LGBTQ Mass Shooting, ERLC’s Letter to the Senate & Connecting College Students to Church
When Kelly and Tosha Williams planted Vanguard Church in downtown Colorado Springs 25 years ago, a lesbian couple was among the early converts. The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has urged congressional leaders to include pro-life and conscience protections in all spending legislation now under consideration. And, “College is a time of change, learning, growth, and constant movement. In many cases, students experience freedom and independence in ways they never had before. It’s a time spent on the go and is arguably the most formative period of a person’s life. Unfortunately, this is when many students disconnect from the church.”
When Kelly and Tosha Williams planted Vanguard Church in downtown Colorado Springs 25 years ago, a lesbian couple was among the early converts.
Today, the Southern Baptist congregation averaging 700 worshipers sits less than a mile from Club Q, the LGBTQ nightclub where a mass shooter killed five patrons and injured 25 others late Nov. 19.
Williams is leading Vanguard Church in praying for those impacted by the mass shooting and is watching to see how God will use the congregation in ministry related to the tragedy.
The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has urged congressional leaders to include pro-life and conscience protections in all spending legislation now under consideration.
In a Nov. 18 letter, ERLC President Brent Leatherwood encouraged both Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives to guarantee long-standing, pro-life “riders” that prohibit federal funding of abortion and prevent violations of conscience rights are included in the final versions of appropriations bills. He also called for Congress to protect the religious freedom of faith-based, social-service providers.
The current spending bills in both houses strip “important pro-life protections, actions that are unacceptable in the minds of countless constituents who do not want a dime of their resources supporting the abortion industry in any way, shape, or form,” Leatherwood told the congressional leaders in his letter.
He cited a resolution adopted by messengers to the SBC’s 2021 meeting that called for the retention of all pro-life riders in spending bills.
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“College is a time of change, learning, growth, and constant movement. In many cases, students experience freedom and independence in ways they never had before. It’s a time spent on the go and is arguably the most formative period of a person’s life. Unfortunately, this is when many students disconnect from the church.”
Hunter Christian says there are many reasons this happens. In a piece on Baptist Press, he writes, “But oftentimes it’s because college students don’t see the importance of connecting to the body of Christ. And no one is intentionally providing them opportunities to do so. As church leaders, it’s vital for us to pour into these students and give them ways to serve the church and stay connected.”
“College students are often a forgotten age demographic. And this is why many pull away from or leave the church altogether. While college ministry is challenging, ministry leaders are responsible for leading well and showing the importance of the local church. If we are intentional with our students, I believe we’ll find they have meaningful contributions to make in our congregations.”
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