20 Sep 2020
CHURCHES OFFER ASSISTANCE
In southern Oregon, which has been adversely affected by devastating fires, some churches are coordinating relief efforts. Pastor Lee Gregory of Medford Neighborhood Church said in an interview with ABC News affiliate KDRV that his congregation is restarting a previous campaign called "I C.A.R.E" to assist displaced residents. Gregory said he's working with local churches and asked that they open their parking lots to people who've escaped the fires and are now living in RVs and trailers and need a place to stay.
MURALS ILLUSTRATE RACIAL JUSTICE
A church in Washington, D.C. that was vandalized by rioters has made a powerful statement on racial unity. St. John’s church, which, according to The Christian Post, was almost burned down and was graffitied by rioters, has painted a series of murals in the spirit of racial justice. One of the murals has Amos 5:24 written on it, which states, “Let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.” Another mural prominently features South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who teaches that “our lives are inexplicably bound together.”
“THERE WAS JESUS” AT NUMBER ONE
Country Music star Dolly Parton has partnered with popular Christian music artist Zach Williams to make a new hit song titled “There Was Jesus,” a song about hope in troubled times and how Jesus is always there, especially when things seem darkest. According to The Christian Post, the song topped 10.5 million impressions on the Christian airwaves in the US, which put it in the number 1 spot on Billboard’s Christian Adult Contemporary chart for the week starting 6 September.
13 Sep 2020
MORE PRAYER DURING PANDEMIC
Last month The Sydney Morning Herald reported that ‘Churches may have closed their doors, but more Australians are opening their minds to spirituality and prayer. Researchers have found Australians say they have been praying more during the COVID-19 crisis, suggesting the pandemic has led many to reassess their priorities in life.’
BINDI ASKS FOR PRAYER
Christian Headlines reports that Bindi Irwin has asked for prayer for her unborn baby, saying God has blessed her marriage to Chandler Powell with pregnancy. Since the death of her father, the ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin, in 2006, the world has watched his family carry on his legacy at Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. Chandler and Bindi were married at the Australia Zoo in March. Bindi told Christian Headlines, ‘God soon had a big blessing on the way for us.’ The couple are rejoicing in what they describe as ‘an incredible blessing’ and have asked people to pray for them, their baby and the Irwin family.
A TV show telling the Gospel story through the eyes of people changed by meeting Jesus is having an impact. The Chosen, with eight seasons planned is about to begin filming the second season. Producer Dallas Jenkins says they could hopefully film all planned seven seasons of The Chosen in the next three-and-a-half-years. He told Religion Unplugged that despite complications of filming during the pandemic, he believes The Chosen is needed now more than ever. ‘Telling those stories in a compelling way can have impact in a divided world today’. He says that this is the biggest crowd-funded media project of all time, raising more than $US11 million to fund the first season.
7 Sep 2020
6 Sep 2020
AMERICAN CHURCHES POST COVID-19
As many as one in five American churches could permanently close as a result of shutdowns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, according to David Kinnaman, president of the prominent Christian research organization Barna Group. In a public radio interview regarding the status of American churches after months of shutdowns, Kinnaman said although churches were handling things “pretty swimmingly” at first, circumstances have changed for some. He noted that although many churches have opened as US states' shutdown orders are loosened, their services have had “a lot less people coming.” “They’re recognizing that the relationships that they thought were much deeper with people were actually not as deep as they expected.”
CHRISTIANS FIGHT COVID IN BANGLADESH
Christians across Bangladesh are playing a huge part in the country's response to COVID-19. There are 280 Christian doctors and about 4,000 Christian nurses currently working in Bangladesh, according to Premier News. Churches in Bangladesh currently operate 20 hospitals and run about 70 community clinics in rural areas.
“BLACK PANTHER” ACTOR
News services around the world report that tributes have poured in for Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, following his death at the age of 43. The actor’s family announced he had died surrounded by his loved ones following a four-year battle with colon cancer. Along with tributes, people have been remembering Boseman for his inspiring message to Howard University's graduating class of 2018. He began that 34-minute message by "first, giving honour to the Creator". In the middle of the speech he shared the story of his rocky road to success and how he had to have faith in God during the difficult time.