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Rethinking Halloween

October 31, 2011 --

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers
Portland Oregon

A pirate, a vampire, and Cyclops from the X-Men.  These are a few of my favorite costumes I wore as a kid on Halloween.

Halloween has experienced an increasingly virulent “love-hate” relationship among Catholics over the past decade or so, particularly since the advent of the Harry Potter phenomenon.  Judging from the plethora of articles and blogs on the topic, Catholics seem to be divided into two camps.  The first says, “Reject Halloween at all costs since it is the devil’s holiday and only serves the corrupt the hearts and minds of our children.”  The second says, “Oh, come on!  What’s the big deal?  There’s nothing wrong with kids playing ‘make believe,’ having fun and getting candy.  It’s not like they think Halloween is for real.”  

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Clergy run full page ad against adult service site

October 30, 2011 --

Classified: Humans for Sale

Full ad here partial ad below,

BEND, Ore., — The sale of human beings has never been more common in the United States than it is today. Tuesday, a coalition of clergy ran a full-page ad in the New York Times calling on Village Voice Media, owners of Backpage.com to close down their Adult services section. “Christians everywhere are beginning to realize that this sale of humans in our backyard must be stopped and that we can play a role in its defeat” says Nita Belles, author of the recently published book, In Our Backyard: A Christian Perspective of Human Trafficking in the United States.

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Oregon prom dress ministry

October 29, 2011 --

Oregon Prom Ministry

The Catholic Sentinel reports on a non-profit called Abby’s Closet which helps teen girls find prom dresses. It was started by Sally Egland who works at the Resurrection Parish in Tualatin. The ministry has helped 2,4000 high school students find formal dresses for special occasions. This can be very helpful as prom dresses can cost between $60-$600.

You can donate dresses or financial contributions and inquire more at their website at abbyscloset.com

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Life lessons from the film Moneyball

October 28, 2011 --

By Kevin Palau
Luis Palau Ministries
Beaverton, Oregon

This weekend, I went to see Moneyball, a film that tells the story of the 2002 Oakland Athletics baseball season under the leadership of General Manager, Billy Beane (General Manager, 1998-today). Since I’ve never been much of a baseball fan, I was surprised to find many lessons in this movie that resonated with me. The lessons communicated in this movie are very applicable to anyone in a leadership position.

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Occupy Wall Street & Religion embrace

October 27, 2011 --

Across the nation Occupy Wall Street gets spiritual, while some churches reach out
By Oregon Christian Post,

In Oregon, two Salem churches (First Presbyterian Church and First Congregational United Church of Christ) have opened their parking lots to local Occuppy Wall Street protestors. The Presbyterian Church is trying to make room for the daily “Occupation Tango” dance that the protesters do. Protest organizers in Boston, New York, and Chicago have made sure that religion and faith communities are an accepted and welcomed part of an economic protest that began in cities nationwide a few weeks ago. In Boston, organizers established a “Sacred Space” tent where protestors can gather, sans shoes, for spiritual reflection regardless of religious affiliation. Yom Kippur services, as well as an Islamic Friday prayer service have been held at Occupy Wall Street, among other examples.

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Pujols &Tebow: Breaking new ground for Christian athletes

October 26, 2011 --

Albert Pujols & Tim Tebow: Breaking new ground for Christian athletes
By Guest Opinion, Oregon writer

Albert Pujols & Tim Tebow are two Christian Athletes breaking new ground into new areas not often represented by Christian sports players.   Both have been in the news this month, Pujols making history by being the 3rd person in history to hit three home runs and the 2nd to register five hits in a World Series.   ESPN labeled Pujols possibly “best offensive performance in World Series history.”    At the same time, Tim Tebow simply started as a quarterback and became the most headlined player of all the entire football review weekend.

