“Payday Advance.” “No Credit Necessary.”
The promises hide economic exploitation and political inaction. Yet in this darkness, churches are responding with an alternative message, a sign of hope.
Many experts scoff at the calculations used to pick “Blue Monday,” which would be January 16th this year. However, the seasonal concepts behind the idea — like colder weather, post-holiday letdown and less daylight — can often lead to people feeling down this time of year.
By Fredrick Nzwili, Religion News Service|
March 22, 2017
NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) As she drives her family’s donkeys to a new borehole at the base of the Uuni Hills in eastern Kenya, Eunice Wambua says the water it provides is much cleaner than what she used to get from a dam several miles away.
“It was dirty water and we believed it colored our teeth brown,” she recalled.
In February, B&H Academic — a division of the Southern Baptist Convention’s publishing house — released the first in a 12-volume set of “The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon.” The books are edited by Christian George, who found the sermons a few years ago. George serves as curator of The Spurgeon Library and assistant professor of historical theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.
A recent Gallup Poll reports that family dining is still a part of everyday life for the majority of U.S. parents. Fifty-three percent of adults with children younger than 18 say their family eats dinner together at home six or seven nights a week. But what about those who do not observe this ritual? Could this percentage be increased?
Seventy-five years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order on Feb. 19, 1942 that excluded Japanese Americans from the West Coast. The next month, he created the War Relocation Authority that forcibly moved people to spend the next three years in internment camps in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and elsewhere. Despite the president’s orders, Baptist missionaries urged Americans following the attacks on Pearl Harbor to keep sharing God’s love to Japanese people.
Our oldest child had a birthday recently. She is now grown and married, with children of her own. But you just never forget the birth of your first child. I was a pastor, so can you guess where we were when my wife went into labor? At a Wednesday night church fellowship supper! If I had been paying attention, I would have realized that this event was a portent. Our children’s lives would be forever impacted — for good or ill — by the church.
A documentary released last fall by EthicsDaily.com (also known as the Baptist Center for Ethics) made its Missouri debut on Feb. 1 in Kansas City. “The Disturbances” covers the previously-untold story of missionaries saving lives in the midst of genocidal violence in Nigeria in 1966. In a matter of days, thousands — and perhaps as many as 30,000 people — were killed due to their tribal identity.
The Baptist Home and Missouri Baptist University submitted legal responses on Jan. 31 to urge a judge to dismiss motions for summary judgment filed by the Missouri Baptist Convention on Dec. 2. The MBC requested the Court rule in its favor without a trial, claiming its 2016 victory in the case against the Missouri Baptist Foundation should serve as precedent in the cases against the Home and MBU. However, the institutions rebut the MBC’s claim that their cases are “nearly identical” to that of the Foundation’s case.
By Catherine Guiles, Religion News Service|
February 27, 2017
(RNS) For centuries during Lent, Christians have sought to grow closer to God through praying, fasting and giving to the poor.
Now they can also mark the 40-day period of penitence that precedes Easter by posting pictures to Instagram, reading a regular reflection in their email or watching a priest answer questions on Facebook Live.
Do we measure the success of our churches by the number of people present each Sunday, the square footage of our buildings, the number of degrees held by our pastoral staff or the amount of money that is given to annual missions initiatives? Although I appreciate and value what these things mean to a congregation, I wonder if those criteria are the best way to measure whether a fellowship of believers is fulfilling its call to participate in the building of God’s kingdom.
By Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor|
February 9, 2017
Six months after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new law targeting missionary and evangelistic activities, Baptists and others in the country face large fines and other penalties. The new law went into effect on July 20. Authorities prosecuted at least 32 cases in the first six months after the law went into force. Two Baptists were among the first charged in the law’s first month and other Baptists are now finding themselves targeted.