Friday, January 19, 2018

The Center for Action and Contemplation of Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States for Saturday, 20 January 2018 "Richard Rohr Meditation: Jesus of Nazareth: Week 1 Summary"

The Center for Action and Contemplation of Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States for Saturday, 20 January 2018 "Richard Rohr Meditation: Jesus of Nazareth: Week 1 Summary"
Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
From the Center for Action and Contemplation

"Week Three: Jesus of Nazareth"

"Summary: Week Three 
Jesus of Nazareth" 
January 14 - January 19, 2018
Simply put, God reveals God’s self to us through what unfolds as our life, along with every visible thing around us. (Sunday)
In Jesus, God was given a face and a heart. God became someone we could love. (Monday)
How we see Jesus . . . shapes what we think the Christian life is most centrally about. (Marcus Borg) (Tuesday)
Spiritual authority lies not just in ancient texts but in the living Christ of history, church, community, creation, and our own experience confirming its truth. (Wednesday)
Jesus announced, lived, and inaugurated a new social order, an alternative to violence, exclusion, and separation. It is no fantastical utopia, but a very real and achievable peace—by the grace of God. (Thursday)
Jesus was a person radically centered in God, empowered by that relationship, and filled with God’s passion for the world—a passion that led to his execution and vindication. (Marcus Borg) (Friday)
"Practice: Reading Scripture with the Mind of Christ"
Looking at which Scripture passages Jesus emphasizes, we see that he clearly understands how to follow the thread that confirms the God he encountered, knows, loves, and trusts. At the same time, Jesus ignores or openly contradicts many texts in the Hebrew Scriptures that are punitive, imperialistic, classist, or exclusionary. He never quotes the book of Numbers, for example, which is rather ritualistic and legalistic. He never quotes Joshua or Judges, which are full of sanctified violence. In fact, he teaches the opposite.
Jesus does not mention the list of twenty-eight “thou shall nots” in Leviticus 18 through 20, but chooses instead to echo the rare positive statement of Leviticus 19:18: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” The longest single passage he quotes is from Isaiah 61 (in Luke 4:18-19): “The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me. He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, and to proclaim a year of favor from the Lord.” Jesus appears to have deliberately omitted the last line—“and the day of vengeance of our God” (Isaiah 61:2b)—because he does not believe in a vengeful God.
Jesus sees where the text is truly heading, beyond the low-level consciousness of a particular moment, fear, or circumstance. He knows there is a bigger arc to the story: one that reveals a God who is compassionate, nonviolent, and inclusive of outsiders. He knows how to “thin slice” the text, to find the overall pattern based on small windows of insight. He learned from Ezekiel, for example, that God's justice is restorative and not retributive (see Ezekiel 18:21-23, 27-29).
We can only safely read Scripture—it is a dangerous book—if we are somehow sharing in the divine gaze of love. A life of prayer helps you develop a third eye that can read between the lines and find the golden thread which is moving toward inclusivity, mercy, and justice. I am sure that is what Paul means when he teaches that we must “know spiritual things in a spiritual way” (1 Corinthians 2:13). A hardened heart, a predisposition to judgment, a fear of God, any need to win or prove yourself right will corrupt and distort the most inspired and inspiring of Scriptures—just as they pollute every human conversation and relationship. Hateful people will find hateful verses to confirm their obsession with death. Loving people will find loving verses to call them into an even greater love of life. And both kinds of verses are in the Bible!
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Hierarchy of Truths: Jesus’ Use of Scripture (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2014), CD, MP3 download.
For Further Study:
Richard Rohr, Hierarchy of Truths: Jesus’ Use of Scripture (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2014), CD, MP3 download
Richard Rohr and John Bookser Feister, Jesus’ Plan for a New World: The Sermon on the Mount (Franciscan Media: 1996)
Richard Rohr, The Good News According to Luke: Spiritual Reflections (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 1997)---
Thank you for being part of CAC’s contemplative community. You are one of 274,996 readers worldwide (as of January 2018).
News from the CAC
Looking ahead to Lent
Lent is intended to lead us into an always hidden future and an always greater opportunity . . . but still unknown to us. We enter with a new and open horizon, ready to both expect and work for God's ever new springtime. (Richard Rohr, God for Us)
Books for Lent—Father Richard’s classic, Wondrous Encounters, and God for Us —are available at
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February 7–March 27, 2018 (Registration closes January 24)

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"Image and Likeness"
2018 Daily Meditations Theme
God said, “Let us make humans in our image, according to our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26)
Richard Rohr explores places in which God’s presence has often been ignored or assumed absent. God’s “image” is our inherent identity in and union with God, an eternal essence that cannot be destroyed. “Likeness” is our personal embodiment of that inner divine image that we have the freedom to develop—or not—throughout our lives. Though we differ in likeness, the imago Dei persists and shines through all created things.
Over the course of this year’s Daily Meditations, discover opportunities to incarnate love in your unique context by unveiling the Image and Likeness of God in all that you see and do.
Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time! Click the video to learn more about the theme and to find meditations you may have missed.

