I hate to slame you, I REALLY do! But it may be because someone realized there were more important things to print than what Lorene (Sorry forgot her last name) had to print. If you are that concerned about Christiam efforts; why not give one quarter of your and your entire congregations check to organizations like The United Way, Hope Haven or The N Al Food Bank. I have my differences with the TD; but the good Lord knows that their dropping hypocritcal "church" stories is not one of them!
Perhaps they lost faith?

(tongue in cheek, of course)

The Huntsville Times has Doug Mendenhall, whose writings I don't particularly find intellectually or spiritually enlightening.

Of course, there's another option... have a community columnist!

The HT has a similar approach in their Op/Ed pages, and features a person in the community whom is admired by another/others for their spirituality. (Two different issues, I know.)

However, the point is that the community shares and is featured.

Perhaps, Jim, you and other leaders in the faith community may persuade the TD to rethink their ill-fated decision.
I may sound cynical Shoals and Jim, I guess I am. I grew up here, left for 20 years and returned with a new outlook on life. I recently talked to a very destitute man who is raising 4 children on his own because his wife was unfit as a mother, this poor guy is working 2 jobs and was cutting grass on the side and went to one of the "billion" dollar churches for help for his utilities and was told since he wasn't a "member" of that particular faith he would have to go through a state agency. With all the red tape and time consumption this poor guy couldn't wait he needed help NOW! Well, I don't go to one of those "million" dollar churches but gave the guy $100 never expecting to see it again! On the day after Thanksgiving he rang my doorbell and returned the entire amount! I may not go to one of "those" chruches but I think I scored points anyway.
Thanks to all of you who have responded. I agree with much of what you have said regarding the organized, institutional church BUT faith is an essential and vital element of any community. The community of faith invests millions of dollars in meeting human need and sending missionaries across the world. We have over 400 churches in the Shoals with tens of thousands of members. Their voices and the voice of their churches should be heard.
Man, I am addressing the Shoals churches involvement with the poor. If you will examine the work of the Salvation Army, the Help Center,
the Loaves and Fishes Stores, and the budgets of many churches in the Shoals, you will find that hundreds of thousands of dollars are being given to the "down and out." What organization in the Shoals invests more among the needy than the Shoals churches. By the way, this is not a form letter.
DARN (once again using "Christian" language) THAT would make a GREAT investigative story for some enterprising reporter at the TD! Just how much is donated by church per church to each charitable organization in the TD? Louise (Still can't remember her last name) would be proud! Are you listening Palmer?
I feel that I need to say a few words in support of Lucille Prince who has been referenced several times. She was a wonderful Religious Editor of the Times Daily who served faithfully for many years. She was fair to all churches and even different faiths. She was always open to that which was truly newsworthy, she treated us all fairly and was dearly beloved in the Shoals community.
When the Times Daily decided to eliminate the
Faith/Religious Section and NOT select another religious editor, I, personally, believe it was a giant step backward. For your information, many of us did write articles for the guest column after Lucille retired. All of a sudden, someone decided to close the column to local writers and go with some kind of "chicken soup" synticated writer. I wonder how the community would respond if the Sports or Entertainment section were replaced?
[We have over 400 churches in the Shoals with tens of thousands of members. Their voices and the voice of their churches should be heard.]

