Oct. 3 - 10, 2005
What would Jesus do about
Debilitating poverty continues to be painfully present in the United
States. If our faith in Jesus Christ truly leads us to follow Him and
respond to the call of the Holy Spirit, how can we ignore this fact?
So begins Love for
the Poor, a concise, insightful and challenging booklet
that looks at the scriptural and theological understanding of God's love
for the poor and the church's response to poverty. The booklet
is free, and just in time to help educate Christians in the latest debate
raging in church and society.
The National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States has been
working on the booklet for more than two years but decided to publish it
right away after Katrina and Rita exposed the deep poverty that still
exists in the richest and most powerful nation the world has ever known.
Appropriately, the aftermath of the storms has occasioned introspection
about our collective stewardship in this, our Christian nation.
Why, after all, do so many families live hand-to-mouth, lack health
insurance, have no resources, no hope and no future? Op-Ed columns and
talk radio provide plenty of answers, from blame the lazy poor to blame
the do-everything government, from blame greedy corporate America to blame
the pro-business government.
Whatever your understanding of why people are poor, the fact is
that millions of desperate, impoverished people live in our backyard. The
more important question for people of faith is what should be our
response to people in need? What does our God command us? This is
where Love for the Poor can help.
“The Church has wisdom about what to do to address poverty, not just what
to feel about it,” said Ann Riggs, the Council of Churches official who
worked on the booklet along with scholars from five faith traditions.
“Christians are not just to worry about the poor but we must also have
some concrete things to do together,” Riggs said.
Love for the Poor.
It's a free PDF download and just 44 pages -- ideal for a workshop,
presentation, Sunday school class or personal study.
--Rob Blezard, editor and webmaster
New this week:
'Love for the Poor'
Here is a great resource for personal devotion, sermon preparation
or education -- a booklet looking at the biblical and theological
understandings of poverty and how it informs our response to it. The book is
ecumenical in outlook and prophetic in its vision.
Click here for "Love for the
The National Council of Churches USA.
(PDF download requires Adobe Reader.
Click here for free download of Adobe
Who benefits most when we give generously?
believe Jesus is calling my congregation - and all of us - to tithe and
more. I believe Jesus is calling us them lives of incredible generosity.
And Jesus is calling them to it for the same reason I am: For their sake. There is incredible joy
in a life of generosity."
Click here for
Pastor Dana Reardon's weekly column.
Re-teaching 6 principles of Christian giving
article provides good, practical inspiration for any stewardship purpose --
personal devotion, your latest stewardship sermon, a workshop on giving or a letter to
go out with the latest budget appeal.
Click here for "Re-teaching 6
Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation
resource is a must-read for Christians or congregations not convinced it's
part of our stewardship duties to care for the environment. The declaration
lays the biblical and theological foundation for environmental stewardship,
as well as a call to action. Click here for
"Evangelical Declaration," produced by the
Sermon:The Kingdom's cost/benefit ratio
What happens when we take the world's common tool for evaluating worth and apply it
to things of faith? Well, it gets interesting, as you can read in this sermon.
Click here for "The Kingdom's cost/benefit ratio" By the Rev. Daniel Mangler, pastor of
Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran
Church, Estes Park, CO. This
week's Treasure Chest offering.