This week’s list is shorter than usual, just choosing five stories from three outlets.
1. Adventist Church sides with Muslim woman in workplace religious freedom case (Elizabeth Lechleitner, Adv News Network, 12 Dec 2013)
The Seventh-day Adventist Church yesterday filed an amicus, or “friend of the court” brief in support of an American Muslim woman who claims she was denied a job because her head-covering violated company policy.
2. At Adventist Restaurants, Meals are Good for the Body and the Planet (G. Jeffrey Macdonald, Religion News Service/Spectrum, 23 Dec 2013)
Eating meat taxes the environment far more than a plant-based diet does, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Methane from livestock and their manure does as much to accelerate global warming as 33 million cars, according to CSPI. Livestock production also strains resources: 41 percent of irrigated U.S. farmland goes for livestock feed production, and 4,500 gallons of water are required to produce one quarter-pound of beef.
3. ADRA Awarded a Major Grant by Hong Kong for Relief in the Philippines (Adv Today, 26 Dec 2013)
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) China country office is one of three non-governmental organizations awarded major grants to support their relief efforts in the Philippines in the wake of the recent typhoon. The grant to ADRA is the largest of the three, totally about three million Hong Kong dollars or about $390,000 in United States dollars.
4. Adventist Compassion Ministries in the U.S. Reorganized and Expanded (Adv Today, 27 Dec 2013)
After a careful evaluation which included surveys of pastors and lay leaders, the North American Division (NAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination announced last week a significant reorganization and expansion of the domestic charitable and social action programs sponsored by the denomination in the United States. The study committee that oversaw the assessment considered the possibility of creating a United States country organization for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) as well as the option of merging ADRA and Adventist Community Services (ACS) as was done more than 20 years ago in Canada…
5. Former Pastor Embarks On Year Without God (Jared Wright, Spectrum, 3 Jan 2014)
For former Hollywood Adventist Church pastor Ryan Bell, 2014’s motto could well be “Help my unbelief.” Bell published an article New Year’s Eve on The Huffington Post announcing that he would live a year without God. His plan was to eschew Christian sacred texts and instead look to non-religious thinkers for insight in a new season of unbelief.
Although this last story isn’t directly related to social action, because Ryan Bell has been a significant Adventist voice for peace and justice, I’m sure the community here will be interested in following his journey. A number of bloggers and news outlets have already run stories on this endeavor: