2015 Convention: Faith-Based Communications: Connecting Locally, Reaching Globally

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Charter for Compassion offers ideas for the world

RCC is a partner with the Charter for Compassion. Their August newsletter addresses a number of difficult issues in the world and how we can begin to act differently.

No matter where in the world we wake up in the morning of late, we are shocked by deplorable and devastating acts that have been perpetrated; in our community, nation or elsewhere in the world, against defenseless and innocent people. Consider:

  • 219 Nigerian schoolgirls, kidnapped by the militant organization, Boko Haram. It has been reported that Boko Haram has killed thousands and abducted hundreds since it came into being in 2009.
  • A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane, on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, shot down over Ukraine killing all 295 people aboard. Both the Ukrainian government and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region deny any responsibility for downing the aircraft.
  • Opposition groups in Syria have been fighting President Bashar al-Assad for more than three years. More than 191,000 people have been killed in the conflict. 
  • Gaza conflict: the cumulative death toll of Palestinians 1,922, of whom 1,407 are believed to be civilians, including 448 children; 297 of the fatalities are undetermined. Sixty-seven people have died on the Israeli side, including three civilians.
  • Michael Brown is dead. Eric Garner is dead. John Crawford is dead. Ezell Ford is dead. Dante Parker is dead. Five black men dead at the hands of the police in the U.S.
  • The Islamic State (ISIS) has emerged as one of the most powerful jihadist movements in modern history. They control 35,000 square miles of territory across two countries, on which they operate advanced US military equipment seized from the Iraqi army.
  • The UN estimates that 1.2 million Iraqis have been internally displaced – including tens of thousands of Yazidis.
  • American journalist, James Foley, held hostage in Syria, is beheaded.
  • Right now there are about 51.2 million forcibly displaced people in the world. More than half (53%) came from just three countries: Afghanistan (2.56 million), Syria (2.47 million) and Somalia (1.12 million). Fifty percent of the world's refugees are children.
  • There are over 27 million people held in slavery.

Each person responds to this news and incidents in their own way. Feeling numb, in a daze or helpless isn't constructive. Being livid or just plain angry is not the answer. None of these emotions will stop war, or bring peace or justice. Acting compassionately is the place from where we can begin to work.

Read on. This newsletter is a reflective one. Offering some ideas on how we can begin to act differently in the world.

Waking In Oak Creek Documentary Reveals Community’s Inspiring Response After Deadly 2012 Hate Attack at Sikh Temple of Wisconsin

U.S. Department of Justice COPS Office and Not In Our Town announce new film documenting town’s healing after hate crime shooting at Sikh Temple

Not in Our TownOakland, CA — Waking in Oak Creek, a new documentary film about a community working together to overcome tragedy after six worshippers at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin were killed by a white supremacist, has been officially released by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) and Not In Our Town.

The film goes beyond the headline-grabbing violence of one of the most deadly hate crime attacks in recent U.S. history. In the year following the shooting, Oak Creek community members come together to heal, and to address underlying issues of intolerance in their town. Police Lt. Brian Murphy, shot 15 times in the attack, joins the mayor and police chief as they forge new bonds with the Sikh community. Young temple members, still grieving from the tragedy, emerge as leaders, and thousands gather for vigils and a 6K run to honor the victims. Together, a community rocked by hate is awakened and transformed by the Sikh spirit of relentless optimism.

Read more...

Free flow of information is critical in crisis

by Rev. Larry Hollon

Larry Hollon“Fear has gripped the nation.” With those words, the Rev. George Wilson of Liberia summed up the state of his country and described the cost of not allowing information to flow freely in a time of crisis.

Rev. Wilson, who is coordinating The United Methodist Church’s response to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, said in a conference call that fear is preventing people from taking proper steps in dealing with the deadly virus.

Read more on Rev. Larry Hollon's blog, Faith, Media & Culture. Rev. Hollon is a member of RCC and spoke at the RCC 2014 Convention in April.

News from the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture, Inc.

