Category Archives: Christian News
MERCER ISLAND, Wash., Jan. 26, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Healthy, flourishing workplace culture makes for increasingly effective organizations.
That’s the upside for 62 faith-based organizations across the U.S., Canada and Australia, which have just been honored as Certified Best Christian Workplaces by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI).
BCWI’s FLOURISH Model measures eight essential factors of a thriving, healthy culture: fantastic teams, life-giving work, outstanding talent, uplifting growth, rewarding compensation, inspirational leadership, sustainable strategy and healthy communication.
The Certified status reflects a “healthy-to-flourishing” culture, meeting predetermined standards of excellence on each of these eight factors. BCWI pioneered and perfected the anonymous, online employee survey instrument that compiles and calibrates individuals’ responses.
“Attaining BCWI Certification is not easy,” said BCWI President Al Lopus. “About half of the organizations we survey achieve Certification, and many organizations survey multiple years before receiving this distinction.”
Since 2003, BCWI has served more than 700 faith-based organizations throughout North America and beyond.
The organizations Certified between July 1, 2015 and January 20, 2016 are:
Bethlehem Baptist Church – Minneapolis, MN
Church of the King – Mandeville, LA
Community Christian Church – Naperville, IL
Cornwall Church – Bellingham, WA
Cross Point Church – Nashville, TN
Crossroads Christian Church – Evansville, IN
Eastminster Presbyterian Church – Wichita, KS
Experience Life Church – Lubbock, TX
First Free Church – Onalaska, WI
Floris United Methodist Church – Herndon, VA
Gateway Church – Southlake, TX
Harvest Church – Billings, MT
Legacy Christian Church – Overland Park, KS
Mountain Christian Church – Joppa, MD
Park Community Church – Chicago, IL
Redeemer Lutheran Church – Fort Collins, CO
River Pointe Church – Richmond, TX
Valley Ranch Baptist Church – Coppell, TX
Vineyard Cincinnati – Cincinnati, OH
The Wesleyan Church – Fishers, IN
PARACHURCH AND MISSIONS
Apartment Life – Euless, TX
Care Net – Lansdowne, VA
Christian Veterinary Mission – Seattle, WA
Compassion Canada – London, ON, Canada
CRISTA Ministries – Seattle, WA
English Language Institute/China – Fort Collins, CO
The Gideons International – Nashville, TN
Joni and Friends – Agoura Hills, CA
Kids Around the World – Rockford, IL
Miracle Hill Ministries – Greenville, SC
Novo Ministries – Oklahoma City, OK
Reasons to Believe – Covina, CA
Vision House – Renton, WA
Water Mission (formerly Water Missions International) – Charleston, SC
Willow Creek Association – South Barrington, IL
World Concern – Seattle, WA
WorldServe Ministries (Canada) – Surrey, BC, Canada
Bethlehem College & Seminary – Minneapolis, MN
College of Biblical Studies-Houston – Houston, TX
Crossroads Bible College – Indianapolis, IN
Grace School of Theology – The Woodlands, TX
Olivet Nazarene University – Bourbonnais, IL
Briarcrest Christian School – Memphis, TN
College Heights Christian School – Joplin, MO
King’s Schools – Seattle, WA
Lionheart Children’s Academy – Euless, TX
Seattle Urban Academy – Seattle, WA
Toledo Christian Schools – Toledo, OH
Valley Christian Schools – Cerritos, CA
CAMPS AND CONFERENCE CENTERS
CRISTA Camps – Seattle, WA
WinShape Retreat – Mount Berry, GA
CRISTA Media – Seattle, WA
Jewish Voice Ministries International – Phoenix, AZ
KSBJ – Humble, TX
LightMelbourne – Mitcham, VIC, Australia
PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) – Orlando, FL
CapinCrouse LLP – Greenwood, IN
Christian Family Care – Phoenix, AZ
Classical Conversations – West End, NC
Garland Heart – Plano, TX
Lead Like Jesus – Spartanburg, SC
Samaritan Ministries International – Peoria, IL
About Best Christian Workplaces Institute
The Best Christian Workplaces Institute is an international non-profit, research-based, organizational development and human resources consulting firm, with head offices in Mercer Island, Washington. Their vision is to see Christian workplaces set the standard as the best, most effective places to work in the world. Learn more at www.bcwinstitute.org. Find weekly success stories at blog.bcwinstitute.org and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bestchristianworkplacesinstitute.
