Various JW news articles # 3

by Atlantis 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • Atlantis



    Erin Hladky will file for The News Leader periodic updates on her activities during her mission trip to Mississippi, which will end Dec. 29. Area volunteer starts mission trip to help out victims
    Katrina ravaged some in Miss.
    By Lindsay Wargo

    Erin Hladky, an interpreter at Thomas C. McSwain Elementary School, started her winter break differently than most other staff members.

    Hladky left for Moss Point, Miss., at 2 p.m. Wednesday with 10 other members of the Stuarts Draft congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. The group will be meeting up with other volunteers from around the state.

    Hladky and the others will be repairing and rebuilding homes that were destroyed and damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Their focus will be on fellow Jehovah's Witnesses, but Hladky said the group will be helping others in the neighborhood.

    Hladky said she and the other volunteers, including her father, must pay their own way down to Mississippi. In addition to paying for gas, the group must bring its own tools and supplies.

    Hladky said she was grateful that two teachers at the school gave her a gas card for the trip.

    While in Mississippi, Hladky said thinks she will be staying with a family she has never met. Other volunteers may be staying in campers or in Kingdom Halls.

    "I don't know all of the details yet," she said.

    The trip won't be an entirely new experience to Hladky, who says missions are a regular part of her life.

    "I do this all the time," she said, adding that she does educational volunteer work in the area on a weekly basis and has been to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip. She also has worked on various construction projects throughout the state.

    Originally published December 22, 2005


    2005: A good year for tourism

    By BILL MEDLEY Courier & Press staff writer 464-7519 or [email protected]
    December 22, 2005

    Convention-goers booked more hotel rooms in Evansville this year as sports and military groups flocked to the city, the Evansville Visitors and Convention Bureau said this week.

    In all, the city's hotels recorded 62,015 "room nights" booked this year as a result of conventions, the bureau reported. That was up about 2.7 percent from 2004's record number of 60,371 room nights. Because the increase was within a 1 percent to 3 percent range, the increase is considered "flat" by those in the tourism industry, the bureau said.

    "The results were very stable," said Marilee Fowler, executive director of the bureau. "We were very happy. We knew this would be a hard year to top 2004."

    In 2004, the city recorded a 15 percent increase in room nights from 2003. Those results were driven by a large increase in the number of rooms booked by business and government associations.

    This year, room nights in the associations category were down to 23,674 from 26,346 in 2004. The bureau attributed part of the decline to the loss of the Heartland Dental Association, which "outgrew" Evansville and had to find another host city with a 500-room hotel, the bureau said.

    Several city and state government associations that came to Evansville in 2004 met in other cities this year, cutting into results from that category even further.

    But, rooms booked by sports groups were up in 2005 to 20,820 room nights, compared to 16,976 a year ago. Events that use facilities such as the Goebel Soccer Complex and Swonder Ice Area continued to increase, Fowler said.

    The sports category could continue to grow with the addition of the 2006 Frontier League All-Star Game, to be held at Bosse Field, and the United State's Golf Association Senior Men's Amateur Championship at Victoria National.

    Visits by religious groups were down slightly in 2005, dropping to 16,801 from 17,049 in 2004. The Jehovah's Witnesses, which drew 15,000 people, has agreed to meet in Evansville through 2009.

    Military groups n a new category created with the arrival of the LST 325 - appear to have the most potential for growth, Fowler said. That category increased to 750 room nights in 2005 from zero in 2004.

    "It shows people are taking advantage of a lot of different venues," Fowler said. "It diversifies what we attract to Evansville."

    Fowler said the figures only represented the conventions reported to the bureau. She said there may be other groups meeting in Evansville that do not request the bureau's help in finding a hotel. "There may be some people who are comfortable with a certain hotel," she said. "They will not need the services of the bureau."

    In another measure used by the hotel industry, Smith Travel Research reported that occupancy rates in Evansville through October were even compared to 2004. The Hendersonville, Tenn., firm also reported that revenue per available room (RevPAR) in Evansville increased 3.9 percent this year.

    The bureau expects to have an estimate of tourism spending in the spring, when an economic impact study is completed by Certec, a travel research company.


    Book explores child abduction

    By Teresa Atkerson
    McALESTER, Okla. —

    Bryan McGlothin believes he’s getting a second chance for a happy childhood.

