Bahamas Government and UNICEF to Bring 10,000 Displaced Children Back to School after Hurricane Dorian

With the support of UNICEF, the Government of the Bahamas has begun registering approximately 10,000 students displaced by Hurricane Dorian to enroll them in safe schools that have not been affected by the natural disaster.

“No child in The Bahamas should be at risk of dropping out of school because of Dorian,” said The Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education. “After the devastating impact left by Hurricane Dorian, education is our best investment and a cornerstone of the whole reconstruction process. Dorian may have put us on our knees, but education will bring us back on our feet.”

Bernt Aasen, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Region, added, “Dorian made many displaced students go through traumatic experiences as they witnessed horrible scenes of total destruction, suffering and even the loss of parents and neighbors. In the aftermath of a natural disaster of such magnitude, schools should not only be places to learn but also safe environments to rebuild shattered lives and heal internal wounds through play and friendship. For the displaced children, it’s a powerful sign of hope, an opportunity to go back to a sense of normal life, in the classroom and on the playground.”

Support UNICEF’S emergency relief efforts HERE.

Read the full press release HERE.

LifeWay’s Stores Are Closing, But Its Books Will Fill More Shelves Than Ever

Less than six months after LifeWay Christian Resources announced it was closing all 170 of its brick-and-mortar stores, the company has come up with a plan to put its products in more outlets than ever before. LifeWay has launched an “authorized dealer program” that allows independent Christian retailers to sell its popular Bible studies.

LifeWay-brand Bible studies by Beth Moore, David Platt, Priscilla Shirer, and others that were previously available only in LifeWay outlets will now be sold in special, branded sections of more than 290 stores.

David Humphrey, director of trade sales, said the authorized dealer program puts LifeWay in all the markets where it previously operated stores, as well as 90 new ones.

“The way the Lord has provided for us, it’s like he’s given us increased favor,” Humphrey told CT. “We have five authorized dealers in Nebraska, and we’ve never had a store in Nebraska before. We have partners in the far Northeast and the far Northwest where we’ve never been able to reach before.”

Read the full article in Christianity Today HERE.

Virginia Theological Seminary Starts Process Toward Reparation

Like a growing number of universities and religious institutions, the leadership at the Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) recognizes their school benefited financially from slave labor. In acknowledgment of this grim fact, the school has taken steps to establish a $1.7 million reparations fund, an action that makes it one of the first American institutions to allocate money specifically for the descendants of the enslaved.

As noted by the New York Times, the fund will also provide financial support for black seminarians and black worshipers who experienced discrimination on campus.

For those who question the amount, it is worth noting that The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., Dean and President of VTS, described this action as only a start.

“This is the Seminary recognizing that along with repentance for past sins, there is also a need for action,” Markham said. He also stressed the need to confront the institutional reality of [the school] having been built on the backs of slaves.

Read the full article in Nonprofit Quarterly HERE.

Religious Coworking Spaces Encourage Faith, Careers

LOS ANGELES (RNS) — For Melissa Smith, who is from the South and has worked in the hospitality industry, community is a big part of who she is. “I didn’t know anything about coworking, I just knew there was this need to gather,” Smith said. “It’s very easy to feel isolated in Los Angeles.” 

But another big part of Smith’s life is her faith, so six years ago when she started Epiphany Space, a coworking office for creative professionals in Hollywood, she did so through a Christian lens. “You can go to a coffee shop, you can go to a library, but those places you’re not necessarily building intentional relationships,” Smith said. 

The number of coworking offices in the U.S. has grown exponentially over the past few years. According to the 2019 Colliers International flexible workspace report, there were fewer than 300 coworking spaces in the U.S. in 2010. At the end of 2017, there were more than 4,000.

People are flocking to coworking spaces because they are often less expensive than renting out a dedicated office for your business. Plus, many coworking offices come with administrative staff, access to printers, Wi-Fi and meetings rooms. But they are also popular for the social benefits: free coffee and snacks, regular happy hour events, “Zen rooms” and showers. 

Building community among the many freelancers, remote workers and small businesses that work in these shared offices is part of the goal for most coworking spaces. It was the goal for Smith too when she started Epiphany Space.

Read the full article in Religion News Service HERE.

Lauren Daigle to Headline World Tour After ‘Life Changing’ Year

Two-time Grammy Award-winning Christian singer Lauren Daigle will venture out on her first headline world tour. “This year has been life changing,” Daigle told The Christian Post in a statement this week.

Daigle had massive success in both the Christian and mainstream markets with her album, Look Up Child. As a result, she sold out every one of her concert dates in 2019 which has now led to her first headlining arena tour, the “Lauren Daigle World Tour” in 2020. 

“There’s no better feeling than to be able to look out from the stage and see how people have connected with the songs on this album,” the singer continued. 

“Lauren Daigle World Tour,” will travel to forty-four cities starting January 18th in Melbourne, Australia. The musical experience then heads to the U.S. in February and includes stops in New York, Nashville, Houston, Boston, and Dallas, as well as the Canadian cities of Toronto and Montreal. The Louisiana native will end the world tour in her hometown of Lafayette.

Read the full article in The Christian Post HERE.

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