Weekly Newsletter - December 11, 2014
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. We welcome people to subscribe to All-Creatures.org’s weekly newsletter, which features news and views related to animal issues. Here’s a listing: All-Creatures.org weekly Newsletters.
  2. Essay: John 3:16 “Eternal Life,” part 3
  3. The Next Issue of “Peaceable Table” Is Online
  4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

Please Be a CVA Sustainer!
 
We don’t charge for membership, but our ministry does have expenses for which donations are essential. To become a CVA Sustainer or to renew your Sustaining membership, please visit CVA Books, and donations are at the bottom of the page. All donations are tax-deductible. 


1. We welcome people to subscribe to All-Creatures.org’s weekly newsletter, which features news and views related to animal issues. Here’s a listing: All-Creatures.org weekly Newsletters. Here’s a link to subscribe.


2. Essay: John 3:16 “Eternal Life,” part 3
 
Last week, I discussed how having a sense of connection to others might be a means by which we gain a sense of immortality, which can relieve our natural fear of death. As social creatures, we naturally enjoy the company of other humans and nonhuman beings. Such relationships, though often rewarding, don’t generally give us a sense of immortality. We need relationships that include a sense of continuity that transcends normal boundaries of time and space.
 
Religious faith can help provide this. If we regard God as eternal – that is, not bound by time or space – then aligning ourselves with God can provide a sense of immortality. Though God’s nature is shrouded in mystery, we get glimpses of the divine through creativity in the universe. I think it is reasonable to believe that the Creator who went to all the trouble of generating Creation would then care about Creation. Consequently if we direct our lives toward serving Creation we can reasonably believe that we are serving the Creator.
 
This, I think, is what faith is most fundamentally about. It is a conviction that, in a universe that sometimes seems impartial and meaningless, we can find meaning and purpose by engaging in constructive, creative activities that make living more worthwhile for those around us. To the degree that we strive to be positive presences in the lives of others, we can feel connected to the universe and, by extension, to God. To the degree that we are party to violence, cruelty, and injustice toward any being, we separate ourselves from God. So, while many people see plant-based eating as a “sacrifice,” in truth it is liberating and joyful.
 
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.


3. The Next Issue of “Peaceable Table” Is Online
 
Happy Holydays from Quaker Animal Kinship!
 
Contents include:
 
*  The Editor’s Corner Essay, "Where God was Homeless," about refugees fleeing deadly violence, compares people's responses in three situations: the undocumented children and parents crossing into the US from Central America, animals escaping from slaughterhells or trucks en route to them, and the Christmas/Epiphany story of the child Jesus and his parents fleeing from Herod's killers.
 
*  In a NewsNote, we read that bird 'flu has broken out in three places in Europe. The strain was not one of the deadly ones, at least not yet, but authorities reacted with the usual, sad, kill-all policy.
 
*  Featured in the My Pilgrimage column is Friend Theodore Schmidkonz, who always loved animals from his childhood on, and when in 1975 he first learned about the vegetarian lifestyle at an English restaurant called "The Gentle Ghost," was eager to give it a try.
 
* The December Recipe is for a glaze-topped lentil loaf that you will relish for your Christmas or New Year's dinner, or at any other time.
 
* Reviewed in this issue is a new book by Jennifer Holland which celebrates animals who have saved lives or done other extraordinary deeds.

To read this issue, go here.
 
Note: My new book Taking the Adventure:  Faith and Our Kinship With Animals, offered at the one-third price of $9.00 plus $2.00 shipping, is still available at that price. After the New Year it will be half-price, $13.50 plus $3.00 shipping to better cover our expenses. All moneys go to Quaker Animal Kinship. Use PayPal or send check (made out to Quaker Animal Kinship) to Robert Ellwood, Treasurer, 14 Krotona Hill, Ojai, CA 93023.
 
Peace on earth, good will to all beings!  
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor


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

Preparing the Way for Jesus’ Second Coming


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