HUME, Calif., Aug. 19, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — An uncontained forest fire threatens Hume Lake Christian Camps, located in the Sequoia National Forest. The Hume Community is asking Christians around the world to pray for the protection of the camp and the continued safety of all camp staff and firefighting personnel.
“We are trusting God, and we are asking you to pray. Please help us mobilize the Christian community around the country to pray,” says Dathan Brown, Executive Director.
Hume Lake Christian Camps is a year-round youth camp and adult retreat center providing epic, high-energy, life-changing programs for churches, schools, teams and groups. Since 1946, more than one million campers have gone through this ministry and experienced the love and power of a life lived in Christ through recreation, music and speaking.
The Rough Fire began with a lightning strike on July 31, 2015 and now encompasses over 30,900 acres. It has crossed the King’s River and has progressed within miles of the homes and ministry buildings of the camp. All non-essential personnel have been evacuated successfully. About 30 full-time staff remain to help keep the utilities, kitchen and other infrastructure running for the firefighting Command Post now situated on the camp grounds.
At 7:30 Wednesday the 19th Hume Lake Christian Camps provided the following update,
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 – 7:30pm
As the fire advanced towards Hume today, we were asked to evacuate the remaining staff at 4:30pm today. As of 6:00pm, all remaining support staff have left Hume Lake. Our fire team, a core utilities team, and over 400 firefighters remain to defend structures. For more information, watch this video from our Executive Director. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more updates.
HOUSTON, Jan. 30, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Bear Creek Church opened its doors on Sunday to 27,500 square feet of new ministry space for preschoolers, children and adults following eleven months of facility construction.
After reaching capacities in several areas, church members committed $4.1 million to the building campaign, allowing construction to begin on February 17, 2014. Bay-IBI Group and Sterling Structures provided architectural and construction services throughout the project.
With 16,000 square feet dedicated to a preschool and children’s wing that includes 15 new classrooms, both ministries now have the capabilities to grow by 50 percent and reach 250 new preschoolers and 200 new children.
A worship area for children has also been added to the new building, bringing this space into proximity with children’s classrooms and enhancing security. This area is nearly 5,000 square feet and will allow approximately 300 children to gather together at one time.
The adult ministry gained seven new classrooms spanning 6,500 square feet. This space allows 500 new adults to connect to a discipleship group within the church.
Alongside its expanded ministry space, Bear Creek also added 260 new parking spaces to accommodate guests and members.
“This new building allows us to present the gospel to our community in a much broader way,” said David Welch, lead pastor at Bear Creek Church. “With church construction in America reported to be down by 80 percent since 2002, we feel blessed that we have faithful members who are willing to commit and follow through with a giving-campaign on such a large scale. I can’t wait to see the greater things that God will accomplish through our expanded ministries.”
Bear Creek Church
Bear Creek Church’s mission is to make fully devoted, fully developing disciples of Christ. Located at the crossroads of West Houston, Katy and Cypress, Bear Creek Church strives to reach multiple communities and neighborhoods throughout the city. Pastor David Welch has served at Bear Creek Church since 2001, and his vision is for the church to be a gospel-centered environment where every person is moved to worship God passionately, grow together authentically, serve others sacrificially and share Christ everywhere. For more information, visit www.bearcreekchurch.tv.
GLENDALE, N.Y., Dec. 27, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — The family of slain NYPD officer Rafael “Ralph” Ramos was given a letter from the President of Faith Evangelical College and Seminary (Tacoma, WA), Dr. Michael Adams, during the first of two funerals held last night, December 26. Officer Ramos was working towards a BA in Religion as a distance student so he could qualify to be a police chaplain.
Photo: The letter presented to the Ramos Family indicating the posthumous conferral of a BA in Religion with honors to Officer Rafael Ramos.
A delegation of clergy conveyed the letter that announced the degree, which was nearly complete, would be conferred within weeks “with honors.” The actual diploma will be presented to Mrs. Ramos at a subsequent ceremony following a meeting of faculty and trustees for the institution.
Distinguished Alumnus of the college and a civilian chaplain on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, the Rev. Rob Schenck, D.Min., led the presentation. He was joined by retired NYPD chaplain and the 3rd U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom the Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson-Cook, and the director of the Christian Defense Coalition and pastor of the Church on the Hill in Washington, the Reverend Patrick J. Mahoney.
Schenck, Johnson-Cook, and Mahoney first paid their respects to Officer Ramos by presenting the letter to his open casket before handing it to Mrs. Ramos, who was visibly moved. She had earlier told Faith Evangelical College and Seminary president Dr. Michael Adams that her husband valued his studies very highly and “constantly talked about earning his degree.”
