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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

An Open Letter to the President: Selma and the Renewal of Faith and Preaching


Dear President Obama,   
The award of the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor to those who marched in Selma, Alabama in 1965 has special meaning because it calls for renewal as well as remembrance. You have told us often how important Selma and the Bridge are to you. As one who marched in Selma I want to tell you how important you are to us.
You embody many of the hopes for which we marched one of which was for a messenger who could deliver the Word. In Brown Chapel preparing for the Tuesday march one of the speaker’s declared that he was a preacher and today the Edmund Pettus Bridge would be his pulpit. I remembered that as I listened to your message at that bridge on the 50th anniversary which was a powerful fulfillment of that hope enriched by fifty years of preparation: the Sermon From Selma. The text from Isaiah 40 on renewing our strength as we face new challenges was the word of the Lord and you brought it home to us as has Dr. King and John Lewis and others.
I was a professor of preaching at Drew University in New Jersey when I saw on television John Lewis and others being crushed by police and horses and a great NO went through me. Then I heard Dr. King call out to join him and I felt the great YES. I said goodbye to my wife and two children and marched on Turnaround Tuesday and then in New Jersey. I referred to the importance of preaching at Selma and the Civil Rights Movement when I presented the opening lecture at the founding meeting of what was to become the Academy of Homiletics in Princeton later that same year. I claimed this witness as essential to the New Homiletic we needed and it has surely empowered the renewal of preaching. 
The Academy of Homiletics is meeting this year for its 50th anniversary and I hope we continue to learn from Selma and the lessons taught in the concrete classrooms of places like Ferguson, Missouri and New York. The renewal of preaching in the 21st Century calls for better interpretation of the Bible into our social and structural as well as personal and cultural contexts. We will benefit from the interpretation of sacred texts in secular settings that you teach. At Selma, in your Inaugural Speeches and throughout your presidency your spoken words have lifted President Theodore Roosevelt’s Bully Pulpit with an eloquence and theological dimension rarely reached with lessons to be studied for years to come.
Mr. President, I also learned in Selma as we knelt to pray that day that the glory comes not only in those bright moments when the victors enter the city but also in those dark times when we commit ourselves to the Cause whatever the outcome.
Thank you for all you and others have accomplished on the way so far. And as my son David says, Let us keep going, 
David James Randolph  
Host New Way Media Fest  http://newwaymediafest.blogspot.com
Author, “The Renewal of Preaching in the 21st Century,” Cascade Books







Thursday, January 8, 2015

March from Selma Changed History and Still Does Says Marcher David Randolph as Film Opens Widely

John Lewis and David Randolph in San Rafael, CA on August 2nd, 2009, International Forgiveness Day
ALBANY, Calif., Jan. 8, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- The film "Selma" makes visible the march that changed history and continues today, according to David James Randolph who marched in Selma on "Turnaround Tuesday." Randolph met with John Lewis more recently to thank him for his leadership and renew their commitment to march on in the great parade for love and justice.

Lewis and Randolph are "two thumbs up" on the film. Both men independently praise its fidelity to the event and relevance to the present. Both affirm the quality of interaction between Dr. King and President Johnson as positive. Randolph returned to his teaching at Drew University where he led the faculty of the school of theology to send a delegation to Montgomery for the conclusion of the march that had far reaching effects on theological education at Drew and beyond.

Randolph details his experience in his book "The Great Parade: Life, Love, Work:"

"Lessons learned then (in Selma) have meaning now. In the face of overpowering odds the action of a committed minority can transform society. Religious leaders can provide the spiritual and moral foundations for action while religious and educational institutions can inform and mobilize people. Media can draw attention to injustice and bring pressure for change. The President of the United States can use his 'bully pulpit' as did Lyndon Johnson. Legislators can pass better laws, courts justly interpret them and police humanely enforce them. Ordinary people can do extraordinary things when called upon by true leaders.

"As we face new challenges it's good to know that history is transformed not only in shining events when the victors enter the city but also in those shadowy moments when people commit themselves to the Cause whatever the outcome."

On Sunday, January 18th, events planned to renew the Selma spirit include a reading hosted by David Madgalene, editor of "World of Change," an anthology of poetry showing the relevance of the civil rights movement of the '60s today. Jym Marks contributed "I'm Not As Black As You Think I Am" and Julio Rodriguez calls for the community and the police to work together in "Dear Badge Man." Other local presenters at the Healdsburg California Literary Salon include Vilma Ginzberg.


