Contemporary Christian Life Issues (CCLI)

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Sunday mornings, 10:50–11:50am
Meeting January 7 – April 28 (not meeting March 31, Easter)
Chapel off the Rotunda

The Contemporary Christian Life Issues class explores current and relevant faith and justice issues affecting our community, nation, and world. The goal of each session is to “think Christianly” about each topic, so that we can live well in God’s world. Speakers are often experts in their field.  For more information or to register for the link to view this class online, contact Lori Baker  or 796-3361.

Winter / Spring 2024 Speaker Schedule:

 

▪ March 3: The Battle Between Autocracy and Democracy: Who is Winning?  (title and description revised 02/20/2024)
Dr. John A. Bernbaum, President of BEAM (Business and Education as Mission), Inc., a private foundation that supports educational programs in Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the world has dramatically changed. The United States and NATO have formed an alliance with Ukraine, while Russia has deepened its ties with several other dictatorships. What’s at stake in this war and how is this conflict impacting the future of western democracies and its opponents in the “axis of evil?” Why has this war become so complicated and so important?

▪ March 10: The Challenges Facing U. S. Foreign Policy Right Now (title and description revised 02/20/2024)
Dr. John A. Bernbaum, President of BEAM (Business and Education as Mission), Inc., a private foundation that supports educational programs in Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia

Does the United States have a leadership role in confronting the threats of dictators to undermine democracies and oppose religious freedom and support for human rights? Should our country support Ukraine’s struggle for survival against Putin’s attack and his desire to include Ukraine in his Russian empire? What are the probable outcomes of the war in Ukraine and in Gaza/Israel?

▪ March 17: From Border to Lakeshore: Current Immigration and Supporting Our Neighbors
Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates – Bringing stability to families /communities through legal services, education, and advocacy.

In this session, you will hear stories about refuges, asylum-seekers, the fall of Kabul, and the many recent changes in US immigration policy and populations. You will also learn about the challenges, triumphs, and on-going work Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates is doing in the community so you can understand the ever-changing world of US immigration.

▪ March 24: There Is Hope!
Scott Halquist, Director of Advancement Great Lakes and Great Plains Region, Haggai International

Since 1969 Haggai International has been equipping indigenous leaders in countries around the world to spread the Gospel and to equip others to do the same. We believe that every nation can be redeemed and transformed through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are over 140,000 Haggai Leaders in 189 countries who are demonstrating Christ love, presenting the Gospel, and preparing others to do the same. They are sharing the only True Hope for our broken world.

March 31: No Class – (Easter)

▪ April 7: Ruth Rondon – Part 1: I Am So Much More Than a Statistic
Ruth Rondon, author of The Realities of Human Trafficking:  From the Inside Out to Freedom, served on the governor-appointed Michigan Human Trafficking Health Advisory Board  (Please note: This presentation is not appropriate for young children.)

In this session, Ruth shares her story of how the system failed her (and so many others). She’ll explain why and how she fell prey to traffickers, what kept her trapped for so long, and why and how she survived it all.

▪ April 14: Ruth Rondon – Part 2: Human Trafficking Survivor Reflects on Her Healing Journey
Ruth Rondon, author of The Realities of Human Trafficking:  From the Inside Out to Freedom, served on the governor-appointed Michigan Human Trafficking Health Advisory Board  (Please note: This presentation is not appropriate for young children.)

In this session, Ruth reflects on her journey to freedom – made possible by grace-filled people and a loving God. She describes the pivotal roles that her friends, family, therapists, the court system, and legislators played on her healing journey.

▪ April 21: This is Holland – And We Get to Live Here!
Nathan Bocks, Mayor of Holland, MI

Local organizations, including churches are valuable and vital partners for local governments.  Both congregations and individual congregants can help provide services and connections that are beyond the scope of local governments, but important to the work of the city. Learn about current major initiatives in the City of Holland and how you and Christ Memorial can partner to help keep Holland a great place to live, work, and play.

▪ April 28: Sustainability: You and Seven Generation Stewardship
Michelle Seppala Gibbs, Director, Office of Sustainability, Hope College

Seven generation stewardship is a concept that urges the current generation of humans to live and work for the benefit of the seventh generation into the future. In this session, we will learn about the ways Hope College is caring for creation and reflect on ways each of us can put earth care into practice in our daily lives.

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