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.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015Sanford, 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.
Monday, April 27, 2015Central 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.
Friday, April 24, 2015Activists 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.
Friday, April 17, 2015Interfaith 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.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015Christian Leaders Intensify Campaign against Mideast Persecution
80 leaders sign letter. Pope Francis critical of weak response to ‘unacceptable crimes.’
Monday, April 6, 2015What 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.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015Legalizing 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.
Monday, December 29, 2014OP 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…
Monday, December 1, 2014Pastor ‘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…
Sunday, June 1, 2014Christians 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.
Thursday, May 22, 2014The 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…