Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Holy, Holey Sock

by Brian Kaylor

Walking through the State Capitol Building earlier this year while meeting with legislators to urge reforms to rein in predatory lending, my big toe burst through the end of my dress sock. The feeling of the end of my toe sticking out past the tight fabric greatly annoys me, so I found a quiet place to sit at the end of an abandoned hallway. There I decided to switch the socks so that the hole would not be at one of my big toes, and thus would feel better. I took both socks off. Then I put one on and slipped that foot back into the shoe. A nearby door swung open and as a reflex I shot my remaining bare foot into its shoe, cramming the sock down into the shoe under my foot. The Capitol employee informed me the area was restricted and I needed to leave. Apologizing, I grabbed my Churchnet satchel and walked down the long hallway, nearly limping as my bare right foot barely fit in my shoe due to the wadded sock. Finding another quiet place, I quickly fixed my sock and returned to the main areas of the Capitol to continue the advocacy efforts.

Each time I find a hole in one of my socks--which happens quiet often as I must be hard on them--I remember that day in the Capitol. The need to increase regulations on predatory lending institutions like payday and car title loans remains. Many of those in our communities who are targeted and exploited by such loans do not have opportunities to head to the Capitol and speak out. And if they do, it can be hard to get attention amidst the professional lobbyists and their fancy clothes (probably without holes in their socks). We, too, may find it hard to get legislators to care about this moral issue, but we must try. We must speak up for those in our communities who are being mistreated. We must speak up against the usury of predatory lending institutions. We must speak up so we can share hope in our communities. Due to the biblical commands to work towards justice and speak truth to power, "Community Advocacy" is one of the three aspects of Churchnet's Share Hope emphasis (along with "Relational Evangelism" and "Congregational Ministry"). If God's people do not speak out, then we should not be surprised when unjust regulations emerge from the Capitol. Even if our socks are holey, such advocacy on behalf of "the least of these" can be a holy act.

You can contact Brian Kaylor, Churchnet Editorial Assistant, at (888) 420-2426, ext. 704 or

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Missions Banquet Offering

It is not too late to give to the missions offering from Churchnet’s annual missions banquet. If you missed Churchnet's 10th anniversary Annual Gathering and still would like to contribute, you may do so. The offering goal for this year is $12,000. Eighty-five percent of that amount will go toward Churchnet's partnership with Guatemalan Baptists. At the missions banquet, individuals shared about their recent trips to Guatemala as part of the partnership. Many others are headed there this year.

The other fifteen percent of the offering will support Churchnet's new partnership with the European Baptist Federation church planting program. This new partnership was kicked off at the Annual Gathering's missions banquet. Churchnet is supporting Andrey Pismenyuk, who is planting a new congregation in Kiev, Ukraine. Andrey's mother church, Grace Baptist Church led by Pastor Vladimir Omelchuck, was established nine years ago from scratch through this church planting program and now has 300 members. Earlier this year, Churchnet's Board of Directors approved support for this program, but the offering will add to that commitment.

We hope you and your church will join us in working to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission around the world through partnerships like those supported by our missions banquet offering. Please send your contributions to Churchnet marked "Mission Banquet Offering." You can also give online on Churchnet's website ( Together we can share hope around the world!

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Kaylor’s Writing Recognized

Churchnet Editorial Assistant Brian Kaylor recently garnered two honors for his writing. In April, Kaylor received the Religion Communicators Council's Wilbur Award for best nonfiction book. His book, Presidential Campaign Rhetoric in an Age of Confessional Politics, was published in 2011 but also recently came out in an updated paperback edition. Last year, the award recognized a book by Harvard Professor Robert Putnam and Notre Dame Professor David Campbell, and the previous year the award went to best-selling author Mitch Albom.

Last month, the Religion Newswriters Association named Kaylor a finalist for Religion Reporter of the Year (in large newspapers/wire services category). Kaylor received the recognition for his writing for Ethics Daily, the news arm of the Baptist Center for Ethics. Other finalists in that category this year include reporters for the Associated Press, Religion News Service, and Washington Post Sunday Magazine.

In the past, Kaylor has also won several other writing awards, including some from the Baptist Communicators Association, National Communication Association, and Religious Communication Association. Some of Kaylor’s awards were for writing he does for Churchnet.