Relgion News Service offers this Q&A with Joni Eareckson Tada:
Disability advocate Joni Eareckson Tada, long known as an evangelical icon and a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic who paints with a brush between her teeth, has faced a range of challenges since a diving accident left her paralyzed in 1967.
Now sheâ€™s facing another: breast cancer.
Tada, who turns 61 on Oct. 15, is undergoing chemotherapy and recently completed a new book, â€œA Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and Godâ€™s Sovereignty.â€ Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.
Q: You have gone through a number of medical challengesâ€”quadriplegia, chronic pain, and now breast cancer. What are some basic lessons you have learned about suffering?
A: Itâ€™s good not to simply resign yourself to it. Itâ€™s also good not to submit or yield to it with its overtones of `Oh, poor me. I give up. I give inâ€ and not even coping or adjusting.
Ballet Magnificat! tells the story of the Israelitesâ€™ deliverance from bondage in Egypt through dance in their production of â€œDeliver Us!â€ It also offers a â€œglimpse of another deliverer: Jesus Christ.â€
The performance is 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at Bethel Church, 2702 30th Ave. S. in Fargo. Tickets are $10. Children 5 and under are admitted free.
“What we have here is a classic case of schism â€” a formal division or separation in the Christian church …
“So now the NALC becomes, in the eyes of this magazine, one more Lutheran denomination. Just as the staff follows major events in the life of the LCMS, the same will be true with the NALC. The Lutheran won’t give it any special coverage just because of its heritage. This group, like Elvis, has left the building.”
The 40 Days for Life anti-abortion campaign began yesterday (Wednesday). The North Dakota part of that campaign includes a 40-day, non-stop prayer vigil at the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo. Here’s an expert from the Forum’s story on the first day of the protest:
“JL Beers serves burgers and brews next door.
“Cars roll past it down First Avenue North.
“And everyday life swirls around the Red River Womenâ€™s Clinic in downtown Fargo as if unaware of the profound ideological collision happening on the sidewalk.
“As they do most days of the year, protesters gathered outside North Dakotaâ€™s only abortion facility on Wednesday. But the morningâ€™s collection of about 100 people marked the first in a 40-day, nonstop prayer vigil that is part of the international 40 Days for Life campaign against abortion.”
Imam Sharip-Hashim Hassan leads prayer Monday in Fargoâ€™s Islamic Center.
From a story in today’s Forum:
As passionate voices continue to wrangle over the planned mosque near the site where the World Trade Center towers fell, Muslims in Fargo-Moorhead are contemplating an expansion of their own in a more serene setting.
Friday gatherings at the Fargo mosque are already crowded, said Ahmer Qarni, who has twice served as president of the mosque. But the larger mosque and community center facilities theyâ€™d like to have will have to wait.
“Three pastors from the Twin Cities who are lesbians in committed relationships were embraced Saturday as Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastors. The Reverends Anita Hill, Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart were inducted during a service presided over by St. Paul Bishop Peter Rogness at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of the Redeemer,” the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.
In 2009, the ELCA voted at its biannual Churchwide AssemblyÂ to allow individuals in committed same-gender relationships to serve in the clergy. Hundreds of congregations in the ELCA have explored the possibility of exiting the denominations in the wakeÂ of theÂ assembly.Â The ELCA has at more than 10,0o0 congregations.
From www.bloomberg.com (David Cheskin - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
In his current visit to Britian Pope Benedict XVI criticized the Catholic Church for its response to sexual abuse by priests. He said it had not been â€œsufficiently vigilantâ€ or â€œsufficiently swift and decisive.â€
The New York Times reports: “Asked how the church could restore the faith of those shaken by the revelations of widespread priestly abuse, the pope said: ‘The first interest is the victims’ and the church needed to determine ‘how can we repair, what can we do to help them to overcome the trauma, to re-find their lives.’ He also said that priests who are guilty of abuse had a ‘sickness’ and needed to be kept away from children.”
Pope Benedict arrived in Britain today for a four-day stay. It’s the first Papal visit to Britain since 1982 when Pope John Paul II visited.
The Pentagon’s press secretary says that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called Florida pastor Terry Jones and “urged the Pastor not to proceed with it,” NPR reports.
Press secretary Geoff Morrell released the following in a statement: “Secretary Gates reached out to Pastor Jones this afternoon. They had a very brief phone conversation during which the Secretary expressed his grave concern that going forward with the Quran burning would put at risk the lives of our forces around the world, especially those in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he urged the Pastor not to proceed with it.”
Jones was spearheading a protest in which copies of the Quran, Islam’s holiest text, would have been burned on Sept. 11. He has since canceled that protest.