September 11, 2020
From Our Pastor
Yesterday's sports news contained the report that Dak Prescott, quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, shared in an interview that the death of his older brother from suicide ushered him into depression and anxiety. It was an honest and authentic statement of loss and sadness, and revealed that athletes are not inoculated from mental anguish. Well...predictably, a sports-talk shock-jock, Skip Bayless, suggested that Prescott's vulnerability displayed weakness and lessened his stature as a team leader. Yes, you read that correctly: in 2020 on national television a sports-reporter opined that football players mustn't share publicly any struggles with emotional health.

Forgetting for just a moment the racial dimension to this story (Prescott is black, Bayless is white---yet another example of a white guy trying to silence a black man), this episode reveals so much about the depth of our culture's toxic masculinity and the continued stigma---in too many quarters---of speaking honestly about depression. The strength of Dak Prescott was/is on full display to me. Think of the many young athletes who may seek help and counseling because of Prescott's simple, heartfelt acknowledgement that REAL PEOPLE, EVEN NFL QUARTERBACKS, have real responses to loss. 

In the interview with Graham Bensinger he noted that his deceased brother Jace, had been the primary caregiver for their mother as she battled colon cancer; it took a heavy toll on Jace. Peggy Prescott died after a long battle with the disease in 2013. “You can’t even put into words the burden,” Prescott told Bensinger. “It’s something only Jace knew. And he didn’t necessarily share that. Jace never was really much of a talker. When something like that was a huge burden on him, he didn’t know how to share it — didn’t know how to be vulnerable about it.” 

Last week I attended a Zoom webinar presented by Duke Divinity School's Theology, Medicine, Culture track on "The Spiritual Lives of Christians with Mental Health Challenges," facilitated by Warren Kinghorn that featured pastoral theologian John Swinton. Swinton affirmed what we know well at Binkley, namely, that the most significant response a congregation offers one who suffers with mental health issues is belonging. He said, "Communities of belonging bring love, and love never reduces people to a diagnosis." 

This link from NAMI gives more information on September as Suicide Prevention and Awareness . 
Thanks, Dak, for your honest humanity and, yes, Skip, leadership. I'll be rooting for you this season both on and off the field.

With much affection for you,
Your Pastor
Joyful Moments
On their walk today through the NC Botanical Garden, Gloria and Rob spotted this lovely reminder of love in celebration of Nell and CL Morton. Happy Anniversary to two dear people (9/12).
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. 
~George Washington Carver
More Virtual Opportunities
Here are our current offerings for virtual learning, spiritual, and fellowship opportunities. Keep an eye on this space for updates!
Sermon Shaping
First & Third Tuesdays, 1 pm
Every first and third Tuesday at 1 pm, a group of Binkley members gather with the preacher for that week for a lively discussion of the week’s scripture text and to discuss the direction of the sermon for Sunday. You’re invited to join! Email Marcus for meeting information.
Virtual Prayer Time
Every Wednesday, 8:30 am
The format is simple: a short opening, silent prayer for 10 minutes, followed by spoken prayers offered freely by group members, then a naming of those listed in the bulletin for prayer, and ending with the Maori version of the Lord's Prayer. All in all, 30-40 minutes. Contact Stephanie Ford if you would like to join the circle.
First & Third Wednesdays,
6:30 pm
After a time of community updates and prayer, we welcome a special guest to speak on various topics ranging from social justice, Earth care, spirituality and theology, and more. Details about each program and how to join can be found later in this update or in your monthly newsletter.
Thursdays, 7 pm
Beginning Sept. 17
Join Pastor Marcus for a 14-week class on what Marcus Borg describes as "...a manifesto of progressive Christianity." See p. 7 of this week's worship bulletin for details.
The Binkley 411
Youth Ministry Update
We are pleased to welcome our friend John Kent as Director of Youth Ministries starting Sunday, 9/13. John will work remotely and lead Youth Sunday School and Sunday night Youth activities. John has agreed to take on this temporary assignment as the Staffing Needs Project Team continues to discern short and long-term staffing models.
While COVID-19 has presented unique challenges to our ministries, we think this particular instance can be counted as a blessing. Virtual programming has allowed us to bring someone on who has a long standing positive relationship with our Youth and congregation, something that would not have not have worked pre-COVID.
John has been a Binkley member for 32 years. Currently living outside of NC, he has been grateful to have been better able during this time to "attend" Binkley services! He still depends on the congregation as his mid-point balance and anchor between his current mission fields of the north Georgia mountains and southeastern Pennsylvania. John also serves as Director of Baptist Youth Camp (BYC), with which he has been involved with Binkley for 29 of those 32 years.
Annual American Baptist Churches (ABC)-USA Offering for One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS)
National emphasis for 2020: COVID-19 Recovery: Renewing Hope and Service
Every year Binkley has had a special offering for ABC that is used for emergency relief in times of ‘natural’ and other disasters in the US and Puerto Rico, like hurricane Maria and earthquake in Puerto Rico, and refugee and immigration ministries. International Ministries have responded to crises like the Beirut tragedy, civil unrest in Hong Kong, and natural disasters and disease outbreaks in several countries. 
Binkley will be accepting donations from August 28 - September 20. More information will be forthcoming. Please be generous as we reach out through ABC to help those in need throughout the US and Puerto Rico and globally. When you send a check to Binkley, please indicate that it is for OGHS. For online giving, go to the Binkley website and follow these clicks: Give/Online/Learn More/Here/One Great Hour of Sharing. Many thanks. The Outreach Committee 
EVERY FRIDAY, 5:00-6:00 PM on the grounds at Binkley Church

