As Baltimore Burns, Christian Leaders Get Ready to Put Out the Fire at Reconciled Church Summit in Orlando

As pockets of East and West Baltimore erupted in flames and riot on Monday night over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray who died on April 19 after suffering serious injury while in police custody, a diverse coalition of Christian leaders from across the country gathered at First Baptist Orlando church in Florida Tuesday to discuss ways in which the church can intervene and prevent these eruptions before they even start.

Sanford, Ocoee Show Complexities in Search for Racial Harmony

Sanford and Ocoee have tried what other cities only talk about: bridging the divide between black and white. In 1999, Ocoee created its West Orange Racial Reconciliation Task Force. In 2012, black and white pastors formed Sanford Pastors Connecting following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Central Florida Pastors Search for Common Ground Between Blacks, Whites

In an Altamonte Springs movie theater, several hundred members of black and white churches gathered together to watch the movie “Selma.” Afterward, pastors led a discussion of the movie. “Most of the blacks wanted to express their feelings about how they felt about it.

Activists Demand Obama Appoint Envoy for Persecuted Middle Eastern Christians

WASHINGTON (RNS) Beheadings, enslavement, kidnappings and rape plague minority religious communities across the Middle East, and it’s time for President Obama to fill a job created to address their plight, a group of prominent evangelicals, scholars and other religious leaders told the White House.

Interfaith Leaders Urge Lawmakers to Expand Medicaid for the Poor

Central Florida faith leaders have signed letters to Florida lawmakers urging the state legislature and Gov. Rick Scott to expand health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of Floridians who can not afford insurance.

Christian Leaders Intensify Campaign against Mideast Persecution

80 leaders sign letter. Pope Francis critical of weak response to ‘unacceptable crimes.’

What the Climate Movement Must Learn From Religion

Last September 40,000 people attended London’s largest ever climate march. This was a big achievement for an issue that struggles to catch people’s attention. After all, as psychologists point out, it is notoriously hard to mobilise people around issues that are invisible, uncertain, set in the future and require them to make sacrifices.

How Pastor Joel Hunter helps his congregation engage with Creation Care

Starting with Scripture, Inspiring with Solutions

Joel Hunter joins other faith leaders against terrorism Read more…

Raising awareness for child sex trafficking in Orange County Read more…

For pastors, march to racial harmony led pair to ‘Selma’ Read more…

Legalizing Gay Marriage: How Should Christians Respond?

How should Christians respond to the legalization of gay marriage in Florida and across the country? Dr. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, talks to WKMG 6 Orlando.

Pastors hope film will rekindle racial reconciliation in Sanford Read more…

Oh come all ye faithful? Read more…

OP ED: “Working together, we can find real solutions for the homeless”


“Home for the holidays?” As many of us take that option for granted, there are thousands among us for whom a home is only a dream. Yet, I take heart in our community’s new robust commitment to help the homeless across our region.

I’m excited: In almost 30 years as a spiritual leader of Northland Church and as an involved citizen in Central Florida, this is the highest level of focus and passion to help the homeless across this region that I have ever seen. As a board member of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, and a participant in CFCH’s recent trip to Houston, I am seeing firsthand Read more…

Court Stops Execution of Mentally Ill Man Defended by Many Evangelicals

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Pastor ‘Boldly’ Opposes Execution

That Scott Panetti killed his in-laws with a hunting rifle is indisputable. So is the fact that Texas plans next month to execute the man with a lengthy history of schizophrenia who defended himself at his 1995 trial dressed in cowboy togs and summoned John F. Kennedy and Jesus Christ to testify.

