Category : Charities/Non-Profit Organizations

A rescued Eagle Released by South Carolina's Center for Birds of Prey

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Animals, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations

PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–The Migrant Crisis and Faith-Based Relief Groups

Record numbers of Syrian, Iraqi, and North African migrants have been flooding into Europe, generating a massive humanitarian crisis. Host Bob Abernethy and managing editor Kim Lawton talk with Sean Callahan, chief operating officer of Catholic Relief Services, about how faith-based groups are trying help the refugees and what the US can do to address the crisis. Says Callahan, “What we would like to do is see, at the call of Pope Francis, that we all open our doors a little bit more, and we expedite the process. Currently for the refugees to get in it takes about 18 to 24 months for them to be reviewed, and we’d like to expedite that, because these families are in tragic situations and really need to move quick.”

Reador watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Theology

(LA Times) Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says attack on hospital was a mistake

Gen. John Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told Congress on Tuesday that the deadly U.S. airstrike on a civilian hospital in Kunduz was a mistake, but he declined to endorse calls for an outside investigation.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Campbell said the hospital was “mistakenly struck” and that the decision to carry out the attack was made through the U.S. military chain of command.

Campbell thus offered a further refinement of previous Pentagon claims. On Monday, he told reporters that Afghan forces had called in the airstrike. The Pentagon initially had said the attack by an AC-130 gunship was ordered to protect U.S. forces on the ground.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Theology, War in Afghanistan

HEARTWARMING–Widow of fallen Columbia SC area police officer volunteers at Food Shelter

At the Harvest Hope Food Bank, each volunteer has a reason to serve, including Kassy Alia. Tuesday afternoon, Alia was dubbed the “Fun Food Lady” as she sorted cart-loads of cakes, pies, and pizzas.

“Something that’s brought me a lot of peace over the past few days is I know I told my husband everyday how much I loved him, and he did the same for me. I’m confident, and I know that he would be so proud of me,” she said.

Kassy’s late husband, Forest Acres police officer Greg Alia, was shot and killed in the line of duty last week while responding to a suspicious vehicle call at Richland Mall. He was a new father, just 32 years old, and a star at the small department. Alia was laid to rest on Saturday as the rain rolled in.

Read it all and watch the whole video.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry, Police/Fire, Weather

(CNN) South Carolina flooding: How to help

Deadly flooding has engulfed parts of South Carolina, forcing people from their homes. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has activated the National Guard to help with flood rescues, and charitable organizations are responding.

Impact Your World has gathered ways for people to help in these efforts.

Ӣ The Salvation Army is assisting communities along the East Coast by providing food, water and shelter to flood victims.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Weather

(CNN) Doctors without borders urges independent inquiry after Afghan hospital blown apart

Doctors Without Borders is calling for an independent investigation of the deadly bombing of its hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz, which it says is no longer operational.

Aerial bombardments blew apart the medical facility about the time of a U.S. airstrike early Saturday, killing at least 19 people, officials said.

The blasts left part of the hospital in flames and rubble, killing 12 staffers and seven patients — including three children — and injuring 37 other people, the charity said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, Asia, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Theology, Violence

(Barrons) Wells Fargo Advisors’ former CEO Danny Ludeman launches efforts to help ex-convicts

For Danny Ludeman, God’s call came in the form of a letter.

In the fall of 2013, Ludeman, then 56, announced he would step down after 15 years as CEO of St. Louis”“based Wells Fargo Advisors. In a subsequent interview with the local press, he mentioned that after leaving Wells, he wanted to spend 100% of his time “helping other people,” perhaps by running a nonprofit organization. As you might expect, his mailbox was flooded with offers. But one in particular caught his eye.

“I don’t know, there was something about the letter, the way it was written, and the case it made””it just called out to me,” he remembers.
The letter came from Candace O’Connor, a professional writer and the volunteer president of Project Cope, a five-person nonprofit group in St. Louis dedicated to helping ex-convicts adapt to life after prison. O’Connor’s letter carried a suggestion: “Why not head a small organization that does tremendous good””on a very lean budget, for an underserved population””and help it move to a larger sphere where it can help even more people?”

Ludeman was intrigued. He felt that working with Project Cope could dovetail nicely with the main activity he planned to pursue after leaving Wells: obtaining a Master of Divinity degree from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. “That was very much my retirement plan,” Ludeman says. “Learn to love God with all my heart and soul, and learn to love my neighbor as myself.”

