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Update Newsletters
10 August 2011

1. Activist Feedback

2. Commentary on the Lectionary

3. Quiz for Prizes

4. Book Review: Comfortably Unaware

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

1. Activist Feedback

Jon, who leafleted at Ignite Fest inZion, IL, writes:

Darina and I leafleted Ignite Fest this past weekend. While much smaller than anticipated, we still engaged a very worthwhile crowd. Our new CVA t-shirts went to work on both Friday night and Saturday morning - having a matching outfit always helps make you look like you are supposed to be there. We handed out about 400 leaflets on Friday night as people left the venue, and almost 100 on Saturday morning. We actually were allowed to enter the venue on Friday night, as we got there early, and were surprised at the low turnout for the headliner group. That being said, we did our usual cleanup search after we finished distributing booklets, and we only found 1 booklet! This is a sure sign that we hit a high quality crowd at this event.

It was quite a drive for us, but we are more than happy to make the time for these events, as we truly believe that this demographic is a great crowd for activism. We are also planning on leafleting the Night of Hope conference at White Sox Park this Saturday - we have plenty of booklets left over for right now, and I think this event is already on your calendar, but I wanted to let you know.

2. Commentary on the Lectionary

This week’s readings (Isaiah 56:1, 6-7; Matthew 15:21-28; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32) all include references to spreading Judeo-Christian teachings to the world. One reason this is important is that the messages of truth, justice, and mercy are universal. Those who have faith that God wants us to seek peace and harmony have followed a path of righteousness.

Humans tend to generate and maintain communities by scapegoating, which includes excluding others who they regard as “inferior.” A universal faith that welcomes everyone cannot be grounded on scapegoating, and therefore such a faith needs a different foundation to bind the community members together. I think that Christianity offers such a faith. Christianity teaches that God loves all who aim to abide by God’s ways, even though they fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). If we have faith in God’s unconditional love, it follows that God can forgive our sins. This conviction makes it unnecessary to regard others as “inferior” in order to feel worthy of God’s love. Communities would no longer be bound by a need among members to mutually validate their convictions about the “inferiority” of outcast individuals. Rather, communities grounded on faith in God’s love would be bound by the universal human need for companionship and for support in times of need.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M. D.

3. Quiz for Prizes

Occasionally we have quizzes, and for this week’s quiz two randomly-selected winners among those with correct answers can choose among several available books and t-shirts. To win this week’s quiz, you need to answer two questions correctly:

1: What year had the summer greatest Arctic sea ice melt (usually occurs around Sept. 18) since satellite recordings were obtained in the 1970s?

2: What year had the greatest average Arctic sea ice melt in the month of July since the advent of satellite records?

4. Book Review

Comfortably Unaware, by Dr. Richard A. Oppenlander. Langdon Street Press (www.langdonstreetpress.com), 2011, 180 pages, $22.95.

Dr. Oppenlander shows the devastating consequence people remaining “comfortably unaware” of how their food choices impact the world. Humanity is rapidly depleting non-renewable resources; polluting the land, water, and sky; and causing rapid global warming and climate change. Oppenlander shows how animal agriculture is a major contributor to all of these.

Though environmental impacts are the main focus of the book, Oppenlander also details the immense abuse of animals on farms and the deleterious effects of animal foods on human health. In summary, with a good index and a lot of well-documented facts, Oppenlander provides an excellent overview of the reasons we should adopt a plant-based diet.

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

Lord! What Must I Do to Be Healed?

Your question and comments are welcome

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