So why do you "need" the TD?
I am going to be straight forward here with my opnion on this subject. Anyone wants to slam me,have at it. But its an honest opnion.
The faith section of the TD had begun to appear more as a sales section for local churches.
when was the last time there was an article that reached out? When was the last article about just an everyday Joe that found God and ALLOWED them to tell their story of recieving Jesus Christ into their life? When was the last human interest way to God article(best way I can think to describe what I am trying to say)
Nope the stories had all become the same, Rev So-and-So did this or that, or Mrs Rev. So-And-So did this or that.We got to read all the bragging stories of who did what,who went where and it was almost always the same people. Sorry but I really do not believe God holds popularity contests .
when was the last time an article appeared with a random collection of faith based stories from the congregations,or better yet just folks met on the streets? God DOES live outside the doors of the fancy churches.
FINALLY yeah that was right Lucille Prince! You just don't get it do you Jim, unfortunately like a lot of you other "religious" types in the Shoals. You pick and chose what you want from the Bible and ignore anything that might contradict your views that you have been endogtranated with through childhood and maintain your "status" quo by dressing in a tie and going to a million dollar building 3 times a week. Wake up! I can't take on the world, or even the Shoals, but I did help the poor guy who cut my yard last September when Southern Baptist would't. I think Jesus Christ would have wanted it that way.
We need the Faith section because it is a way of reporting what God is doing across the Shoals. There have been many exciting faith projects reported in the TD...We need it because it is one of the best communication vehicles available to Shoals residents. For some reason, we don't have a local TV. The
TD is about the only instrument we have. I admit that there is a listing under the Religious Calendar as to what pastors and churches are doing and who might be honored but that was only a small part of the Faith/Religious section.
Maddog 20/20.....You go ahead and live your life with those kinds of notions and expectations.....noone will try to change your mind....I know first hand that on any given Friday you will find large groups of people giving to anyone who needs, without any questions. I don't know if they are christians, never asked them....but they will all know where you are coming from...
quote:
I may not go to one of "those" chruches but I think I scored points anyway.


MADDOG, what are you going to do with these points you are scoring?

Smurph, I think you have some good ideas for some articles for a Faith Section. God is at work all around us and it is always encouraging to hear how He touches lives.

Jim, Keep it up, perhaps this will generate some interest in a new Faith Section.

God Bless each of you as we all struggle to hear and respond to God's instruction for our lives.
Glair: what Smorf (Bless him) Shoals and others are TRYING to say is: There are 100's of churches in this area: yet THOUSANDS of people who are living at or near the poverty level and yet the "churches: of the Shoals seem to be more interested in million dollar buildings and crosswalks on public highways than benevolence. Read Matthew's book in the Bible. What was Jesus's main commandment?
Oh, I didn't answer your question glair: points with the spiritual being that created all of the universe and inspired not only Jesus Christ but many other prophets of throughout the ages, some of which may be walking amongst us today. I could have been giving God himself $100 to pay his utility bill when Highland Baptist Church wouldn't!
[We need the Faith section because it is a way of reporting what God is doing across the Shoals. There have been many exciting faith projects reported in the TD.]

I give up,what I previously posted went ~ZIP~ right over head! The faith section was not about what God was doing,it was a bragging section for a few local pastors of the "miliion dollar church club"
Mans salvation and saving souls is not "projects" for someone or some committee brag of their great efforts and accomplishments.These souls are not numbers to be racked up in files.God keeps His own files and records!
maybe a LARGE seving of Humble Pie is in order for a few of these local egotisical pastors and "great workers"
smorph: PLEASE don't give up! It is people like you who will bring a peace and the meaning of TRUE CHRISTIANITY or what ever spitituality to the world. You are but one small seed: I know it seems lonely here in Florence (THE SHOALS) Alabama; this is the whole WORLD that GOD in his or her spiritual wisdom created. There is hope: what you do for the least of these you do for me.
Where do some of you get this idea that churches don't give to the needy? It's quite apparent that some of you have NOT researched the subject, but feel justified in condemning them anyway. This is with NO facts to back up the condemnation. Look at church budgets for the year and see what the plans are for spending funds. Every dime my church takes up on Wednesday night goes to a benevolence fund, and that's doesn't include what we give to the Help Center and other charity organizations.
quote:
Originally posted by jim.bevis@csrministries.org:
We need the Faith section because it is a way of reporting what God is doing across the Shoals. There have been many exciting faith projects reported in the TD...We need it because it is one of the best communication vehicles available to Shoals residents. For some reason, we don't have a local TV. The
TD is about the only instrument we have. I admit that there is a listing under the Religious Calendar as to what pastors and churches are doing and who might be honored but that was only a small part of the Faith/Religious section.


