Is Christ divided? No; He is Christ United in Mid-City

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Seminar to Build a “Culture of Water”

Posted by ZENIT Staff on 24 February, 2017

On February 23-24, 2017 the Pontifical Academy of Sciences organized a seminar in the Vatican on “the human right to water.” The initiative is intended to encourage a “culture of water,” explained the organizers. At the General Audience, on the eve of the event, the Pope lamented that “water gives us life, helps us in everything but to exploit minerals water is contaminated.”
A press release stated that the seminar “hopes to create an inter-disciplinary area” to formulate proposals in order to “realize public policies in the management of water and of hygienic-sanitary services.” It is an initiative that calls for the contribution of science, of culture and of politics.
For the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the efforts for the protection and management of water can contribute to peace and to the prevention of conflicts, stressing “that political and economic interests must not prevail over human life.”
At his weekly catechesis on February 22, the Holy Father evoked the question of water: “When the human being lets himself be gripped by egoism, he ends up by ruining the most beautiful things entrusted to him. And it is what has happened also with Creation. We think of water. Water is a very beautiful thing and so important; water give us life, helps us in everything but to exploit minerals, water is contaminated, one soils Creation and one destroys Creation.”
While, according to the World Health Organization, in 2014 some 748 million people did not have access to drinking water, the Vatican reminds that it is a “right that does not admit discord” and an “essential condition for a fitting life.”
He encouraged the implementation of “juridical, technical, social and political mechanisms that make possible the building of a genuine ‘culture of water.’”
The protection of water resources, education to the protection of water and access to water … must become a priority in governments’ agendas,” insisted the Academy of Sciences, which deplored that many local Constitutions do not yet provide for the right to water.

We need Lent now more than ever

Plan to disrupt immigration raids will enlist songs and prayers
NPR: Volunteers training to disrupt immigration raids are forming mobile sanctuaries in hopes that enforcement agents will honor a long-standing policy of not arresting people in those spaces.

Hidden figures: How black women preachers spoke truth to power
The Conversation: Since the 19th century, a long line of black women preachers set in motion a tradition that spoke against injustices and questioned patriarchal attitudes.

Christians in the pew and pulpit diverge over Trump policies on refugees
Religion News Service: The divide between the people in the pews and those in the pulpit and other leadership positions isn't new, but it has been notable throughout Trump's campaign and in the first month of his presidency - especially among white Protestant Christians.

We need Lent now more than ever
National Catholic Reporter: Mike Jordan Laskey wonders how the country might change if Christians doubled down on our Lenten observance this year.

All 240 Family Christian stores are closing
Christianity Today: More than 3,000 employees in 36 states will be laid off in the liquidation of one of the world's largest Christian retailers.

Evangelism Isn't That Hard

Forgotten America
Here's another article that explores the economic state of the nation and the unprecedented challenge we find ourselves in. I'm not an economist or the son of an economist, so I found this long read a compelling explanation of a yawning gap in our culture and economy, and how it has affected too many men and women in their prime work years, ages 20 to 54. It's not a pretty picture, but it explains a lot:
Whatever else it may or may not have accomplished, the 2016 election was a sort of shock therapy for Americans living within what Charles Murray famously termed "the bubble" (the protective barrier of prosperity and self-selected associations that increasingly shield our best and brightest from contact with the rest of their society). The very fact of Trump's election served as a truth broadcast about a reality that could no longer be denied: Things out there in America are a whole lot different from what you thought.
Bible-Believing Founders
The debates about whether America was founded as a Christian nation should be over by now. It wasn't. But that doesn't mean that Christian faith, and especially the Bible, didn't play a substantial role in how the founders understood their national mission and the ethos of the new nation. A review of a recent book (Daniel Dreisbach's Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers) to this effect drives home the point:
The founders "knew the Bible from cover to cover," writes Daniel Dreisbach. … Taking an expansive view of the term "founders" by including state lawmakers and patriot preachers with the signers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, Dreisbach asserts that the founders' religious beliefs and biblical knowledge shaped their political thought. … Most importantly, the founders believed that education and religion were essential to promoting the knowledge, morality, discipline, and social order necessary for self-government.
The Benefits of a Messy Office
Apparently a cluttered office actually might be more productive than those utopian pictures of offices of clean lines and desks empty of everything but a screen and a keyboard:
What if the ideal office isn't the coolest or the most aesthetically visionary? What if the ideal office is the one, dog pictures and gnomes and all, that workers make their own?
In 2010, two psychologists conducted an experiment to test that idea. Alex Haslam and Craig Knight set up simple office spaces where they asked experimental subjects to spend an hour doing simple administrative tasks. Haslam and Knight wanted to understand what sort of office space made people productive and happy, and they tested four different layouts.
I hope the conclusions of this article—and the unnerving example at M.I.T.—don't apply to the home; kids will have a unassailable apologetic for not cleaning their rooms.
Evangelism Isn't That Hard
That's the message you'll get from Jerry Root of Wheaton College, and it's a good one. He may have the gift of evangelism (and he may be the director of the Billy Graham Center Evangelism Initiative), but he also has the gift of helping the rest of us realize that sharing one's faith isn't only for specialists or extroverts—as he explains in this article. One of his main insights is this: We do not take Jesus to people; he's already there, already working in their lives.
We are not merely permitted but commanded without fear or awe, without what would here be a false shame and reserve, to boast of the fact and continually to proclaim: "We are the children of God."
-Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics IV I page 601
Grace and peace,
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor in Chief, Christianity Today