Schenck, Johnson-Cook, and Mahoney will attend the second, larger funeral Saturday morning as well as the graveside committal.
Rev. Schenck said, “It was one of the greatest honors of my 37-year ministry career to convey this honor to a fallen hero and outstanding churchman. Officer Ramos was an extraordinary man and the comments made publicly and privately by his family, friends, and colleagues bore testimony to that fact.”
Ambassador Johnson-Cook said, “The service for Officer Ramos was like a family reunion for the NYPD. The camaraderie is like nothing else. I spent 21 years as a police chaplain but I never grow tired of it. It was as touching as ever.”
Rev. Mahoney said, “Mrs. Ramos lit up when we presented the letter of conferral to her. Her countenance changed. It was stunning to see her reaction. It was a little bit of sunshine in an otherwise very gloomy time.”
2014 Pornography Survey of Christian Men: Shocking New National Survey Reveals High Levels of Pornography Use and Rampant Extramarital Affairs Among Christian Men
LYNCHBURG, Va., Oct. 7, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — A new national survey of Christian men reveals shocking statistics pertaining to high rates of pornography use and addiction, plus rampant sexual infidelity amongst married Christian men. The 2014 survey was commissioned by Proven Men Ministries (www.ProvenMen.org), which is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping men break free from pornography, and conducted by Barna Group among a nationally representative sample of 388 self-identified Christian adult men.
The statistics for Christian men between 18-30 years old are particularly striking:
- 77% look at pornography at least monthly;
- 36% view pornography at least daily;
- 32% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 12% think they may be).
The statistics for middle-aged Christian men (ages 31-49) are no less disturbing:
- 77% looked at pornography while at work in the past 3 months;
- 64% view pornography at least monthly; and
- 18% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 8% think they may be).
Even married Christian men are falling prey to pornography and extra-marital sexual affairs at alarming rates:
- 55% look at pornography at least monthly; and
- 35% had an extra-marital sexual affair while married.
“These statistics knock the wind right out of you. They also confirm what we already know; that there definitely is a problem with pornography and affairs among Christian men and that they are starving for the church to step forward with solutions,” according to Joel Hesch, who sponsored the survey and is the founder of a non-profit biblically-based organization named Proven Men Ministries. Hesch adds, “The purpose of the survey was not to point fingers, but to get a better grasp on the scope of the problem in light of ready access to pornography in this Internet era.”
Hesch continues: “It’s abundantly clear that pornography is one of the biggest unaddressed problems in the church.” In fact, these alarming statistics are not limited to those who nominally consider themselves Christian.
Those who identify themselves as born-again Christians have similar struggles with pornography and affairs:
- 95% admit that they have viewed pornography;
- 54% look at pornography at least once a month;
- 44% viewed pornography at work in the last 90 days;
- 31% had a sexual affair while married;
- 25% erase Internet browsing history to conceal pornography use; and
- 18% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 9% think they may be).
What’s the solution?
Proven Men has put together a powerful resource for churches to help Christian men regain their dignity and sexual integrity. After breaking free from his own 20-year sexual addiction, Joel Hesch formed Proven Men Ministries and has devoted the past 15 years to helping men around the world find freedom from pornography or sexual addiction through a biblically-based system he created, known as the Proven Path for Sexual Integrity, including a 12-week course of study, a leadership guide and a book on sexual integrity—all available on Amazon. Our website also has free resources.
Hesch adds, “We are now taking the Proven Path directly to churches with the goal of helping 1 million Christian men experience freedom and victory from pornography and sexual addiction.”
Hesch puts out this call for action to pastors and all Christian men:
“If these statistics break your heart like they break mine, then it’s time to join with me and other Proven Men around the nation in taking a stand to reverse the tide and reclaim sexual integrity for yourself and for each man in your church or community. Together we can change the world one man, one family, and one church at a time.”
To find out more about how you can be a part of the solution, visit our website at www.ProvenMen.org.
The full survey results are located at www.ProvenMen.org/2014PornStudy/Christian-Porn-Stats. *The media and church community may cite to these statistics or findings by using the following citation: 2014 ProvenMen.org Christian Porn Survey (conducted by Barna Group).