Joel Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, joined over 50 evangelical leaders who signed a letter to Texas Gov. Rick Perry decrying Panetti’s execution. In an email interview, Hunter told the Editorial Board why he got involved. Read more…

Guest column: Evangelical clergy say addressing climate change is pro-life

Guest column: Evangelical clergy say addressing climate change is pro-life
Posted: October 13, 2014 – 11:18am
JView this story on the All-Access Members site
For us, being pro-life includes not only defending our unborn children but also the biblical mandate to care for all life.
While the threats may be different, the injunction to protect life is the same.
We are called to protect this seamless garment of life.
Toxins and other pollutants foul our water, air and soil, impacting the purity of life God intends.
Children are especially vulnerable to many of these pollutants because their small bodies are still developing.
A few years ago, pro-life evangelicals spoke out on the impact of mercury on the unborn.
One in six children in the U.S. was born with too high levels of mercury in their blood.
Because of the efforts of pro-life evangelicals, the United States is taking a leadership role in reducing the impact of mercury on the unborn.
Another important issue is water.
As a recent USA Today op-ed put it, if you care about life, pay attention to what’s happening with water.
We believe climate change to be a profound pro-life issue.
And Florida is ground zero when it comes to climate change.
Cities across the state are already spending millions in taxpayer dollars to install new sea level pumps, bolster sea walls and protect from salt water intrusion.
While it is good to respond to current challenges, it is even more cost effective to spend funds ahead of time to prepare for present changes in the climate, including extreme weather events.
Let’s upgrade Florida’s water pumps and building codes today before we have to clean up a bigger mess tomorrow.
Given the dollars already being spent and the scale of the cost, if you care about taxpayer money and limited government, you should care about climate change.
We are also concerned about worsening air pollution under climate change.
Duval County alone has almost 18,000 cases of pediatric asthma.
That number would be dramatically lower if we were better stewards of God’s world.
When we see the present impacts, our pro-life ethic kicks in.
Let’s empower individuals to take the lead when it comes to entrepreneurial business solutions that create a cleaner environment.
We need to see climate not as an issue about politics or partisanship but as a moral concern.
God has given us all the tools to be good stewards of God’s creation.
It’s time for Florida to come together to come up with a plan to address climate change.
The church in Florida is already starting to take the lead.
As the church starts to take on climate change more directly, it’s also time for clean businesses to take the lead.
The cost of solar has plummeted, yet Florida is still well behind where it could be when it comes to clean energy.
We need to do what we can to transition away from expensive fossil fuels and toward cheaper and healthier technologies.
These actions should include putting together a plan to play Florida’s part in achieving the Clean Power Plan.
And finding conservative solutions to addressing carbon pollution.
Our poor stewardship of God’s world is a reflection of how seriously we take God’s teaching.
That’s why creation-care remains integral to being pro-life.
■ The Rev. Joel Hunter is senior pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, Longwood, FL.
■ The Rev. Mitch Hescox is CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network.
■ Alexei Laushkin is vice president of the Evangelical Environmental Network.

Faith leaders: Exempt religious groups from order barring LGBT bias in hiring

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Pastor Saeed’s Case Raised in Iran

‘We Have Something In Common’ — Obama’s Spiritual Adviser On Iran Trip Read more…

Christians and Climate Change

Dr. Joel C. Hunter talks about the visible impacts of climate change with Dr. Scott C. Hagen, director of CHAMPS Lab and professor at the University of Central Florida, and Rev. Mitch Hescox, president of The Evangelical Environmental Network.

The Cost of Homelessness: Central Florida Commission on Homeless Cost Analysis

Living on the streets isn’t cheap: Each chronically homeless person in Central Florida costs the community roughly $31,000 a year, a new analysis being released Thursday shows.

The price tag covers the salaries of law-enforcement officers to arrest and transport homeless individuals — largely for nonviolent offenses such as trespassing, public intoxication or sleeping in parks — as well as the cost of jail stays, emergency-room visits and hospitalization for medical and psychiatric issues.

In contrast, providing the chronically homeless with permanent housing and case managers to supervise them would run about $10,000 per person per year, saving taxpayers millions of dollars during the next decade, the report concludes. Read more…

Evangelicals in Florida turn to climate change and call on Gov. Scott to act

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Joel Hunter launches multi-faith effort on climate change

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