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Update Newsletters
November 9, 2011

1. Activist Feedback

2. A Prayer for God’s Animals

3. Commentary on the Lectionary: Nov. 13, Matthew 25:14-30 – How to Use our Talents

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

5. The November Issue of The Peaceable Table Is Now Online

1. Activist Feedback

Patricia, who tabled at the recent Vegetarian World Fest in San Francisco, writes:

The two-day event was again successful in terms of having a Christian presence. There was so much encouraging support for what CVA does and being there!

Several availed themselves of materials to share within their churches. Plus, there was more than one educator planning to share CVA materials with their class. Also, veg stickers including a baby chick depiction with a “Jesus Loves Me Too’ line, were very popular with ALL ages, and helped draw folks to the table. Special thank you to Paris Harvey for procuring those stickers.

This is an excellent opportunity to witness for Christ! It is truly a welcomed blessing.

Best regards –


To find out more about leafleting and tabling, contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com. For information about upcoming leafleting and tabling opportunities in your area, join the CVA Calendar Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/christian_vegetarian/.

2. A Prayer for God’s Animals

Rachel writes:

Every time I drive by cows in the pasture on the way to visit my parents, I know that even though they are blessed with time in the open air, they are doomed to a slaughterhouse in the end. I am vegan for ethical reasons first so of course it makes me really sad. I always acknowledge the beautiful animals that they are, God's amazing creation. I then ask God to let these creatures be free to leave their bodies before anything that is to harm them touches their skin. I absolutely believe animals have souls and God has a place for them just as much as people. I hold onto the hope that in his infinite love and mercy, the animals are lifted out before the final suffering of their death begins.

3. Commentary on the Lectionary: Nov. 13, Matthew 25:14-30 – How to Use our Talents

In this parable, a master entrusts three servants with his wealth. Two invest the money and get a good return, and the master praises them and gives them promotions. The third buried the money and, when faced by the master’s ire, said, “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow,” so in fear he hid the money. The master berated the servant, declaring, “You know that I reap where I have not sowed …?” The master declared that the servant should have at least invested the money with bankers. So, the master gave this servant’s talent to a servant who had invested profitably and pronounced, “For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him has not, even what he has will be taken away.” The text then describes how the “worthless servant” was cast “into the outer darkness”.

All parables are open to a range of interpretations, but this is a particularly difficult one to untangle. It is natural to presume that the “master” is God, particularly since the text describes the servant he condemned as “worthless.” Is the master indeed hard and does the master deserve the servant’s criticism that he reaps where he does not sow? I suggest that the master expects his servants to serve him faithfully, regardless of how they perceive him. Those who regard the master as benevolent are eager to please him and invest the talents vigorously. The other servant regarded the master as a harsh judge, but he still had an obligation to carry out his duties.

Though talent refers to a unit of money, I think we can apply this parable to all the talents we have, whether they are financial, intellectual, artistic, or otherwise. We are given these talents by grace of God, and it our duty and our challenge to use them effectively in service to God. Otherwise, we find ourselves alienated from God – the source of our being – and we feel as if we are in “outer darkness.” Therefore, those who serve God enthusiastically reap rewards (though experience tells us that those rewards are often not financial) and will have a sense of abundance. Those who reject their calling will feel impoverished, even though they might have riches.

Next week, I’ll reflect further on what it means to utilize our talents.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

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

Who is Caleb?
We hope you enjoy it and share it with others.

5. The November Issue of The Peaceable Table Is Now Online

Contents include:

* The Editor's Corner Guest Essay, by Will Tuttle, highlights the issue of artificially created omnivorism in cows to represent the intertwining exploitative systems that promote sickness, suffering, and early death for millions.

* An Unset Gem by English theologian Andrew Linzey tells us that a conception of God as one who cares only for human beings is an idol.

* In a NewsNote, we hear of good things happening in Texas--"cattle country"--namely, a completely vegan cafeteria at a university. And it is doing well!

* The reunion in 2000 of the ex-circus-slave elephants Shirley and Jenny, and the six happy years that followed, make up our November Glimpse of the Peaceable Kingdom.

* You will love the results when you fix "Baked Apples With Lavender," especially when you serve this dish with soy or rice ice cream.

* "The poetry of earth is never dead," John Keats reminds us, describing two insect songsters in his sonnet "On the Grasshopper and Cricket."

Have a happy and gentle Thanksgiving!

Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor

Your question and comments are welcome

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