No one could have predicted how this pandemic would affect each of us. 2020 has been a challenging year for many of us, including nonprofits. Renewed Heart Ministries continues to rely on your donations to exist and continue being a voice for renewal and change. Renewed Heart Ministries provides resources and current social analysis that assists people in finding the intersection between their faith and societal justice in its many varied expressions.
Rev. Dr. Emily Townes says, “When you start with an understanding that God loves everyone, justice isn’t very far behind.” (Journey to Liberation: The Legacy of Womanist Theology)
Intersections between faith and justice are needed right now more than ever. We are passionate about engaging the relationship of faith, love, compassion, and justice, as well as offering resources that renew hope and inspire action as we work together toward shaping our world into a compassionate, just, and safe home for all.
If you have gained a blessing from RHM’s work this year, help us continue our work by making a year-end gift as 2020 comes to a close. 100% of your donation to Renewed Heart Ministries is tax-deductible with annual receipts being distributed each January.
Thank you for believing in the mission and work of Renewed Heart Ministries.
Your support is deeply appreciated.
December’s Recommended Reading from RHM
Current biblical scholarship tends to treat the nativity narratives as having little historical basis and to see in them illustrations of the particular theologies of Matthew and Luke.
Nonbiblical scholarship sees in these narratives only an adaptation of traditional folklore themes relating to the birth of the hero. This leaves the ordinary Christian in a vacuum that the mass media and other commercial interests are only too anxious to fill. ‘Liberating Christmas’ shows that, regardless of whether the nativity narratives are rooted in actual historical situations, they do portray a particular network of social-political relationships. Thus Caesar ruled and taxed peoples, such as the Jews, through client-kings, such as Herod, who ruled with sharply repressive violence. But the narratives also celebrate the birth of a messiah who will finally liberate his people even though he and his family are driven into exile.
The Christmas stories as reappraised by this book have, therefore, important political implications, implications not only about first-century Palestine but about contemporary history as well. These latter implications are brought out by an extensive analysis of the political-economic domination exercised in much of Latin America by the United States, domination maintained by “client dictators who use death squads (paralleling Herod’s slaughter of innocents) to terrorize and control the exploited peasants while driving members of basic Christian communities into exile. ‘Liberating Christmas’ has as much to say about the ‘Pax Americana’ as the original nativity narratives had to say about the ‘Pax Romana’ The story of Jesus is as important to ordinary readers today as it was when it was first told centuries ago.
Remember, you don’t have to order this book through amazon.com, but if you do, please consider using Amazon Smile (smile.amazon.com) and selecting Renewed Heart Ministries as your designated charity for a portion of your purchase to be donated to RHM at no additional cost to you.
If we are going to wrest these two narratives from centuries of purely religious and otherworldly interpretations, we must discover their historical context. Once we see that context, we cannot unsee it. Read more
If we are to rediscover the original subversive power of the birth narratives of Jesus and rightly apply those stories to our lives today, we must read them in the context of the lives and hopes of people in 1st Century Galilee and Judea who daily faced dehumanizing and economically crushing oppression. Read more
This year, as many of us are facing our own harsh realities, there may have never been a more appropriate time to consider the concrete liberation in the birth narratives of the Advent season. Read more
One possible interpretation of these stories is to understand them as drawing attention to those whom the community has chosen to expel: the scapegoats, the sacrificed, the expelled, but who themselves are innocent. Read more
Because the story seeks the root causes of why people are marginalized, there is no case that does not also raise a larger question of social oppression. Read more
Mark’s Jesus narrative offers a Jesus who has come not to destroy us or who we are but to liberate us from the self-hatred and the internalized low self-estimation our communities of origin have given us because of who we are. This Jesus has come to liberate us from our own captivity to believing that we are “less than” others simply because we may be different from those at the top of the privilege structures in our society. Read more
Find more articles at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/socialjesus/
Weekly Zoom HeartGroup on Wednesday Nights
Each Wednesday evening, Glendale City Church will be hosting a Zoom-HeartGroup led by Herb Montgomery. Our discussion each week will focus on the content in Renewed Heart Ministries’ weekly eSight articles and the Jesus For Everyone podcast published each Friday. The time of each Zoom session will be on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. Pacific/10:00 p.m. Eastern.
For more information and for the link to participate each week, contact RHM here.
A Special Message to Our HeartGroups
We are continuing to ask all HeartGroups not to meet together physically at this time. Please stay virtually connected and to practice physical distancing. You can still be there for each other to help ease anxiety and fears. When you do go out, please maintain a six-foot distance with others, continue to wear a mask, and wash your hands often to keep the spread of the virus at bay.
This is also a time where we can practice the resource-sharing and mutual aid found in the gospels. Make sure the others in your group have what they need. We are more interconnected than we realize, as this has proven. And we need each other during this time.
How many ways can you take care of others while we are physically apart?
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