FRC’s Tony Perkins Wraps up Visit to Israel as a part of ‘Christians in Solidarity with Israel’ Trip
JERUSALEM, Aug. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Family Research Council President Tony Perkins is wrapping up a visit to Israel this week as a part of the “Christians in Solidarity with Israel” trip, hosted by the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). He met with several high level Israeli officials including Nir Barkat, Jerusalem’s mayor and advisors to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Perkins’ national radio show, Washington Watch, broadcast live from Jerusalem during Perkins’ trip.
Perkins made the following comments about his trip during which he observed missile attacks on Israel:
“We came to see first-hand what is happening in Israel, show our support for Israel’s right to defend itself, and remind Christians to pray for Israel.
“Near the Gaza border, I met an Israeli man in a bomb shelter whose recently vacated house was hit and destroyed by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip. Tragically, missile attacks have become a way of life. However, it is not the missile attacks they fear the most but the underground tunnels of terror.
“During our meeting with the mayor of Jerusalem, we read Psalms 122:6. This Scripture took on a deeper meaning sitting with the mayor of Jerusalem knowing that he was leading the city we have been instructed by God to pray for. We prayed for him and then walked outside on the terrace overlooking the entire city. Psalm 122 does not have an expiration date. This is why we continue to emphasize the need for American Christians to remain steadfast in prayer for the peace of Jerusalem so that all the people of that region, Jewish and Palestinian, can live without fear. In addition, we must not forget the many Palestinian Christians who are under the control of Hamas. We also stand with those in the West Bank and Gaza who truly desire peace.
“Evil unleashed is the only way to describe what is taking place in the Middle East. Thousands of missiles are raining down on Israel at the same time Christians are being slaughtered across Iraq and Syria. Sadly, we are seeing the ongoing consequences of the failed foreign policy of the Obama administration.
“Israel is truly an oasis of freedom in a bad neighborhood. It’s the only place in the Middle East where Christians can live out their faith without persecution. America’s commitment to Israel’s security is and must remain sacrosanct – especially now as it defends itself from terrorism,” concluded Perkins.
Those joining Mr. Perkins and Dr. Johnson included Kay Arthur, Co-Founder, Precept Ministries; William A. Blount, President, Blount Communications Group, and Chairman, NRB Board of Directors; Richard P. Bott II, President & CEO, Bott Radio Network; Annette M. Garcia, President/GM, Son Broadcasting Co. Inc.; Richard Land, President, Southern Evangelical Seminary; Anne Graham Lotz, President, AnGeL Ministries; Katie Pavlich, News Editor/Fox News Contributor, Townhall.com/Townhall Magazine; Jerry K. Rose, President & CEO, Total Living Network; and Chelsen A. Vicari, Evangelical Action Director, The Institute on Religion & Democracy.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Coptic Solidarity condemns the grossly inadequate and slow response by the international community to the ongoing genocide and humanitarian crisis in Iraq driven by ISIL Jihadists against religious and ethnic minorities. The founding words of the United Nations, “Never Again” ring hollow as the UN and powerful member states lack the will-power to intervene and stop the genocide of religious minorities, yet again.
As ISIL seeks to establish a Sunni Caliphate in the Middle East, their advances “bear all the warning signs and hallmarks of genocide“ against communities and individuals who do not share their faith. Hundreds of thousands of Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities have been forced to convert, pay jizya and live in submission, or flee empty-handed. There are plentiful videos and firsthand accounts of the massacring of minority men, the kidnapping, rape, and selling of minority women, and even the murder of innocent minority children. Cultural cleansing has reached unprecedented levels. With such abominable barbarities, humanity is facing a real incarnation of evil.
The UN Security Council’s statement last week, condemning ISIL actions and calling on member states to provide humanitarian aid, rings hollow and shows duplicity when compared with others. The effacement of Europe on the international scene at this tragic moment is shameful.
President Obama has finally started to react, by authorizing limited air strikes to defend “American interests” in Iraq, bolster the threatened Kurdish region, and deliver some humanitarian aid. Yet, the response is woefully inadequate. It falls far short of what the catastrophic situation on the ground requires. Essentially preserving the status quo, this response fails to make it an objective of driving the dark forces of ISIL into retreating. It also fails to recognize that ISIL is an international, not just Iraqi, problem, as a hotbed of terrorism makes roots in such a vital area.
In response to the current genocide and humanitarian crisis, Coptic Solidarity makes the following recommendations to the UN and its member states, especially the United States:
- Authorize air strikes against ISIL forces, by NATO or an alliance of willing countries;
- Refer all ISIL leaders to the International Criminal Court under Chapter VII;
- Immediately create safe havens for the minority communities in Iraq and Syria;
- Provide arms to the Kurdish Peshmerga for their self-defense and protection of the minorities who have sought refuge in the Kurdish-controlled region;
- Expose and block the financial networks that support ISIL terrorists;
- Develop a plan and provide assistance and protection for refugees to return to their homes.
