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the world’s total food production— are lost or wasted every year, accord- ing to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. In the U.S., 30 percent of all food is thrown away each year.

Anti-gay ministry folds After the closing of Exodus Inter- national, a Christian ministry that claimed to offer a “cure” for homo- sexuality, the National Religious Leadership Roundtable offered a multifaceted response. It said chil- dren of all gender and sexual identi- ties are welcome in God’s kingdom, and it called for reparative and repen- tant action from those formerly asso- ciated with Exodus International. Alan Chambers, former leader of Exodus, did offer an apology. While some affiliates have set up umbrella groups to support gay conversion therapy, several of Exodus’ former leaders plan a new website (www.

Finnish financial strain Finland’s economic slump is put- ting strain on the 4.2-million mem- ber Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. According to Finnish news service Yle Uutiset, the church has abandoned more than 300 proper- ties and more than 41,000 people left the church in the last year. A drop in revenue has put church leaders in the position of having to consider



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10 The Lutheran •

job cuts. Church financial planner Pasi Perander told Yle Uutiset that Finnish Lutherans have never before experienced a financial crisis of this magnitude.

Discussion, not division As the 500th anniversary of the begin- ning of the Reformation approaches, the joint Lutheran-Roman Catholic commemorations grapple with the concepts of division in the church, differences in belief and practice, and progress made through continued dialogue between the two churches. Proposals reflect on Martin Luther’s call for reform, the points addressed by the Council of Trent, and the Sec- ond Vatican Council. The Lutheran- Roman Catholic Commission on Unity’s document “From Conflict to Communion” emphasizes that the anniversary is not a celebration of division in the church, but rather an opportunity for communication.

‘Run, fight or hide’

For the first time, the federal govern- ment has issued guidelines for houses of worship that are confronted with a homicidal gunman. Vice President Joe Biden released the material six months after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., advising adults in congregations to fight back—as a last resort—in a bid to stop the shooter. The federal doctrine is “run, fight or

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Often Christians behave as if they were going to a funeral pro- cession rather than to praise God, no?

Pope Francis, in his daily homily delivered at the Vatican guesthouse where he lives.

hide.” Though shootings at houses of worship are rare, they can make inviting targets for shooters—par- ticularly disturbed individuals—who are looking for a highly visible target to settle a grudge or make a political statement.

Mr. Rogers revisited In honor of the 10th anniversary of Presbyterian minister and children’s television host Fred Rogers’ death, the Pittsburgh Theological Semi- nary crafted its 2013 summer lead- ership conference around his life and work. The conference explored the complicated topic of child spiri- tuality, which Rogers addressed in his show by cultivating the virtues of neighborliness, hospitality and respect for others. James Davison, continuing education director at the seminary, said Rogers’ strength was in his “unique ideas of how to treat others from his biblical religious background.”

Gay marriage ‘inevitable’

About 72 percent of Americans say legal recognition of same-sex marriage is “inevitable,” according to a Pew Research Center survey released in June. Of those who support same-sex marriage, 85 percent say it is inevita- ble; 59 percent of opponents also say it’s inevitable. Just more than half (51 percent) of Americans favor allowing same-sex couples to marry legally, the report said. About 87 percent of

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