Simple Sermons. "Stick to one thought, and then point to what is
beyond our understanding; point to the other dimension." This is the advice of
85-year-old Catholic nun Isa Vermehren, who was awarded a top German preaching prize in
Double Shot. Lutheran World Relief is challenging all Lutherans to
double their purchase of 100 percent fair trade coffee in 2004. Farmers earn around 50
cents a pound for conventional coffee, said project manager Brenda Meier, but fair trade
coffee earns them two-and-a-half times that amount.
Ecumenical Acumen. The World Council of Churches elected its
first African general secretary, Rev. Samuel Kobia, a Methodist pastor from Kenya.
"If you want to walk fast, walk alone," replied Kobia to his appointment,
"but if you want to go far, walk together with others."
Spending Watch. The "Publish What You Pay" campaign has
formed an international coalition of more than 160 civil society groups appealing for
mandatory disclosure of payments to and transactions with governments by multinational
resource companies. By increasing transparency, they hope to increase citizens
ability to hold governments accountable for revenue sources.
Data Base. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity is now open
at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. The school also released the
World Christian Database, a searchable online version of the World Christian Encyclopedia.