Read it all (or there is another link Read it all.)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(BBB) Giving to Charleston Victims' Families: Donors Should Watch Out for Scams

In the wake of the horrific shooting that killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, BBB Wise Giving Alliance is warning about the potential for fund raising scams, and is urging donors to be aware of the different circumstances that often emerge in tragedy-related philanthropy.

“The hate crime that is being called the ”˜Charleston massacre’ is such a shocking and emotional event,” said Art Taylor, president and CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance, the national charity monitoring arm of the Better Business Bureau. “Many people are going to want to donate to the families of the victims, the historic church, and the community. We are warning donors to be on the lookout for questionable solicitors and scammers, not to mention people who might have good intentions but no experience with charity fund raising.”

BBB Wise Giving Alliance urges donors to give thoughtfully and avoid those seeking to take advantage of the generosity of others. Here are BBB WGA’s tips for trusted giving:

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Great 60 minutes piece on the Bentprop Project: into Palau and a forgotten Corner of Hell

More than 400,000 Americans died fighting the Second World War. Adding to the heartache of that staggering loss, nearly one in five of those killed was declared Missing In Action. To this day, the families of some 73,000 unaccounted for servicemen have lived with the mystery of how they died and have been deprived of the comfort that comes from a burial.

At the end of the war, the technology didn’t exist to find and identify many of the missing, but today it does. As Anderson Cooper reported in November, this is the remarkable story of a group of volunteers who spend their own time and money quietly searching for these long lost servicemen — remarkable because of what they’ve discovered in recent years. They are doing it, they say, for the fallen and focus on Palau, a Pacific island nation that saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war 70 years ago; a place that some pilots called “a forgotten corner of hell.”

Read it all (scroll down to the bottom and the whole video report is highly recommended). For more about the amazing Bentprop Project go to this link.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Parish Ministry

(WQ) How the thrift shop, once widely denounced, became popular in America

The thrift store has enjoyed something of a new life as of late, birthing chart-topping pop songs and becoming the shopping destination of choice for hipsters looking for vintage wares that are “authentic.” Of course, such stores, often run by Goodwill or the Salvation Army, serve a non-trendy role, too, as a shopping destination of necessity for America’s working class. It was not always thus.

“As early as the colonial era, writers, politicians, and other vocal critics denounced the sale of used goods,” writes Jennifer Le Zotte in New England Quarterly. Partly, it was born of a vague sense that such goods were sullied or unwholesome, but, writes Le Zotte, some of the opposition can be traced to anti-semitism (in this case, directed at Jewish-owned pawn shops).

One such illustration comes from “The Blue Silk,” a short story in the May 1884 Saturday Evening Post, in which the protagonist, Louisa, buys a pre-owned dress from the “Jewess behind the counter” of a resale store. When she wears it to a party, not only is she is socially ostracized for wearing the old dress of another girl, but she comes down with small-pox because of contamination from the resale store. The story neatly combined earnest bigotry with worries of the moral and physical dangers thought to accompany secondhand clothing.

Read it all from Caitlin Moniz and Zack Stanton in the Wilson Quarterly.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Personal Finance, Theology

Thursday Morning Encouragement–A Movie Theater With a Mission: Employing the Disabled

Only 20 percent of disabled people work, compared to 68 percent of those who aren’t disabled, according to September 2014 numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

[Valeria] Jensen saved the playhouse from demolition and founded the four-theater commercial movie house, a nonprofit, in historic Ridgefield. Most of the more than 80 theater employees are disabled. But they weren’t there just because they have a disability, Jensen said.

“They’re here because they are a really, really valuable employee,” she said.

“We are ‘The Prospector’ after all,” she noted. “And as prospectors I work with my prospects to find out what their sparkle is.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Movies & Television, Pastoral Theology, Rural/Town Life, Theology

Water Missions International to increase aid to devastated Malawi communities

Water Missions International announced Tuesday that it is doubling its response to severe flooding that impacted southern Malawi in recent weeks.

An agreement between the Charleston-based nonprofit and UNICEF Malawi aims to increase safe water projects from eight to 17 communities in the African country, according to a news release.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Africa, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Malawi

Heartwarming NBC Video– Syrian Refugee Children Find Hope and Laughter in a New School

The school was started just two years ago by a woman who couldn’t look away after feeling like ‘the whole world let them down.’

Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Education, Europe, Middle East, Syria, Turkey, Violence

(Post-Gazette) Ebola outbreak fails to generate donations for emergency aid

After a devastating earthquake rocked the island nation of Haiti in January 2010, unsolicited checks immediately poured into Brother’s Brother Foundation ”” a North Side nonprofit that collects and ships medical supplies to hospitals and clinics worldwide and focuses on places in need of emergency aid.