    That’s because he and his wife now have a son, 8 months old. “I’m getting to experience it with him. I have a chance for a happy childhood through him,” he said. “I’m privileged.” Since McGlothin works from home, he gets to be “Mr. Mom.”

    This is exciting for him since McGlothin has very few happy memories of his own childhood.

    He writes about this life in “Have You Seen My Mother?” The book is both heartbreaking and sad — yet it remains a page turner.

    McGlothin admits he hates to ask people if they enjoyed reading it. “Of course if they were intrigued and found themselves wanting to turn the page, then they did enjoy it.

    “Though with the tragedy of the story, I find it difficult asking readers to enjoy Irony, I suppose,” he said.

    McGlothin was a victim of parental abduction when he was two. He was taken by his father at that time and did not find his mother until he was 33.

    He says his father, a Jehovah’s Witness elder, convinced him his mother was “demonized” and wanted nothing to do with him.

    For years, McGlothin believed his mother didn’t care about him.

    As his father told him for years, if she wanted to see her son, wouldn’t she have tried to find him?

    It wasn’t enough that young McGlothin thought his mother didn’t love him. There wasn’t much love in the household where he grew up. His stepmother and father both showered love on the two sisters from his stepmother’s first marriage. He received very little caring or love from anyone.

    The family lived in Texas for years while his grandparents and other extended family lived in Oklahoma. In the book, McGlothin recalls happy times during the summers when he would visit the extended family in Oklahoma.

    Other than that, he did not have a happy childhood.

    It wasn’t until he grew up that McGlothin began a search for his mother. He didn’t know if she was dead or alive but he felt he needed to know either way.

    It wasn’t until he was 33 that he found his mother. It took many tries and a lot of dead leads but he finally found her — in McAlester.

    He learned she hadn’t abandoned him and searched for him for years before eventually giving up. She even tried to commit suicide, which left her with a brain injury. “I have conversations with her,” he says. “Part of the joy is how happy I am making her with her having her son back.”

    But that’s only half the story of the book. McGlothin discovers many lies and betrayals as he tries to learn the truth about what happened during his childhood years.

    The results are bittersweet. He ends up being disfellowshipped from the Witnesses, making him an apostate. That means he has been literally kicked out of that religion.

    As an apostate, Witness members aren’t allowed to talk to or even look at him. And that includes many of his family members, including a daughter from his first marriage.

    “Some people need the structure of the Witnesses,” McGlothin said. “But when it destroys families and lives,” that isn’t right.

    Recently, McGlothin said, “I want people to understand that parental abduction can be just as traumatizing as any other case of abduction.” He says one of his biggest difficulties is the feeling of not coming from somewhere and not having an origin.

    What does help, he says, is the support of his wife and their son. He says he was a “dead man walking” and now he knows “God wants us to be happy and have a good life.”

    Teresa Atkerson writes for the McAlester (Okla.) News-Capital.

    X X X X

    Sidebar --

    More than 200,000 children are abducted each year by a family member. Forty-six percent of these are gone for less than a week. Twenty-one percent are gone for a month or more. Some never return home.

    That means for every stereotypical stranger abduction heard about, approximately 1,000 family abductions occur. So while the tragedy of stranger abductions is extreme and make headlines, abduction by family members accounts for 78 percent of all child abduction in America, according to the Department of Justice's most recent national incidence study.

    Fortunately, many good organizations exist to help find and recover missing children. Unfortunately, there has not been much work done to study or lessen the effects this trauma can have on the children’s lives. Take Root was formed to give a voice to the missing child.

    Take Root was founded by nine adults who had been abducted as children. They gathered at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to talk about their abductions. Out of that came Take Root.

    A portion of the sales of Bryan Lee McGlothin’s “Have You Seen My Mother” goes to Take Root.

    For more information, visit


    Posted on Wed, Dec. 21, 2005

    From faith to faith, visions of Jesus vary

    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    The "who question" about Jesus is key, Thomas A. Noble tells his students.

    "I unpack all the rest of Christianity from Christology (the study of Christ)," says Nobel, professor of theology at Nazarene Theological Seminary of Kansas City.

    Similarly when professor Warren Carter of St. Paul School of Theology teaches New Testament classes, he asks students to think about two questions Jesus asked his disciples: "Who do people say I am?" and "Who do you say I am?"

    "I talk a lot about this in relation to particular texts we work on," Carter says. His goal is to help them understand that "there wasn't a monolithic understanding in the New Testament" about Jesus and that church doctrine about him continued to develop after New Testament times.