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Image credit: The Taking of Christ (detail), Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1602, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.
Jesus was a person radically centered in God, empowered by that relationship, and filled with God’s passion for the world—a passion that led to his execution and vindication. (Marcus Borg)

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The Upper Room Daily Reflections: Daily Words of Wisdom and Faith of The United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, United States for Saturday, 20 January 2018 "There Is No Fear in Love"

Link to Upper Room Daily Reflections
The Upper Room Daily Reflections: Daily Words of Wisdom and Faith of The United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, United States for Saturday, 20 January 2018 "There Is No Fear in Love"
Today’s Reflection:
FEAR IS A GREAT MOTIVATOR, but it is not a saving one. Fear can generate many things, but it cannot generate the gospel’s core: love. First John 4:18a is not engaging in sophistry when it says, “There is no fear in love.” It is telling the truth about Christian discipleship. It is telling the truth to purveyors and provocateurs of fear, whether inside or outside the church. Fear relies on the threat of death in relationship, spirit, or body. The gospel of Jesus Christ relies on fear’s nullification: God’s gracious promise of life. (John Indermark, Do Not Live Afraid)
From page 11 of Do Not Live Afraid: Faith in a Fearful World by John Indermark. Copyright ©2009 by John Indermark. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.
Today’s Question:
 What are you afraid of? how does the gospel speak to that fear?
Today’s Scripture: And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” (Mark 1:17, NRSV)
This Week:
Pray for compassion.
Did You Know?
In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.
This week we rememberAnthony of Egypt (January 17).
Anthony of EgyptAnthony of Egypt
January 17

When St. Anthony was twenty years old, his parents died and left him a sprawling estate and a younger sister to care for. This he did, until one Sunday he heard Matthew 19:21 spoken at Mass. Upon hearing the words "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me" (NRSV), Anthony decided to take the words of Jesus literally. He sold the estate and gave the money to the needy, and entrusted the care of his sister to a convent. He then went off to pursue this perfection.
Anthony moved to a hut outside of town to escape the temptations of city life, and to seek the solitude that was so important to his well being. When too many people began to visit him and seek his wisdom, he left his hut in the middle of the night and employed several Saracens to show him to an oasis in the middle of the desert, and there he remained until his death at age 105 in 356.
If St. Anthony had taken the Spiritual Types Test, he probably would have been a Mystic. Anthony is remembered on January 17.
Lectionary Readings for Sunday 21 January 2018
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 62:5-12
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

Lectionary Readings for Jonah 3:1 The word of Adonai came to Yonah a second time: 2 “Set out for the great city of Ninveh, and proclaim to it the message I will give you.” 3 So Yonah set out and went to Ninveh, as Adonai had said. Now Ninveh was such a large city that it took three days just to cross it. 4 Yonah began his entry into the city and had finished only his first day of proclaiming, ‘In forty days Ninveh will be overthrown,’ 5 when the people of Ninveh believed God. They proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least.10 When God saw by their deeds that they had turned from their evil way, he relented and did not bring on them the punishment he had threatened.
Psalm 62:5 (4) They only want to shake him from his height,
they take delight in lying —
with their mouths they bless,
but inwardly they curse. (Selah)
6 (5) My soul, wait in silence for God alone,
because my hope comes from him.
7 (6) He alone is my rock and salvation,
my stronghold; I won’t be moved.
8 (7) My safety and honor rest on God.
My strong rock and refuge are in God.
9 (8) Trust in him, people, at all times;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. (Selah)
10 (9) Ordinary folks are merely a breath
and important people a sham;
if you lay them on a balance-scale, they go up —
both together are lighter than nothing.
11 (10) Don’t put your trust in extortion,
don’t put false hopes in robbery;
even if wealth increases,
don’t set your heart on it.
12 (11) God has spoken once, I have heard it twice:
strength belongs to God.
1 Corinthians 7:29 What I am saying, brothers, is that there is not much time left: from now on a man with a wife should live as if he had none — 30 and those who are sad should live as if they weren’t, those who are happy as if they weren’t, 31 and those who deal in worldly affairs as if not engrossed in them — because the present scheme of things in this world won’t last much longer.
Mark 1:14 After Yochanan had been arrested, Yeshua came into the Galil proclaiming the Good News from God:
15 “The time has come,
God’s Kingdom is near!
Turn to God from your sins
and believe the Good News!”
16 As he walked beside Lake Kinneret, he saw Shim‘on and Andrew, Shim‘on’s brother, casting a net into the lake; for they were fishermen. 17 Yeshua said to them, “Come, follow me, and I will make you into fishers for men!” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 Going on a little farther, he saw Ya‘akov Ben-Zavdai and Yochanan, his brother, in their boat, repairing their nets. 20 Immediately he called them, and they left their father Zavdai in the boat with the hired men and went after Yeshua.
John Wesley’s Explanatory NotesJonah 3:1-5, 10
Verse 3
[3] So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.
Exceeding great — The greatest city of the known world at that day, it was then in its flourishing state greater than Babylon, whose compass was three hundred eighty-five furlongs, but Nineveh was in compass, four hundred and eighty. It is said, her walls were an hundred foot in height, her walls broad enough for three coaches to meet, and safely pass by each other; that it had fifteen hundred towers on its walls, each two hundred foot high, and one million, four hundred thousand men employed for eight years to build it.
Of three days journey — To walk round the walls, allowing twenty miles to each day's journey.
Verse 4
[4] And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
Shall be overthrown — The threat is express. But there was a reserve with God, on condition of repentance.
Verse 5
[5] So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
From the greatest — Great and small, rich and poor.

