November 2016

Intentional Confession

John Wesley defined sin as a willful transgression against the known law of God. The Church of the Nazarene teaches that if we sin unintentionally or unknowingly, we are not responsible for that sin. Should we still confess it?

Before we tackle that question, let’s note that by discriminating between intentional sin and unintentional sin, Wesley affirmed the Apostle John’s teaching that we do not commit intentional “sin every day in word, thought, and deed” (1 John 5:18).

Hope for a Future

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For five years refugees from Syria and surrounding countries have fled to Lebanon and Jordan. Half are of them are children. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries’ (NCM) Child Sponsorship program steps in through local Nazarene churches to give these children hope.

The precious children who share their stories here are part of NCM. Their names have been changed for their privacy. Note their earnest gratitude for their Nazarene schools. Listen to their words of resilience and hopefulness. These are their words as they speak from their hearts.

RASHA

Women Leaders in the Church

When Paul docked in Samonthrace and reached the city of Philippi, he did as always before: he sought out the Jews in the city. Learning there was no synagogue, he found a group of God-fearing women down by the riverside. Lydia, a merchant woman in the city known as the seller of crimson cloths, and the women of her household met the apostle that day. They received the gospel and were baptized.

Let Love Overflow From Our Hearts

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The year of missionary home assignment ended and my husband and I, along with our four young children, headed back to Israel with heavy suitcases and hearts. It was not just the farewells that made leaving difficult, but we were moving from Nazareth to Jerusalem as soon as we arrived. We didn’t know what was ahead. Earlier that summer of 1990 a ruler named Saddam Hussein began to rant and rave, but that was not unusual. After all, anger and bullying were common place in the global neighborhood where we lived.

A Global Family

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The Church of the Nazarene is a global church. Consequently, every district, local congregation, and member forms a fragment of that global structure. Together more than 2 million Nazarenes all over the world shape who we are as a global body. That is a beautiful thought—and at the same time a frightening one.

It’s beautiful because it reflects in so many ways the kingdom of God and gives us a glimpse of heaven. It’s frightening because here on earth it seems to mainly cause aggravation with the potential for undesirable consequences.

Q&A: The confessional life

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Q: The church teaches the need for confession yet it's often not practiced. Does it matter that we avoid it?

A: A theme runs through many of our conversations: the longing in the hearts of clergy and parishioner alike to be known. Whether we’re talking about studies that show pastors experience isolation and loneliness, or the conversation about how to better connect people with one another, this theme exists.

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