MH News November 19, 2020

Scottsdale
Sony Pictures is purchasing the evangelical Christian video-streaming service Pure Flix which was launched in 2015 as a family-friendly competitor to Netflix. The streaming service will become part of Sony’s Affirm Entertainment, the division responsible for popular faith-based films like “Miracles from Heaven” and “War Room”.  Pure Flix began in 2005 as an evangelical Christian entertainment production company before expanding into video streaming. The production piece of the company is not included in the purchase deal.

 

Waveland
You might not know that Waveland is a small town on our southern coast halfway between Slidell, Louisiana and Gulfport, Mississippi just a few miles off Interstate 10. But you might have been one of the ten million people who have seen the home-made video of the Reverend Shane Vaughn, co-founder of Pentecostal First Harvest Ministries in Waveland. In the seven-minute video, recorded on Vaughn’s cellphone from a rented Jeep in a Cincinnati parking lot, the pastor predicts that the U S House of Representatives will intervene and place Donald J. Trump in the White House for four more years. Vaughn himself spent three years in jail for financial crimes during which he renewed his Christian commitment and set his life in a new direction.

 

Washington
The nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, said that roughly one million American Muslims voted in the 2020 election. Based on its own survey, they estimated that 69% of them backed Biden. In 2016, an estimated 400,000 Muslim Americans voted in the presidential election. In 2018, that number doubled to approximately 800,000 Muslim voters. Much of the credit goes to an DC based organization called Emgage, a Muslim advocacy group that has been around since 2008 but upped their game following Trump’s election. According to its CEO, Wa’el Alzayat, the Muslim community’s feeling of being under siege by its own government moved the organization to activate the Muslim electorate.

 

Nashville
The Academy of Preachers is up and running again, after struggling through leadership change, financial hardship, and of course, the COVID pandemic. Launched in 2009 with a mission to “identify, network, support, and inspire young people in the call to gospel preaching” the Lilly-funded initiative galvanized young ministers across the country and hosted the most ecumenically diverse gatherings of Christians in the nation, called Festivals of Young Preachers. The organization now is housed at Belmont University and this week hosted an online festival that drew 40 participants.

 

Los Angeles
Roman Catholic Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops, announced the establishment of a working group to address issues surrounding the election of a Catholic president and White House policies that may be in conflict with Catholic teaching and the bishops’ priorities. Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit will head up a special working group of the U.S. bishops; Archbishop Vigneron is vice president of the USCCB. On some issues, the Church is in step with anticipated Biden policies, such as immigration, health care, and provisions for the poor. On others, such as abortion and contraceptives, not so much.