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CVA Weekly Newsletter
February 29, 2012


  1.  Activist Feedback
  2. Essay: What is God’s Essence?
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Activist Feedback
 
Regarding recent leafleting at Winter Jam in Kansas City, super-activist Rick Hershey writes:
 
I leafleted 1250 booklets to this large young crowd at the Sprint Center in Kansas City this evening and enjoyed pleasant weather.

Upcoming Outreach Opportunities
 
3/8-9         NC Charlotte       Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade
3/9       CA San Diego       The Rock and Worship Road Show
3/9-10    IN Muncie               Acquire The Fire Youth Conference
3/10      FL Tampa           TABLE Bark in the Park
3/10      CA Sacramento      The Rock and Worship Road Show
3/10          WI Milwaukee       Women of Faith Dream On For Teen Girls!
3/10      KY Lexington       Winter Jam Christian Rock Fest
3/11      TN Nashville       Winter Jam Christian Rock Fest
3/11      CA Fresno               The Rock and Worship Road Show
6/23      VA Richmond             TABLE Richmond Vegetarian Festival
3/15-17   NC Winston-Salem        Joyce Meyers Ministries Conference
3/15      VA Norfolk              Winter Jam Christian Rock Fest
3/16-17   SC Greenville      Extraordinary Women Conference
3/16-17   OK Tulsa           Acquire The Fire Youth Conference
3/16      TN Knoxville       Winter Jam Christian Rock Fest
3/17      OH Cincinnati      Winter Jam Christian Rock Fest
3/17      FL Miami           Women of Faith One Day
3/17      PA Pittsburgh      Women Of Faith Dream On For Teen Girls!
3/18      IL Peoria               Winter Jam Christian Rock Fest
3/23      TX Houston              Winter Jam Christian Rock Fest
3/23-24   NC Greensboro      Acquire the Fire Youth Conference
3/23-24   CA San Diego       Acquire the Fire Youth Conference
3/24      IN Indianapolis         Women Of Faith Dream On For Teen Girls
3/24      NV Las Vegas       Women Of Faith One Day Conference
3/30-31   MO Cape Girardeau Extraordinary Women Conference
3/31      TX Austin               Women Of Faith Dream on For Teen Girls
3/31      KS Wichita              Women Of Faith One Day
3/31      MD Baltimore       Women Of Faith One Day
3/31      TX Austin               TABLE Texas Veg Fest
4/22      CA San Diego       TABLE EarthWorks' EarthFair 2012
4/22      MO St. Louis       TABLE Earth Day Festival
4/28-29   CT Hartford             TABLE Connecticut Vegetarian & Healthy
                                    Living Festival
5/20      CA Van Nuys        TABLE WorldFest 2012


2. Essay: What is God’s Essence?
 
Last week, I discussed the importance of a monotheistic faith that attributes one essence to God. I think that essence is love.
 
Though the Hebrew Scriptures often describe God as wrathful, a recurrent theme is God’s love and concern for both the chosen Hebrew people and the rest of creation. The New Testament more clearly depicts God’s loving nature. John asserted, “He who does not love does not know God; for God is love” (1 John 4:8). How is God equivalent to love? This question continues to challenge Christian theologians. I think “God is love” means that God is about compassion, caring, and mercy. Christian faith also teaches that God still makes judgments about right and wrong, and we disappoint God when we fall short of our potential. However, I do not believe that a loving God, knowing our frailties, condemns or hates sinners. John wrote, “God is light and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). God is light, but there is darkness in the world, in part because we no longer experience life as resembling a Garden of Eden in which all creatures coexist harmoniously. Humans have allowed their own acquisitive desires to supersede God’s loving desire for all creation, and humans have attributed their own violence and scapegoating to the divine.
 
Although the Bible points to God being about love, Christians have widely disparate images of God. A likely reason is that people tend to see God in ways that provide comfort and reassurance. Consequently, people often think that God’s desires align with their own preferences, which helps people believe that they are morally upright and justified in God’s eyes.
 
Those eager to wield power, such as dominating husbands, authoritarian parents, or tyrants, often envision God as a ruler who governs sternly and sometimes brutally over his subjects. Alternatively, those who seek to live peacefully and cooperatively tend to regard God as kind, loving, and compassionate. I find the latter image of God far more appealing and better supported by Scripture. However, I do not think it is possible to reconcile “God is love” with a God who endorses abusing humans or animals. Indeed, only a dark, callous God would countenance cruelty to animals, and it is hard to imagine such a God leading humanity, much less all creation, to reconciliation and peace. I would expect that worshipping such a dark God would harden people’s hearts and reduce their ability to resist the temptation to scapegoat humans and animals.
 
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.   


3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
Learning to Look Like Jesus
http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s26feb89.html 


Your question and comments are welcome

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