Weekly religion rail, with items on a Lenten "Carbon Fast," a survey on faith and the Millennial generation, getting to know Saint Peter Damian, and more.
The Christian relief and development agency Tearfund is encouraging a “Carbon Fast” for Christians as they begin Lent.
According to wire reports, church leaders in Britain believe the Carbon Fast will help Christians face global issues. So instead of giving up chocolate, consider these earth-friendly actions that you can adopt even when Lent is over:
- Have a technology fast: Spend a day without your TV, MP3 player, computer and cell phone.
- Eat by candlelight. Lots of lights go on in the evening. Turn off the lights and have a meal by candlelight.
- Go vegetarian.
- Curtail your purchases. Repair clothes instead of buying new ones.
- Pledge to walk or take public transportation instead of driving.
U.S. envoy to Muslim nations named
President Barack Obama has named a member of his White House staff to become a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
According to wire reports, Rashad Hussain will help improve the U.S. government’s connection to the Muslim world. The 56-member Islamic conference is a top Islamic body.
Hussain, who served as deputy associate counsel to Obama in 2009, said he hopes to increase partnerships with Muslim nations in education, science and technology.
One-in-four members of the Millennial generation – 18- to 29-year-olds so called because they were born after 1980 and began to come of age around the year 2000 -- are unaffiliated with any particular faith.
-- Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
“Church 3.0: Upgrades for the Future of the Church” by Neil Cole
In “Church 3.0,” Neil Cole makes the argument that Christianity needs more than new programs, buildings or worship formats. It needs a complete upgrade to a new operating system.
This book discusses issues such as how to deal with heresy, how to handle finances, what to do with children, and what to do with worship, rituals and ordinances.
Organic churches demand a shift from a program-driven and clergy-led institutionalized approach to one that is relational, simple, intimate and viral in the way it spreads. Instead of seeing church as something that serves its people, church becomes people who serve God, one another and a hurting world.
Get to Know … Saint Peter Damian
Saint Peter Damian (c. 1007-1072) was an Italian reforming monk and a cardinal. In 1823, he was declared a Doctor of the Church.
Damian believed in monastic and clerical reform, and he introduced more severe discipline, including the practice of flagellation into his monastery. This became the model at several other hermitages.
He also condemned philosophy, arguing that monks should not have to study philosophy because Jesus did not choose philosophers as disciples, and so philosophy is not necessary for salvation.
His many writing reflect the spiritual conditions of Italy, and he was especially devoted to the Virgin Mary. His most well-known work is “De Divina Omnipotentia,” a long letter in which he discusses God's power.
Caliph: Muslim term for community leader. – www.religioustolerance.org
Religion Around the World
Religious makeup of Canada
Roman Catholic: 42.6 percent
Protestant: 23.3 percent (including United Church: 9.5 percent, Anglican: 6.8 percent, Baptist: 2.4 percent, Lutheran: 2 percent)
Other Christian: 4.4 percent
Muslim: 1.9 percent
Other and unspecified: 11.8 percent
None: 16 percent
- CIA Factbook
GateHouse News Service