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American Heritage Girls is a Christ-centered character and leadership development program for girls 5 to 18 years of age. AHG is dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country.
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Recognized for stewarding a breakthrough peace agreement with Eritrea with a “revivalist” spirit, Abiy Ahmed also helped end a historic church schism among the Orthodox.Less than two years since taking office, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has helped Ethiopia achieve the kind of peace and reconciliation once deemed impossible, including resolving a border conflict with its East African neighbor Eritrea.Today, his efforts earned him the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.Though some Ethiopians have questioned whether the recognition has come too soon, the Nobel Committee stated, “… even if much work remains, Abiy Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future.”At 43 years old, Ahmed is Africa’s youngest leader. He made quick and deliberate efforts toward reform when he took office in April 2018.Ahmed signed a peace accord with President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea last year, after decades of political stalemate and two years of violence that cost 80,000 lives along the border. The two countries have grown increasingly open to one another, with resumed air travel and telecommunications, the New York Times reported.The prize announcement commended his leadership, saying: He spent his first 100 days as Prime Minister lifting the country’s state of emergency, granting amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, discontinuing media censorship, legalizing outlawed opposition groups, dismissing military and civilian leaders who were suspected of corruption, and significantly increasing the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life. He has also pledged to strengthen democracy by holding free and fair elections.As CT previously reported, Ahmed also helped reconcile two branches of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which split for political reasons in 1991. Orthodox represent the largest religious group in the ...Continue reading...
We've come a long way from a plea for marriage equality.Watching the Equality Town Hall on CNN yesterday was both instructive and disconcerting.It was instructive because I really did want to see where we were as a nation—and how divided we might be on questions related to religious liberty, the LGBTQ+ community, and the need for us to all live together in one democracy.I was struck by the fact the debate was regularly interrupted by protestors. What we all need to acknowledge is that many people who identify as LGBTQ+ have felt marginalized and discriminated against, and have seen violence as a part of their reality.That should leave us all with a deeper sense of compassion and concern. People spoke of their lives being at stake; as Christians, we should be the first ones to hear and honor their anthem of desiring safety and protection.Furthermore, I left surprised at the level of change that is taking place in the Democratic Party— this is not President Obama’s party anymore. Barack Obama actually broke his campaign promise and allowed faith based partners to, well, keep their faith central throughout their ministries, even when partnering with the government. His (limited) accomodations to people of faith simply would be far from the converstaions last night.We’ve come a long way in a short time.And, because of that, I left with religious liberty concerns.Religious LibertyI’m concerned with the clear and complete disregard around religious liberty. This term was used a few times, often with the phrase “so called” tacked on. Candidates would say they affirm religious liberty, but then describe exactly how they did not.Elizabeth Warren was asked a revealing question: How would she respond if an "old fashioned" voter told her ...Continue reading...
Recognized for stewarding a breakthrough peace agreement with Eritrea with a “revivalist” spirit, Abiy Ahmed also helped end a historic church schism among the Orthodox.Less than two years since taking office, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has helped Ethiopia achieve the kind of peace and reconciliation once deemed impossible, including resolving a border conflict with its East African neighbor Eritrea.Today, his efforts earned him the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.Though some Ethiopians have questioned whether the recognition has come too soon, the Nobel Committee stated, “… even if much work remains, Abiy Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future.”At 43 years old, Ahmed is Africa’s youngest leader. He made quick and deliberate efforts toward reform when he took office in April 2018.Ahmed signed a peace accord with President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea last year, after decades of political stalemate and two years of violence that cost 80,000 lives along the border. The two countries have grown increasingly open to one another, with resumed air travel and telecommunications, the New York Times reported.The prize announcement commended his leadership, saying: He spent his first 100 days as Prime Minister lifting the country’s state of emergency, granting amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, discontinuing media censorship, legalizing outlawed opposition groups, dismissing military and civilian leaders who were suspected of corruption, and significantly increasing the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life. He has also pledged to strengthen democracy by holding free and fair elections.As CT previously reported, Ahmed also helped reconcile two branches of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which split for political reasons in 1991. Orthodox represent the largest religious group in the ...Continue reading...
Join us December 6th as we face the hard truths and challenges of pastoral ministry.Less than two years ago I wrote an article on The Problem of Suicide. In it, I stated: Each year, 44,193 Americans die by suicide which, on average, amounts to 121 suicides per day. For many of us, these figures don’t feel too far off. We can picture the faces and remember the names of those in our own communities who’ve taken their own lives.As a young pastor, I too came face to face with the harsh realities of suicide and the pain brought on by watching those I loved experience such deep suffering. Particularly, I remember a man named Jim in our congregation who was struggling with mental illness. For a while, he fought the good fight and did what he could to spend time in prayer and read Psalms to find comfort. Eventually, however, filled with despair, he took his own life. I was devastated. At the time, I was unprepared, idealistic, and largely unsure how to handle the events that had just transpired in the church community I was shepherding. Unfortunately, I think many churches today fit that same description. They are trying to figure out how to help people struggling with mental illnesses and care for loved ones in the aftermath of loss but don’t really know quite what to do.Before and since that time I have written often on mental illness among church leaders in particular, most recently upon the passing of Jarrid Wilson. Jarrid and I were friends. More and more we are hearing about church leaders struggling—in their leadership, in their personal lives, in their understanding of themselves and our world.We are struggling emotionally, spiritually, and physically. This is in no small part due to growing awareness that the demands on pastors and church leaders today are outpacing the self care ...Continue reading...
Dallas County District Court Judge Tammy Kemp is defending her decision to hug former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger and give her a Bible after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the murder of Botham Jean last Wednesday as atheist groups and many in the black community expressed outrage over it.
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