But in the months since the Ebola virus crisis has dominated news reports, Brothers’ Brother has received, on average, one $25 check per day for Ebola relief efforts.

“It’s just not [generating] the same volume compared to other international disasters,” said Karen Dempsey, vice president of development and administration for the nonprofit, which last week loaded a 40-foot container headed to Sierra Leone in West Africa with face masks, protective gowns, gloves and medical supplies donated by hospitals.

While the earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Sandy, the Indian Ocean tsunami and other tragedies raised millions of dollars for victims within days after they occurred and inspired celebrities to organize benefit concerts broadcast during prime time, nonprofits that provide assistance for the Ebola outbreak relief say the public has been slow to step up and donate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Sierra Leone

(CSM) NYC Nonprofit Bottomless Closet opens wide to disadvantaged job seekers

Whether their situation has been caused by domestic violence, a criminal conviction, a layoff, poverty, or any other number of challenges, clients of Bottomless Closet face significant barriers to gaining employment and self-sufficiency.

“Many times, the women we are working with come from very disadvantaged backgrounds,” says Kendall Farrell. “That can really take a toll on your self-esteem and your confidence, in terms of going out and getting a job ”“ and advancing in a career.”

That’s where her organization comes into play.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Urban/City Life and Issues

Mental Health Break–Actor Jeff Bridges Fights to End Childhood Hunger, Providing summer lunches

Jeff Bridges has been working on childhood hunger for longer than the children he champions today have been alive. In fact, it’s been a 30-year crusade. In the early 1980s, the Academy Award-winning actor founded the End Hunger Network, an organization focused on feeding children around the world. More recently, he’s focused on feeding kids here in the United States. Motivating the shift in Bridges’ attention is the reality that more than 16 million American kids live in households that are labelled “food insecure” ”“ those that don’t know with certainty where their next meal will come from, or if it will come at all.

Watch the whole video.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Education, Marriage & Family, Movies & Television

(BBC) Liverpool Anglican and RC cathedral deans abseiled the city's Anglican cathedral for charity

The men in charge of Liverpool’s two cathedrals have abseiled down the city’s Anglican cathedral, to raise money for charity.

Cathedral Dean Rev Peter Wilcox and his Roman Catholic counterpart, Father Anthony O’Brien, joined an abseil down the cathedral on Saturday.

As part of a two-weekend event, the 150 ft (45m) leap has helped to raise about £48,000 for the cathedral,

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NPR) As Volunteerism Explodes In Popularity, Who's It Helping Most?

As you plan ”” or even go ”” on your summer vacation, think about this: More and more Americans are no longer taking a few weeks off to suntan and sight see abroad. Instead they’re working in orphanages, building schools and teaching English.

It’s called volunteer tourism or “volunteerism.” And it’s one of the fastest growing trends in travel today. More than 1.6 million volunteer tourists are spending about $2 billion each year.

But some people who work in the industry are skeptical of volunteerism’s rising popularity. They question whether some trips help young adults pad their resumes or college applications more than they help those in need.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Travel

Wednesday Brighten Your Day Story–Andrew McCutchen makes a wish come true for an ailing boy

With the Pirates looking to cut into the 2 1/2 games that they trail the division-leading Brewers and with commissioner Bud Selig in attendance, Tuesday was poised to be a big day for the team.

But for a few hours before taking the field at PNC Park, the organization had the chance to put all of these things aside as Andrew McCutchen and the front office helped turn the dreams of a 12-year-old boy from Colorado into reality.

Matthew Beichner, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., is battling a rare disease call germinoma, a cancerous germ cell tumor. The malignant tumor is fought using chemotherapy, a process that causes him to be in pain often.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Health & Medicine, Sports

(World Vision) Dreams of soccer and a better life

Márcio is eager to be part of a football team, the sport that his paternal grandmother keeps him from practicing. “My grandmother does not let me play, and then I’m indoors. I do not like being alone at home,” he says, dejected.

Now, thanks to World Vision, he will spend his afternoons doing different activities that will help his social and physical development. “I’m not alone anymore in the house,” Márcio says, celebrating. He strongly believes that he will learn many things in the new community and adds, “I believe in that with faith in God.”

Though he goes to school, Márcio can’t read or write, but he doesn’t hide his desire to learn and has revealed that his teacher only teaches those students who learn fast. Those with learning difficulties, like him, are left behind.