"The Great Parade" and "World of Change" are published by New Way Media and available from Amazon.com.

David Randolph writes:

“I first crossed paths with John Lewis when he spoke at the March on Washington in 1963 and again in Selma in 1965. When we met in California in 2009 it was to give thanks for the march thus far and to commit ourselves to march on in God's Great Parade for love and justice for all.  
 The March on Washington in 1963 was the outward and visible sign of the inner and spiritual transformation, which would change the world through one of history's greatest events. This leads to the March from Washington which for me meant back home to New Jersey and to jail in Jackson Mississippi in 1964 and the Bridge in Selma Alabama in 1965 with the landmark legislation which continued to change the world until June 25, 2013 when it was nullified in effect by the Supreme Court.  The greatness of the March on Washington in 1963 is that it symbolizes the universal quest for freedom while embodying the specific accomplishments of an objective historical event and movement for individuals and society.

         Back on the bus afterwards in conversation with Drew University colleague John Godsey and others, we agreed that Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream speech summed up the day. I was not surprised by this but by the over-whelming spectacle of the event, especially the music of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary and Mahalia Jackson that lifted us so high. To his day I can hear the voice of Joan Baez soaring like the soul above he crowd. Suddenly those of us who can do so little alone believe we can do everything together, and a consciousness begins to form that we can change he world. The torch of Pres. Kennedy is passed to a new generation of Americans. Here is a new frontier and we are on it.
All this coalesces in an invisible energy supply, which will fuel us as we go back home and beyond. Lessons learned then have meaning now. In the face of overpowering odds the action of a committed minority can transform society. Religious leaders can provide the spiritual and moral foundations for action while religious and educational institutions can inform and mobilize people. Media can draw attention to injustice and bring pressure for change. The President of the United States can use his “bully pulpit” as did John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. Legislators can pass better laws, courts justly interpret them and police humanely enforce them. Ordinary people can do extraordinary things when called upon by true leaders. As we face new challenges it is good to know that history is transformed not only in those shining events when the victors enter the city but also in those shadowy moments when people commit themselves to the Cause whatever the outcome.”(The above is an excerpt from “The Great Parade: Life, Love, Work” by David James Randolph available from Amazon.com)

Dear Friends—
for your Calendar:
Monday, April 13, 2015. DINE WITH LOCAL AUTHORS: “WORLD OF CHANGE.”
Poetry by David Beckman, Vilma Ginzberg, Katherine Hastings, Elizabeth Herron, Kirk Lumpkin, Juanita Martin, Jim Miller, Gwynn O'Gara, Mike Tuggle, Bill Vartnaw, and Gor Yaswen. Series Host: Jeane Slone. Guest MC: David Madgalene. Minimum $5 food purchase.  Gaia’s Garden International Vegetarian Buffet, 1899 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. For reservations: info@jeaneslone.com or 544-2491.
Join Sonoma County Poets plus Special Guests as they share their poetry and how they’re helping to make the world a better place!

Via

David Madgalene


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Remember Jane Daggett Dillenberger 1916-2014


Photo by David James Randolph
Jane Daggett Dillenberger taught us the love of beauty and the beauty of love and now all these lessons are required to keep the learning alive. Her legacy as our Mentor and Muse lives on in the lives she touched, the academic field she pioneered, the books she wrote, the lessons she taught in classrooms, living and dining rooms as well as museums like the Metropolitan in New York when I was her Drew University student in the 1950's. In dark moments we may recall Jane's conviction that learning is a dialogue that never ends and continue the conversation in that light.

By David James Randolph
Student, Drew University
Colleague and Friend, Graduate Theological Union








Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Voices and Votes On 2014 Midterm Elections Coming to Berkeley Fellowship Saturday October 18, 2014 2-5 pm

"They've got all the advantages of concentrated money and concentrated power. All we got on the other side is our voices and our votes, and if we get out there and make something out of them, that's how we make the difference, " says Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).  