Psalm 62:5-12
Verse 9
[9] Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.
Vanity — Vain, and helpless creatures.
A lie — They promise much, but generally deceive those who trust in them.
Verse 10
[10] Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.
Vain — Feeding yourselves with vain hopes of felicity, from those riches which you take from others by violence.
Verse 11
[11] God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.
Spoken — Frequently, both immediately as at Sinai, and by his holy prophets, from time to time.
That — That power is God's prerogative; and consequently all creatures, either against or without him, are poor impotent things.
Verse 12
[12] Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.
Therefore — God is almighty, therefore he can easily destroy all his enemies: he is also merciful, and therefore will pardon good mens failings.
Renderest — And this as he is obliged to do by his holy nature, so is he able to do it, being omnipotent, and willing to do it to the godly (which was the only thing that might be doubted, because of their manifold miscarriages) because he is merciful and gracious.

1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Verse 29
[29] But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
But this I say, brethren — With great confidence. The time of our abode here is short. It plainly follows, that even they who have wives be as serious, zealous, active, dead to the world, as devoted to God, as holy in all manner of conversation, as if they had none - By so easy a transition does the apostle slide from every thing else to the one thing needful; and, forgetting whatever is temporal, is swallowed up in eternity.
Verse 30
[30] And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
And they that weep, as if they wept not — "Though sorrowful, yet always rejoicing." They that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not - Tempering their joy with godly fear.
They that buy, as if they possessed not — Knowing themselves to be only stewards, not proprietors.
Verse 31
[31] And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
And they that use this world, as not abusing it — Not seeking happiness in it, but in God: using every thing therein only in such a manner and degree as most tends to the knowledge and love of God. For the whole scheme and fashion of this world - This marrying, weeping, rejoicing, and all the rest, not only will pass, but now passeth away, is this moment flying off like a shadow.

Mark 1:14-20
Verse 14
[14] Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
Matthew 4:12.
Verse 15
[15] And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
The time is fulfilled — The time of my kingdom, foretold by Daniel, expected by you, is fully come.
Verse 16
[16] Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
Matthew 4:18Luke 5:1.
Verse 18
[18] And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
Straightway leaving their nets, they followed him — From this time they forsook their employ, and constantly attended him. Happy they who follow Christ at the first call!

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Nashville, Tennessee 37203-0004, United States

The Luther Seminary in Saint Paul Minnesota United States - God Pause for Saturday, 20 January 2018 - "You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore," ELW 817

The Luther Seminary in Saint Paul Minnesota United States - God Pause for Saturday, 20 January 2018 - "You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore," ELW 817
The text for today's hymn cannot be published due to copyright limitations. We apologize for the inconvenience. 
You Have Come Down To The Lakeshore by Cesáreo Gabaraín, 1936-1991
Translated by Madeleine Forell Marshall, b. 1946
1. You have come down to the lakeshore 
Seeking neither the wise nor the wealthy, 
But only asking for me to follow. 
Chorus: Sweet Lord, you have looked into my eyes, 
Kindly smiling, you've called out my name. 
On the sand I've abandoned my small boat; 
Now with you, I will seek other seas. 
2. You know full well what I have, Lord; 
Neither treasure nor weapons for conquest, 
Just these my fishnets and will for working. 
Chorus: Sweet Lord, you have looked into my eyes, 
Kindly smiling, you've called out my name. 
On the sand I've abandoned my small boat; 
Now with you, I will seek other seas. 
3. You need my hands, my exhaustion, 
Working love for the rest of the weary, 
A love that's willing to go on loving. 
Chorus: Sweet Lord, you have looked into my eyes, 
Kindly smiling, you've called out my name. 
On the sand I've abandoned my small boat; 
Now with you, I will seek other seas. 
4. You who have fished other waters; 
You, the longing of souls that are yearning; 
O loving Friend, you have come to call me. 
Chorus: Sweet Lord, you have looked into my eyes, 
Kindly smiling, you've called out my name. 
On the sand I've abandoned my small boat; 
Now with you, I will seek other seas. 
I love this hymn with its reminder of this week's story of Jesus calling the fishermen away from their nets to follow after him--so much so that shortly before I retired I received word through the congregational grape vine that there was someone who would run screaming from church if we ever sang it again.
But the words of this hymn seem so beautifully to echo this week's thoughts about trust: "you have come...only asking me to follow;" "you know what I will for working;" "you need my hands, my exhaustion...a love that's willing to go on loving;" and finally, "Sweet Lord, you have looked into my with you I will seek other seas." Perhaps like me you long for that kind of trust that would truly let me park the current boat in which I ride on the beach and follow without question. And yet, what does that trust look like, feel like, act like? It is not something we conjure up from within. It is not a lump of something we can implant. Usually it's something we grow into, feeling our way along day by day and trusting that Jesus is using us even as we live in the uncertainty of where he is calling us. 
Jesus, open our eyes and ears and hearts and minds so we can know what you want of us. Amen.
Tim Kellgren, '71
Retired Pastor of Elim Lutheran Church, Petaluma, Calif.

