This is the Urban Christian News podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Baptist Press, Russell Moore is leaving the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, ending an occasionally controversial eight-year tenure, to take a role with Christianity Today. Moore, who has served as president of the ERLC since June 2013, announced Tuesday (May 18) he will begin a role this summer as a public theologian for what the magazine described as “a new Public Theology Project.” In a message posted to his personal blog, Moore said the project “is devoted to cultivating a forward-looking, joyful, consistent Gospel witness.” “I’ve struggled with this decision,” Moore wrote, “because my gratitude for the honor of serving the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is so deep. As I conclude my time serving Southern Baptists as ERLC president, I am filled with gratitude as well as excitement for the future.” Moore said he was “thankful for Southern Baptists, whom I love and to whom I owe so much.” David Prince, chair of the ERLC’s board of trustees and pastor of Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky., expressed gratitude for Moore’s service and sadness over his resignation, which is effective June 1, but said the ERLC’s trustees would identify a new leader to continue the ERLC’s work, which he described as “essential to the SBC.” Daniel Patterson, the ERLC’s executive vice president, will serve as acting president.
According to Religion News Service, Faith leaders say they are concerned about new temporary shelters that have been set up at Southern California event centers to house unaccompanied migrant children. As of Tuesday (April 26), more than 300 children were being housed in an emergency shelter at the Long Beach Convention Center in Los Angeles County. This site is expected to eventually accommodate up to 1,000 kids. Advocacy groups have been awaiting the arrival of more than 2,000 migrant children at the Fairplex, the former fairgrounds in the L.A. County city of Pomona, more than 40 miles northeast of Long Beach. A migrant shelter has already been serving hundreds of teen girls at the San Diego Convention Center. These kinds of temporary shelters have been referred to as “influx centers” and “emergency intake sites” and are meant to address overcrowding at Border Patrol facilities. Local city councils and county elected officials have agreed to work with federal officials to repurpose their event centers as temporary shelters, saying it’s “a responsibility and an opportunity to care for unaccompanied minors coming to the United States.” “Regardless of what they are called, the government is holding children in large scale detention facilities,” the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity said in a statement. The Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity statement asks officials to end the Trump-era policy, Title 42, that orders immigration authorities during COVID-19 to expel migrants without providing them the chance to seek protection in the U.S. The group also seeks to end the practice of holding children in large-scale influx facilities and to apply financial resources toward “rapidly vetting sponsors for situations where children arrive without a parent or legal guardian.” Their statement urges officials to provide “post-release financial resources to children reunited with family members and sponsors.”
According to Fox 5 San Diego, Fifteen COVID-19 cases among employees at the Rock Church prompted church officials to limit Sunday services, including some next weekend. In a statement on Sunday, the church announced that it recently learned 15 employees had tested positive for coronavirus across its five campuses. The church said it is helping those workers get the care they need, and the affected employees are self-quarantining. “None of our staff have been hospitalized. They are about split of symptomatic and asymptomatic. They are quarantining and doing well,” said Executive Pastor Lisa Penberthy. In light of the outbreak, the church said it would limit its in-person Sunday services to only its Point Loma and microsite locations on May 16 and May 23. Members can also worship with the church online on the website or its Facebook and YouTube pages.
According to Christian Headlines, A new study from Arizona Christian University showed that the four generations of Americans share very different views on spiritual beliefs and practices. ACU’s Cultural Research Center’s American Worldview Inventory 2021 studied how Millennials (born 1984-2002), Gen X (1965-1983), Baby Boomers (1946-1964) and Builders (1927-1945) each believe. In one example, 90 percent of Builders believe that you should treat others as you want them to treat you. In comparison, less than half of Millennials agreed with that statement. Also, 66 percent of Millennials said they are willing to try anything at least once, while just 28 percent of Builders said the same. In comparison with Boomers, 43 percent of Millennials said they either don’t know, don’t care or don’t believe God exists as compared to just 28 percent of Boomers. In another finding, just 26 percent of Gen X and 16 percent of Millennials said they believe that when they die, they will go to Heaven because they confessed their sins and accepted Jesus as their savior. The study said nearly half of all Boomers believe the same. The study also found that 57 percent of Millennials call themselves Christian, while 83 percent of Boomers also call themselves Christians.
According to PEOPLE magazine, Delaware State University is forgiving more than $700,000 in student loans for recent graduates who were affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The historically Black, public university announced on Wednesday that loans of $730,655 will be allotted to cover the average student debt of $3,276 for more than 220 students. This will be done by funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act for COVID-19 relief sent by the Biden Administration, the university said. “Too many graduates across the country will leave their schools burdened by debt, making it difficult for them to rent an apartment, cover moving costs, or otherwise prepare for their new careers or graduate school,” said Antonio Boyle, Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management. “While we know our efforts won’t help with all of their obligations, we all felt it was essential to do our part,” Boyle added. According to Boyle, 87 percent of recent DSU graduates are either entering into their career of choice or graduate school within six months of commencement.
According to ESPN, Charles Barkley has given $1,000 apiece to the more than 200 employees of a city school system in his native Alabama. The former Auburn and NBA basketball star graduated from Leeds High School in 1981. The monetary gifts are going to each Leeds City School system employee. The announcement was made Tuesday on Facebook. The Leeds City Schools page says it’s the latest show of support from Barkley. According to the post, Barkley has provided more than $3 million in scholarships to Leeds graduates over the past 30 years. “We are humbled and wish to express our sincere gratitude to Charles Barkley for providing a $1,000 gift to each and every Leeds City Schools employee for going the extra mile this school year,” the Facebook post said. “Being a school employee is tough, but driving a bus, teaching, coaching, or working in the cafeteria, all while maintaining safety protocols, has been a daunting task during a worldwide pandemic.” AL.com reports that there are about 226 Leeds school system employees.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Taraji P. Henson is expanding on her mission to connect Black Americans with the mental health resources they need with a new campaign to help Black students combat racial bias in the classroom. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the actress announced the launch of The Unspoken Curriculum, a mental health campaign that provides a safe place for children to discuss mental health issues in the schools and aid them in combatting distress in classrooms from racial bias. The inspiration for the six-week program came to the actress from the devastating events of the past year — ongoing instances of police brutality, the mounting number of racist attacks, and COVID-19’s tragic impact on Black communities. “We’re in a state of emergency right now,” Henson said. “But it takes us to change it… we can’t hide the ugly, you’ve got to deal with the good and the bad if we want to see change.” Henson, who was a substitute teacher before she made her acting debut in 2001’s Baby Boy, helped design the curriculum with her firsthand experiences witnessing racial bias against Black students, in mind. The Unspoken Curriculum runs from May 17 until June 21 and includes discussions with mental health experts and virtual hangout spaces moderated by therapists and educators, where students can speak openly about mental health and their experiences in school.
You can read these stories and more at UrbanChristianNews.com
In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!