Shouldn't have to report what God is doing. Should be visible in your everyday life. And you for sure shouldn't be serving God so that YOU can be honored. As far as your faith projects, buy advertising space....millions do it every day. Quit begging for free press and write a check...it's the American Way!!!
There's a whole lotta' emotion and suggestion in this thread, that's for certain!

And amidst it all, I hear the voices of people whom I've known and now know.

Those voices of complaint about inequity, the voices of compassion about the hungry, their cries for justice, their seeking paths of righteousness for His name sake...

It's a veritable cornucopia for a modern-day Moses!

And what was that solution?

Jethro, whom was Moses' father-in-law, suggested to Moses that he was going to wear himself out by doing everything himself. In essence, Jethro told Moses to get some high-quality hired help, and set up a type of tiered judicial system associated with representative government.

Moses would be the 'supreme court' and the others would be the 'district, circuit' and 'appellate courts'.

So, Moses took Jethro's idea, and they all lived happily ever after.

Okay... so maybe they didn't live happily ever after! But it does say that "Moses bade his father-in-law farewell, and he went his way into his own land."

Close enough, eh?

The point is, that when everyone is working together for a common good, much can be accomplished. When everyone does their own thing, the going is hard as Hell! It'd kinda' be like your feet deciding they didn't want to take you where you wanted to go today. So, they held a sit-down protest.

Your derriere, accustomed to such, immediately got to work.

Then, the arms and hands, knowing their functions were absolutely necessary to maintaining the energy levels by assisting nutritional intake, were sympathetic and cooperated in the wheelchair, spinning the wheels to get the body where it wanted to go.

So, after a short time, the striking feet, finally recognizing they were defeated (bad, bad pun), decided to get back to work.

They learned that they too, were important to the body.
At that time in my life, the Religion section was a part of the Saturday paper that I always skipped. I really wasn't that focused on God or living "right" at the time. After Mre. Prince's death, for whatever reason, I did try to read a few of the guest columns. As I recall,they were so poorly written and filled with partisan rhetoric I can't blame the TD for scrapping the entire project.

If the churches would actively seek out those in need and find a way to help them, we would have a faith section. It would be the front page. It couldn't help but make the news, it happens so rarely. Another thing to consider, especially in light of my last statement, is that we are the church. That building is just a building. It can't help anyone, even itself. It needs caretakers too. No, we are the church. In that light it's our duty to address the needs of the people, not sit back and wait on someone else to make a decision. If more people would follow MADDOG's example, help the needy as you find them, we would resolve a lot of issues. Just take the money you would otherwise put in a collection plate on Sunday and offer it to the person in need. It might not be much but it will help. The only problem I can see is you might be ashamed for a stranger to see how little you actually contribute to God's work. Of course if that's the case, how do you think God feels about it?
In addition to the TimesDaily, I regularly read the Huntsville Times.

The HT is owned by Newhouse News, the same folks that publish Condé Nast Traveler and Bon Appétite.

Without commentary on the quality of the HT, they do have a regular Religion section, which has in days past, featured various religions, including a newly opened Hindu congregation, Jewish Temples & Synagogues, Greek Orthodox congregations, all in Madison county.

It's not an exclusively Christian section.

They also have a small people of faith feature whom are nominated by those in the community.

Their Religion & Faith column is authored by Doug Mendenhall, and his columns may be read online @
http://www.al.com/religion/huntsvilletimes/dmendenhall.ssf

Bear in mind, I'm not commenting on Mendenhall's writing, it's to mention that the HT has a Religion section and Faith & Values columnist.
I felt like Maddog at one time...it made me feel better about not going to church...no matter about the generalizations...as long as I could convince myself that all those people were just "do-good hypocrites", I felt real good about laying in bed on Sunday morning....then my child came along...and I had to decide exactly how I felt about things...I am not a "religous" person, but I had to give my child a chance to decide for himself...I still don't go out and "pound the Bible"...you know where the church is....if you want to come you will always be welcomed...
By that, I mean go to church to worship God, to study God's Word together, to use your gifts and talents to minister to the Body of Christ, to fellowship, to lift each other up in prayer, to carry one another's burdens, to reach out to the lost or to the needy, etc.