The Global Church of the Nazarene News: "What we believe" The Global Nazarene Communications Network NCN News for Friday, January 19, 2018 Volume 1803 "This week in the Church of the Nazarene..."

The Global Church of the Nazarene News: "What we believe" The Global Nazarene Communications Network NCN News for Friday, January 19, 2018 Volume 1803 "This week in the Church of the Nazarene..."
New Manual reflects latest assembly changesThe 2017-2021 Manual of the Church of the Nazarene became effective 1 December 2017, marking the first time an electronic version of the Manual was considered the official version.
A traditional, printed version is on track for publication by May as a sales item from Nazarene Publishing House. The red-line PDF version will be available shortly.
Included in the new Manual are key edits on various topics such as the denomination's Articles of Faith, the Church of the Nazarene's statement on Human Sexuality and Marriage, and the outlined process of clergy restoration.
Direct links to changes are provided below for the following topics:
Constitutional changes adopted by the 2017 General Assembly are in the process of ratification by the district assemblies.
In June 2017, the General Assembly commissioned the Manual Editing Committee to work on all resolutions that were adopted (or amended and adopted) by the Assembly. According to Manual par. 909, specific legislative language and updates (new or revised) are not deemed “official” until this committee’s assignment has been completed, which was November 2017. Legislation affecting the Manual is now applicable.
A section of the General Assembly website,, provided access to resolutions for General Assembly delegates and the general public prior to and during the 2017 General Assembly. This section is still available to anyone who wishes to access it, and no log-in is required.
The page contains folders for each of the original resolutions submitted to the General Assembly (available in English, French, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish). A Calendar of Resolutions was posted to this site in August 2017 identifying the specific action (adopted, amended and adopted, rejected, or referred) taken for each resolution by the 2017 General Assembly. The resolutions are organized into separate folders by committees according to each resolution code.
The electronic version of the new Manual in English is accessible via or by going directly to its website. More information will be provided as other translations (electronic and printed) are completed.
Board of General Superintendents affirms Manual statement on discriminationBroad attention has focused in recent days in the United States of America, as well as other nations of the world, on issues of discrimination, race relations, and the inherent value of every person as created in the image of God. We want to remind Nazarenes around the world as well as everyone concerned about these matters of the following statement included in our denominational Manual, as affirmed by our General Assembly:
915 Discrimination: “The Church of the Nazarene reiterates its historic position of Christian compassion for people of all races. We believe that God is the Creator of all people, and that of one blood are all people created.
“We believe that each individual, regardless of race, color, gender, or creed, should have equality before law, including the right to vote, equal access to educational opportunities, to all public facilities, and to the equal opportunity, according to one’s ability, to earn a living free from any job or economic discrimination.
“We urge our churches everywhere to continue and strengthen programs of education to promote racial understanding and harmony. We also feel that the scriptural admonition of Hebrews 12:14 (Hebrews 12:14 Keep pursuing shalom with everyone and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.should guide the actions of our people. We urge that each member of the Church of the Nazarene humbly examine his or her personal attitudes and actions toward others, as a first step in achieving the Christian goal of full participation by all in the life of the church and the entire community.
“We reemphasize our belief that holiness of heart and life is the basis for right living. We believe that Christian charity between racial groups or gender will come when the hearts of people have been changed by complete submission to Jesus Christ, and that the essence of true Christianity consists in loving God with one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength, and one’s neighbor as oneself.
“Therefore, we renounce any form of racial and ethnic indifference, exclusion, subjugation, or oppression as a grave sin against God and our fellow human beings. We lament the legacy of every form of racism throughout the world, and we seek to confront that legacy through repentance, reconciliation, and biblical justice. We seek to repent of every behavior in which we have been overtly or covertly complicit with the sin of racism, both past and present; and in confession and lament we seek forgiveness and reconciliation.
“Further, we acknowledge that there is no reconciliation apart from human struggle to stand against and to overcome all personal, institutional and structural prejudice responsible for racial and ethnic humiliation and oppression. We call upon Nazarenes everywhere to identify and seek to remove acts and structures of prejudice, to facilitate occasions for seeking forgiveness and reconciliation, and to take action toward empowering those who have been marginalized.” (2017-21 Manual, Church of the Nazarene) (Board of General Superintendents)
