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CVA Weekly Newsletter
May 9, 2012

  1. Activist Feedback
  2. Comment: Suggesting a New Term – Vegcon
  3. Essay: What Might a Distinctly Christian Faith Look Like? Part 1
  4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
  5. The May Peaceable Table

1. Activist Feedback
Karen, who tabled at the Connecticut Vegetarian and Healthy Living Festival in Hartford, CT, writes:
This was an incredibly HUGE success! There were THOUSANDS of attendees over the 2 days. We passed out ALL of the booklets, and sold quite a few items!
Upcoming Activist Opportunities
5/17      WA Tacoma               Joyce Meyers Ministries Conference
5/19      CA San Diego       Women of Faith "One Day" Conference
5/19      SC Myrtle Beach         Beach Blast -Third Day
5/20      CA Van Nuys        TABLE WorldFest 2012
5/25      PA Ephrata              TNT Extreme Event with Disciple
5/25-27   CA Del Mar              Spirit West Coast
5/26      NC Charlotte       JoyFest
5/31-6/2  MN Minneapolis          Joyce Meyers Ministries Conference
6/1       TX Dallas               The Good Life Tour
6/2       MD Upper Marlboro Christian Music Day featuring Sanctus Real-
6/2       NE Omaha           Hip Hope Fest: Hope Center For Kids Event
6/9       NY Syracuse        Women of Faith Conference
6/9       CA Long Beach      Women of Faith Conference
6/14      AL Birmingham      McDonald's Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour 2012
6/14-16   MI Allegan              Big Ticket Festival Christian Music Fest
6/14-16   GA Atlanta              Christian Music Festival
6/16      GA Valdosta        Sanctus Real Christian Rock Concert
6/16      AR Little Rock          Women of Faith Conference
6/16-17   NY Rochester       Rock The Lakes News boys and more!
7/14      MN Minneapolis          TABLE Twin Cities Veg Fest
6/23      IL Hoffman Estates Women of Faith Conference
6/23      NC Greensboro      Women of Faith Conference
6/23      VA Richmond             TABLE Richmond Vegetarian Festival
6/21-24   NC Pittsboro       TABLE Wild Goose Festival

2. Comment: Suggesting a New Term – Vegcon
Being vegan is not about religions, nationalities, ethnic groups, people, family beliefs, traditions, cultures, etc. but what is morally, ethically, and consciously correct. This is why I use the term VEGCON (pronounced veegcon, analogous to vegan). The term comes from the first three letters of VEGetarian and the first three letters of CONscious. This word is the embodiment of vegetarians who don't eat, wear, or use animal products or by-products. This word has a deeper meaning than the word vegan, which makes no sense to me. Vegcon relates to what vegetarians do out of their conscience. If we are conscious and mindful, out conscience will bother us if violate or harm God's beloved animals. If we are ever to evolve as human beings we must become humane beings. We must follow the injunctions of Genesis and go back to the lifestyle of the 'garden of Eden" where it all started and where it must continue.
- David Wachsman 

3. Essay: What Might a Distinctly Christian Faith Look Like? Part 1
Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero with a Thousand Faces discusses the structure of universal myths about heroes found in religions throughout the world. Characteristically, the hero leaves the community, goes into the wilderness, overcomes great obstacles, and then returns to the community with new wisdom. Often, heroes go on to perform miracles and to have their divinity confirmed by being resurrected (in some form) after dying. The biblical story of Jesus’ 40 days in the dessert accords with the classic hero story.
In addition to great wisdom, religious heroes often display great compassion, and their teachings typically involve some variation of the Golden Rule. Contrary to what might be inferred from laissez-faire capitalism, the Golden Rule is not “The one with the gold rules.” Rather, as Katherine Perlo notes in her excellent book Kinship and Killing, doing to others as you would like others to do to you, is a common theme among religions. Similar to other religious leaders, Jesus taught this message, and also similar to other religious leaders he maintained that the way to salvation was to believe certain tenets about God and to abide by certain religious codes of action.
These aspects of Jesus’ story and teachings have inspired many people, but they are not particularly distinctive compared to the stories and teachings of other religions. This is an observation – not a criticism or an endorsement of Christianity. Whether or not a particular religion has distinctive features does not indicate whether or not that religion has truth or merit. Yet, in the common quest to identify ways in which one religion is better than others, people often seek to identify ways in which their religion is distinctive and, by implication, better. In my opinion, one of the principle ways that Christianity is admirable, and possibly quite distinctive, is its rejection of scapegoating.
Next week, I will turn to how Christianity rejects scapegoating and why this is important.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D. 

4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
Lord!!! Where Are You? – A Spiritual Journey from Easter to Pentecost

5. The May Peaceable Table

*  The Editor's Corner Guest Essay by Will Tuttle, "Your Secret Hideaway is Calling," emphasizes that we who work to liberate our animal friends must also care for ourselves by setting aside time to refresh our souls and bodies with beauty in nature. Only thus can we come to love adequately both our animal neighbors and ourselves.

*  A NewsNote sketches the story of a brave half-grown calf who escaped from a slaughterhell and fled through the night streets of Paterson, New Jersey on April 10.  Struck by a police car and then arrested, "Mike" is now safe in a New York sanctuary.

*  Martin Luther King reminds us, in an Unset Gem, that when we fear to do the right thing for a person or animal in trouble, we wound our own souls.

*  In a Letter, Michele Louise Mitchell writes of Lenten fasts and other vegan dietary experiments as a way of sacralizing diet, of making a living offering for the good of others.

*  Readers may be surprised to learn, in a Review of The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker, that human-on-human violence has declined in the world in the last century, especially since 1945.  Attitudes of accepting violence against animals have declined as part of this trend (although numerically, violence against animals has increased).

*  This month's Pioneer is the heroic 18th century prison reformer John Howard, who was a vegetarian all his adult life. Motivated by a deep religious experience in his mid-forties, Howard later embarked on his career of personally investigating and reporting on the hellish prison conditions of his day, both in his native England and across continental Europe. His work led to significant changes.

To read this issue, see: http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue87.html

Toward the Peaceable Kingdom,
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor

Your question and comments are welcome

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