Tuesday News Briefing: Missions in Chicago, Pope Benedict, the influence of athletes

Meredith Flynn —  February 12, 2013
Nanette Franks (center) and Judy Rinkenberger (right) share information about a women's luncheon with a Chicago resident.

Illinois WMU volunteers share information about a women’s luncheon with a Chicago resident.

THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

A volunteer mission team braved cold temperatures and gusty winds yesterday to bring a little warmth to Chicagoans. Eight women representing churches across the state and Illinois Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) worked in the name of Chicago’s Uptown Baptist Church during the annual trip.

Several in the group stood outside Uptown, handing out gloves, hats scarves and socks. Others worked inside the church’s kitchen to prepare an evening meal for more than 100 people.

“It just really opens my eyes [to needs] that I read about, but don’t ever see in my everyday life,” said Nanette Franks, a Harrisburg resident, as she worked on table decorations for the Valentine’s Day-themed meal. Uptown hosts a free dinner every Monday evening.

Along with the meal and clothing giveaway, the women helped organize Uptown’s clothes closet and hosted a women’s luncheon. They also worked with a neighboring missions organization, and visited local nursing homes and hospitals. For more information about the trip, see the March 4 issue of the Illinois Baptist.

Evangelicals: Pope Benedict has been a ‘friend of life’
(From Baptist Press) As the world reacted to the unexpected news that Pope Benedict XVI would become the first pope in six centuries to resign, evangelicals acknowledged major theological differences while citing Benedict’s commitment to human dignity as a key part of his legacy. Chuck Kelley, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, located in a heavily Catholic region, told Baptist Press that Benedict “is a man worthy of our respect and appreciation.”

“Although there are profound differences in Baptist and Catholic perspectives on faith, we shared a commitment to the sanctity of life and other biblical values.” Read the full story at BPNews.net.

Athletes have more influence than clergy, survey says
A new Barna survey found 64% of Americans think professional athletes have more influence in society than faith leaders, and 61% of respondents favor athletes talking publicly about their faith. Read more at Barna.org.

Frost to lead NAMB’s Midwest region
(From Baptist Press) New York pastor Gary Frost has been named the North American Mission Board’s new Midwest Region vice president. Frost spent 18 years as pastor of Rising Star Baptist Church in Youngstown, Ohio, and plans to locate near Cleveland for his new role.

“I love the Midwest and I came from Ohio, so we are excited about the move. And people in Cleveland face many of the same issues we face in New York. I hope I will be able to draw on those experiences and apply them to reaching new people and helping plant new churches in the Midwest.” Read more at BPNews.net.

Meredith Flynn

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Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.