21 July 2024

11 - 17 July

Church shelters need overnight volunteers as temperatures plunge – The Melbourne Anglican

A faith-based charity for people experiencing homelessness is asking for more volunteers for overnight shifts as temperatures continue to plummet this winter.

The Yarra Valley and Frankston winter shelters provide food, safety and overnight accommodation for unhoused people, including those who sleep rough on the streets.

Part of the Stable One network, they opened in June for this year’s shelter guests through the generosity of community and church volunteers. These include members of Peninsula City Church, St Anne’s Catholic and St Paul’s Anglican in Frankston, and Baptist churches in Lilydale.

Religion, medicine and the case of Elizabeth Struhs: Are 14 people responsible for an 8-year-old’s death? – The Guardian

The camera was turned on about 36 hours after Elizabeth Struhs, 8, was found dead.

The resulting video, played in court this week, shows Therese Stevens standing outside an ordinary Toowoomba house on 8 January 2022, while the child’s body was inside, still on top of a mattress.

It shows her telling Sen Const James Dolley, one of the first Queensland police officers on the scene, about her religious beliefs.

“We are Christians, so we believe that God raises people from the dead,” she says.

Payman saga proves politicians and journalists are weaponising religion without understanding it – Crikey

Anthony Albanese last week expressed discomfort at the notion of “faith-based political parties” following Senator Fatima Payman’s defection and subsequent resignation from the Labor Party.

Albanese stated that religion-based politics are not the path to social cohesion, and that political factions only serve to further isolate minority religions.

But little attention has been paid to what Albanese and other politicians are actually talking about when they talk about religion.

Emails reveal State Library discussed political, religious views of writers – The Age

Board members and senior staff of State Library Victoria discussed the political views of writers at length, consulted donors and the state government, and flagged concerns around the religious background of writers before deciding to cancel a series of workshops, according to documents obtained by The Age.

In March, the State Library announced it was “postponing” its writing boot camp aimed at teenagers, though it has since failed to announce new dates and the writers involved have declared their unwillingness to take part.

The library denied at the time that the cancellations were related to pro-Palestine views expressed by the writers.

At the Olympics, athletes show guts, glory – and a lot of ink, including tattoos that profess their faith – The Conversation

The Olympic Games began as a religious celebration in ancient Greece, with competitions to honour their gods. But the Olympics declined once the Roman Empire replaced Greek power in the Mediterranean; the final blow came from the Christian Emperor Theodosius I, who saw the Games as a stage for paganism.

At the end of the 19th century, the modern iteration of the Games began – minus religion. This time, they were secular, with flags and patriotism replacing religious worship.

But religion is still easy to see at the Games today, including right on the athletes’ bodies.

Church leaders call for solace, defiance in sermons after Trump attack – The Washington Post

At a conservative evangelical church in Visalia, a farming community in the central valley of California, the pastor’s sermon Sunday included a reminder that trumpets sounded a warning to Christians when judgment was coming.

The gunshots fired at Donald Trump on Saturday, according to the Reverend Joel Renkema, were also a trumpet blare, a “clear and quite obvious warning to our country.” 

Political discourse had gotten out of control, he told parishioners at Visalia Christian Reformed Church, and it was time to stop “hating and demonizing our opponents.”

‘We are the Church’: Kenyan tax protesters take on Christian leaders – BBC News

In Kenya, the youth protests against planned tax increases have served as a wake-up call for the Church.

They’ve shaken up a powerful institution, in a country where more than 80 per cent of the population, including the president, are Christian.

The young demonstrators accused the Church of siding with the government and took action against politicians using the pulpit as a political platform.

Asia’s whisper turns into a roar as evangelisation soars in region – The Catholic Weekly

Archbishop Simon Poh, of the vibrant region of Kuching in East Malaysia, is at the forefront of the burgeoning growth of Christianity in Asia.  

And after visiting Australia in June and engaging with the Archdiocese of Sydney’s Go Make Disciples mission plan, Archbishop Poh believes the time is now for Australia and the Asian region to take its place as the powerhouse of the global church. 

“We can say that the first thousand years is the story of evangelisation of Europe; the second millennium is Latin American and Africa. The third millennium belongs to Asia,” he said. 

Churchwide celebrations planned around July 29 to mark 50 years of women’s ordination to priesthood – Episcopal News Service

July 29 will mark 50 years of women’s ordination to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church, and Episcopalians across the church are preparing this month to celebrate those initial 11 trailblazing women, who are remembered fondly today as the Philadelphia Eleven.

The 11 were Merrill Bittner, Alla Bozarth-Campbell, Alison Cheek, Emily Hewitt, Carter Heyward, Suzanne Hiatt, Marie Moorefield, Jeanette Piccard, Betty Bone Schiess, Katrina Swanson and Nancy Wittig.

Several dioceses are promoting screenings of “The Philadelphia Eleven” documentary to coincide with the anniversary, and special worship services are planned.

Why would Hindus become Christians if they already believe in Jesus – The Gospel Coalition

“Hinduism is the third largest and fastest growing religion in Australia,” writes Suraj Nepali, who runs the Subbies Ministry at the University of Tasmania.

With the growing rates in Australia there comes opportunities to share the gospel with the followers of Hinduism. Sharing the gospel with Hindus can either be easy or a challenge. It is easy in the sense that many Hindus are open to accept the teaching of Jesus due to their deep sense of needing salvation.

On the other hand it is difficult, as with Hindus, there is always room for a new God. Jesus is accepted as just another God among many.

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