Religion Today Summaries - June 14, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 14, 2007

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

  • What Makes a Thriving Mainline Church When Many are Dying?
  • Britain’s Church Army: 125 Years of Unique Evangelism Opportunities
  • Christian Emergency Network Finds Homeland Security Report Beneficial
  • Let Freedom Ring – Responsibly

What Makes a Thriving Mainline Church When Many are Dying?

At a time when most mainline denominations are continuing to experience consecutive drops in membership, a critically acclaimed author presented what actually makes a mainline church thrive, The Christian Post reports. Diana Butler Bass, scholar and author of Christianity for the Rest of Us, presented some of her findings on thriving churches. Successful congregations: cultivate spiritual practices in daily life, promote tradition without using it as a fence to keep people out, and offer a quest for wisdom as opposed to  pat answers. Butler Bass studied thriving congregations in the Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ. "[M]illions of people would choose mainline denominations if we gave them something worth choosing," she opined.

Britain’s Church Army: 125 Years of Unique Evangelism Opportunities

ASSIST News Service reports that Church Army, one of the UK’s leading home mission agencies, has been meeting the challenge of sharing faith through words and action for 125 years. Church Army's pioneering evangelists and staff reach out to people where they are with the gospel, to see lives transformed and to be salt and light in local communities. Under the leadership of Mark Russell, Church Army’s youngest Chief Executive, more than 300 evangelists work all over the UK and Ireland, sharing faith through words and action, on the mission field working with everyday people and reaching them where it matters such as in the skate park, the studio, the café, youth clubs, and holiday clubs.

Christian Emergency Network Finds Homeland Security Report Beneficial

Homeland Security Institute's (HSI) recent report shows how Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) stepped in over the past two years when governmental disaster resources were overwhelmed. “FBOs and NGOs undertook a surprisingly large, varied, and demanding set of activities with extraordinary effectiveness,” said the HSI report. Christian Emergency Network (CEN) was one of 16 key organizations recognized. CEN Founder and Chairman Mary Marr states, “I look forward to assisting Homeland Security in mobilizing the Christian community to prepare and help in times of national crisis in the future.” The purpose of the HSI report was to analyze FBOs and their successes specifically during Katrina, which were in stark contrast to the many deficiencies and failures of government itself. CEN continues to concretely communicate who is at the “Heart” of Christian emergency response, while encouraging ministry partners to look for continuing improvement in collaborative training, delivery of services to victims, and sharing of the Gospel.

Let Freedom Ring – Responsibly

The phrase “let freedom ring” is a wonderful motto for people who know how to exercise it responsibly, but it is a dangerous slogan when chanted by people who don’t. To that end, The Presidential Prayer Team (PPT) is now offering its powerful "Let Freedom Ring Responsibly" teaching and preaching package to help pastors present the topic in a powerful way on Sunday, July 1. "Independence Day is a wonderful time of picnics, fireworks and celebrating the birth of our nation – and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans,” said John Lind, PPT's president/CEO. "But if we’re not careful, something or Someone could be missing from our 4th of July activities. Our founding fathers knew that God is the author of our liberty… but if He’s removed from the picture, our freedoms can actually turn into a source of enslavement.” PPT’s “Let Freedom Ring Responsibly” Preacher Package helps pastors reaffirm responsible freedom to their congregations – and pray with their members in thankfulness for our nation’s freedoms. Visit for more information.