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Update Newsletters
29 Apr 2009 Issue

1. Activist Feedback
2. Reflection on this week’s Lectionary reading
3. This week’s sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Activist Feedback

Kimberley, who leafleted at a recent Newsboys concert in Salisbury, MD, writes:

I got to the venue at about 6:40 pm and began passing out booklets. All types of people were at the concert from youth to seniors. I gave out all of the leaflets from the first box [300 booklets] and about 2/3 of those from the second box. With the exception of 4 persons, everybody took a leaflet. I did not get any negative comments at all, which was a relief to me. This was my first time for CVA, and I was concerned that somebody might want to get me into one of those arguments quoting scripture.

I stayed at the venue until 8:10 even though it was very cold. My long underwear helped! As I was leaving, a young boy on a bike who was riding through the parking lot with a friends stopped and asked me what was going on there and why I was there. I told him what I was doing. Then, I asked him if he'd like a pamphlet, assuming he'd say no. Then, he says to me, "Sure, I've got room in my back pocket". What a surprise. So, I got in my car, ready to go home and burst out crying. I don't know why but I think it was because I was afraid at first but knew I had to stand up for the animals. Thanks for allowing me to participate

Outreach Opportunities

5/5 KS, Dodge City Disciple Christian Rock Concert

5/7 OH, Springfield Jeremy Camp Christian Concert

5/7 TX, Amarillo Disciple Christian Rock Concert

5/8 TX, Wichita Falls Disciple Christian Rock Concert

5/9 TX, Orange Disciple Christian Rock Concert

5/12 MS, Hattiesburg Disciple Christian Rock Concert

5/14-16 OK, Tulsa Joyce Meyer Ministries Conference

5/14 AL, Montgomery Disciple Christian Rock Concert

5/15-16 MT, Billings Women of Faith Conference

5/15 SD, Rapid City Harvest 09 Christian Rock Conference

5/15 IL, Schaumburg Big Daddy Weave

5/15 AL, Birmingham Extraordinary Women Conference

5/17 NY, New York Veggie Pride Parade

5/20 FL, Vero Beach Disciple Christian Rock Concert

5/21 SC, North Charleston Disciple Christian Rock Concert

5/22-24 CA, Del Mar Spirit West Coast (huge event)

5/23 AL, Dothan Disciple Christian Rock Concert

5/24 SC, Greenville Disciple Christian Rock Concert

5/29-30 WA, Spokane Women of Faith Conference

6/5-6 NY, Rochester Women of Faith Conference

Contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com  if you can to help. To find out about all upcoming leafleting and tabling opportunities in your area, join the CVA Calendar Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/christian_vegetarian/.

2. Reflection on this week’s Lectionary reading

John 10:11-18 (May 3)

In this passage, Jesus says, “I lay down my life for the sheep . . . No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” One implication, which I think is important, is that Jesus’ death was a self-sacrifice. Though it was God’s desire that Jesus would choose a course that would result in Jesus’ death, Jesus could have avoided this fate. Importantly, this view is consistent with the notion that God did not desire Jesus’ death. Rather, God desired that Jesus participate in a ministry that would make his death likely and perhaps inevitable.

If God were responsible for killing Jesus or if God wanted to see Jesus die, it would raise serious questions about God’s goodness. A loving and compassionate god would not want the death of a son. A loving and compassionate god would not want the death of any innocent victim? Another serious concern is that, if God wanted the death of an innocent individual, it would seem that victimizing innocent individuals in the name of the larger “good” is justified. This would in turn encourage contemporary people to victimize innocent individuals for the “greater good,” such as “the nation,” “national security,” or “traditional values.”

Some hold the Jewish and Roman authorities responsible for Jesus’ execution, but attributing ultimate responsibility to them raises other problems. For one thing, if Jesus’ death were central to our salvation, we would be led to the awkward conclusion that our salvation relied on the activities of murderers. Second, by focusing on the guilt of group of people, it is easy to forget how we participate in the ongoing victimization of the risen Christ in our midst. As Jesus said, “as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25-40).

Jesus chose to go to Jerusalem, he chose to offend the authorities, and he must have known that his failure to liberate the Jews from the Roman yoke would anger the mobs. Why did Jesus choose a path that would lead to his suffering and death? I think one reason, perhaps the primary reason, was that he wanted to put an end to victimization – the universal human tendency to cause harm to innocent individuals unnecessarily. I will offer some further thoughts in the upcoming weeks.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

3. This week’s sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

Live for Tomorrow – Yesterday Is Gone Forever http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s5apr92.html .

Your question and comments are welcome

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