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(RNS) —  The suicide rate is on the rise, contributing to a drop in life expectancy. In the midst of the shock and pain that often attends such unexpected deaths, it's crucial that clergy and congregants reach out to those left behind, offering a message of grace and hope rather than one of rejection and condemnation

(RNS) — When 61% of Americans have seen at least one "Harry Potter" film and just 45% of us can name all four Gospels, it's no stretch to say that Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff are better known in American society than Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

“Church can no longer simply be an experience to be passively consumed; rather, we are called into the participatory life of a community," wrote C. Christopher Smith in “Reading for the Common Good.” "Reading is a vital practice for helping our churches navigate this shift.”

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  • 65. Paul Msiza

    Listen to 65. Paul Msiza Paul Msiza, president of the Baptist World Alliance, talks with Word&Way Editor & President Brian Kaylor during a BWA meeting. He reflects on his time leading the BWA and some of the countries he has visited. He also talks about growing up in Apartheid in South Africa. (This episode is sponsored in part by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.)

  • 64. Bob Terry

    Listen to 64. Bob Terry Bob Terry, former Word&Way Editor & longtime Baptist journalist, talks with Word&Way Editor & President Brian Kaylor during a meeting of the Baptist World Alliance. He reflects on his time at Word&Way and what he learned over 50 years as a Baptist journalist. He also talks about what he thinks should unite Baptists. (This episode is sponsored in…

  • 63. Rachel Conway-Doel

    Listen to 63. Rachel Conway-Doel Rachel Conway-Doel, facilitator of the Baptist Forum for Aid and Development, talks with Word&Way Editor & President Brian Kaylor during a meeting of the Baptist World Alliance. She discusses how global Baptists are working together in the aftermath of natural disasters. She also explains the different phases of aid and development work. You can support the Baptist efforts…

  • 62. Jules Casseus

    Listen to 62. Jules Casseus Jules Casseus, former president of North Haiti Christian University, talks with Word&Way Editor & President Brian Kaylor during a meeting of the Baptist World Alliance. He discusses life in Haiti and the work of NHCU. He also talks about the importance of a holistic gospel and social Christian ethics.  (This episode is sponsored in part by  Churchnet and the…

Baptist

FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA -  On Tuesday (Apr. 23) Rev. Dr. Denton Lotz, General Secretary Emeritus of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), died at his home in Forestdale, Mass., at the age of 80. 

CINCINNATI (BP) -- Prayers for William Burton, a Little Leaguer who wasn't given much chance to live after a cardiac arrest at practice, are coming from everywhere. He is now seen as a miracle -- and maybe even a little bit of a celebrity -- because of his amazing recovery thus far.

In April, Word&Way received 21 awards — including ones for top overall local/regional magazine and top overall podcast — from three religious communication organizations honoring excellence in religious journalism in 2018.

Nation

WASHINGTON (RNS) — White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney declared at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on Tuesday (April 23) that faith drives the Trump administration’s policy proposals.

(RNS) — State Sen. Charles Perry recently stood on the floor of the Texas Senate in Austin defending a bill that would let state license holders assert their religious beliefs when providing — or denying — certain services.

LINCOLN, Neb. (RNS) — In the days following major midwestern floods this spring, people of faith prayed for their neighbors and got busy lending a hand. They also turned to their beliefs to make sense of the disaster.

World

(The Conversation) — Sri Lanka’s Christians - about 7 percent of the country's total population - have a long history that reflects the dynamics of colonialism as well as present-day ethnic and religious tensions.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — At least 207 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in eight bomb blasts that rocked churches and luxury hotels in or near Sri Lanka's capital on Easter Sunday.

According to a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report, more than three-quarters of pre-primary-age children are not enrolled in pre-primary education programs in lower-income nations.

Faith & Culture

(RNS) —  The suicide rate is on the rise, contributing to a drop in life expectancy. In the midst of the shock and pain that often attends such unexpected deaths, it's crucial that clergy and congregants reach out to those left behind, offering a message of grace and hope rather than

(RNS) — The Satanic Temple announced this week that the IRS now recognizes it as a church. As courts wrestle with the First Amendment implications of what is — and isn’t — a religion, scholars who study religion agreed that the term is slippery.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (RNS) — Casa Verde Commons is home to 67 adults, 15 young people, 12 cats, eight dogs, and one lawn mower. It’s not exactly heaven on earth -- but it’s close.

Media & Entertainment

“Church can no longer simply be an experience to be passively consumed; rather, we are called into the participatory life of a community," wrote C. Christopher Smith in “Reading for the Common Good.” "Reading is a vital practice for helping our churches navigate this shift.”

(RNS) — “Amazing Grace,” the documentary about the making of what would become the best-selling live gospel album, spends 87 minutes giving viewers a chance to see the woman known just as Aretha go back to her roots.

MOBILE, Ala. (BP) -- In 47 years, Roger Breland traveled more than 4 million miles across 47 countries, presented over 12,000 concerts and produced 100 albums. His 31 years with TRUTH, among the first widely successful contemporary Christian groups, helped launch the careers of artists such as Avalon and 4Him.

EDITOR’S PICKS

Editorials

As with most theological topics, a wide diversity of opinions exists among Baptists on the nature of hell. In fact, Baptist theologians and preachers — much like church leaders in the first centuries after Jesus — have long been found

Last year, my wife and I saw the famous Leonard da Vinci mural “The Last Supper.” To be honest, I went because it seemed like something we should do while in Milan. But I was truly impressed by the mural.

There’s a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and its dictator “won” an unfair election last year to hold power. But if the recent past in Latin America — and elsewhere — teaches us anything, it’s that military invasions and coups destabilize

Other Opinions

(RNS) — When 61% of Americans have seen at least one "Harry Potter" film and just 45% of us can name all four Gospels, it's no stretch to say that Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff are better known in American society than Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Nobody likes becoming an outsider. We humans are wired to instinctively avoid it. Perhaps this is why there is a growing lack of curiosity about why people hold different beliefs.

Commentary

“If only I had been there when Jesus surprised his disciples after the cross,” we say, “because that would be the ultimate motivation to change the world.” Let's think about that.

Without newspapers and bookstores, the first century populace depended on verbal stories. We have the story of Jesus recorded by four different gospels, each one telling the truth of God’s grace in their own voice, which offers us a broader

It is an American tradition to watch the impressive Macy's Thanksgiving Parade with all those giant balloons, floats, marching bands from across the nation, along with the stars of the show, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Who doesn't like a parade?