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If One Part Suffers, Every Part Suffers With It

#In the last New Culture Newsletter I focused on the recession and asked the question, "What would the impact be if Christians of different ethnicities in your community were all working together to help during this difficult time?" In this newsletter I want to continue that theme and focus on some organizations that have a long track record of helping Christians of different ethnicities to work together to minister to the needs in their community.

 In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul writes, "But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body..." (vss. 24-25a) Those of us who are passionate about ethnic unity in the Body of Christ can shout "amen!" to such passages. But, Paul goes on to say, "...but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." (vss. 25b-26) There can be no unity without shared joy and suffering. Millions of Christians are suffering -- will we suffer with them?

Chad Brennan

In times like these, more people are going to church for help

#"Pleas for help — spiritual and financial — are flooding U.S. churches, from tiny congregations to megachurches, as recession woes seep into the pews, a new survey finds. Pastors say they're giving out benevolent funds in record numbers, increasing ministries to the out of work and the financially fearful, even reaching into their own pockets more to help. Nearly two in three pastors (62%) report more people from outside their church asking for help, and nearly a third (31%) see more such requests from church members, according to a survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors." more »

Christian Community Development Association

# Working in some of the most under-resourced neighborhoods in America, CCDA members are redeveloping communities of need using the principles of Christian Community Development. The focus of CCDA is to teach others how to rebuild their communities and turn them from places of devastation into places of hope. The audio and video section of their website is packed with hundreds of free resources from their excellent national conference each fall -- if you register before April 30 you will save $31! more »

Here's Life Inner City

#HLIC believes that effective urban ministry is empowering (not paternalistic), wholistic in scope, emphasizes relationships, addresses the root causes of problems (not just their symptoms), and affirms cultural diversity. They offer two excellent low costs resources... Holistic Hardware focuses on the ten key tools that an individual needs to transform his circumstances and character. Compassion by Command helps Christians to explore issues of poverty and learn biblical directives related to the poor. more »

Speaking into the Meltdown by Gordon MacDonald

#"Today's meltdown may actually force us to deal with the justice question: is it truly Christian for some to live so well while others—not just lazy people—live so unwell. Justice has not been well-taught subject for most of us … until now, possibly. As one preacher out of many, I can tell you of the times when the mere use of the word justice in a sermon invited angry accusations of being "liberal" (a horrible word for many) or even un-American. But let any of us see our retirement accounts evaporating, or our jobs being dissolved, or a few flying corporate jets while the rest of us go Greyhound, and suddenly the word justice takes on fresh and very personal meaning." more »

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