Relief for Rohingya refugees in BangladeshAsia*, a 60-year-old Rohingya woman who fled violence against her people in Myanmar, could not sleep at night in the refugee camp in Bangladesh because she was so cold.
On 8 December, Bangladeshi Nazarenes representing Nazarene Compassionate Ministries traveled to a Rohingya refugee camp in a place known as Cox’s Bazar, which the United Nations has reported is now home to the densest refugee population in the world. In this part of Bangladesh, the Church of the Nazarene does not yet have a presence.
Nazarenes received specific information about the refugees’ needs from international organizations that had already conducted assessments. With permission from local authorities, they then distributed nonperishable food items. They also provided packages that contained two mosquito nets, two blankets, and a sleeping mat.
“Today I got two blankets and some other things,” Asia said. “It will remove cold, and I could sleep at night properly.”
Asia fled Myanmar with four sons and two daughters. She said that her fifth son was killed when the persecutions started there in August.
“I escaped from my birth land, Myanmar, to save my life with others," she said. "I walked three days and reached this camp. I could not bring any clothes with me.”
Asia and her family are currently living in a shack constructed of sheets of tin.
Myanmar is the home for an estimated 1 million Rohingya people, an ethnic Muslim minority within the majority Buddhist country. For decades, Rohingya have been fleeing Myanmar, which denies them citizenship, according to the BBC.
However, Bangladesh, where more than 800,000 Rohinyga are now refugees, is ill-equipped to care for them, according to one local NCM worker*. A deeply impoverished and densely populated country, Bangladesh suffers repeated disasters, such as widespread flooding and tropical storms.
Bangladesh NCM is currently focused on emergency response, but also is developing plans for a long-term project to specifically support the most vulnerable — women and children. For instance, they would like to establish a “child-friendly space” and a counseling center.
Although Myanmar officially welcomed the refugees to return and refugees desperately wish to go home, many are too afraid to go back. And many have nowhere to return to — homes, fields, and villages were burned to the ground.
“Many young women would not like to return home,” the NCM worker said. Homes were set on fire and women were raped. “They think Myanmar is not a safe place for them…. Thousands of Rohingya lost their life in the conflict.”
Sufia*, a 35-year-old woman, told an NCM worker that “They torched the village, killed the men, and raped the women and girls.”
With four children of her own, all under the age of 15, Sufia fled alone; her husband was killed in front of her eyes.
The NCM worker reported that her children appeared malnourished, although the nongovernmental agencies had distributed food.
Sufia was particularly grateful for the mosquito nets she received from NCM as there are many mosquitoes in the camp.
The refugee camps carry risks greater than disease-carrying mosquitoes.
“Around 1,000 Rohingya women and children already have been trafficked,” the NCM worker said, citing a local newspaper report. “We felt sorry by hearing their misery stories. We think, they are our neighbors and we should help them as the Holy Bible teaches us.”
*Names withheld for security and privacy reasons. (Church of the Nazarene Eurasia)
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Small church takes on ‘giant’ challenges in Indiana by Kara Hackett for Input Fort Wayne
Mondragon runs Many Nations Church and Bridge of Grace Compassionate Ministries Center at 5100 Gaywood Dr.
The first time Pastor Javier Mondragon read about the broken windows theory was in 2006, in a book by Malcolm Gladwell.
The first time he experienced it was as a gang member at age 12, growing up in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, just south of Mexico City, in the early 90s.
"It was the most neglected area in the city, just like southeast Fort Wayne is here,” Mondragon recalls.
Looking back, he remembers walking outside his family home, seeing everything falling apart in his neighborhood with broken windows and blighted houses, and he internalized that feeling.
“I remember thinking: This is who I am. I have no future. I am hopeless.”
To some extent, it’s something we all do — looking at our surroundings, and seeing them as part of who we are, what we’re worth, and what’s expected of us. The places we live shape us, and we shape them in return.
“I saw the broken windows, and it made me feel like, ‘Yeah, that’s me.’ So I broke more windows because nobody cared,” Mondragon remembers.
Mondragon and a community volunteer outside of a model home Bridge of Grace help renovate at 1045 E. Fairfax Ave.
Today, 25 years later, he's pastor of Many Nations Church and founder of the nonprofit Bridge of Grace Compassionate Ministries Center on Fort Wayne’s southeast side, living and working in the Mount Vernon Park neighborhood only 10 minutes from downtown.