His cousin, Manuela, 26, believes that Márcio’s learning difficulties may be the result of problems during his mother’s pregnancy. “She used a lot of drugs, I believe that it had serious effects on his learning [abilities],” she says. But Manuela emphasizes that he will be a great man, because he has a big desire to be someone in life.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Brazil, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Marriage & Family, South America, Theology

(NBC) A Heartwarming Piece–Beyond Their Music: Rascal Flatts Helping Sick Kids

If you’re like me and you have young kids, you may have first discovered the band Rascal Flatts when they were featured in the kid-classic movie “Cars.” Their song, “Life is a Highway” played on an endless loop in our house as my son watched that movie over”¦ and over”¦ and over again.

The kids at Children’s Hospital know that song, too. So when Rascal Flatts comes to visit, they sing along to the words. Zoey is too little to mouth the words, but she danced in her mom Tori’s lap.

And, the thing is, Rascal Flatts comes by often. They give impromptu concerts for the children not because they have to, but because they want to. Read it all and please take the time to see the [short] video also.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Health & Medicine, Music, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology

(NYT On Religion) Humanist Foundation Reaches Out to Religious Groups, Testing a Divide

Six months after starting a humanist charity in 2010, Dale McGowan unveiled a philanthropist’s version of a beta test. He already offered donors to his organization, the Foundation Beyond Belief, the opportunity to designate their gifts for groups that worked in fields like refugee aid and environmentalism. Then, in an contrarian brainstorm, he decided to try adding a category for progressive religious bodies.

He thought he had found the perfect test case with Quaker Peace and Social Witness, part of the British branch of the Society of Friends. Here was a nondogmatic denomination with a longstanding commitment to pacifism, racial equality and economic fairness. What, even for atheists, agnostics and freethinkers, was there not to like?

Well, Mr. McGowan soon enough found out. “No way am I going to give my money to groups that will use it to hit my kids over the head with a Bible,” wrote one member in an email as he cut off his financial support. A blogger on the site No Forbidden Q uestions put the objections somewhat more elegantly: “While I’m happy to hear when people move away from fundamentalism toward a more liberal understanding of religion, I think it would be best if people became (or stayed) atheist, and that’s the goal I want to support.”

As the weeks passed in the summer of 2010, however, few other critics turned up.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Theology

A Little Noticed Alan Jacobs Post on where Faith and the Public Square may be Headed in America

I care very much about the future of religious liberty, and I don’t think, over the long run and in this country, there will be much of it…American liberalism more generally, is committed to the idea that freedom to worship is sufficient, and is trying, gradually but consistently, to discourage Christians and other religious believers from acting out their religious convictions anywhere outside the walls of the church ”” at least, in any ways that might interfere with the power of the State to arbitrate and dispense justice and charity.

It’s possible that in the coming years there will be at least a temporary slowing in the erosion of religious liberty, but I can’t see the long-term trends altering. All Americans, including those who call themselves conservatives, are gradually growing accustomed to the elimination of the “third sector” of civil society and will find it increasingly difficult to understand why either the free markets or the State should be restrained from exerting their powers to their fullest. I expect that quite soon most Christians will cease even to ask for anything more from the State than freedom to worship.

For those of us who believe that civil society should be stronger, not weaker, and especially if our primary concern is for the health of religious institutions as the most important mediating forces in society, this change will pose a wide range of problems. For instance, the removal of tax breaks for religious institutions will surely be complete within a generation, and a range of policies will discourage charitable giving, which will make generosity harder ”” but not impossible for most of us. That’ll be a way for us to discover what we are made of.

–from his Snakes and Ladders blog; I encourage you to read it all. This was quoted in the late sermon this morning by yours truly in worship–KSH.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Church/State Matters, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Taxes, Theology

(World Vision Blog) Paige Ferrari–Mothers and the magic of number 5

Five is a magic number.

When a child is born, the first thing the parents do is check: 5 fingers on each hand. 5 toes on each foot. For some reason there is such perfection within the number 5.

Unfortunately, every day 18,000 children around the world will die before seeing their fifth birthday and 800 women will loose their life in childbirth daily. This bond between mother and child is something that can only be divinely created. But like all things that grow, it must be nourished and sustained.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Poverty, Women

(F Th) Matthew Frank on the incoherence of the Whitworth Response to the World Vision decision

…changing its employment policies to contradict the entire Christian tradition’s understanding of sin and obedience, vice and virtue where human sexuality is concerned would not be, as the letter’s writers and signers seem to imagine, an embrace of an “agree to disagree” accommodation between Christians who differ on “narrow doctrinal matters.” Such a change would be a capitulation by one side, and a victory by the other, on a question that goes to the heart of what it means to be a Christian organization. World Vision got the message loud and clear from many supporters that they would no longer consider it a Christian organization if it really undertook this capitulation.

