Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world. In today's edition:
- Franklin Graham Joins Mary Marr in Urging Christians to Work Wisely and in Unity
- Sky Angel Donates ‘Faith And Family’ TV Service to Hurricane Relief Shelter
- Christian Emergency Network Acts as Umbrella/Conduit for Disaster Recovery Information
- Well-Known Christian Author Invited to Minister and Offer Hope in the Storm-Ravaged Areas
Franklin Graham Joins with Mary Marr in Urging Christians to Work Wisely and in Unity
Christian Emergency Network
Evangelist Franklin Graham, in conversations with Christian Emergency Network (CEN) CEO Mary Marr over the past several days, has agreed with Marr that it is critically important that Christians respond to Hurricane Katrina with Christian love through the unified message of prayer-care-share that is central to the mission of CEN. Marr added that she and Graham discussed, “With the outpouring of emotion and help, it is especially critical that, at this time, Christian leaders prayerfully join in a coordinated, unified and effective response.” Graham, who is leaving for a 48-hour tour of Biloxi, Miss., Mobile, Ala., and Shreveport, La., shared with Marr that he will “encourage Christians to express with one voice the hope that is within us” as he visits the region and victims. He added, simply, “I’m an evangelist. The most important thing now is to offer the hope of Jesus Christ in this hour. I support what CEN is doing to unite the body of Christ through a message of prayer-care-share.” Marr concluded, “As Franklin travels to these areas and meets the victims, let us pray that God will give him the words to lend comfort, and provide him with the insight needed to help unify the Body of Christ so that we can wisely share the hope found only in Jesus at this point in our nation’s history.” (www.christianemergencynetwork.org)
Sky Angel Donates ‘Faith And Family’ Tv Service To Hurricane Relief Shelter, Offers Free Service To Other Shelters
The Sky Angel® nationwide direct-to-home satellite television service will be delivering free faith and family programming to a hurricane relief shelter in Fort Worth, TX, and is extending free service to churches connected with PRC Compassion that are serving as official shelters for citizens displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Sky Angel delivers 36 TV and radio channels of Christian-inspirational programming, family entertainment and 24-hour news through a small satellite dish to homes and churches across America. Faith channels include The Worship Network, Kids and Teens Television, TVU Music Television, and many others, while news and family entertainment channels include FOX News, Guardian (PAX TV), Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movie Channel and HGTV. “It is our hope that the wide variety of faith-based programming on Sky Angel would be a comfort to the residents of these shelters who are looking for spiritual encouragement during this very difficult time in their lives,” said Sky Angel CEO Rob Johnson. “These families are also in need of the positive, uplifting family entertainment that Sky Angel delivers that they can enjoy together.” Sky Angel has also produced a 30-second television spot encouraging donations to The Salvation Army (www.salvationarmyusa.org) for hurricane relief and has donated $250,000 of airtime on its corporate owned and operated Angel One channel for the spot.
Christian Emergency Network Acts as Umbrella/Conduit for Disaster Recovery Information, Resources and Donations
Religion News Service
The Christian Emergency Network (CEN), a grassroots, volunteer coalition of 5,000 relief organizations, ministries and media outlets, and 47,000 churches -- and one of the few faith-based disaster relief organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security -- is becoming that place for thousands of believers across the country. Website visits have gone to 33,000 a day, from 200 a day. "CEN is a concert of Christians joining together as one heart, one mind, one voice that acts as one body during national emergencies," said Mary Marr, CEN founder and chief executive officer. "Its goal is to help Christians intelligently pray for, sensitively care for, and thoughtfully share the gospel with victims and their families, friends, neighbors and coworkers." CEN was founded in 2001 after the 9-11 tragedy by several leaders of the Mission America Coalition, an organization of 500 mostly evangelical ministries and 80 denominations. CEN partners include: Mission America, The Salvation Army, the Christian Broadcasting Network/"Operation Blessing," the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan's Purse, Campus Crusade for Christ, Zondervan Press and the Southern Baptist Convention. Gathering the latest information and disseminating it to the media, relief organizations, ministry partners and churches is one of the primary activities of CEN's "Media Corps," said Marr. (www.christianemergencynetwork.org)
Well-Known Christian Author Invited by Churches in the Storm-Ravaged Areas to Minister and Offer Hope
Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, told victims of Hurricane Katrina earlier this week that God's purpose for their lives is far greater than any problems they go through. Speaking to thousands of displaced storm victims at the Astrodome on Monday, Warren said, "Don't confuse your self worth with your net worth -- or what you live on with what you live for. Focus on what is left, not what is lost -- play it down and pray it up." The well-known Christian author was invited by churches in the storm-ravaged areas to minister and offer hope to relief workers, volunteers, and those displaced by Katrina. Disasters like Katrina, he noted, can redefine such things as life, family, and even the church. "The church is not a place to go," he said, "it is a family to belong to. It is people, not a steeple." According to Warren, almost 4,000 churches that have used his "40 Days of Purpose" program were in the path of Hurricane Katrina -- and the buildings of more than 300 of those congregations were completely destroyed. Last Sunday Warren's Saddleback congregation alone gave more $1 million through a special offering taken for disaster relief.