Here, 57.4 percent of residents earn $25,000 or less per year, 89 percent are people of color, and 46 percent are under age 25. So as a boy who grew up poor in Mexico, Mondragon sees himself in his surroundings again, and this time, he's working to be part of the change — fixing broken windows, rebuilding broken houses, restoring broken lives.
“If you fix something, that’s a signal to people that you care,” Mondragon says.
When he moved into the neighborhood in 2008, he started cleaning up the area with his church’s Adopt a Block program, collecting trash along the streets, mowing lawns, and mulching. Then in 2011, Mondragon established Bridge of Grace as a nonprofit organization, so the church could take on bigger projects.
Working with the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County, as well as other local churches and sponsors, Bridge of Grace bought and restored five blighted houses in Mount Vernon Park, not including Mondragon’s own. Now, they’re in the process of selling those houses back to community members, and their work is far from finished.
They own five more houses that they are waiting for the time and resources to fix up, but the challenges of poverty, segregation, and violence continue.
In 2013, a shooting broke out two doors down from Mondragon’s house. But while crime — or the perceived danger of it — might have scared some away, it gave him more reason to press in.
A fan of Gladwell, he talks excitedly about another one of his books, David and Goliath, a story about underdogs, like the Bible story where the boy took down a giant with only a slingshot.
Mondragon thinks it holds a strong comparison to Bridge of Grace’s work in southeast Fort Wayne.
If you want, you can see it as the story of a small church with few resources up against a giant list of challenges.
“But if you look at the weaknesses and the strengths," Mondragon says. "And if you convert those weaknesses to opportunities, the challenges become an opportunity,”
What if an entire city — an entire region — thought like that? What if people saw challenges as opportunities, and decided to tell a better story? (Republished with permission from Input Fort Wayne)
Flags of the Nations: Guatemala EspañolThe two sky blue stripes represent the fact that Guatemala is a land located between two oceans, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, and the sky over the country. The white color signifies peace and purity. In the center of the flag is the Guatemalan coat of arms. It includes the resplendent quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala, which symbolizes liberty; a parchment scroll bearing the date of Central America's independence from Spain, 15 September 1821; crossed rifles, indicating Guatemala's willingness to defend itself by force if need be; a bay laurel crown, the symbol for victory; and crossed swords, representing honor.
Since September 1, 2009, the Church of the Nazarene's Global Ministry Center (GMC) proudly flies a flag each week of one of the many nations in which the denomination is present in ministry. Leaders were invited to send a national flag to be flown at the GMC alongside the flag of the United States*. The national flags rotate weekly, and photos of them raised are sent to the church leaders of that country.
This week: Guatemala
The Church of the Nazarene officially entered Guatemala in 1904.
Guatemala had a population of 15,460,732 in 2017. That same year, Guatemala reported 753 Churches of the Nazarene, 655 of which had been officially organized. Guatemala has 93,000 total members.
Located on the Mesoamerica Region, Guatemala has 12 Phase 3 districts and four Phase 2 districts. For more information about the Mesoamerica Region, visit
* = The weekly highlighted flag is raised on the middle of three poles in compliance with U.S. government protocols. It flies to the left of the GMC host-nation United States flag, which flies above the host-state flag of Kansas. The Christian flag flies on the third pole.
The Global Ministry Center is the mission and service hub of the Church of the Nazarene.
Nazarenes in the NewsNazarenes in the News is a compilation of online news articles featuring Nazarene churches or church members.
Breakfast Club encourages, supports Indiana athletes
Valparaiso, Indiana photo
(ValpoLife, 12 January) Two years ago when Shawn Evans, a pastor at Valpo Nazarene Church, began a breakfast tradition with his son and some of his friends, he never thought it would grow to be a safe haven for 30 to 40 other student athletes.
It all started with Valparaiso High School’s late-start Wednesdays, giving Evans and the group of young men some morning meet-up time at Schoops.
“They would talk about their day, or their week and just what was on their minds,” Evans said. “I’d end the last ten minutes with some Biblical truth, to help them know they’re not alone, and give some encouragement. It started out with eight, and then a lot of athletes started showing up.”
For the rest of the story, click here.
NNU unveils new mascot
Nampa, Idaho
(NNU News, 12 January) NNU students were welcomed back to campus after semester break with the unveiling of the new Nighthawks mascot.
At the fall 2017 meeting of the Board of Trustees, there was a unanimous vote to change the university's nickname and mascot to "Nighthawks." NNU alumnus, art professor, and designer Mike Bartlett was commissioned to create the new imagery after the announcement last October. Today, we are excited to introduce our new mascot!
For more information, click here.
West Virginia church trains kids in archery while having fellowship
Mannington, West Virginia

