Don't Segregate the Youth
...I spent 10 years serving in a church where the youth ministry was segregated from the congregation. The constant challenge before us was to somehow teach and give them a taste of what the church is meant to be, even though they weren't experiencing it themselves. Most of the youth didn't worship with the rest of the congregation, nor did they experience aspects of gathered church life beyond "Youth Sunday."
The next church I served in was vastly different. There I learned how to effectively model and shape a biblical view of the church for the youth. What was so different? To start, students were part of the church. Rather than a token "Youth Sunday," we regularly had students serving as ushers, greeters, choristers, music volunteers, and Scripture readers. Some of our older teens were teaching Sunday school, and when the church gathered for various functions, teens joined in the mix. This was an intergenerational church family where relationships spanned decades and all ages served side by side. Sure, we had youth Bible study groups and other activities specifically for students, but that never precluded their involvement in the gathered church.
Together as the diverse, multi-generational body of Christ, we worshiped God, sat under the preaching of his Word, prayed, shared communion, and enjoyed fellowship. As a result, students weren't left wondering about the church's purpose; they were experiencing it according to Acts 2:42-47
. They learned the church exists chiefly to glorify God, not to please them. They experienced what it means for elders to "equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:12-13
Drug-resistant 'superbugs' deemed urgent threats, CDC says
Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, a diarrhea-causing superbug and a class of fast-growing killer bacteria dubbed a "nightmare" were classified as urgent public-health threats in the United States on Monday.
According to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 2 million people in the United States develop serious bacterial infections that are resistant to one or more types of antibiotics each year, and at least 23,000 die from the infections.
"For organism after organism, we're seeing this steady increase in resistance rates," Dr Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a telephone interview. "We don't have new drugs about to come out of the pipeline. If and when we get new drugs, unless we do a better job of protecting them, we'll lose those, also."... image
India Gender Crisis: Mortality Rate for Girls 75% Higher Than Boys
...Women in India are confronted with a compounding crisis. By most estimates, there are tens of millions of women missing in India due to the devaluing of female life beginning in the womb.
Sex-selective abortion and female infanticide have led to lopsided sex ratios. In parts of India, for example, 126 boys are born for every 100 girls. This in turn leads to a shortage of marriageable women, which then leads to trafficking in persons, bride-selling, and prostitution....
Jerry Brown Vetoes Sales of Human Eggs in California
California Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminarian, vetoed a measure that would have enabled a potentially lucrative market for women to sell their eggs for medical research.
“Not everything in life is for sale, nor should it be,” said Brown in his Aug. 13 statement
on the veto of bill A.B. 926. “This bill would legalize the payment of money in exchange for a woman submitting to invasive procedures to stimulate, extract and harvest her eggs for scientific research. The questions raised here are not simple; they touch matters that are both personal and philosophical.”
Brown zeroed in on an increasingly complex aspect of egg sellers' understanding of the implications...
5 ways Obamacare could mess with your privacy
Obamacare’s start date, October 1st
, is rapidly approaching. As the impending Tuesday draws nearer and nearer, new headlines are drawing attention to unsettling aspects of the system. Troubling enough was the NSA surveillance scandal this summer. Now, add sensitive medical information to the mix. Concerned citizens are raising privacy questions, from sex life to social security numbers, under the new system. How could your own privacy be affected by Obamacare?...
Taking Baby-Killing to a New Low
...And to think: The same people who pushed so hard for the legalization of abortion so that a woman wouldn’t have to get a back-alley abortion with a wire coat hanger are the same ones who not only ignore the pervasive health code violations in scores of clinics nationwide, but also are taking things one step further by backing a bill whereby non-physicians can suck a baby out of its mother’s womb...
Study Shows One Abortion Ups Premature Birth Risk for Women by 36 Percent
...With premature births leading to an assortment of physical and mental health problems for unborn children, the researcher says women should be told of the risk before having an abortion.
Dr. Prakesh Shah, a professor at the Department of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto is the main author of the new study, published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
He found that women who have just one abortion in either the first or second trimester of pregnancy, when abortions are most routinely performed, have a 35 percent increased risk of having a low-birth-weight baby in the next pregnancy and a 36 percent increased risk of having a baby born prematurely.
The risk substantially increases for the millions of women who have had more than one abortion and become pregnant.
In those cases, women having multiple abortions have a 93 percent increased risk of subsequently having a premature baby and a 72 percent increased risk of having an underweight baby
Maaloula's cathedral and churches empty of Christians as Syria's latest front-line fight takes its toll
On Sunday thousands of Christians should have filled its streets for the festival of the Holy Cross. But instead the streets of Maaloula are filled with soldiers and tanks, spent bullet casings and the noise of Syria's latest front-line fight.
Maaloula is a special place. It has been a safe haven for Christians for 2,000 years - until now. It was a place of refuge so secure in its rugged mountain isolation that a dialect of the language of Christ, Aramaic, is still spoken here. But not today.
Its Christian community of 2,000 has fled. In the tight alleyways and streets that wind up the Maaloula's mountainside their language has been replaced by the Arabic of two bitter enemies: rebels from three Islamist groups and the soldiers of President Bashar al-Assad...