Illinois Baptist 10 12 2015 E Edition Page 3 3 October 12, 2015 NEWS THE TICKER Follow the latest Illinois Baptist news Attack touches SBC family A 26-year-old man who killed nine and injured many others at an Oregon community college reportedly targeted Christians in the attack, said a Southern Baptist pastor whose granddaughter was shot and survived. The shooter asked a question, Are you a Chris- tian? And if they said yes, he said, Good, because youre going to see God in a second, and he shot them. My granddaughter hid and got a bullet through the leg, Howard A. Johnson, founding pastor of Bethany Bible Fellow- ship (SBC) in Roseburg, told Baptist Press. That's pretty traumatic. ERLC goes to the dogs The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC released the Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals Sept. 30. Our treatment of animals is a spiritual issue, said ERLC President Rus- sell Moore . The Bible is clear that our being cre- ated in the image of God does not lessen our respon- sibility to steward the physical world well, but heightens it. This statement is a reminder that the gospel transforms our use and care of animals as we see all of Gods glory reflected in his good creation. To read the statement, go to Freedom concerns grow More Americans believe religious free- dom is worse today than 10 years ago (up from 33% in 2012 to 41%). The greatest increase is among Gen-Xers (29% to 42%) and Boomers (38% to 46%). Among Millennials 34% ex- pressed growing con- cern, up from 25% in 2012. - Baptist Press, ERLC, Barna Group from the front We were both astounded, no doubt about it, SBC President Ronnie Floyd said of himself and Page. Pointing to a long-term solution, both men urged to increase giving through exisiting channels, rather than special offerings. We see this as an ongoing issuesystemicand the way we do that is through Cooperative Program giving, Page said. Our number one challenge is to finance the work of the Great Commission, Floyd said. The only way to make it up consis- tently is through CP, he said, echoing Page. Floyds Arkansas congregation recently gave its first $1-million gift through CP, and in the conference call he urged fellow pastors to do more. We can find a way to do more. Every- body, under God, can find a way to do more. During his tenure, Page has challenged Southern Baptists to give 1% more to CP, and his efforts are bearing fruit. The SBC ended its fiscal year Sept. 30 $1.1 million over its 20142015 budgeted goal and $2.5 million over the previous years CP receipts. Gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offer- ing for International Missions, which go di- rectly to the IMB, reached an all-time high in 2013 at $154 million. Last year giving was at $153 million. But many leaders have urged churches to focus on CP giving, which sup- ports all Southern Baptist work, in the spirit of a rising tide lifts all ships. Meanwhile, a buy-out offer has been ex- tended to IMB personnel. The transition team will focus on the practical needs of re- turning missionaries. Clyde Meador , IMBs executive advisor to the president, is leading the transition team. He noted most members of the team have significant field experience and have made the adjustment from international ser- vice to life in the U.S. Meador said Southern Baptists already are responding with assistance. IMB has re- ceived offers of housing, employment oppor- tunities, vehicles, counseling and other prac- tical expressions of support from individuals, churches, associations, state conventions, WMU, seminaries and other partners. On the call to pastors, Floyd and Page ex- pressed support for Platt and the IMB trust- ees going forward. I think we can trust our leadership, Page said. Others, such as Wanda Lee , National WMU executive director have been blunter. We can lament the churches that havent fiven, we can lament many things, Lee said. But one thing we have failed to do in our churches is to embrace the missions assign- ment of helping our children and our youth understand God's field. Reporting by Illinois Baptist staff, Baptist Press, and IMB COUNTING THE COST - In August, the International Mission Board announced a plan to cut missionary personnel and agency staff by 600-800 people, citing budgetary shortfalls. Currently, approxi- mately 4,800 missionaries serve in places like Lesotho (above), baptizing new believers and starting new churches. IMB photo Continued from page 1 the briefing

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