The signers of the Whitworth “Response” claim with equal clarity””when they want to be clear””that the Christian thing to do would be toss out the Great Tradition wherever it rests on “a few passages in the Bible” that “have been historically misconstrued.” So again, why do they pretend that a victory for their principle, and a defeat for their adversaries’ principle that they revile, is a sweetly reasonable coming-together-across-differences?

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Heartwarming–”˜Soup Ladies’ Cook Up Comfort for Landslide Search Crews

A big-hearted restaurant owner known as “Momma” leads a group in Arlington, Washington called the Soup Ladies who for 10 years have been dishing up meals for first responders. They are feeding hot meals to search and rescue workers at the site of a tragic mudslide roughly 70 miles away in Oso.

Watch the whole thing from NBC.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, City Government, Death / Burial / Funerals, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Theology

A NY Times article on the World Vision/same sex marriage stance and then reversal

World Vision U.S., an evangelical Christian charity known for asking donors to sponsor a hungry child, set off an uproar when it announced this week that it would hire Christians in same-sex marriages.

The charity, the nation’s 10th largest, is based in Washington State, where same-sex marriage is legal, and said it intended to present a symbol of “unity” for Christians in an era when controversy over homosexuality is splintering the church.

Instead of the unity it sought, World Vision’s move was swiftly denounced by some prominent evangelical leaders as a “disaster” and a devil-inspired betrayal of biblical morality. Christians proclaimed online that they had canceled their child sponsorships. Less than 48 hours later, World Vision reversed course, calling the decision “a mistake” and pleading for forgiveness.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Evangelicals, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

(CT) World Vision Reverses Decision To Hire Christians in Same-Sex Marriages

In our board’s effort to unite around the church’s shared mission to serve the poor in the name of Christ, we failed to be consistent with World Vision U.S.’s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and our own Statement of Faith, which says, “We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.” And we also failed to seek enough counsel from our own Christian partners. As a result, we made a change to our conduct policy that was not consistent with our Statement of Faith and our commitment to the sanctity of marriage.

We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to Biblical authority. We ask that you understand that this was never the board’s intent. We are asking for your continued support. We commit to you that we will continue to listen to the wise counsel of Christian brothers and sisters, and we will reach out to key partners in the weeks ahead.

While World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage, we strongly affirm that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are created by God and are to be loved and treated with dignity and respect.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Al Mohler before World Vision Reversed: Pointing to Disaster ”” The Flawed Moral Vision of WV

Richard Stearns has every right to try to make his case, but these arguments are pathetically inadequate. Far more than that, his arguments reveal basic issues that every Christian ministry, organization, church, and denomination will have to face ”” and soon.

The distinction between an “operational arm” of the church and a “theological arm” is a fatal misreading of reality. World Vision claims a Christian identity, claims to serve the kingdom of Christ, and claims a theological rationale for its much-needed ministries to the poor and distressed. It cannot surrender theological responsibility when convenient and then claim a Christian identity and a theological mandate for ministry.

Add to this the fact that World Vision claims not to have compromised the authority of Scripture, even as its U.S. president basically throws the Bible into a pit of confusion by suggesting that the Bible is not sufficiently clear on the question of the morality of same-sex sexuality. Stearns insists that he is not compromising biblical authority even as he undermines confidence that the church can understand and trust what the Bible reveals about same-sex sexuality.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Bloomberg) Naomi Schaefer Riley–Make Foster Care Work, Let Churches Lead

…a new program initiated five years ago in Georgia suggests, these hurdles aren’t insurmountable. The nonprofit FaithBridge was started by Bill Hancock, a director of counseling programs who had lived on the streets as a teenager, and Rick Jackson, an Atlanta businessman who had spent time in the foster-care system.

Hancock wondered why churches weren’t more involved in finding solutions. He said he noticed that in Cobb County, Georgia, there were 1,100 churches and 300 children in foster care. He liked the odds. Plenty of people he knew had an extra bedroom and understood the needs of children. He began to break down the problem.

He would find out the number of children in a particular zip code in need of a foster home, go to a church in the area to present their stories without using their names, and see what happened. He announced at one church that there were 11 kids in his own zip code, representing four sibling groups. Four dozen people showed up at a meeting to volunteer. Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government, Theology