Twelve Catholic priests have swapped their pulpits for favourite pastimes in a calendar designed to try to recruit young men to the priesthood … The priests, from the Diocese of Leeds, are pictured in an array of activities, including reading celebrity magazines, watching baseball and DIY … Each featured priest also reveals what inspired them to join the church … The calendar has been created as part of a drive to encourage teenagers to take up Holy Orders.
In the Malay language “Allah” is used to mean any god, and Christians say they have used the term for centuries. Opponents of the ban say it is unconstitutional and unreasonable. It is the latest in a series of religious rows in largely Muslim Malaysia, where minority groups claim their rights are being eroded.
There has been no official government comment but parliamentary opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said the decision to ban the word for non-Muslims on security grounds was “unlawful”. “The term ‘Allah’ was used to refer to God by Arabic-speaking Christians before Arabic-speaking Muslims existed,” he said.
Religious issues are highly sensitive in Malaysia, which has a 60% Muslim population. Religious freedom is guaranteed in the law but minority groups have accused the Muslim Malay majority of trying to increase the role of Islam in the country.
Something very significant can happen when the body of Christ gathers all together on a Sunday morning. Those weekly services define what matters to a church and its leaders. (p 23)
Burnout – friend or foe?
Depression doesn’t have to be depressing
Anger: using it constructively
The pastor’s family
Principles and strategies of self-care
It’s two o’clock on Christmas day, you’re sitting in your living room surrounded by approximately 2.4 miles of wrapping paper, and you start to get this sinking feeling. You slowly begin to realize that Christmas wasn’t all you thought it was going to be. You got some nice gifts, ate some suh-weet food, and got a slight tear in your eye when you watched “It’s a Wonderful Life”, although you never would acknowledge that you were actually crying. But in spite of all this it seems like a let-down.So how do you give the Christmas blues a big kick in the pants? Follow the advice of the Psalmist. In Psalm 43:4 we read, “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you…” Do you want to avoid feeling deflated after Christmas? Go to God your exceeding joy. Be very intentional about finding your deepest and sweetest joy in God himself. Don’t look for joy in family, friends, presents, Christmas dinner, or anything else. Find your joy in God.
When things don’t go the way they should
God always makes them turn for good.
When things go better than they should
For people who are bad,
Remember, if they stay that way,
At last they will be sad.
Zeffirelli told La Stampa newspaper that the Pope communicated in a cold way that was little suited to what was happening around him. These are not times for high tailoring in papal vestments, he said. He contrasted the relaxed attitude of the late Pope John Paul II to his official attire with that of Benedict. Lacking his predecessor’s charisma, Pope Benedict has taken to wearing some eye-stopping outfits in public, such as a red velvet cape trimmed with ermine, not worn in public since the death of John XXIII in 1963. When he donned a fur-trimmed red cap, some people mistook it for a Santa Claus hat.
Zeffirelli, a Roman Catholic, was employed several times by the Vatican during John Paul II’s reign as a designer for the staging of major papal ceremonies. He told La Stampa he would relish being Pope Benedict’s image consultant. “If they gave me an official supervisory role, I would dedicate myself to it full time,” Zeffirelli said. “I know [Joseph] Ratzinger personally,” he added, using the German-born pope’s name before he became pontiff. “He is very attentive to the importance of how the sacred is represented.”
So far there has been no reaction to Zeffirelli’s offer from the Vatican.
The Evangelical Alliance and the Charity Commission have announced the completion of three model governing documents that provide guidance for independent churches. These documents are the culmination of four years of work.The documents set out the proper checks and balances required to allow paid church leaders to take appropriate leadership responsibilities as church charity trustees, manage any potential conflicts of interest, and offer churches a legal structure to help govern their charity.The work, initiated in 2003, was primarily designed to strengthen accountability and governance of new independent churches. The model governing documents have been drawn up by the Evangelical Alliance, African and Caribbean Evangelical Alliance, Anthony Collins (solicitors) and Stewardship, in partnership with the Charity Commission…