As part of a tradition that's grown every year, Willow Creek Community Church members spent their Sunday morning filling bags for Christmas care packages that will be distributed to the 70,000 men and women living in Illinois' state prisons.
"This year we set the goal of putting a gift into the hands of every prisoner in the state of Illinois by packing 70,000 gift packs," Heather Larson, executive pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, told The Christian Post on Monday.
"For the last two years, the Willow Creek Care Center provided Christmas prison packs to 20,000 inmates (2013), and 32,000 (2014), inmates in Illinois. After receiving hundreds of letters from prisoners it was clear that we needed to do more," Larson said. more >>
"The Letters" hits theaters December 4, and takes an inside look into the life of Mother Teresa by focusing on the inception of her ministry and her battles with loneliness and spiritual emptiness. Although making a film comprised of the personal letters of one of the world's most adored person of our generation may seem like a very good concept initially, after watching the movie and hearing first hand that it was not at all Mother Teresa's desire to divulge her personal battles or charity to the public, it now all seems a bit insensitive.
The film kicks off in 1998 with Vatican investigator Benjamin Praagh, played by actor Rutger Hauer (Batman Begins, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind). He visits India after a supposed ray of light emanated from a locket containing Mother Teresa's photo in it and "healed" a woman with a tumor. The scene left out, however, that there were real life reports from the patient's doctor citing that medicine was the healer and not the revered mother.
The alleged miracle was what put Mother Teresa on track to becoming a declared saint by the Vatican, which was the preface of the film. But Teresa was instead ordained "beatitude," not a saint just yet because in Catholicism in order for a deceased person to be named a saint, evidence must be presented to persuade Church officials that the person in question lived a godly life and performed at least two miracles as evidence that God worked through them. more >>
The annual Housing and Urban Development report on America's homeless population shows an overall decline, but some cities are declaring a state of emergency on what they are calling a homeless crisis.
According to HUD, in January, 564,708 people were classified as "homeless on a given night," with 31 percent of those either foregoing or not having access to shelter.
The HUD report states that the goal of the federal government is to end "chronic homelessness by 2017." more >>
To really help the poor, we must not only change their mindset and worldview — but ours as well!
Peace Corps volunteer Josie Kornegay was in the West African nation of Sierra Leone teaching a class on microbiology for ten nursing students. As related in Darrow Miller and Stan Guthrie's book, "Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Cultures," "[a]fter the final exam, one student raised her hand and said, 'Miss, I know that you taught us about polio, but do you want to know how people really get it?'"
Josie's heart sank. "How?" she asked the student, who replied, "It's the witches!" . . . They are invisible. They fly around at night and bite people's backs!" more >>
Pope Francis has warned that there will be "catastrophic" consequences for the planet unless global leaders agree on a plan to reduce the use of fossil fuels and tackle climate change.
"'Particular interests,' the pontiff insisted, should not be allowed to prevail over the common good in the fight against global warming and climate change," Crux reported on Francis' words at a U.N. campus in Nairobi, Kenya. "He also took an indirect shot at global warming skeptics, warning against 'manipulating information' to serve someone's 'plans and projects.'"
The Vatican leader's comments come just days ahead of the global climate change meeting that will take place Nov.30-Dec. 11 in Paris, where representatives from 194 countries will attend. more >>
Many health-related problems Americans face are directly related to hunger and malnutrition, according to a new report by the ecumenical Christian anti-poverty group Bread for the World.
At a press conference on Monday, Bread for the World released its 2016 Hunger Report titled "The Nourishing Effect," which focused on the link between hunger and health.
"Hunger and poverty put people at greater risk of poor health by limiting access to nutritious foods that promote good health," wrote Bread for the World President, the Rev. David Beckmann, in the foreword to report. more >>