Tag Archives: current events

Rooster Brings Louisiana Church, Community Together

Gabriel, the rooster, just outside the church window.

By Carl Stagner

You’ve heard of the angel named Gabriel. But you probably haven’t heard of Gabriel, the rooster. Since November, the fine feathered friend of Pleasant Ridge Church of God has become quite the phenom across the small city of Hammond, Louisiana. Like a guardian angel, “Gabe” stands watch Sunday after Sunday at the front entrance to the church, seemingly crowing Amens at just the right moment during Pastor Sarah Morgan’s sermons. Adored by adults and children alike, the rooster has not only captured the hearts of the congregation, but also the attention of neighbors and passersby. Continue reading

Michigan Church Courageously Combats Flint Water Crisis

Distribution of water at West Court Street Church of God.

By Megan DeBruyn

It has been four years, one month, one week, and one day since Flint, Michigan has had access to clean drinking water.

The crisis began back in 2014, when Genesee County implemented a new pipeline designed to deliver water from Lake Huron to the residents of Flint. Shortly thereafter, the city announced that fecal coliform bacterium had been detected in the water supply and issued a water boiling advisory to neighborhoods on the west side of town. The situation continued to escalate into early 2015, when it was announced that the water could be causing serious health issues and an increased risk of cancer. Continue reading

Simply Ministry: Arizona Churches Respond to Teacher Walkout

By Carl Stagner

There wasn’t much time to respond, but there was no question what had to be done. When public school teachers in Arizona went on strike beginning on Thursday, April 26, the church community didn’t hesitate. Uninterested in taking sides or entering the political fray, the church saw their role as simply ministry. For the single parent who must work during the school day, the church was there. For the student who relies on the school for daily sustenance, the church was there. For a community divided, the church was there with a message of hope. With no certain end to the teacher walkout in sight (as of Tuesday, May 1), Church of God congregations were among those hardest at work to meet the needs of their neighbors. Continue reading

Spotlight on Schools: Oklahoma Churches Band Together for Students, Teachers

By Carl Stagner

For the past few months, the eyes of the country—and much of the world—have been on schools. Tragic shootings, student walkouts, student walkups, and teacher strikes are among the issues that have sparked more than a few arguments in the breakroom, the dining room, and on social media. But while the media, politicians, and pundits have debated the issues, believers have been busy being the body of Christ. As the national spotlight shines on schools, churches in Nowata, Oklahoma, have been shining the light of Christ in schools. Continue reading

Statement from the General Director: Charlottesville

By Jim Lyon

Paul Goodloe McIntire was an investment genius, whose savvy management of stock portfolios in both Chicago and New York empowered him to be one of his hometown’s preeminent philanthropists. Inspired by the City Beautiful movement dramatically brought to life at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, he dedicated himself to funding monumental public spaces, city parks and squares, most often featuring heroic sculpture. He was born in 1860 and polished his fortune in New York City before retiring in 1918; he then returned to the beloved city of his birth: Charlottesville, Virginia. Continue reading

Zika Virus: Insights from Haiti

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By Carl Stagner

On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus a global health emergency. Within a week of the announcement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated a Level One alert, the same level of heightened preparedness and around-the-clock attention given to the Ebola outbreak of 2014, the H1N1 outbreak of 2009, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2007. But what does it all mean for you and me? Though mosquito-borne Zika cases have not yet been reported in the United States, international travelers have contracted the virus. Many of our brothers and sisters in the Church of God live, work, and do ministry in countries where transmission of the virus is ongoing. Haiti is one of those countries. Global Strategy missionary Mark Fulton offers some on-the-ground perspective on the Zika virus, cuts through some of the media hype, and suggests ways we can best pray. Continue reading

Flint Water Crisis: Local Pastors Offer Perspective, Prayers

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By Carl Stagner

Will it ever end? That’s the question lingering in the minds of the people of Flint, Michigan. Home to some 100,000 residents, the city has undergone its fair share of setbacks through the years including, but not limited to, the downsizing of General Motors. Though recently gaining more attention from the media, Flint now seems locked in a drinking water contamination crisis that hasn’t let up since April 2014. Corrosive water has loosened lead in supply lines to homes, businesses, and churches, making tap water unsafe to drink. Muddied by a divisive political environment, little progress seems to have been made to resolve the issue. Local Church of God pastors are now shedding some light on the problem, offering insights underemphasized by the media, prayers we can pray, and things we can do to help. Continue reading

Headlines in Perspective: European Refugee Crisis

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By Carl Stagner

Millions of innocent people are displaced in what has been called the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. Homes are broken and families are being torn apart as a result of civil war in Syria that has lingered on into its fifth year. Many caught in the middle have crossed the Syrian border into neighboring countries and beyond, including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and parts of Eastern Europe. Millions more, stuck within the Syrian border, have been left homeless and hopeless. Instead of simply putting a Band-Aid on the escalating refugee crisis, the Church of God is seeking long-term, holistic approaches. Ken Oldham, pastor for Global Strategy to Egypt, cuts through the confusion to the heart of the matter. Continue reading

New Youth Group Study Answers World Crisis

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Turbulence around the globe can be especially troubling for teenagers, who wonder what the future holds for them. Terrorist attacks, troop deployments, economic downturns, and street violence could change their lives in the coming years, and some teens must deal with these troubles right now.

Surrounded by Trouble is a new thirteen-week elective study published by Warner Press to help teens answer these challenges with faith and hope. Written for middle-school and high-school students, the undated study can be used in groups of any size. Continue reading