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Black churches are no longer ground zero for civil rights activism

The Rev. Delman Coates approached his pulpit Dec. 14 with a straightforward sermon: "Black Lives Matter."

The Facebook page of his Mount Ennon Baptist Church featured photos of a congregation of thousands, dressed in black, with their hands held up. And the Clinton, Md., church announced plans for a "March on Annapolis" on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to push state lawmakers on police brutality, foreclosure and African-American businesses and colleges.

Enlivened by joy

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When all the graced visionaries have prophesied, when the healers have soothed every pain, when all the fettered are set free, when the naked and the shamed are clothed with justice and dignity (Isaiah), one will come among us -- one in whom hope and healing, freedom and salvation will find their most eloquent expression (John). He is the one for whom we wait with joy (1 Thessalonians). On this, the third Sunday of Advent, Isaiah, Paul and the two Johns (the evangelist and the Baptizer) call the assembly to cultivate that joy and allow it to sustain us. Ours is good news.

Ferguson business owner 'overwhelmed by love, kindness, service'

Plywood covered the broken front windows of her restaurant, the back door served as the main entrance, and no diners appeared on this afternoon.

Yet Maria Flores counted her blessings.

"God was watching over us," Flores said, standing in the intact dining area at El Palenque restaurant about a block from the Ferguson Police Department.

After Ferguson and Eric Garner decisions, white Christians say it's time to stand with blacks

"African-American brothers and sisters, especially brothers, in this country are more likely to be arrested, more likely to be executed, more likely to be killed."

It's the kind of statement that's often cited by black clergy and civil rights activists. But hours after a grand jury on Wednesday chose not to indict the New York City police officer who put Eric Garner into a fatal choke hold on Staten Island, those words came from none other than white evangelical leader Russell Moore.

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