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Religion Today Summaries, August 16, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, August 16, 2004

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

  • PK Emphasizes Its Moral Stand -- Not Political Stand -- on Biblical Issues
  • Catholic Relief Services President Visits Darfur
  • Baptist Pastor Helps Media Report Annually on Convention
  • New Editing Service Targets Proofreading Needs Of Christians

PK Emphasizes Its Moral Stand -- Not Political Stand -- on Biblical Issues
Allie Martin, Agape Press

The leaders of Promise Keepers say the men's ministry is moving from a movement to a mission as it encourages men to have more of an impact on society for Christ. Promise Keepers, the men's ministry known for its arena and stadium events, recently began taking biblical stands on issues such as same-sex "marriage," pornography, abortion, and other issues.  Bishop Joseph Garlington, a frequent speaker for Promise Keepers, says it is vital for men to impact society for Christ when fellow citizens of that society are fighting against deeply rooted spiritual convictions. "God doesn't just give you a voice just to move through the earth and be silent," the bishop says. Promise Keepers, Garlington explains, is changing from a movement to a mission.  Promise Keepers is holding 18 conferences this year.  This weekend's conference in Orlando was cancelled due to the serious weather conditions in Florida.  Conferences in St. Louis and San Antonio are scheduled for the next two weekends.

Catholic Relief Services President Visits Darfur
ASSIST News Service

Ken Hackett, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), returned this week after assessing humanitarian and security conditions in South and West Darfur, Sudan, where more than 1.2 million people are facing insecurity, unprotected access to food, and potential outbreaks of disease. Hackett is the first president of a U.S. private voluntary organization to visit Darfur since the crisis began. Hackett traveled to Sudan from August 1-5 with Bishop John Ricard and Father Mike Perry of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and visited with high-level Sudanese government and church officials, as well as with internally displaced Sudanese. "Security conditions are volatile and inconsistent, endangering any ability for displaced persons to voluntarily return to their villages, as well as aid agencies to effectively respond," said Hackett. In late July, CRS conducted four humanitarian assessments in South and West Darfur and identified three major threats to the population: Outbreaks of disease; food insecurity from both failure to produce crops this year and insufficient food aid; and as yet inadequate levels of donor support to begin a comprehensive emergency response. In situations where the internally displaced have settled in towns and on the edge of villages, the host communities' limited supply of water and food has been further depleted. 1.2 million Sudanese have been displaced due to the fighting that broke out in Darfur in February 2003.

Baptist Pastor Helps Media Report Annually on Convention
Agape Press

A pastor from East Tennessee spends one week each year helping media from around the world report on the largest evangelical denomination in the United States. Tom Mooty is pastor of First Baptist Church in Wartburg. However, each June he takes a break from the pulpit to run the audio and video feeds in the pressroom at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. Mooty, along with a staff of two helpers, oversees gavel-to-gavel audio and video recordings of the entire meeting, including press conferences. In Indianapolis, Indiana, this past June, the Baptist pastor and his staff assisted more than 50 members of the press who needed recordings of various speeches, presentations, and debates from the floor. Mooty has been working in the SBC press room for 15 years and says the tone of present-day meetings are much different from years ago, when conservatives were locked in battle with liberal SBC leaders. "We are about the business now of winning souls and building our churches," he says, "and I no longer have to worry about students coming out of the seminaries having had their faith shaken by teachers that I did not trust," he says. Mooty has been a Southern Baptist pastor for 34 years.

New Editing Service Targets Proofreading Needs Of Christians
ASSIST News Service

"Finally, there's a proofreading and editing service suited specifically for the editing needs of Christians and Christian organizations." So says Dr. Michael J. Vlach, Founder and President of Christian Editorial Services (www.ChristianEdit.com), a proofreading and editing service located in Lincoln, Nebraska. Vlach, a certified editor sensed a need for a professional editing service that specifically targeted the editing needs of Christians around the world. Christian Editorial Services (or CES) now meets that need. "We get many projects from Christian media and ministry groups, churches, pastors, professors, college and seminary students, and everyday Christians," says Vlach. "We also hear from many who do not speak English as their native language." CES works on books, articles, brochures, press releases, website content, newsletters, brochures, theses, dissertations, sermons, and many other forms of literature. CES not only scours documents for spelling, grammar, and style issues, it also polishes documents to make sure the wording is just right. "We offer a best case scenario for many Christian organizations," says Vlach. "Most organizations have editing needs, but they don't have the financial resources to hire a professional editor. Now with CES they can they hire us on a project-by-project basis. This is a cost efficient way to receive professional editing services." The response from those who have used CES has been overwhelmingly positive.