    Christians, however, aren't the only ones thinking about Jesus. He's also on the minds of adherents of many religious traditions. And their answers to Jesus' questions vary widely. Here is some of what they say:


    Muslims call Jesus Isa (variously spelled Issa or I'sa) and call him a highly honored prophet, though not divine. The Qur'an mentions Jesus many times and includes a story of his virginal birth. Islam believes Jesus was calling people to surrender to God, which is what the word "Islam" means. So they view him as a Muslim, even though he lived hundreds of years before Muhammad. Although they believe Jesus performed miracles, they deny he was crucified. Rather, they say, God merely made it appear so to Jesus' enemies. Muslims believe Jesus ascended bodily to heaven.

    Syed E. Hasan, chairman of the Department of Geosciences at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a member of the Islamic Research Foundation, calls it "an absolute requirement of the Islamic faith to believe in him and the message he brought." But Hasan notes that "Islam rejects the concept of Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and emphasizes the oneness or unity of God."


    Jews acknowledge that Jesus is the personal historical connection between them and Christians. Jesus was a Jew, and his followers believed he was the promised Messiah of Israel, a claim most Jews who knew - or knew about - Jesus when he lived rejected.

    Rabbi Alan Cohen of Congregation Beth Shalom in the Kansas City area says that not many years ago, "with the taste of persecution still very fresh in the mouths of many, Jesus' very name was anathema to most Jews. Identifying him and acknowledging his existence would be to painfully give life to the accusations of `Christ killer' and deicide that began in the early years of the church and continued to modern times.

    "While today there is still no unanimity of views about Jesus within Judaism, there is certainly a much more accepting view. To many Jews, he was born, lived and died a Jew. Some would clearly identify him with an element of the rabbinic community of the first century and categorize him among the reformers of that community. Probably many would say not just a reformer but a radical reformer (but one who) ... never proclaimed a messianic status."


    The range of views about Jesus in Hinduism is quite wide. Some Hindus admire him so much they think of him as a yogi (a practitioner of yoga) and follow his teachings. But, as a rule, Hindus reject the Christian contention that somehow the incarnation of God in Jesus was unique. Hindus believe God also was incarnate in such Hindu deities as Krishna.

    Anand Bhattacharyya, an active member of the Kansas City Hindu community, calls Jesus "a great seer of truth like ancient Hindu sages. He had extraordinary yogic power to communicate with God and revealed his messages to the followers. I am particularly overwhelmed by his message of love, kindness and compassion. He was a true Bhakti yogi." ("Bhakti" is derived from a root word that means "to be attached to God.")


    Sikhism emerged 500 years ago with no direct connections to Judaism or Christianity. But an indication of the respect with which some Sikhs view Jesus can be found in an essay by a Sikh on a British Broadcasting Corp. Web site, , that describes various religions of the world. Nikky Singh writes that she sees Jesus "as a wonderful parallel with the person of Nanak, the first Sikh guru. There is no direct connection between Christ and the Sikh gurus ... but when we look closely at them, they illuminate each other."


    There is no generally accepted Buddhist view of Jesus, but some Buddhists think of Jesus as a bodhisattva, one who, motivated by compassion, seeks enlightenment for everyone, including himself. Lama Chuck Stanford of the Rime Buddhist Center in Kansas City is among those who think that: "Many Buddhist teachers I know, and myself included, view Jesus as an enlightened being, a bodhisattva, whose message was not that much different than that of the Buddha's. Jesus encouraged his followers not to harm others and to be kind, compassionate and to love others."

    Stanford notes, "Buddhism predates Christianity (by about 500 years), so there would be nothing in the teachings about Jesus."


    Adherents of the Baha'i faith believe Jesus was a manifestation of God but not the only one. Rather he was one of several messengers from God. The founder of Baha'ism, who took the name Baha'u'llah, called himself "a later manifestation" of God. In addition to Jesus, this line of messengers honored by Baha'is includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster and Muhammad.


    As Warren Carter notes, it took traditional Christianity time to reduce its beliefs to written creeds to which church structures gave approval, but eventually those creeds declared the church's historic view that Jesus is God's fully human, fully divine son and one of the persons of the Trinity. Various other views (under such names as Arianism, Nestorianism and Monophysiticism) were expressed in early Christianity - and have continued to emerge in other times and places - but eventually were declared heretical if they disagreed with the Nicene Creed, which first was articulated in 325 C.E.

