Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Spark Understanding, Stitch Connections

Anyone and everyone who is committed to more peaceful homes, schools, businesses, and communities is encouraged to attend a peace education session at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church
1660 County Rd. B, St. Paul, 55113
(One block west of Snelling Ave. on County Rd. B in Roseville).


Celebrating at a Peace Site

Learning peace education
with colleagues

There is given an opportunity for individuals interested in peace to hear renowned speakers, create connections, share ideas and learn some new ones. Peace Education is structured with discussions, sharing, group work, speakers, networking, and planning time. Peace Education can be brought to your site as well! Please contact Peace Sites Organisation to find out more about this opportunity!  Bring a friend or colleague with you so that you will feel supported in your efforts!  

All sessions begin at 8:30 am (continental breakfast at 8:00 am and a box lunch are included (feel free to bring your own food for dietary specific needs). Water will be available to fill your water bottle (adhering to PROTECT the environment, bottles of water will no longer provided).

For daytime programs, up to two substitutes per school district expenses reimbursed (not in excess of $150 per substitute)

January 28, 2020, 8:30 am to 3:00 pm

"Spark Understanding, Stitch Connections"
with Erin Walsh

Erin Walsh of Spark and Stitch (formerly Mind Positive Parenting) will be our speaker. This workshop will address parenting and teaching for courage and connection in the digital age."

Cost: There is no fee to attend!

Monday, 13 January 2020

Persecution follows suit as the church in Iran multiplies

As the church in Iran multiplies, persecution follows suit. Over the last few months, Open Doors has learned about arrests of numerous Christians in Iran.

The crackdown on house churches continues to intensify, as officials search for and arrest anyone involved in these typically tiny fellowships. Prison sentences of varying lengths are inevitable outcomes for anyone who defies Iran’s “no house church” law.
Open Doors has reported numerous atrocities against Christians in Iranian prisons, infamous for their treatment of political prisoners.

In 2019, at least 37 Christians have been arrested: eight in Bushehr, nine in Rasht, 12 in Amol, two in Ahvaz, and one each in Hamedan, Shiraz and Isfahan.

On July 1, in the southwestern city of Bushehr, eight Christian converts, mostly in their 30s, were arrested, including five members of one family. Seven are still in prison, most likely in solitary confinement. Their homes were raided and Bibles confiscated, as well as Christian literature, wooden crosses and pictures with Christian symbols. Authorities also took laptops, phones, identity cards and bank cards. The officers are reported to have treated the Christians harshly, even though small children were present during the arrests.

Also in Bushehr, in April, 16 other converts from Bushehr reportedly lost their appeals against prison sentences for “propaganda activities against the regime through the formation of house churches.”
Another five converts submitted themselves to the central detention center in Karaj in July 2019 to begin their jail sentences for “propaganda against the state.” Manoto News broadcast footage of the Christians, four of whom have young children, waving goodbye to their loved ones.
After their arrests, the five were released in early 2018 after each posted a bail of 30 million tomans(around $7,000).
In March 2019, Milad, Yaghoob, Shahebedin and Alireza were sentenced to four months in prison. Amin, who has already spent a year in prison for his religious activities, was given 14 months. Their appeals were rejected last month.

Pray with us by name for all of these believers, recognizing that they represent only a handful of thousands of our brothers and sisters in Iran who have been threatened, arrested or imprisoned for turning to Jesus and following Him.

Your part in this expanding story

Writing in a time of great persecution for Christ followers who had lost property, been thrown into prison, were ostracized from their Jewish community, etc., the author of Hebrews offers a clear call to prayer for those who are suffering for the gospel:
“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Heb. 13:3).
And in Matthew 25:34-36, Jesus is clear that when we enter into the suffering of others, we are answering His call:
“Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”
Jesus is strategically building His church and exhorts us to stand with and encourage our brothers and sisters as they live out the gospel.

Explosive growth of Christianity in Iran

Violence in the name of Islam has caused widespread disillusionment with the regime and has led many Iranians to question their beliefs. Multiple reports indicate that even children of political and spiritual leaders are leaving Islam for Christianity.

Already more than 20 years Christadelphians provide literature in Farsi and make huge efforts to communicate and unite with those who either felt not at home with their original religion or with their nation. Lots of those who fled the war zones and found a safe haven in Europe also found something interesting in the faith of many Europeans. Overhere there are not only the housechurches but in Great-Britain Christadelphian halls are open to bring the Farsi speaking people together.

Because Farsi-speaking services in Iran are not allowed, most converts gather in informal house-church meetings or receive information on Christianity via media, such as satellite TV and websites. The illegal house-church movement — including thousands of Christians — continues to grow in size and impact as God works through transformed lives.

Church leaders in Iran believe that millions can be added to the church in the next few years.
“If we remain faithful to our calling, our conviction is that it is possible to see the nation transformed within our lifetime,” 
one house church leader shared.
“Because Iran is a strategic gateway nation, the growing church in Iran will impact Muslim nations across the Islamic world.”
And like the church of Acts shows us, the persecution that believers suffered as a group of committed disciples — inspired and ignited by the Holy Spirit — became a catalyst for the multiplication of believers and churches. When persecution came, they didn’t scatter but remained in the city where it was most strategic and most dangerous. They were arrested, shamed and beaten for their message. Still, they stayed to lay the foundations for an earth-shaking movement.
So it is in Iran. When the Iranian revolution of 1979 established a hardline Islamic regime, the next two decades ushered in a wave of persecution that continues today. All missionaries were kicked out, evangelism was outlawed, Bibles in the Persian or Farsi language were banned, and several pastors were killed. Many feared the small, fledgling Iranian church wouldn’t survive.  Instead, the church, fueled by the devotion and passion of disciples, has multiplied exponentially. Iranians have become the Muslim people most open to the gospel in the Middle East.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Built upon a Rock - Distinctive beliefs and practices of the Christadelphians

The Testimony published a new book to make it clear what is it that makes the Christadelphians distinctive as a group of believers in Jesus Christ, and what marks them out as different in faith and practice from the rest of the Christian world.

In what particular respects does the Christadelphians’ understanding of the Bible’s teachings affect their beliefs and their communal life to such an extent that they choose to stand apart from the whole of Christendom?
 

Built upon a Rock addresses these questions in ten easy-to-read chapters, each dealing with a single fundamental issue.
With a convenient summary given in an Appendix, a range of Christadelphian authors set out to explain, as clearly as possible, what is distinctively Biblical about the following topics: the verbal inspiration of the Bible; the doctrine of God-manifestation on the earth; the Hope of Israel and God’s promises to Abraham; the nature of Christ, as Son of God and Son of Man; the representative sacrifice of Christ (the Atonement); the mortal nature of man and the need for bodily resurrection; the Devil as the personification of sin; the Holy Spirit as the power of God; the ecclesia as the church of Christ; and the Christadelphian way of life.
 

Most of the contents of the book were first published in July 1988, as one of the Testimony magazine’s regular series of Special Issues. But there is a new chapter on ‘The Inspiration of Scripture’, and the addition of a Name and Subject index is also a valuable feature. Most significant of all, perhaps, is the Scripture Index, where the very wide range of Bible passages referred to by the different writers underlines the book’s claim that the distinctive beliefs and practices of the Christadelphians are Built upon a Rock.

Cover of the book entitled Built upon a Rock ‒ NEW ‒ £7.50UK price £7.50 - plus postage
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