A new home for Mother Teresa’s sisters in San Diego

Immigration, the death penalty and the environment: More than 40,000 expected at 2017 Religious Education Congress, which begins today in Anaheim

Lenten Speaker series in San Francisco: Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption will host weekly talks during Lent

A new home for Mother Teresa’s sisters in San Diego: New 8000-square-foot convent made possible by Catholic benefactors

Half of Hispanic Christians Worry About Deportation

All 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
More than 3,000 employees in 36 states will be laid off in the liquidation of one of the world's largest Christian retailers.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra
More than two years ago, suppliers forgave Family Christian Stores $127 million in debt so that it could remain open. Today, the chain — which bills itself as "the world's largest retailer of Christian-themed merchandise" — announced it is closing all of its stores after 85 years in business. continue reading >>

Half of Hispanic Christians Worry About Deportation Under Trump
Pew: Latino Protestants most likely to rate Trump a 'terrible' president.
Give Your Kids the Gift of Absence
Time and attention are not the only ways to bless our children.
Black Churches Matter: Research Ties Attendance to Positive Outcomes
African Americans who worship regularly are better able to handle racism and discrimination.
As a Special Needs Parent, I Thought I'd Hate 'Speechless'
Why I was wrong—and what the ABC comedy reveals about conviction and forgiveness.
Courts Split on US Christians Caught Up in Turkey's Crackdown
Deportation of evangelist David Byle blocked, while pastor Andrew Brunson still imprisoned without evidence.
Quick to Listen
What Message Is Jack Graham Sending to Russell Moore and Southern Baptists?
Ed Stetzer discusses the tensions of denominational giving, who speaks for the SBC, and the impact of the 2016 election.
Christian History
The Forgotten Final Resting Place of William Borden
The most influential missionary of the early 20th century never made it to the mission field.
My Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
But only after I went to Japan in search of his life story.
The Exchange
When Coffee Isn't Enough: Reflecting on Relationships & Gospel Witness
The most valuable resource we can offer is the Gospel.
10 Essential Ingredients for Running an Effective Small Church Internship
If your church wants to invest in the next generation of ministers, a ministerial internship is a great way to do it.

The monk who saves manuscripts from ISIS

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Welcoming the stranger

Archdiocese of San Francisco
'Amoris' rules explained
Catholic News Service
Father Ron Rolheiser
The message of Ash Wednesday
Brother John M. Samaha, SM
How does the church resolve new bioethical questions?
Father Tadeusz Pacholcyzk
Mary Bordi, La Honda
Catherine Conway, Mary Murphy, San Francisco
Claire Revegno, Burlingame
Tom C. Johnson, San Francisco
Peter Mandell, San Francisco
Jim Dempsey, Redwood City

‘better to be atheist than hypocritical Catholic’

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Disrupting the Donald

How smartphones and social media are changing Christianity
BBC: Many Christians are turning to apps and memes to express their faith instead of churches -- and it's raising intriguing questions about the future of the world's largest religion.

Disrupting the Donald
Commonweal: Bishop McElroy draws bright moral line
San Diego Union-Tribune: Transcript of speech by San Diego Catholic Bishop Robert McElroy to community organizers

After following its congregation to the suburbs, this church is heading back to the city
The Washington Post: Almost 30 years ago, Reid Temple AME Church followed a path trod by many a congregation, a business and a family -- out of Washington and into the suburbs. Today, the church is charting a new course: a return to the heart of the city.

The Church of England has reached a turning point on gay marriage
Prospect: Last week's Synod vote doesn't represent the weakening of tradition, but the fraying of evangelical control.

Vancouver mayor asks Christian event to drop contentious pastor
The (Toronto) Globe & Mail: Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has asked the organizers of a coming Christian festival to consider dropping headline speaker Rev. Franklin Graham.

Rejecting the Negro Pew

Urban Mix-and-Match Religion Didn't Start with Nick Cannon
Why this 'new spirituality' is really just old-fashioned syncretism.
Ernest Cleo Grant II
While syncretism occurs in every context, it takes a different shape in the inner city. Urban religious syncretism is often a fusion of Egyptian Mysticism, ahistorical documentaries, urban folk religions, misunderstood Christian doctrine, unbiblical pan-African rhetoric, and countless other falsehoods. continue reading >>

Pakistan Convicts 42 Christians of Terrorism After Acquitting More Than 100 Muslims
Divergent verdicts on two of Lahore's biggest religious riots undercuts optimism for new law.
The Local Church
For Gaye Clark, Grief Is a Gracious Invitation
Why the writer, widow, and anti-trafficking volunteer doesn't shy away from the problem of pain.
The Forgotten Founder
The man who altered the course of black Baptist history finally has his say.
Christian History
Rejecting the Negro Pew
As revival religion blossomed, so did the independent black church.
The Exchange
A Journey of Evangelism in Scripture: The Temple
History reflects a God who deeply longs to be with His people.