Stewart Hoover with students and colleaguesDr. Stewart Hoover, president of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture, Inc. (ISMRC) conference is pictured here (back row, center, white shirt) with present and former students and colleagues at the 2014 ISMRC Conference, currently meeting in Canterbury, Kent County, England. Dr. Hoover is a past RCC convention speaker.

The International Society for Media, Religion and Culture hosts a conference every other year that brings together those interested in how world religions are represented, discussed, and practiced in and through media, and what difference this makes for our lives.

Read more on the ISMRC Facebook page or see the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture web site for links to reports including Dr. Hoover's presidential address to the conference. Follow #‎ismrc2014‬ on Twitter for live updates.

Resources from the Pew Research Center

The July 17 newsletter from the Pew Research Center includes several helpful articles including:

  • How Americans Feel About Religious Groups
  • How many people of different faiths do you know?
  • As Mideast Violence Continues, a Wide Partisan Gap in Israel-Palestinian Sympathies
  • and more.

Read the full newsletter...

Church youth take shelter, pray for others, as typhoon hits Philippines

RCC President Jay Rollins and long time Nashville Chapter RCC member Steve Horswill-Johnston are in the Philippines for the Global Young People's Convocation, hosted by the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

Participants were awakened in the middle of the night by strong winds and rain. The storm, Typhoon Rammasun, was the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane and prompted the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people in the region, according to news reports.

The Rev. Steve Horswill-Johnston, executive director for communications at the General Board of Discipleship, captured the video of the immediate aftermath of Typhoon Rammasun and its impact on the more than 300 youth, young adults and leaders at the Convocation. Everyone is safe and there have been no injuries.

See video and read full story...

RCC members of United Methodist Communications staff invite you to The Game Changers Summit

Communications Technology is making the world smaller and helping to improve lives.

United Methodist Communications is hosting a conference focused on how you can use these emerging technologies to transform lives in remote regions of the world.

As religion communicators, you understand the power of words to foster abundant life. The channels for sharing life-giving and lifesaving messages have been limited for much of the world, but things are changing with the arrival of mobile phones – now accessible by over 80% of the world. With the proper messaging, these devices can improve the quality in all walks-of-life – from education to healthcare, job skills and more.

Read more...

Faith-Based Network TV Programs

"Modern Masters Of Religion," an interfaith special, set for Sunday, June 29 on CBS

"A New Calling: Spiritual Second Careers," an interfaith special on CBS

Building a Basilica: A Documentary

Living in the Shadows: Religion's Response to Human Trafficking

Journey Into Action: A Call To Care to air on NBC

World Religions: Tibetan Buddhism, Christian Science, and Jainism, An Interfaith Special, available online

Public television launches Sacred, a global crowd-sourced documentary depicting one year of spiritual and religious life on earth

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly

Recent Headlines

The Challenges and Opportunities of Interfaith Peacebuilding

Funding for the Interfaith Movement

Communication rights vital to post-2015 development

Winkler speaks on the importance of faith voices in larger conversations

Getting the story out is key element of faith-based disaster response

2014 Convention News

CBS News, Religion News Service Combine for 7 Wilbur Awards

GBC Leader Hosts Prestigious Wilbur Awards

Key to Communicating across Faith Lines is Friendship and Dialogue

Communicating Faith in the 21st Century — It's all about relationships!

6 Tips to Prepare for Handling a Crisis in your Congregation

The Internet and the Underground Railroad: Dr. Sybril Bennett shares seven elements of innovation

World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) Congratulates RCC on its 85th Anniversary

Buckner, "Presbyterians Today" big winners at RCC's DeRose-Hinkhouse Awards

Getting Past Excuses: Using Strategic Planning for Rapid Website Redesign

Workshop Participants Learn Benefits, Process of Achieving APR Public Relations Credential

Convention Kicks Off with Film Screening, Discussion on Change in a Rural Community

2015 Convention to be held in Washington, D.C., April 9-11

Religion Communicators Council Marks 85 Years at Annual Convention

CBS wins 4 Wilbur Awards


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