An occasional compilation of events from around the religious world. To suggest items for inclusion, email assistant editor Jeff Brumley at [email protected]
Mercer on Mission reaches prosthetic milestone in Vietnam
Mercer on Mission is a study-abroad program that combines academics, cultural immersion, spiritual reflection and service-learning opportunities to transform participating students and faculty and the international communities they serve.
The program’s Vietnam prosthetics operation includes four clinics in the nation where an estimated 100,000 citizens have lost limbs from exploded munitions left over from the Vietnam War.
The program fits amputees with a patented prosthetic leg developed by Ha Van Vo, a biomedical engineering professor at Mercer.
“What’s been at the heart of this program is this prosthetic leg that Dr. Vo designed,” Craig McMahan, university minister and dean of chapel, said in the Mercer news release.
McMahan also oversees Mercer On Mission.
“It’s an incredible piece of equipment. It is very light and durable, and it’s a very comfortable prosthesis. It weighs less than two pounds so the amputees find it to be very comfortable and functional,” he said.
The Mercer on Mission Vietnam prosthetics program began in 2009, the university said, and has now fitted an estimated 10 percent of nation’s amputees with prosthetic limbs.
Baptist pastor examines same-sex issues in new book
A church’s five-month study of sexuality will culminate in a new book titled What Does It Mean to Be Welcoming? Navigating LGBT Questions in Your Church, by Travis Collins.
Collins is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama. Two years ago, the congregation undertook a study and conversation about same-sex relationships.
The experience inspired Collins to create a booklet, which has now been expanded into an InterVarsity Press book due to be released in mid-August, he told Baptist News Global.
“I am a Traditionalist on this topic,” Collins said in an e-mail to BNG. “Through the years and in various settings people have known my traditional view of sexuality, yet I believe people have found me to be conciliatory in my relationships and considerate of diverse opinions.”
Study says multiracial worship on the rise
A Baylor University study reports that the percentage of multiracial congregations in the U.S. almost doubled between 1998 and 2012.
“Congregations are looking more like their neighborhoods racially and ethnically, but they still lag behind,” lead author Kevin Dougherty, associate professor of sociology at Baylor, said in a university news release. “The average congregation was eight times less diverse racially than its neighborhood in 1998 and four times less diverse in 2012.”
About one in five congregants attend worship that is racially mixed, according to the study. Catholics, at one in four, are most likely to attend racially diverse churches.
“The Changing Complexion of American Congregations” drew on data collected in the National Congregations Study, which was conducted in 1998, 2006, 2007 and 2012.