WBOY photo
(WBOY, 19 January) A Mannington church is reaching out to kids in the community through sports with a non-denominational, faith-based archery program.
Kids at the Mannington Church of the Nazarene have a unique way to have fellowship on Thursday nights.
"Center Shot" is a program for kids from 4th to 12th grade that was brought to the Mannington Church of the Nazarene three years ago.
For the rest of the story, click here.
Additional news items:
MVNU hosts 15th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast
Mount Vernon Nazarene University, in conjunction with Kenyon College and the Knox County community, will host the 15th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 15, from 9-11 a.m., in Foster Hall inside Ariel Arena on the MVNU campus.
With the theme “Racial Reconciliation through the Lens of Dr. King’s Legacy,” the breakfast and program will feature speaker Rev. Scott Elliott, pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Mount Vernon. This event is free and open to the public. The annual event is sponsored by The MLK Legacy Committee, Kenyon College, and MVNU.
The morning’s program will also include breakfast, presentation of the 2018 Beulah Apostolic Award, the MLK Essay contest recipients, and First-Knox National Bank Book Award winners.
There will be special musical guests and community responses from MVNU President Dr. Henry W. Spaulding II, Kenyon College President Dr. Sean Decatur, Mount Vernon Mayor Richard K. Mavis, and Gambier Mayor Kachen Kimmel.
Jan. 15 2018
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Foster Hall, Ariel Arena
Open to Public: Yes
Event Sponsor: MVNU, Kenyon College, The MLK Legacy Committee
Contact Information:
Jim Singletary
740-397-9000, ext. 4606
Event Type:
Whether you’re pursuing God during chapel or discovering rich friendships at a treasured campus tradition, you’re preparing for a bright future. Your time at MVNU will get you more than a degree — it will illuminate every part of your life.
MNU celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration Jan. 16 BY CAROL BEST CBEST@MNU.EDU
The 12th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration at MidAmerica Nazarene University will be held Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, at 9:30 a.m., at College Church of the Nazarene at 2020 E. Sheridan in Olathe. The public is invited to join MNU students, faculty, staff and community leaders at this free event.
Each year at this event MNU presents its Martin Luther King Jr. Living Legacy Award. This year’s recipient is Bishop Jack C. Vaughn, I, a native of Kansas City, Kansas, is senior pastor of Evangelistic Center International Ministries Church of God in Christ, Kansas City, Kansas.
Vaughn will be the event’s featured speaker, presenting thoughts on “Honoring the Dream.” In addition, MNU’s 2017-2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Leader Scholars will be recognized at the event. MNU established this scholarship program for persons from diverse ethnicities who wish to emulate Dr. King’s passion for learning and servant leadership. MNU Leader Scholars maintain their scholarship award by demonstrating academic and leadership qualities during their university studies.
Sponsorships are available for individuals and corporations. For questions about the event please contact Pete Brumbaugh at pjbrumbaugh@mnu.eduor (913) 971-3606.
Stories to share? Send them to (Compiled by NCN News)
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In Memoriam
The following is a weekly listing of Nazarene ministers and leaders who recently went home to be with the Lord. Notices were received 15-19 January 2018.
Gloria Hagens, 90, of Berea, Kentucky, passed away 12 January. She was the widow of retired minister Leland Hagens, who served in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Kentucky. Leland Hagens passed away in 2012.
Raymond Hinchey, 76, of Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island, passed away 16 January. He was a retired minister, serving in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Alberta. He is survived by his wife, Debbe Hinchey.
Carol Jordan-Miller, 92, of Sun City, Arizona, passed away 14 January. She was the widow of ordained elder Leslie Jordan, who passed away in 1976. Carol was also preceded in death by her second husband, Stanley Miller, who passed away in 2008.
William Moore, 82, of Emmett, Idaho, passed away 14 January. He was a retired minister, serving in Idaho and California. He is survived by his wife, Eloise Moore.
For previous editions of In Memoriam, see the "Passings" section by clicking here.
Note: Please join us in prayer for the families who have lost loved ones. Click on names for full stories, funeral information, local online obituaries, and/or guest books (if available). To submit an entry of a minister or church leader, send to (Compiled by NCN News)
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Human Resources
GMC employment opportunities Español
People are our most valued resource. Our committed employees are involved in "Making Christlike Disciples in the Nations" in 162 world areas.
The Global Ministry Center Human Resources Office professionals strive to deliver the highest possible service to our employees, and are responsible for the recruitment, placement and retention of qualified individuals to staff the ministry and administrative positions of the GMC. The many employee services include compensation and benefit administration, payroll, employment, employee relations, training, counseling, organizational communication and events, and workplace programs.
*Volunteer opportunities for GMC ministries are available now. Email for details.
Employment Opportunities
Director of Development (Full-time)
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries
Under the oversight of the NCM Director, the Development Director will supervise the organizational development unit of the NCM office and be responsible for tactical planning and execution of NCM’s fundraising/marketing strategy. In addition, the Development Director will engage in cross-functional decision-making through the direct supervision of the Donor Development Team, Affiliate Development Team, Partnership Development initiatives, and Advocacy Development initiatives.
Member Benefit Specialist (Full-time)
Global Mission Finance
This position focuses on the development and improvement of member support in the area of deputation finance. Through the supervision and facilitation of this system, the member benefit specialist will also provide excellent service to our members in the field and our Global Mission team, as well as maintain strong relationship with our benefit vendors and the Global Treasury Services office.
Security Specialist (Full-time)
Information Technology
Members of the IT department are primarily responsible for facilitating the ministry of the Global Ministry Center through assistance and consultation to technology users. The Security Specialist troubleshoots and assists with network access and security policies and procedures.
Social Media Manager (Full-time)
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries
Under the oversight of the director of development and communications manager, this position is responsible for the execution of social media marketing and communications plans, including developing and executing a comprehensive social media strategy to increase visibility, traffic, engagement, and constituent support. Applicants must have the ability to create excellent content and think strategically about how social media fits within an overall business/ministry marketing strategy.
Video Production Manager (Full-time)
Global Nazarene Communications
This person is responsible for video acquisition, shooting, editing, and all related responsibilities for productions of varying lengths. Additional responsibilities include knowledge of production-related software and equipment, as well as collaborating on creative projects with the Nazarene Communications team.
To obtain additional information for GMC positions, please call 913-577-0500 and ask for Human Resources.
Nazarene Bible College
To learn more about positions available at the NBC Administrative Offices, visit All positions are located within the Global Ministry Center in Lenexa, Kansas.
Location of Global Ministry Center Positions
The GMC is the administrative hub for the Church of the Nazarene denominational ministries in 162 world areas. The GMC is conveniently located in Lenexa, Kansas, with easy access to I-35 and I-435 and within short driving distance to Kansas City International airport. All GMC positions report to this location.
Our Non-Discrimination Policy
The Church of the Nazarene Global Ministry Center offers equal employment opportunity to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, disability, race, creed, sex, or veteran status. The Global Ministry Center is an “at will” employer.
Our Faith-Based Organization
We are a faith-based organization. Acceptance of our Christian Code of Conduct is required and membership in the Church of the Nazarene is required for certain positions. The GMC and applicable remote work sites are smoke-, alcohol-, and drug-free Christian workplaces.
Application Processing
Our Human Resources Office receives and processes many employment applications annually for a limited number of positions. While we regret that we cannot respond to each applicant, we do contact those individuals possessing the skills, education/training, and experience that best match the requirements of the open position for which the application was submitted.
An application must be completed by all applicants and an application must be completed for each position for which one wishes to be considered. Applications are retained for one year. Resumés are not necessary for entry-level positions, but they are preferred for professional level positions.
Applying for Employment with the GMC
Application forms may be requested by calling 913-577-0500, emailing, or obtained in person from Human Resources at the Church of the Nazarene Global Ministry Center, 17001 Prairie Star Parkway, Lenexa, Kansas, 66220, Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 4:30 U.S. Central Time. Completed applications may be mailed or emailed to the attention of the Human Resources Office.
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Stories: Volume 1 - 2018
The Church of the Nazarene’s Stories series shares how lives are being transformed through ministry efforts around the globe. These stories are made possible thanks to the prayers, involvement, and support of Nazarenes worldwide.