Breaking new ground in three ways

Tim Tebow is breaking new ground for Christian athletes in three areas. First, Tebow is likely the most recognized Christian athlete. Tebow became famous for putting bible verses on his face paint which consequently created a new football rule to outlaw face messaging. Nonetheless it was called the Tebow rule. Second Tebow is also the poster child for the pro-life movement. Tebow’s mother experienced medical problems during pregnancy and her doctors recommended and abortion for which thw mother declined. That story became a Super Bowl commercial. Third, Tebow is a success story for homeschoolers who are allowed to play in public school sports. Tebow is the direct benefit of a new Florida law that allowed homeschooled children to enroll in public school sports. Since then other states (Kentucky, Alabama) have considered the open-sports policy calling it the “Tim Tebow Bill”. The fact that Tebow has volunteered to reporters that he is a virgin may be an indicator that he may be hailed by the abstinence movement (or maybe not).

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Steve Jobs' views on God, afterlife were challenged at the end

October 24, 2011 --

Steve Jobs on God and afterlife were challenged at the end
By Guest Opinion

Steve Jobs’ biographer was with Jobs near the final weeks of his cancer battle and reveals an enlightened and complicated view that Jobs had of God and the afterlife. Steve Jobs may have begun life as a Bhuddist (he was married by a Buddhist monk Kobun Chino & Forbes magazine is publishing a graphic novel on the Tao of Steve Jobs), but his end of life cancer crisis challenged his thinking about everything from God to the afterlife.

The internal debate over God and life after death is captured by 60 Minutes which interviewed the biographer Walter Issacson. The author was granted rare access into Steve’s life and interviewed Steve Jobs 40 times before his death. Below is a transcript excerpt where the questions on God and death are addressed (video at bottom).

Narrator: In their final meetings, Jobs would occasionally bring up the subject of death.

Steve Jobs: I saw my life as an arc. And that it would end and compared to that nothing mattered. You’re born alone, you’re gonna die alone. And does anything else really matter? I mean what is it exactly is it that you have to lose Steve? You know? There’s nothing.

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MLK memorial faulted for leaving God absent

October 23, 2011 --

This month the new Martin Luther King memorial site was officially inaugurated with an opening ceremony featuring President Barack Obama.    The new memorial was numerous Martin Luther King quotes has been noted for the glaring absence of the word “God”, says Alveda Celeste King was is niece to Martin Luther King, Jr. and daughter of another civil rights leader Rev. A.D. William King, Sr.    The same memorial was critized earlier for changing Martin Luther King’s words to be more succinct.  Below is a press release on the debate.

ATLANTA, — Dr. Alveda C. King, Founder of King for America commented today on the newly dedicated MLK Memorial Site. The MLK quotes on the 450 foot wall surrounding the Mountain of Despair and Stone of Hope have received scrutiny and praises from visitors. “This missed opportunity to carve GOD’s Name on the wall still presents another opportunity. Many people don’t know that Uncle M. L. was a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It stands to reason that they have never heard of his devotion to Jesus Christ and his message of God’s agape love. I wasn’t consulted on the design of the site, still I see this as a teaching moment to encourage people to read King’s sermons.”

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True Life Faith Film — Mighty Macs

October 22, 2011 --

We first gave a preview back in June to the upcoming faith film called Mighty Macs — based on an inspiring true story of a Catholic basketball success story and making changes ahead of their time. Below is a Mighty Macs film trailer and a great ESPN documentary video to tell the full Mighty Mac legacy story.

SEE ESPN DOCUMENTARY VIDEO BELOW

.

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Rob Bell to leave Mars Hill for tour & big undisclosed project

October 21, 2011 --

Rob Bell to leave Mars Hill for tour & big undisclosed project

Pastor, author and video artist Rob Bell is making a big move by leaving his church, conducting a national tour and moving his family to Los Angeles area to start a new venture. Rob Bell is famous for helping found Mars Hill Church, launching the Nooma video series and more recently issuing a controversial book called “Love Wins” which came under fire by theologians for advocating the idea that souls lost in the afterlife could be restored into heaven.   Rob Bell says his decision to move is a long shot and is keepign many details under wraps until the rigth timing.

Bell spoke of his new speaking tour entitled “Fit to Break Ice” by saying “It’s several hours of entirely new content I haven’t given before, exploring all the exhilarating ways we stumble and fumble and fail and bleed and limp along and just how good and sacred and thrilling it all is. I’m hoping to break some new ground on this tour, going places we haven’t gone before. I hope people are inspired, moved, and challenged in all kinds of new ways throughout the evening, so that they leave Fit to Smash Ice.”

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