national award was honored. Cynthia Cook was the first African-American woman to serve as Big Beaver Falls school board president and as a dean at Geneva College. And Clifford Alford, was the first Black elected to Beaver Falls City Council.
George Walker was the first Black to serve as Rochester’s mayor. Many others were honored as Black people who made their marks in Beaver County history recently and years ago.
Shon Owens, Fatherhood Coordinator of the Aliquippa Council of Fathers said that The Franklin Center, which hosted the event was organized to help 14,000 people who lost their jobs when LTV Steel collapsed 25 years ago. It was formed to help lead those displaced employees into something different after the demise of Aliquippa’s manufacturing industry.
What resulted were education, housing, utilities and various programs. Owens stated, “I was brought on board to help address the epidemic of fatherlessness the is in our community. I also coordinate Fatherhood Initiative where we try to help fathers establish a stronger connection with their children.”
Owens, who’s background is in culinary arts said, “you can’t teach anyone to be a father, it is something that is born inside of you. God has given you that as a man, to rear your children, He built in protection and provider and your worth.”
These are the principles Owens strives to help men bring out and exhibit as fathers.
“Help them connect with their values, show them how valuable they are and that they are irreplaceable,” he said.
Shon and his wife Jikkiko have five children.
Owens concluded by describing the 150th Celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation as a way to recognize the achievements and accomplishments of not only nationally known African-Americans, but to introduce many local achievers to the public.
“Sometimes we aren’t aware of the great things that people living right next door to us have done,” he said. “Not to diminish the wonderful legacies Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and others, but let’s celebrate people from our community too.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 April 2013 09:46
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