Weekly Newsletter - November 6, 2014
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. CVA’s New Booklet Is Now Available in Spanish
  2. Essay: Action and Faith
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
  4. The November “Peaceable Table” Is Now Online

1. CVA’s New Booklet Is Now Available in Spanish
 
Thanks to the excellent translating work of Lorena Mucke, Compassionate Eating (Alimentación con Compasión) is now available in Spanish. Contact the CVA to view a copy.


2. Essay: Action and Faith

Many people despair about the prospects for humanity. What can any of us do to prevent global warming, resource depletion, and the human conflicts that they will likely spawn? Rather than struggle against seemingly impossible odds, it is tempting to be in denial. It is comforting to think that scientists are “divided” on these concerns, when in fact there is near consensus among scientists who are not sponsored by various industries. Many of us find that focusing on sports, movies, celebrity gossip, and other diversions more attractive than considering the long-term prospects of humanity.
 
I think it is helpful to remember that, as Christians, we are not called to save the world. We are called to serve God. The Bible teaches that one crucial component of serving God involves service to all of God’s creation. We should live as if our actions will have a significant impact, regardless of how doubtful we might be that this is the case. Of course, even if our actions have very limited influence, they can still be very meaningful for those we have helped.
 
As I see it, the issue boils down to one of faith. I don’t think faith is about believing in impossible things. I see faith as involving living as if our actions matter, which is indeed a leap of faith giving that we live in a universe that often looks as if nothing and nobody matters. Our actions might or might not have broad repercussions, but, if we are willing to look closely, we will find that our actions do matter. They certainly matter to those human and nonhuman creations of God who are spared suffering and are permitted to live out rich lives. Therefore, I am convinced that faith involves action. Words are easy and cheap; what really matters is what we do.
 
Next week, I will reflect on John 3:16, which begins, “For God so loved the world…”
 
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.


3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

Peacemaking Children of God Love Unconditionally


4. The November “Peaceable Table” Is Now Online

Go here to view this issue.

Contents include:
 
The brief Editor's Corner guest essay, "Harvest Double-Talk" by Judy Carman, is a reflection on the perverted use of the word "harvest" to refer to killing animals for the table.  Why do some people talk this way?  How should we express real harvest, compassion, and thanksgiving?
 
A short piece inspired by Lorena Mucke contrasts the lives of turkeys in the wild (there are now about a million in the US today) with the existence (hardly life) of those destined for Thanksgiving tables, and reminds us of the reasons to prepare and enjoy a peaceful and abundant feast.
 
We offer two Recipes for a scrumptious Thanksgiving feast (or other dinner):  "Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes," and "Crunchy Nut Casserole."  Both of these dishes will give you additional reasons to pity folks eating a conventional dinner that day.
 
It is a good sign that most people involved in the animal concern and veganism are young, but a vegan diet is equally valuable to middle-aged and older people.  Never Too Late to Go Vegan, by Carol J. Adams, Patti Breitman, and Virginia Messina, eases the way with much information and encouragement, as this Review shows.
 
Go here to view this issue.

Toward the Peaceable Kingdom,
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor

Special News: My book, Taking the Adventure: Faith and Our Kinship With Animals, with a forward by Carol J. Adams, is due out from Wipf & Stock publishers later this month. At 218 pages in length, it collects a number of the essays originally published in PT since 2004 on animals in relation to various areas of human life--questions of God and oneness, of ultimate meaning, of life beyond death, of literature, Christianity, nonviolence, and other matters. It might be the right holiday gift for someone you know, or for yourself. Until the end of the year it is available from Quaker Animal Kinship at (approximately) half price, $9.00, plus $2 shipping. Order from Robert Ellwood, Treasurer, 14 Krotona Street, Ojai, CA 93023.


Previous 2014 Newsletters
See Newsletter Archives