On November 6, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Greece v. Galloway, which tested the constitutionality of prayer as a component of government meetings.
With Black Friday shopping winding down, Giving Tuesday approaches. Have you heard of Giving Tuesday? It is a national day for sharing that follows the shopping days: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Thus, Giving Tuesday this year will fall on December 3. It is a day set aside to give back to the community.
To Spectrummites all over the world, we invite your participation on Tuesday.
Today is a day for giving thanks. Americans celebrate Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday of every November (Canadians in October), but it’s a good reminder that all of us, no matter where we live, have a lot to be thankful for. We offer thanks for the many blessings we have been given. We can also thank the people in our lives who have helped us in ways big and small, and had a hand in making us the people we are.
Still looking for something to make for your Thanksgiving feast tomorrow? Dreaming about that Veggie Loaf/Mrs. Martin's Roast/Nut Roast/"Meat" Loaf/Cottage Cheese Patties of your youth, and wishing you had asked your mom for the recipe? Well, the Vegan Lunch Box can solve your cooking crisis with this handy fill-in-the-blank recipe. When Spectrum stumbled across this page, we could feel the genius behind it.
The pontificate of Pope Francis has been nothing short of surprising. Coming after years of the highbrow and intellectual mannerisms of Benedict XVI, Francis is winning hearts and minds across the globe by insisting the church come down from its pedestal and engage humanity. In recent photos, Francis is seen hugging two disfigured men. Those pictures have gone viral. People are asking: Is he the “reincarnation” of Pope John Paul II?
In a statement today, Tuesday Nov 26 2013, Francis said:
1. A man is on trial for the theft of more than $850,000 from a New Zealand SDA pastor and his wife, who, along with others from the congregation were deceived when they loaned him money. Damas Flohr falsely claimed he had $35.8 million owed to him from a Nigerian oil contract, and asked for loans from different churchmembers to ease his financial troubles until that money was paid.
I do not know how and when Bali got the name "Island of Gods" but there could not be a better one. The island, of about four million people, is almost totally Hindu, in a country that has the largest Muslim population in the world. I visited there a few weeks ago and was entranced by the things that I saw.
This huge god is one of the two that guard the main entrance of the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center.
Many from Bali identify first as Balinese before being Indonesian. There is a lot to Balinese culture: food, clothing, religion, art.
Seventh-Gay Adventists: A Film About Faith on the Margins is now available Online to anyone with an internet connection, its makers announced. Daneen Akers and Stephen Eyer, the couple who created and produced the film, have released it digitally on their website just in advance of the Holiday Season. It can be streamed from the site, and DVD and Blu-ray copies will be shipping on December 10, Akers said in an email notification to the film's followers.
Bringing together Adventist academics and church administrators for the Summit on Nurture and Retention produced a fascinating mix of presentations and conversations. With recent membership surveys in nine of the world divisions, there was data to inform program reports. Graduate student Katelyn Ruiz talked about nonverbal behavior in a case study of the welcoming program at a local church.
It was just so ironic. At the summit called to address why the Seventh-day Adventist church is losing one-third of its members out the back door, the one presenter who is known to be gay was disinvited at the last minute. And while he was told he was welcome to attend, he could not present his paper which had nothing whatsoever to do with homosexuality. It was not because he is gay that he could not present, he was assured, but “because of the views you have publicly espoused on this subject."
With one third of baptized Seventh-day Adventist church members slipping out the back door, officials at the General Conference have decided it is time to address the issue in a major way. To do so, academic researchers and church administrators are meeting this week in Silver Spring to discuss the data and suggest a strategy to reverse the trend during the “Summit on Nurture and Retention, 2013: Discipling, Retaining, and Reclaiming”.
Last week the Spanish Union of Seventh-day Adventists (UAE in Spanish) urged all its pastors, union board members, institutional leaders
directors and administrative staff, and all local church boards to meet UAE leadership in one of several planned meetings to discuss new, sweeping austerity measures. The meetings, to be held at locations throughout Spain, began Tuesday, November 19 in Madrid and Sagunto, and conclude Sunday, November 24 in Málaga and Sevilla.
In a unanimous vote, the Trans-European Division Executive Committee affirmed the 730-page Theology of Ordination report from the division's ad hoc Biblical Research Committee. Chief among the committee's recommendations was that "the Church should allow for an inclusive and gender-neutral ministry, which means that credentials will be granted to men and women on equal terms for all offices which require ordination, presently the gospel minister, the elder, and the deacon/deaconess."
In our quest to highlight the documents researched, written and presented by the different division’s Theology of Ordination Study Committees, we bring you this week excerpts from two reports on the issue of headship.
A third division has voted to recommend that the General Conference not discriminate by gender when ordaining pastors. The South Pacific Division vote, taken during year-end meetings held in Wahroonga, New South Wales, Australia, follows similar votes taken by the Inter-European Division and the North American Division. Kent Kingston wrote this story for the Record:
A second division has voted to recommend that Adventist women pastors be ordained. In its recent annual meeting, the executive committee members from the 11 conferences (12 European countries) that make up the Inter-European Division (EUD) voted unanimously to recommend the ordination of women to pastoral ministry, taking into consideration the possibility of applying it according to the needs of the fields. There were no abstentions.