Displaying items by tag: church
The Meeting House church in Oakville, Canada has had ‘substantiated’ sexual abuse allegations against its former leader, Bruxy Cavey. In June, he was charged with one count of sexual abuse after an internal investigation. Then the church announced two further investigations, as more accusations of sexual abuse against him and former pastor Tim Day were submitted: see In Australia the Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission launched an investigation into the Hillsong megachurch in March after a former employee alleged financial malpractice, including using tax-free money for ‘large cash gifts’ to former Hillsong global leader Brian Houston and his family. See also
Attacking families is one of the best ways for Satan to ruin a nation - and in Chile, marriages are under serious spiritual attack. Domestic abuse is a social plague. Around 35% of Chilean women have suffered physical or sexual violence by a partner or spouse. The emotional and physical pain wounds all members of the family. If husbands and wives began loving and honouring one another as Christ loves the Church, it could transform neighbourhoods, cities, and even the whole nation. The Chilean people are overwhelmingly Christian in name - roughly 60% Catholic and 20% Evangelical. But church attendances are dwindling, and claims of faith tend to be based in culture rather than relationship with Jesus Christ. Crime, drug abuse, and materialism are increasing. One in seven women are mothers by the age of 14. During Pinochet’s rule the Church ignored the needy people. There will soon be an election for a controversial new constitution.
Justin Welby spoke against proposed plans for illegal migrants to be transported to Rwanda before being able to apply to live in the UK. He said, ‘The principle must stand the judgement of God. It cannot carry the weight of our national responsibility as a country formed by Christian values. Sub-contracting out our responsibilities, even to a country that seeks to do well like Rwanda, is the opposite of the nature of God, who himself took responsibility for our failures.’ Also Dr Rowan Williams said, ‘Is the policy sinful? In a word, yes.’ The Archbishop of York said, ‘We can do better than this.’ Priti Patel has fought back against the criticisms via an article in The Times. It reads, ‘We are taking bold and innovative steps and it's surprising that those institutions that criticise the plans fail to offer their own solutions.'
2.25 million disabled Americans should attend church, but don’t. Calvary Community is oriented towards people with ‘special abilities’. Their families drive long distances to get there. As a result, church growth has surged. ‘It just really exploded,’ said Pastor Gina. ‘We have a heart to help. The church understands the value of people with special abilities. ‘They have a straightforward clear understanding of the love of God. They’re not bogged down by noise, politics, or anything that can confuse who God is. Their childlike faith reminds us how simple the love of God can be. They help us understand what it means to serve someone who can’t serve us back.’ The community has 300 volunteers actively seeking and serving people with special abilities. The results speak for themselves. The church now has a database of 700 families with one or more child or adult with special abilities, and they train and help other churches develop special programmes.
Mark 6: 31 says ‘Come with me to a quiet place and get some rest.’ May this holiday season be a season of rest, recuperation and restoration for individuals, couples and families. For those who are unable to take time off, we can pray for a supernatural season of rest and refreshment. Father, in that place of rest and relaxation, may Your people be in your presence, hear Your voice and know your ways, just as Moses encountered You in the wilderness. May this be a season of fresh encounters, restoration and breakthroughs, with Your Spirit brooding over this nation. May Your people forget what has gone before and press on toward the upward call of Christ Jesus. He is calling forth those who will lead in the days ahead, not because of title or position but because of the depth and obedience of their walk with God.
Many churches will be running a wide range of school holiday clubs throughout the summer months. Pray for the themed weeks to inspire children as they discover their Father in Heaven’s love and the friend that they have in Jesus. May the new songs that they learn be sung at home with their families and friends. Pray for God to give His strength and stamina to the many adults who will be guiding the children through various craft activities, sports and games, presenting interactive mime and drama, storytelling, singing and dancing, messy play and much more. May they find many opportunities to introduce their groups to Christ in each session. Pray for the clubs aimed at children who would normally receive free school meals. Pray for the evening clubs and café clubs aimed at older children to be fun and safe for all. May every Christian holiday club be used by God to open avenues between churches and communities.
The CofE has abandoned a proposal to appoint 42 ‘racial justice officers’ across the country, one of the recommendations from its report on tackling racism in the institution. In April 47 proposals were made to address institutional racism and improve diversity in an attempt to end a ‘rut of inaction’ spanning several decades, with the Archbishop of Canterbury conceding that people of colour had been ‘bullied, overlooked, undermined and excluded’ within the Church. With the taskforce warning a failure to act against racism would convince people the Church was ‘not serious about racial sin’, one suggestion was for paid, full-time racial justice officers to be employed in every diocese for a five-year term. However, the idea was scrapped. The Archbishop of York said, ‘The Archbishops' Council has concluded that it cannot support this recommendation in this formulation at this time, given the need to reduce costs in diocesan and national administration.’
At the end of 2020, national records reported that over 1,200 people had died of a drug-related death, putting Scotland at the top of the chart for drug-related deaths in Europe. The report painted a heart-breaking picture of loss and pain in so many families and communities across Scotland. Evangelical Alliance Scotland, Bethany Christian Trust, and Cross Reach carry out amazing work caring for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, but they want to find out how they can further support the work of churches and agencies that focus on drug addiction. Therefore they are currently carrying out a survey with key questions around how drug addiction affects people's churches and how they can together provide sustainable solutions.
11-year-old Chan-Rey always wondered who created the whole world. Her mother didn’t know, so she kept searching for an answer. One Sunday a girl invited her to church. The Sunday school class was watching the Superbook episode ‘In the beginning’, about the creation of the world. ‘The story was AMAZING!’ she declared. ‘I saw the Spirit of God flying around. He said, “Let there be light”, and there was light! Then He made the world. It looked so beautiful. Then He created a man from dust and let them take care of everything!’ After watching the episode, Chan-Rey prayed with the teacher to become a Christian. She couldn’t wait to tell her family about what happened. ‘I shared the gospel with my parents and sisters. Then I brought them to church. Now they believe in Jesus too!’
Following the announcement in the Queen’s Speech that the Government will ban conversion therapy, the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, chair of the Living in Love and Faith Next Steps Group, said: ‘The Church of England believes that all people are made in the image of God and must be cherished for who they are. The General Synod has voted overwhelmingly to reject coercive conversion therapies, so we welcome the Government’s commitment to explore these matters further with a view to enshrining that position in law. We recognise the difficulties in defining conversion therapies, and look forward to working closely with the Government to develop a viable definition and subsequent legislation. We want to prevent abuses of power, and ensure that issues of consent are made absolutely central to any future legislation.’ Pray for people to recognise that gay conversion therapy is unethical, harmful, and not supported by evidence.