Must Read Monday: Being the church in times of terror and tragedyOctober 2, 2017
‘It was a horror show’: Mass shooting leaves at least 58 dead, 515 wounded on Las Vegas Strip— Las Vegas Review-Journal
What can we say in the face of such evil and tragedy? In a time when words fail and our hearts break, we must turn to prayer. Sometimes it feels as if the calls to prayer are easy out when we don’t know what to say. Instead, be challenged to actually get on our knees before God and pray for the country, those affected, and the families of victims.
October 7th marks the one year anniversary of the wrongful arrest of American pastor Andrew Brunson. Turkish leader Erdogan is using Pastor Bruson as a bargaining chip to extract something from the US. It is clear this case has become less about him and more about the growing tensions between Turkey— a long-time NATO ally— and the West.
For more: The Economist, A pastor becomes a pawn in a spat between America and Turkey.
The Supreme Court returns for their fall term to address several important topics:
- Voting Rights
- Religious liberty
- Potentially, immigration policy and the new “travel ban”
Resource from our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom: 3 Big Cases in the Supreme Court’s Upcoming Term
New Research: How can churches help prevent suicides? — Facts and Trends
New LifeWay Research reveals few people considering suicide turn to the church for help: “Only 4 percent of churchgoers who have lost a close friend or family member to suicide say church leaders were aware of their loved one’s struggles.” While pastors overwhelmingly want to help and believe their church is reaching out to those struggling with mental illness, there is much to be done in removing the stigma and connecting church members to available resources.
Speaking Ill of Hugh Hefner— Russ Douthat, NYT editorial
Hugh Hefner, Mourning, and Legacies: Beyond the Pipe and the Robe— Christianity Today, The Exchange
Hugh Hefner set out to change Americans’ views about sex. He preached that sexual liberation and free love would make Americans happy and fulfilled. But for a man that reportedly had 1,000 sexual partners over his lifetime and never found his soulmate, he knew very little about the state of his own soul. We discussed this at length on The Reconnect.
This week, the President will visit Puerto Rico to view the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The people there are still without power, basic sanitation and other necessities. Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States, but the response from FEMA has been roundly criticized as inadequate and slow. We spoke with a member of Samaritan Purse emergency response team serving in Dominica. He shared how we can pray and help people affected by Hurricane Maria. Listen
Trump to set refugee cap at 45,000— POLITICO
The Trump administration will set the refugee cap at 45,000/year. This is the lowest level in decades, just as the number of displaced persons globally spikes to an all-time high.