WANT MORE CHANCES TO STAND TOGETHER UNTIL THERE IS JUSTICE?  Join us for Weekly Vigils at the corner of 15-501 and Willow as we Stand Together Until There Is Justice.

  • A sign which conveys a message of antiracism
  • Sunscreen, water, and a chair if you prefer
  • Face mask and hand sanitizer

  • Participants agree to practice CDC recommended hygiene practices and social distancing at all times
  • The church will not be open, so please plan accordingly
  • If you are interested in hosting one of the weekly vigils, contact: or 919- 605-5081. 
September 16, 6:30 pm, Zoom
Celebrating Fall
Fall is coming on slowly, with a few backward glances to summer – but cooler days and longer nights are on their way. Please join us to celebrate the season of Fall and to honor the Fall Equinox. We’ll begin with sharing readings, music, and poetry to appreciate the change of seasons and the continuity of created life. Then we’ll open up for “table talk” to hear reflections and thoughts about the season from all of us who’ve gathered.
Dial in: 646 558 8656
Meeting ID: 895 3620 4582
Passcode: 7929227
From the Staffing Project Team
Your Church Staffing Project Team is making progress as they evaluate the staffing needs for Binkley over the next three years. We had individual conversations with our staff and participated in the August Diaconate Meeting to listen and learn.  

Our goal is to deliver to the Church Council for their consideration by the end of October 2020
  • A recommended staffing model for 2021-2023
  • Draft job descriptions
  • Estimated salary ranges for those roles
We would also like to hear from you. Your ideas and thoughts are important for us to hear. 

If you have any comments or questions you want to make privately to the team, please contact one of the team members directly, in the next two weeks. 

Members of the team are Keith Williams (Project Team Leader), Laura Davidson, Anne Huffman, Jerry VanSant (Project Team Secretary), and Ellen Stutts.
Click here to learn about all the ways you can vote in 2020 and how you can help get out the vote in our community.
Our Response to COVID-19
Click here to learn more about how Binkley is responding to the pandemic.
Our Wider Community

Please consider donating to the IFC and supporting local businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.
Publication Deadlines

Submissions for the October
Newsletter are due by:

September 21

Submissions for the weekly bulletin and Friday Update are due by:

Wednesday Noon
The Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church
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