Don't go to church to point out the speck in your brother's eye or he may point out the 2 by 4 in your's. Smiler <Luke 6:42>
You should have a newspaper with your TV station!


quote:
Originally posted by jim.bevis@csrministries.org:
Thanks to all of you who have responded. I agree with much of what you have said regarding the organized, institutional church BUT faith is an essential and vital element of any community. The community of faith invests millions of dollars in meeting human need and sending missionaries across the world. We have over 400 churches in the Shoals with tens of thousands of members. Their voices and the voice of their churches should be heard.
ROFLOL, a motorhome I thought smurf must have been joking. Sorry to look at this with a raised eye but I'm sure there is a lot of work to do at maybe the grand canyon or mt. rushmore. There are also a lot of sinners in Fl. ard they have some great RV parks. There is a wonderful one in Key Weird. Lots of luck
It's easy to blame the church, or "religous people"...I go to church..I am a Sunday School teacher, and an administrator...I DO NOT condemn you for your choices, so why do you demean me for mine? You will always be able to find something wrong with the church, if you're looking for it....we are human beings and we make mistakes...
Smurph & themax...I checked out the sight and looked to see why they are trying to get an RV. It's to live in as they minister to and encourage pastors and church workers on the "back roads of America", which their 45 yrs in the ministry equips them to do. They have already been doing this in the Shoals area.

I know there are "tell them what their itching ears want to hear" churches that see church as a social event. However, there are plenty of churches that understand their responsibility to re - present Christ.

God is very much at work through Christians in this area.
We really need the Religious Section back with a big boast to giving everyone a chance to become a christian and really see all the aspect that God and Jesus have in store for all of us. Sometime when people get tired of people they assumed it's time to get rid of people, but if God hasn't authories it them leave it along, check out why you really feel the way you do and go to God in prayer for yourself and the person or persons you tried to offend. Work together to come together let there be no oppression when Jesus comes back to reclaims us. Let's keep Hope Alive, and the article of Religious Alive as well, The Church Salute you and so do I.
I know Jim Bevis, and can attest to his authenticity and honesty.

An integral part of their ministry involves extensive travel.

They don't live "high on the hog" and are conservatively frugal with their resources.

They are good stewards.

It takes money to travel, and they are a 501(c)3 not-for-profit orgnization, which must regularly make reports to the Internal Revenue Service for their accountability to the U.S. government, and they are accountable for their actions to others through their Board of Directors.

I have no doubt that they've done a Cost : Benefit analysis and have determined that a modest motor coach would be a more cost effective mode of transportation rather than renting cars, jet airplane flights, renting motels/hotels, eating out, etc. for every trip which they make.

In fact, just this past weekend at the Rocket City Marathon, we were in a very nice, extraordinarily well-cared-for and clean 2000 model motor coach that was priced @ $60k by Bankston Motor Homes.

Consider that dual occupancy rate at any reputable and clean hotel/motel will at least approximate $200 per night, and meals for two for each day would at least approximate $100, for a three-day event, that's $900, not including transportation. Add car rental expenses into the picture (at least $150 per day w unlimited mileage), then you're talking $1350 per trip. That's NOT including gasoline expense.

Now... how many times must one do that before it shows cost effectiveness to own a motor coach which operating expense would be much cheaper?

Answer: 44

That's assuming "average" or "moderate" prices.

Also figure out the hassle of trying to coordinate tickets, reservations, etc., and then it's very easy to understand that an on-the-road ministry can be not only overwhelming from a logistical perspective, it can be a nightmare from a cost containment one, as well!

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