A California church has argued that its religious freedom is being restricted as city officials attempt to ban a program that allows the homeless to park and sleep in their cars on church property.
This is the second time that Vista-based Cornerstone Church has allowed the nonprofit, Dreams for Change, to operate its program in their parking lot. An earlier effort a year ago was halted when the city said the program was illegal and fined the organization.
The city has argued that the Safe Parking Program violates zoning laws for the church site. Vista's Assistant City Attorney, Jonathan Stone, told the church in a letter last week that it is not authorized to operate an emergency shelter. Further, he asserted, that despite Cornerstone Church's allegations that its religious freedom is being infringed upon, there is legal precedent where churches have had to follow municipal zoning regulations. more >>
The Christian Relief Fund (CRF) and Bread for a Hungry World (Bread), two worldwide Christian ministries, have finished an official merger this week, a move which empowers both, representatives say. The idea for the merger came from a dual magazine ad.
"Bobby Moore, President of Bread for a Hungry World, told me he thought we would be better working together than apart, since we were doing the same thing and had similar philosophies," Milton Jones, president of the Christian Relief Fund, told The Christian Post in an interview on Wednesday. Jones said Moore came across the idea when he saw an ad for CRF and an ad for Bread side by side in a magazine.
Moore suggested the umbrella organization take the name "The Christian Relief Fund" and volunteered to serve under the CRF president, Jones said. The Bread president will serve as vice president of global operation, but he was unavailable for comment to CP while currently serving in Nigeria. more >>
The government shutdown is unbiblical, Jim Wallis, president and founder of Sojourners, argued in a video produced by Sojourners, because the politicians who shut down the government are opposed to government altogether and against the poor.
"There is a deeper problem here than politics," he said. "There is a theological problem. As a Christian, I want to say, shutting down government is unbiblical."
Wallis is a long time leader of the so-called "Evangelical Left," and a signer of the Circle of Protection, which urges political leaders to prioritize the needs of the poor in the federal budget. more >>
Top bishops from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have spoken out on the recent government shutdown by suggesting that moral criteria should guide budgetary decisions, and insisted that the poor and needy should come first.
"We write as pastors and teachers, not experts or partisans, to bring both moral principles and everyday experience to this discussion. The Catholic community defends the unborn, feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, educates the young, welcomes refugees, and cares for the sick, both at home and abroad. In many instances, the government is a partner with the Church and its ministries in accomplishing this work," read the letter to the House and Senate signed by Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles; Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California; and Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa.
There has been much talk on the government shutdown that hit Tuesday morning after Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on budgetary concerns, with both sides pointing fingers at each other. The bishops suggested that certain moral criteria should be used when making important decisions on the matter, and offered: more >>
Christian leaders have criticized Congress today, arguing that its failure to solve a "completely avoidable budget and financial crises" would leave the country's poorest most at risk.
In a letter released Monday, 33 Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders expressed deep concern that "shuttering the federal government or defaulting on the nation's financial commitments is likely to reverse our fragile economic recovery, punish the middle class, and deeply harm our most vulnerable neighbors."
They also called on the House of Representatives' most conservative members to rethink the effect of their actions, warning them that "to hold our governance processes and financial credibility hostage to narrow priorities is not only dangerous to the nation's near-term financial well-being," but that "it threatens the very foundations of our democratic process and our capacity to live united in community." more >>
Christian leaders have called on the faith community to help the United Nations and its partners maximize efforts in the Millennium Development Goals initiative meant to eradicate extreme poverty, reduce child deaths and ensure environmental sustainability within the next two and a half years.
"We must celebrate the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, but realize there is much more to be done to reach the targets we have set ourselves," said World Vision President Rich Stearns, according to a press release. "The church can play an important role in galvanizing action."
Stearns made the remarks Wednesday at the "Church Leaders Praying and Acting to End Extreme Poverty" event at The Church Center near the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, meant to coincide with the annual meeting of the world's leaders. more >>