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Columnist Heather Feeler writes that in this unrelenting season, we need to practice radical self-care. For her, that means binge-watching singing competition shows.

Like his late father, Billy Graham, Franklin Graham is not a marcher. But ahead of the presidential election, the evangelical preacher is borrowing a tactic used by civil rights leaders and Black Lives Matter protesters.

In some electoral districts, houses of worship make up a significant number of all voting places, raising important issues about whether voting in a place of worship influences how people cast their ballots.

Baptist

In his first meeting as leader of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, Rolland Slade called on other committee members on Tuesday (Sept. 22) to be responsible “to shepherd and to protect” survivors of church sex abuse. 

Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear would like Southern Baptists to be less known by the word “Southern,” which references the SBC’s birth as Baptists in the southern part of the U.S. broke away from the national body to support slavery. He prefers the moniker “Great Commission Baptists.”

Last year’s annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention featured controversy over how the MBC treated Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri, during the process of nominating trustees. So, the MBC this year changed its nominating rules ahead of its annual meeting.

Nation

Like his late father, Billy Graham, Franklin Graham is not a marcher. But ahead of the presidential election, the evangelical preacher is borrowing a tactic used by civil rights leaders and Black Lives Matter protesters.

For decades, Catholic voters have been a pivotal swing vote in U.S. presidential elections, with a majority backing the winner nearly every time. How they vote in the battleground states this year could decide the outcome, and the campaigns are targeting them with fervent appeals to vote based on their faith.

Prominent faith leaders are condemning the apprehension of an undocumented immigrant on church grounds by federal officials, arguing the action violates a government policy that discourages agents from raiding “sensitive locations” such as churches, hospitals, and schools.

World

Pope Francis told a group of children with autism and spectrum disorders Monday (Sept. 21) that they are beautiful, unique flowers in the eyes of God. Francis met with members of an Austrian center for autism, Sonnenschein (“Sunshine”), in an audience at the Vatican.

With precision and boundless energy, a team of carpenters used medieval techniques to raise up — by hand — a three-ton oak truss Saturday in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, a replica of the wooden structures that were consumed in the landmark’s devastating April 2019 fire that also toppled its spire.

Pope Francis is giving his blessing to a new Vatican think tank that is seeking to prevent the Mafia and organized crime groups from exploiting the image of the Virgin Mary for their own illicit ends.

Faith & Culture

In some electoral districts, houses of worship make up a significant number of all voting places, raising important issues about whether voting in a place of worship influences how people cast their ballots.

Amid mental health hardships during the pandemic, multiple Christian music artists have homed in on the needs of their communities to release songs that speak directly to those dealing with increased mental health trials and doubts.

People who identify as highly spiritual are more likely to say it’s important to make a difference in their communities and contribute to the greater good, a broad new study on American spirituality finds.

Scriptures in Pictures

Joel 1:18-20, as seen in photos from recent wildfires in the western part of the United States — which is already the largest wildfire season in California’s history.

2 Kings 11, which details the rise of King Joash and the overthrow of the illegitimate Athaliah, as seen in photos from protests in Belarus against authoritarian ruler Alexander Lukashenko.

Isaiah 57:13, as seen in photos of a Confederate monument outside Calcasieu Parish courthouse in Lake Charles, Louisiana, that was knocked down by Hurricane Laura.

Editorials

Editor Brian Kaylor reflects on the claim that preachers or other Christians should stop being so political. Looking at biblical examples, he argues that living out our faith means being political (but that does not mean one must be partisan).

Editor Brian Kaylor considers a common thread between two recent controversies at Baptist schools, and what this can teach us about how we read and interpret the Bible today.

Editor Brian Kaylor argues that too often we miss the political implications of worship because we’ve privatized our religious practices and compartmentalized our faith. But worship is inherently a protest.

W&W Voices

Columnist Heather Feeler writes that in this unrelenting season, we need to practice radical self-care. For her, that means binge-watching singing competition shows.

Columnist Ken Satterfield reflects on how churches could be impacted by the world – in a good way. And perhaps by showing the diversity of the world, churches will be better equipped to go out into that world and minister.

Columnist Wade Paris writes about the courage shown by the biblical character Esther and that of his mother also named Esther.

Other Opinions

Author D.L. Mayfield reflects on her experience of attending an evangelical concert framed as a response to protests against racial injustices.

The 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ voyage to Plymouth will be celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic. But until recently, the more troubling aspects to Plymouth and its founding document, the Mayflower Compact, went ignored.

Sunday marked six months since the U.S. declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency. We are now in the disillusionment phase as numerous psychological studies are showing increased rates of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

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