Thursday, December 20, 2012

University church planter aims to be accessible at Oregon State

GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP) -- Church planting was not in Josh Howeth's plans. While his seminary peers were eager to jump into church planting, Howeth looked to a future serving and revitalizing existing churches. Only a couple of years into serving as worship and family pastor at Grant Avenue Baptist Church in Corvallis, Ore., those plans changed.

"Our leadership at Grant Avenue desired to reach the students on the Oregon State campus," Howeth said during a North American Mission Board commissioning service in conjunction with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina's 182nd annual meeting in November.

Church planting was "an area of ministry that just hadn't clicked yet" when some of Grant Avenue's leaders approached him with the vision to plant a church on the campus.

Initially resistant to the idea, Howeth and his wife Elizabeth committed to praying about the opportunity and, within the year, their hearts were changed.

"What started as the burden of our church and our convention for these college students slowly became the burden of our hearts too," Howeth said.


Texas Town Removes Christmas Banners

By Todd Starnes
The utility company in New Braunfels, Texas removed two giant ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ banners after they received complaints about the nature of the signs.

The banners are owned by the Knights of Columbus and were installed by New Braunfels Utilities several weeks ago. But a spokesperson for the company said it was a mistake and the signs have since been removed.

“Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the message, NBU is a municipal utility and cannot lawfully display a religious message,” said Gretchen Reuwer, the utility’s communications manager.
She said their policy does not allow any signs or banners promoting a specific religious message.
“While one message may be strong supported by many in the community, the next message may prove to be just as strongly offensive.”


Five Reasons Why Church Freedom Matters to You

It is a great irony that churches are being treated as public nuisances today in America. Anti-Christian groups have been working diligently to secularize America and erase its religious heritage. These groups have pressured government and courts to intrude into the affairs of churches.

Churches are being discriminated against by local governments. Pastors are even being censored.
It was not always this way. From the beginning, our Founding Fathers established our country on religious freedom. They believed religious freedom was so important they enshrined it in the U.S. Constitution.
Throughout our nation’s history, churches have been recognized as a great benefit to society and pastors have had the freedom to openly declare the truth about matters of moral and religious conviction.

Consider this one example of anti-Christian discrimination. In New York City, the school board has been trying for nearly two decades to block Bronx Household of Faith from meeting in an empty public school building during non-school hours. Other groups, however, are welcome to rent the same facilities.

This is a church that has fed the poor and needy, assisted in rehabilitating drug addicts and gang members, helped rebuild marriages and families, and generally provided services of great value free of charge to the community.

It seems like the government, embarrassed at its inability to solve the community’s problems, is lashing out at the one institution – the Church – that is actually doing something about them.


TobyMac Caps Off Career Year with Performance on ABC's Annual Christmas Day Parade

Five-time GRAMMY® winner TobyMac is capping off his whirlwind year with a performance on ABC’s 29th annual Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. The newly GRAMMY® nominated artist will perform his Christmas song “Christmas This Year” while being featured along with performers including GRAMMY® Award-winning trio Lady Antebellum, international superstars Backstreet Boys, soulful pop songstress Colbie Caillat, CMA Award winner Brad Paisley and American Idol Season 11 champion Phillip Phillips. Hosts Nick Cannon and Mario Lopez, along with co-host Maria Menounos, will lead the two-hour telecast, which is scheduled to air on ABC on Christmas Day beginning at 9:00 AM CST (check local listings).

Latin Chamber Hands Out Bags Of Holiday Cheer

LITTLE HAVANA (CBSMiami) – Some people were in line for hours or even days, but no matter how long they waited, as long as they had a voucher, they received bags of holiday cheer Wednesday from the Latin American Chamber of Commerce.

Wednesday was the Chambers’ annual holiday food basket giveaway in Little Havana. Just like previous years, hundreds of people camped out outside the CAMACOL building, located at 1401 West Flagler Street, in order to be some of the first to receive the free food.


NY Church Sponsoring Charity to Return Violent Video Games, Toys

A New York State church has opted to help raise funds for victims of shootings like the one that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut by having parents return violent video games and toys.

All Saints Church, a Roman Catholic parish in Syracuse, began the charity with the hope of curbing the influence of violent entertainment upon American children.

Father Fred Daley, priest at All Saints, told local media that he hoped that if parents began to return violent toys and stopped buying them, then companies would eventually stop selling them.

"We live in a nation that's seeped in violence and the reality is we teach our children violence with toys we give them and the television programs we show them," said Daley to WSYR News Channel 9.
"This is just one way that all of us can do something to move in a new direction. Instead of the status quo, business as usual, it doesn't have to be this way."

Kathy Meus, director of Faith Formation at All Saints, told The Christian Post that the idea for the charity came during a discussion about the Newtown tragedy between the masses held on Sunday.

New Bible Translation Outsells 'Fifty Shades of Grey' in Norway

A Norwegian translation of the Bible has dominated the Scandinavian country's list of top 15 best-selling books of the year, beating out competition like Fifty Shades of Grey and Justin Bieber's autobiography.

"The hottest read in Norway this year is packed with polygamy, prostitutes – even corporal punishment. But this isn't Fifty Shades of Grey; instead, Norwegians have been rushing to pick up copies of the Bible," the Guardian reports in a colorful introduction.

Published last October, the Norwegian Bible has been in the top 15 best sellers for 54 out of the last 56 weeks, with over 157,000 copies sold.

"It's always a very touchy issue, doing a new translation of the Bible," said Dag Smemo, project manager for publisher the Norwegian Bible Society. "People say they like it the way it is. But we had a very thorough procedure, involving authors and poets, secular people and believers, and discussing the whole translation word by word, so there is not only a good translation of the Greek and Hebrew but also a very good flow of the Norwegian language."

"People are saying that it's very good, and we are seeing this from both conservative groups and more secular groups. It's definitely not only Christians buying it. It's atheists too – people are saying the Bible is important for us, for our culture, and for the nation," Smemo added.

While previous translations of the Bible in Norwegian exist, Smemo said that the strength of the new translation is what has drawn readers in, both believers and the non-religious. Biblical scholars worked with Hebrew and Greek experts to translate the original text, which was perfected by A Death in the Family author Karl Ove Knausgaard. The project manager noted that the sales had far exceeded the Bible Society's expectations. Initial projections predicted the sales would be between 25,000-75,000, but 157,000 copies surpassed all hopes.

JMC Live Interviews: Kathi Macias Author of An Unexpected Christmas Hero

JMC Live Interviews: Kathi Macias Author of An Unexpected Christmas Hero

Help Willard get home! Click here!!!