Update Newsletters

Christian Vegetarian Association
Update Newsletters
ake Heart!

Take Heart Contents
| Animal Issues | Articles | Bible | Children | Devotionals | Environment | Food | Health | Opinion | Quotations | Recipes |

Update Newsletters
1 July 2009 Issue

1. Report from the United Church of Christ General Synod

2. Activist Feedback

3. Perspectives on the Lectionary

4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Report from the United Church of Christ General Synod

Rev. Lisa Hadler and I (Steve Kaufman) attended the 2009 UCC General Synod in Grand Rapids, MI from 6/26-6/30. We were busy, “speaking truth to power” and encouraging our fellow UCC members to move toward plant-based diets. We had an information booth where we had a steady stream of visitors with good questions and comments.

Regarding a resolution dealing with world hunger, we recommended that the resolution identify consumption of meat and other animal products as major contributors to the problem. Eventually, our wording was incorporated into the resolution! The next day, a daily report from the Synod discussed the world hunger resolution and focused considerable attention on how our diets significantly impact the problem.

In addition, I was able to deliver a one-minute “Speak-Out,” and I said the following:

The UCC has been a leader for social justice…for humans. When it comes to the billions and billions of animals who live and die under horrendous conditions of unremitting pain and suffering each year in factory farms, in the fur industry, and in many other abusive activities, our denomination and our churches have been virtually silent.

However, our faith teaches that the animals belong to God. When we mistreat animals, we show disrespect for God. Further, animal and human welfare are closely linked. For example, animal agriculture is a leading cause of global warming; it contributes to world poverty and hunger by consuming much of the world’s harvest; and the amount of animal products in the typical American diet contributes to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Animals can feel pain and suffer similar to ourselves. Therefore, this is a fundamental justice issue. Where does the UCC stand on the evil of animal abuse? Can we call ourselves a “just peace church” and simultaneously ignore the animals?

I want to thanks to Rev. Hadler for her dedicated efforts, which were crucial to the event being a success for us.

2. Activist Feedback

Rick, who leafleted with Adrianne at a Women of Faith conference in St. Louis, writes: Adrianne and I leafleted this morning to a receptive group. We handed out 1050 booklets.

3. Perspectives on the Lectionary

July 5, 2009

Mark 6:1-13

This section includes Jesus telling his disciples, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kind, and in his own house.” I see several reasons this is true. What it means to “belong” to a family or a community includes accepting the beliefs and practices of those groups. However, being a prophet requires rejecting certain beliefs or practices and offering new ways of seeing and behaving in the world. Therefore, prophets invariably alienate family and community.

Second, personal histories make it difficult to be regarded as a prophet. In families, long-standing rivalries and resentments can color everything that is said and done. The same holds true in communities – it is hard for people to separate the message from their past interactions with the messenger.

Finally, Jesus’ observation was particularly true of his ministry and his prophetic witness. Family and community are defined by which individuals are “in” and which are “out.” But Jesus sought communities in which everyone was “in,” and he said we should love our neighbors as ourselves. Many people regard the boundaries of family and community as sacred, and they generally see members of the “in” group as more important (and often “superior”) to members of the “out” group. Those who challenge such boundaries are generally ignored or even rejected by family and friends.

Many animal advocates have been frustrated by their inability to “convert” their family to a plant-based diet or to convince family members to refrain from other forms of animal exploitation and abuse. However, our prophetic message is often easier to hear among those who are not members of our families or immediate communities, and we should not let our domestic frustrations discourage us from expressing our prophetic witness to the larger world community.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

Our Wrestlings with God
http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s1jul90.html  .

Your question and comments are welcome

Copyright 2008 © Christian Vegetarian Association. All rights reserved.

| Home Page | Bibliography | Blog | Books, T-shirts, Etc. | Community | Contact Us | CVA Board | CVA Videos | Essays and Coloring Book | Honoring God's Creation | How to Help | Links | Membership | Mission | Podcast | Take Heart | Vegetarianism's Benefits |

This site is hosted and maintained by
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation.