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Update Newsletters
17 June 2009 Issue

1. Activist Outreach

2. The CVA’s Growing Internet Presence

3. Reflection on the Lectionary

4. This Week’s Sermon by Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Activist Outreach

Jennifer, who leafleted with Camillo and Carl at the NY Long Island Harvest 09 w/Greg Laurie
on June 13, writes:

This was our first CVA leafleting! Camillo, Carl, and I met in the parking lot shortly after 6 for this event that was due to start at 7. To our surprise, hundreds of people were already in the theater. Halfway through, Jennifer was approached by one security guard who told her we weren't supposed to be leafleting if we weren't with the groups performing at the venue – but after saying that, rather than insist we stop, he went on to express sympathy for our purpose, saying that last week at his own church they were doing this kind of thing, and had a function where they were serving some vegetarian bologna, and he asked for a bunch of the brochures to take back with him to the church! Then he said if anyone gave me any trouble, to tell them he said it was okay for us to be there. What a sweetheart. We handed out our three entire boxes of brochures [900] by 7:30.

2. The CVA’s Growing Internet Presence

The CVA is now at GodTube.com and Facebook.com.

Our URL on GodTube is http://connect.tangle.com/christianveg  and on Facebook people can search for “Christian Vegetarian Association.”

3. Reflection on the Lectionary

June 21
Job 38:1-11

In this passage, God answers Job’s demand for an explanation for Job’s suffering. God, in challenging Job’s right to question God’s judgment, asks Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” God then describes the other wonders of creation for which God presumably deserves credit. Some might find God’s response to Job unsatisfactory. Is it?

God has allowed Job, a righteous man, to suffer grievously. At first glance, it seems that God’s rhetorical questions to Job constitute an inadequate defense of God’s behavior. God’s creating the world does not give God license to treat the world’s inhabitants with cruelty or injustice.

For many of us, God’s creativity inspires awe and wonder. It is this awe and wonder that encourages us to show respect for God’s creation and to participate with God in creating a better world, a world in which everyone lives in peace and harmony (Isaiah 11:6-9). Many people think we should abide by God’s laws to avoid everlasting punishment. But abiding by God’s will out of fear does not generate a desire to help those in need.

Some skeptics might point to the Big Bang and evolution as adequate explanations for the creation of the universe. I don’t reject either theory. However, neither theory explains the spark of life that animates us, nor does either theory explain the existence of subjective, conscious experience. If we attribute the spark of life and consciousness to God, then it is reasonable to believe that God cares about what God has created. And that becomes a basis for compassion, concern, and respect.

This analysis does not appear to account for God’s treatment of Job, because Job had good grounds for claiming that he was treated unjustly. Jack Miles argues in God: a Biography that God changed after interacting with Job. God, who permitted Satan to afflict Job, would acknowledge his obligation to act justly, and indeed he restored Job’s health, wealth, and family. This view allows reconciliation between the evident mistreatment of Job and a conviction that the God to whom we pray is a benevolent deity.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

4. This Week’s Sermon by Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

The Ability of Righteousness
http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s24jun90.html .

Your question and comments are welcome

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