The West has blood on its hands by its past actions and inactions that helped “create” the current situation. Leaders of the international community bear responsibility for the agony and deaths of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. Now is the time for immediate action, not for more empty, feel-good, statements and posturing by the international community.
Coptic Solidarity is non-profit organization dedicated to leading efforts to achieve equal citizenship for the Copts in Egypt and minorities in Middle East.
SOURCE Coptic Solidarity
132nd International Convention hears of first council in Korea
ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 6, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — The Knights of Columbus has set a new record in charitable giving, is continuing to experience membership growth, and has established a new council in South Korea, said the organization’s supreme knight in his annual report to the Knights’ 132nd annual international convention in Orlando.
“Florida is a fitting place for us to remember the great Catholic contribution to our hemisphere,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson as he opened his report. “Before the colonies of Jamestown and Plymouth, the first permanent European settlement was here in Florida, and it was Catholic.”
The supreme knight spoke to an audience of nearly 90 archbishops and bishops, including 11 cardinals, scores of clergy and approximately 2,000 members of the Knights and their families from throughout North and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe.
The annual convention — centered this year on the theme “You Will All Be Brothers: Our Vocation to Fraternity” — was drawn from the message of Pope Francis for the World Day of Peace, in which the Holy Father observed: “Without fraternity it is impossible to build a just society.”
“This sense of fraternity is at the foundation of our call,” said Anderson. “Our charitable activity is all the more effective because it is supported by our fraternal brotherhood.”
For the 14th consecutive year, Anderson reported, the Knights set a new record in charitable giving, with over $170 million and 70.5 million hours of voluntary service given during 2013. According to independent sector, the time donated by Knights to charity was worth more than $1.6 billion.
In addition, “During the fraternal year ending June 30, our membership grew for the 42nd consecutive year,” said Anderson. The Knights now has more than 1.8 million members.
He also announced that the Knights has established St. Andrew Kim Taegon Council 16000, the first K of C council in South Korea.
“There are nearly 5.5 million Catholics in South Korea today. It is the fastest growing Catholic community in the world,” said Anderson. “I am sure that South Korea, like the Philippines, will play a significant role in the future of the Knights of Columbus.”
Other developments reported by the supreme knight included:
- By percentage, the Knights grew the most in Poland, where membership increased by more than 23 percent. Notable growth has also being achieved in Ukraine and Lithuania.
- Texas membership grew by two percent last year, making it the only jurisdiction in North America to top 100,000 members.
- In October, the Knights will launch “Building the Domestic Church: The Family Fully Alive” to help families and parishes offer opportunities for daily prayer, catechesis, Scripture reading, charitable projects and social activities.
- The Knights’ New Evangelization Series includes new booklets on prayer, the Eucharist, the theology of the body, marriage and consecrated life.
- The Knights responded quickly and creatively to disasters in the Philippines and North America.
- The Knights added 15 college councils last year, and now has 302 campus councils with 27,000 members.
- More Catholic families are protected by the Knights’ insurance program than ever before with $8.2 billion in new insurance issued last year — another annual record.
- The new Young Adult Insurance Program provides annual renewable term insurance at competitive rates to Knights and their spouses ages 18-29.
- The Knights remains fully committed to Church teaching and supporting Pope Francis and the bishops in defending religious freedom.
- The Knights has made great strides in bringing people together in appreciating the gift of life. The K of C ultrasound initiative has added 480 ultrasound machines to pregnancy resource centers in the United States, Canada and beyond, bringing together mothers and their unborn children in an important way. In addition, the K of C-Marist polling has continued to uncover an ever-growing consensus on life issues and a solid consensus in favor of greater abortion restrictions in the United States.
Follow #KofCFL14 on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for live coverage of the Knights’ 132nd International Convention.
A special message for our readers in Israel, and those who support them.
A local pastor who also served previously as a policeman, and police chaplain was killed 4th of July with his own gun. I am and always have been a big supporter of the Second Amendment, but this tragedy shows just how important gun safety in the home can be.
My thoughts and prayers are with the preacher’s family, and the members of his ministry. My heart breaks for them. His voice may have been silenced from this world, but the Lord still reigns and HIS voice continues with us !