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Bill bans state isolation punishment for youth

March 27, 2017 --

Oregon Senate votes to end isolation punishment for youth
SB 82 bans Oregon Youth Authority from placing youth in locked rooms alone
By Oregon Senate Majority Office

SALEM – Oregon Youth Authority would be required to stop using isolation as a punishment, under a bill passed  by the Oregon Senate.

Senate Bill 82 – which passed 29-0 on the Senate floor – establishes a state policy that prohibits the Oregon Youth Authority from punishing youth offenders or any other person under the agency’s custody by locking them up in solitary confinement.

“We know that locking any person up in isolation as punishment is harmful to them mentally and emotionally,” said Sen. James Manning (D-Eugene), who carried the bill on the Senate floor. “These are vulnerable kids, anyway, and then using a punishment technique like that naturally hurts more than it helps.”

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The Shack movie stirs mixed emotions

March 24, 2017 --

The ShackBy Randy Alcorn
Eternal Perspectives Ministries, Sandy Oregon

Please visit his blog

The movie The Shack¸ based on the novel with the same title by Paul Young, will release in March. By now you have likely seen previews of the movie. Of course, in what I share below, I’m only speaking about the book—though if the movie is faithful to the book, I would expect it to have some of the same strengths and weaknesses.

I am reluctant to post this for a variety of reasons, including that I know and like Paul Young. Some years ago, when the book had sold thousands but not yet millions, I had coffee with Paul twice and we engaged in long and very civil discussions, totaling six hours or so, about various parts of The Shack, and the Bible. We agreed on most points while disagreeing on some significant ones.

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Fake veteran scams churches

March 22, 2017 --

By Oregon Veterans Association,

A man posing as a combat veteran and widowed father has preyed upon the generosity of Portland area Christians by telling heartbreaking but entirely fictitious stories, according to a KGW investigation launched in December.

The television station’s investigation found that Michele Bocci, 34, a slender man with beard and glasses, had bilked money, food and services from more than two dozen people in McMinnville, Tualatin, Oregon City and West Linn. Bocci approached a half-dozen churches in Portland, Beaverton and McMinnville as well as community groups and individuals. He told pastors and others that his wife died and left him with the care of a toddler—and sometimes two—but nobody has seen any children. In a case of stolen valor, he claimed he served in combat with the Marines, but the U.S. Department of Defense has no record of him. Last month he acted desperate when he entered a free health clinic at the First Baptist Church in McMinnville and told a volunteer he and his 4-year-old daughter would be evicted if he didn’t pay the rent, so the older woman loaned him $705, which he promised to repay. When he didn’t, she lodged a complaint against him in small claims court.

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Evangelicals and the Travel ban

March 21, 2017 --

Krattenmaker-tomBy Tom Krattenmaker
Award-winning Portland-based writer

When it comes to our acceptance of other people, Jesus enlarged the circle. Love everyone, he taught.

It’s encouraging to see this ethic holding up to some degree in a country where a culture of welcome has been one of our proudest hallmarks — but where fear of immigrants, refugees and Muslims now competes with our inclusive tendencies. Despite scary warnings from the new president, a sizable majority of Americans oppose temporarily banning Muslims from other countries from entering the U.S., as Donald Trump has sought to do.

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De-censoring Charlie Brown Christmas

March 17, 2017 --

 By Catholic League for religious and civil rights

In 1965, an animated Christmas special was aired, “Charlie Brown’s Christmas.” Peanuts character Linus quoted from Luke in the New Testament, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior which is Christ the Lord. That’s what Christmas is all about.” It was widely hailed as a thoughtful and joyous statement.

Back then, virtually no one thought about registering a complaint against “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” being performed in a public school. But a half century later, activist Christmas haters now threaten lawsuits, and nervous school administrators cave in to the intimidation. That is why Kentucky lawmakers have said enough is enough.

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Muslim interfaith speakers begin Oregon tour

March 15, 2017 --

From Samuel Metz, MD
Portland, Oregon

Soraya Deen is a nationally known speaker on interfaith dialogue and empowering women. The City Club of Portland event, described below, is one of several appearances in Oregon. Please see links below to find an event close to you.

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Student: What I learned at Missions COnference

March 13, 2017 --

By Multnomah University,

Global studies major and Marketing Assistant Meghan Krause shares her perspective on this year’s Global Missions Conference. 

GMC6

Dr. Karen Fancher speaks at MU’s 77th annual Global Missions Conference.

This past week, Multnomah hosted the 77th annual Global Ministries Conference, or GMC. The GMC’s slogan for this year was, “Cultivating Renewal: Back to the Beginning.” A team of five students, led by Dr. Greg Burch, brought this whole conference together. These five students were Jamilyn Cummings, Moriah Paterson, Kara Swanson, Annica Davis and Jared Stone. From the decorations, to the advertisements, to the selection of speakers and guests, these five students confronted all of us about creation care and the part we play in this topic.

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Unique story of the man who gave it all up

March 10, 2017 --

All In Movement,

Michael Phillips was once the owner and Chief Operating Officer of one of the fastest growing IT firms in the country. But in June of 2012, in response to what he describes as a “calling from God,” he walked away from his business and gave his truck away to a stranger in a donut store parking lot. “That’s the day my ‘all in’ journey began,” says Phillips.

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5th time lawmakers seek to dethrone Jason Lee

March 8, 2017 --

By Christian News Northwest
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For the past several years, state Rep. Vic Gilliam sought persistently to see a statue of Oregon missionary pioneer Jason Lee replaced in the nation’s capital with one depicting the late U.S. Sen. and Gov. Mark Hatfield. With each successive year, his goal grew closer to fulfillment, halted only at the last minute last year on his fourth attempt.

But this past year, Gilliam (R-Silverton) has battled amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an incurable neurological disorder better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, which led to his resignation from the state Legislature Jan. 30.

Read the full article and discuss it »

We are all refugees

March 6, 2017 --

Metzger-RickBy Paul Louis Metzger
Multnomah University Professor
New Wine Skins Ministry

Have you ever lived out of a suitcase? It isn’t easy. I can only imagine what it must be like for a refugee, who is fleeing one country in search of another, only to be held back from entering upon arrival.

The closest I have gotten to this state of affairs, and it isn’t even close, is when we were in search of work overseas in the late 1990’s. A promising opportunity and invitation to interview for a position (all expenses paid) took our family to the Far East, only for the door to close quite unexpectedly. However, due to various circumstances, we were stranded there for a few months. Finally, our little boy said to my wife and me, “Let’s go home.” But we had no home. We were living out of suitcases there, as well as in the States, having just finished doctoral studies in England. All I will say about what transpired overseas is that we were caught in the crossfire between warring parties on an issue unrelated to our candidacy. We were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and no one got a job. Fortunately, or providentially, someone offered us a place to stay upon our return to the States until we could find a home.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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