by Marisa Fraley, Staff Writer
As religious leaders, it is important to be aware of what is going on in our world. Below, I have compiled a mix of stories that are relevant to the work that we do.
As religious leaders who most likely will come into contact with people who discriminate against Muslims because of their faith, we must do our best to properly educate others about the Islamic faith. Instead of allowing someone to keep the stereotypes they have, we should help them to understand that Islam does not equal terrorist attacks and ISIS. Similar to Christianity, it is a faith about showing love and kindness to others.
Everyone should feel welcome in a church. Traditional churches have a ‘sanctuary’ where they worship on Sunday mornings, because a church should be a ‘sanctuary,’ a place of safety, security, and refuge for anyone who walks through the doors. Unless someone is causing harm to the congregation, they should not be kicked out of a church and told they can never return. There will be conflicts and disagreements in any church. As leaders, it is our role to help resolve the conflicts and disagreements.
Pope Francis will be in America today through Sunday. Huffington Post has put together some different quotes he has made since he became Pope. As an important leader in Christianity, it will be interesting to see what he does while here and what the effects are.
As our culture becomes more and more individualized and consumed by technology, it is important for us to not forget the beauty of creation. Furthermore, as ecological issues become more and more pressing, it’s important for us to educate the younger generations about nature. It is important for leaders within our churches to talk about what it means to be good stewards of this beautiful Earth that God has created.
If you’ve heard about the European Refugee Crisis, but haven’t had a chance to figure out what’s happening, here are several articles to help get you informed. As I think about the struggles the refugees are facing, I am reminded of Matthew 25:40—“‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did to me” (NRSV). I wonder, what can we do for the ‘least of these?’