The Church of the Nazarene’s Stories series shares how lives are being transformed through ministry efforts around the globe. 
These stories are made possible thanks to the prayers, involvement, and support of Nazarenes worldwide through the World Evangelism Fund

Volume 1 - 2018

From Darkness to Light

Yana (Central Asia) lived apart from God until she overheard a conversation on a bus that changed the course of her life forever.

Railroad Church

In Manilla, Philippines, Pastor Pedrito Cainglet started a church to reach the abandoned children who play on the railroad tracks in his neighborhood.

Living After Disaster

The 2017 Chiapas earthquake in Mexico destroyed everything the Salazar family owned, leaving them homeless. Hear their perspectives in the aftermath.

Hands and Feet

When natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, and floods devastated communities around the world in 2017, Nazarenes volunteered their time and resources through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries and impacted many lives for the Kingdom.

The Stories resource is delivered three times a year through an e-newsletter. The videos are a collaborative effort between regional communications offices and Global Ministry Center communications personnel.

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Copyright © 2018 Church of the Nazarene, Inc., All rights reserved.
The Global Nazarene Communications Network
Material created and owned by The Global Nazarene Communications Network News may be used for church newsletters and bulletins.
The Global Church of the Nazarene is a Protestant Christian church in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. Organized in 1908, the denomination is now home to about 2.5 million members worshipping in more than 29,000 local congregations in 162 world areas.
The Global Church of the Nazarene
Global Ministry Center
17001 Prairie Star Parkway
Lenexa, Kansas 66220, United States
Phone: (913)577-0500