Religion Today Summaries - July 26, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 26, 2006

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
 
In today's edition:

  • Israel under Attack: Humanitarian Aid Needed
  • Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics Take Historic Ecumenical Step
  • Evangelical Scholars Release Paper Challenging Science, Ethics, of Global Warming Policy
  • 19th World Methodist Conference Closes with Peace and Pride

Israel under Attack: Humanitarian Aid Needed

More than 2 million people, a third of Israel's 6 million population, are under military attack from the terrorist organization Hezbollah and desperate for humanitarian assistance. However, according to a media advisory obtained by ASSIST News Service, Hazon Yeshaya, Israel's largest food charity organization, is leading the response, providing life-saving help to the thousands of residents who are unable to leave their basic bomb shelters in the north, and the thousands who have temporarily moved south to escape the rocket bombardment. With its "Necessities for the North" campaign, Hazon Yeshaya is working to aid the thousands of families who are under direct attack in the northern cities and villages in Israel by ensuring that they have basic food and drink supplies, because shops are closed and supply lines have broken down. The organization's direct efforts during this crisis include helping women and children whose fathers and brothers have been called up to the front line, and distributing food, under fire, to families spending their days and nights in bomb shelters throughout northern Israel.

Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics Take Historic Ecumenical Step

Lutherans, Roman Catholics and Methodists made history on Sunday, The Christian Post reports, when representatives signed a joint agreement on justification. “We plowed new ground today,” commented Dr. George H. Freeman, general secretary of the World Methodist Council. “This opens the door for future ecumenical relationships.” With “strict unanimity,” the Methodist Council approved the statement last week and officially signed it Sunday. The Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the World Council of Churches and a Methodist, highlighted Sunday’s event as “a giant step to... overcoming Christian divisions. Our world needs a church that bears witness to the gospel in word and deed.”

Evangelical Scholars Release Paper Challenging Science, Ethics, of Global Warming Policy

Amid mounting controversy among evangelical Christians over global warming and climate policy, the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance presented “A Call to Truth, Prudence and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming” at the National Press Club Tuesday morning. According to Christian Newswire, the paper is a refutation of the Evangelical Climate Initiative’s “Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action,” released last February, and a call to climate policies that will “better protect the world’s poor and promote their economic development.” ISA’s 24-page paper has been endorsed by 111 evangelical theologians, pastors, climate scientists, environmental and developmental economists, and others, plus non-evangelical experts on climate change. The paper presents scientific, economic, ethical, and theological evidence that mandatory carbon-emissions reductions to mitigate global warming would “not only fail to achieve that end but would also have the unintended consequence of serious harm to the world's poor.

19th World Methodist Conference Closes with Peace and Pride

Thousands of Methodists closed the denomination's five-day global conference in South Korea with the installment of new officers for the next five-year period and a greater sense of pride as Wesleyan followers, The Christian Post reports. “I really think this is one of the best [conferences] I’ve attended,” said Dr. John C. A. Barrett, newly elected chairperson of the World Methodist Council. The conference's location served to cause the concept of reconciliation to take on a greater sense of urgency among the Christians now a little more aware of the divided peninsula. New officers for the next quinquennium were installed at the close of the conference. Paulo Lockman is now vice chairperson and Dr. James W. Holsinger remains as treasurer of the World Methodist Council. Barrett grounded the conference crowd on what it means to be a Methodist church. “Are you being true to your mission? Let us go from here with a renewed sense of urgency but also with a renewed [commitment].”

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