    But faith communities with connections to Christianity have developed views in tension with traditional Christian beliefs. Among them:


    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with headquarters in Utah, calls Jesus the "Heavenly Father's Only Begotten Son in the flesh." But the writings the church holds as scripture go beyond the Christian Bible to include the Book of Mormon, which tells a story of how, after Jesus was resurrected, he appeared to people in what is now known as America, taught them his gospel and formed his church.

    The Book of Mormon says the people to whom Jesus appeared here were descendents of a prophet named Lehi, who the book says lived in Jerusalem about 600 B.C.E. and whom God commanded to lead a small group of people to the American continent.


    Formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, with headquarters in Independence, this group also holds the Book of Mormon to be holy scripture but has positioned itself closer to traditional Christianity than the LDS church.

    Bruce Lindgren of the Community's First Presidency's office says the church believes Jesus is "`God with us,' the Son of God, and the living expression of God in the flesh. ... Although we do not use creeds in our worship, we believe that our understanding of Jesus Christ is consistent with the ecumenical Christian creeds."


    In this tradition, Jesus is often honored as a wisdom teacher but is not considered divine and certainly not part of any Trinity, which Unitarians reject.

    The Rev. Thom Belote, pastor of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church, says that "if you ask a Unitarian Universalist if they believe Jesus was God, most would probably answer no. And it would be a tremendous mistake to interpret this reply as a negation, a rejection or a denial.

    "We say that Jesus was fully human, no different than you or I, except that he made use of that humanity more fully than you or I ever will. ... Jesus' ministry did not so much point to a kingdom in a time to come. It said that the kingdom is already here."


    The founder, Mary Baker Eddy, expressed great reverence for Jesus as she created her unique views on healing. One tenet of Christian Science says in part: " we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death."

    Riley Seay of the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Missouri puts it this way: "We look at him as the savior of the world, as the son of God, as pretty much as he identifies himself as scripture. We look to him for guidance. He was the master Christian, if you will. Through healing we know we are on track with his theology. If we understand what Jesus was teaching, the byproduct is going to be healing."


    This movement, based at Unity Village near Lee's Summit, says it affirms the divinity of Jesus in that "Unity teaches that the spirit of God lived in Jesus, just as it lives in every person. Every person has the potential to express the perfection of Christ, as Jesus did, by being more Christ like in everyday life."


    This faith community believes Jesus must always be distinguished from_and is subordinate to - God. The group's Web site explains: "In every period of his existence, whether in heaven or on earth, his (Jesus') speech and conduct reflect subordination to God. God is always the superior, Jesus the lesser one who was created by God. ... After his resurrection, he continues to be in a subordinate, secondary position."

    That view differs markedly from this one expressed by the Nicene Creed: Jesus is "the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father."

    But, as Carter says, that wording took time to develop. As his students wrestle with New Testament passages, he says, he first tries to get them to see what the text itself is saying about who Jesus is rather than imposing a Nicene or other view of him on the verses in question.

    Noble at Nazarene Seminary describes the process for his Christian students this way: "We're exploring what we've already confessed."



    Here are several books that will provide useful information about many religions of the world:

    "Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions," Wendy Doniger, consulting editor

    "Introduction to World Religions," Christopher Partridge, general editor

    "The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions," by Huston Smith

  • wombat

    Most interesting post.

    The deceitful misinformation that you revealed in the first item should be a total embarrassment to the local org. It would be great if a link to this could be emailed to the superficial woman involved.

    Second sad. I don't reckon that I could bring myself to read that book.

    Thirdly, a good over-view of Jesus as viewed through a broad spectrum of faiths.

  • luna2

    I don't remember JW's who would volunteer to help rebuild homes and KH's after disasters calling what they were doing "missions".

    I love the part about having to pay their own way down there. Hey, the WTS couldn't free up some of that money donated after Hurricane Katrina?...oh, right that went to the "world wide publishing-house work"

  • Kenneson

    Thanks for keeping us abreast of what is going on in the Jehovah's Witness world. You have the potential of becoming another Danny Hazard.

  • Atlantis


    Wow! Thanks for the compliment Ken! blush!

    Tea? Fish & Chips with dark ale? Cheers!

  • Atlantis


    Here you go Ken, with my blessings old chap! Bloody good show!


    World's Largest Six Pack of Beer

    World's Largest Six Pack of Beer

  • Kenneson

    Hiccupsssss. He he

Share this