Local Pastor Sees Breakdown of Strong Families as Cause of Societal Ills, Launches Community Cure

Pastor Kerwin Manning launch 'Families Restored' initiative on Easter Sunday

Published : Wednesday, April 10, 2019 | 5:25 AM

Pastor Kerwin Manning and his wife Madelyn of Pasadena Church have a plan to restore unity to our country one family at a time.

The Mannings are preparing to launch a 10-week mandate called the “Families Restored Initiative,” which they will introduce on Easter Sunday, April 21. The purpose is to open the doors of Pasadena Church and get real dialogue and conversation going about important issues that impact the community.

“We believe that many of our societal ills can be traced back to the breakdown of our families,” Manning said. “The issues go back to family origins. The way we were raised, and the people we had in our lives.”

The Mannings have been in Pasadena  nearly two decades.

“I have found that, in full-time ministry since 1990 and being in Pasadena for 18 years, my experience leads me to believe that the ills in our lives have made us incapable of dealing with … things,” Manning said. “We have wounds.”

He said the wounds that ail the people are not visible to the naked eye.

“Many of these wounds have been repaired on the outside but are still tender inside,” he said. “We rarely follow the pathology of our social ills to the way we were raised, the impact of divorce, or if you were assaulted sexually as a child or in college. These come back into our lives and impact us significantly.”

Manning said the first step to connecting with people is to know that, like you, they matter.

“We have a slogan: ‘You Matter to God,’” Manning said. “We believe a part of the process is letting people know they matter. When you start with letting people they matter before you give them the Bible or anything else, that’s a part of the beginning of the process.”

The multi-faceted pastor also leads the group Fathers United, which each Father’s Day holds a men’s prayer rally on the steps of Pasadena City Hall.

Manning, a compelling speaker, said the key to his mission is to “Lead with Love” and to try to have more genuine and real face-to-face interaction with others.

“I get annoyed with the fact that the right to disagree with each other has taken over common sense,” he said. “Social media contributes to that because with social media, you can keep your distance and speak your mind. I call it having ‘thumb muscles.’ It’s easier to flex the thumb muscles that having a genuine conversation, looking in someone’s eyes and seeing how your words are affecting someone or hurting someone. Social media will eventually drive us back to human interaction. But it’s also a powerful platform to promote a message of love and hope to a world that needs it.”

But for now, Manning is focused on helping to heal the community — in the bigger sense of the word — and he wants people to know that Pasadena Church is open to all.

“Easter Sunday we’re reaching out to everyone in our community,” he said. “We have found  that Eastertime is a time when people are more open to attending church than any other time of the year. We want to invite the entire community.”

Manning said that on Easter Sunday, the grounds of Pasadena Christian School will be transformed into a place for kids, parents and friends to enjoy and celebrate Easter.

“We will celebrate Easter with the music message and pageantry which will be centered around the resurrection and restoration,” he said. “The message I’m preparing is one of grace and hope through God’s love. We have laser-targeted in on restoration and hope.”

Manning said the Easter services will open the door to some important work.

“For the following 10 weeks, we’ll be aiming our programming towards creating opportunities for  different groups impacted by brokenness,” he said.

He said because of personal experience, he and his wife want to open dialogue on grief.

“We want dialogue on grief and dealing with grief,” Manning said. “Especially in the African American community … we’re trained to push grief down. My wife and I will teach this. We lost our 14-year-old daughter. We have learned, and we have found moments of joy and hope even in the midst of walking through the darkest times in our lives.”

“We call it the ministry of presence,” he said. “People are concerned with ‘What do you say to someone who has lost someone.’ But it’s the fact that you’re there. The message is how to care about everybody.”

The Mannings lost their 14-year-old daughter to a rare heart condition that caused her sudden death.

“It is our desire to change the tragic outcomes that are connected to families not being together, whole and healthy. We believe that this level of healing and restoration will take the entire village to accomplish.”

“In a nutshell, we are making ‘Restoration’ the theme of our Easter Services, inviting our entire community to come end the brokenness and begin the journey towards wholeness,” Manning said. “As you know Easter is a time when many in our community are open to attending religious services and open to hearing and receiving messages of hope.”

Manning said he also wants to work with the Pasadena Police Department and civic and religious leaders to develop a covenant that will be honored in the streets and in the homes.

In the summer, Manning plans to “ignite the greatness that is resident in all of our children and youth,” with a program called Heroes Academy. “We will have times of learning and exposure to the success stories and people living among us, as well as plan times of fun, centered around leadership and team building.”

For more about Pasadena Church, which is located at 404 East Washington Blvd. in Pasadena, call (626) 788-0067 or visit http://www.pasadenachurch.com/home .

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