Major choices in the upcoming elections are presented by poets and artists with Open Mic and other discussion. David Madgalene, author of "Call Down the Angel" and editor of "World of Change" is MC. David Randolph, Event Host, seeks lessons to be learned from recent history with answers from Vic Sadot, Kirk Lumpkin, Susan Mashiyama, Steve Shain and others plus Open Mic participants led by Holly Harwood. Donations accepted but no one turned away for lack of funds.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

RENEWAL OF FAITH WITH NEW MEDIA AND ANCIENT ARTS IN AMERICA AND KOREA CELEBRATED AT CONFERENCE IN BERKELEY

(Pictured from legit to right are Dr. Sam Park, Dr. Mee-Rha Hahn, Dr. David James Randolph and Dr. Byung June Hwang.

Ways of renewal of faith and preaching with new media and ancient arts were demonstrated and celebrated at the Conference on preaching held at the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley on June 26 attended by church leaders from Korea and the United States.

Keynote speaker Dr. David James Randolph said that in the 21st Century when conforming to popular cultures is leading to decay, transformation is possible no less than in the first Century when Christian faith came by preaching. The foundations of faith must be equally strong and new media and visual language are among contemporary resources which must be developed according to Dr. Randolph. He illustrated with the use of a brief movie form adaptable to YouTube.

Host Dr. Sam Park of the American Baptist Seminary of the West demonstrated how preaching can be enriched by uniting the ancient tradition of story telling in Asia with presentation using a longer movie form adaptable to chapel and classroom.

Dr. Byung June Hwang, leader of the Korean delegation, stressed the importance of new ways of communicating faith to address church decline in Korea and America with planning for the future.

Dr. Mee-Rha Hahn of Hoseo University spoke forcefully of the advantages to be gained from cross-cultural studies in theology and society. Dr. Hahn charmed the group with her graceful familiarity with a broad range of arts and science.

David Madgalene, poet, writer, artist and author of “Call Down the Angel” joined the discussion by bearing witness to the impact of poetry and the visual arts on church and society globally as represented in his anthology “World of Change.”

Dr. Nancy Hall welcomed the conference on behalf of ABSW and afterward expressed warm gratitude for the event and the hope that this be one of a series of such events and cultural exchanges.

Discussions are in fact underway to continue and expand this conference  and  related events and publications. Stay tuned to New Way Media Fest for more.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

CHILDREN OF DAWN AWAKENED BY HARPIST AT NEW WAY MEDIA FEST 2014 IN BERKELEY


Harpist Susan Mashiyama is thanked by Fest Host David Randolph after performing his work entitled "Children of the Dawn" at the New Way Media Fest 2014 at the historic Berkeley Fellowship Hall. Dr. Randolph's 80th birthday was also celebrated with highlights from the film "The Great Parade" featuring dance and choreography by Carla DeSola.


  
David Madgalene, Master of Ceremonies, announces "World of Change" to the beat of Steve Shain. This new anthology, edited by Madgalene and published by New Way Media, features the work of over 60 poets from across the San Francisco Bay Area and the world. Featured at the Festival were anthology contributors, the celebrated Clive Matson and Veteran for Peace Fred Norman. Also featuring were BFUU Poet Holly Harwood and Vic Sadot, singer-songwriter, and head of BFUU's Social Justice Committee.  



Susan Mashiyama is pictured above performing    
Children of the Dawn

David James Randolph, Text © 2012
To the tune: O WALY WALY
Thanks to Nancy E. Hall

O God, we sing our praise to you –
Our Father, Mother, Parent true.
May sisters, brothers, nations, all
Embrace Creation by your call.

We give you thanks in everything –
In summer, autumn, winter, spring.
In all our nights and all our days,
We offer you our thanks and praise.

We give you thanks for your dear son
Who offers life to everyone.
So when we drink and when we eat,
In Christ’s true presence may we meet.

Our prayers to you will never cease
Till all the world shall be at peace.
Turn us away from pride and greed
To share our wealth with those in need.

In darkest times of threat and terror,
Save us, O God, from hateful error.
May we find light and pass it on,
To be true children of the dawn.


The New Way Media Fest 2015 is scheduled for Saturday, May 16, featuring the film by Randolph and Madgalene entitled "Dinner With Jane," in honor of Jane Dillenberger. This was filmed at our first Fest in 2004 and features Doug Adams, Robert Funk, Stephen DeStaebler and contemporaries. Thanks to CARE, Center for the Arts, Religion and Education, at the Graduate Theological Union, and the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, especially the Social Justice Committee. Stay tuned for news to come.