Saddleback Church pastor and author Rick Warren issued the opening statement at the Senate’s hearing on Global Health Problems this week. Warren not only provided biblical support for continuing to provide assistance for people in need around the world, he also explained why he believed it could lead to greater peace in the future:

It’s far more cost effective, far cheaper, for Americans to send medicine to make friends now, than to send troops to fight enemies later. Medicines cost less than tanks.

Warren also encouraged continued partnerships between the faith community and the public and private sectors to fight poverty and provide international medical assistance: “The Church invented the hospital. And if we’re going to absolutely eradicate these diseases, we’ve got to do a combination of the public sector, the private sector and the faith sector: The three legs of the stool” ... Discuss

This Sunday, Saddleback Church pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren was invited to deliver the final sermon at Seattle’s Mars Hill Church. You can watch the message, which was delivered via video, below. Mars Hill recently announced that after 18 years of ministry, all of its satellite churches would either operate separately or dissolve completely. The move comes after a team of elders confronted lead pastor Mark Driscoll over a series of allegations involving the mistreatment of members of the congregation, plagiarism, the use of church funds to prop up book sales and other accusations of improper behavior. Driscoll resigned in October.

On their website, the church posted a message that read, “As we close the doors on Mars Hill Church, and consider the evidence of God’s grace shown to us over the years, words cannot express the depth of our gratitude for the people of Mars Hill and our Global Family who have served tirelessly, prayed continually, and given sacrificially to support Jesus’ mission through Mars Hill Church ... making disciples and planting churches" ... Discuss

Just weeks after a group of Cardinals ended a contentious gathering to discuss the Catholic Church’s views on family issues like divorce, co-habitation and same-sex relationships, the Vatican will host another marriage-themed summit. Leaders from across the religious spectrum—including pastor Rick Warren, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission head Russell Moore, a senior leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the former chief rabbi of Great Britain, the Muslim president of the Tawasul Cultural Center in Egypt, World Sikh Council’s Manmohan Singh, Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright and about two dozen others—will meet for two days later this month at the “International Interreligious Colloquium on The Complementarity of Man and Woman.”

According to RNS, the idea is for the Vatican to “seek common ground with religious leaders” on the issues that have caused some division among Catholic officials. The meetings organizers say their goal is to "examine and propose anew the beauty of the relationship between the man and the woman, in order to support and reinvigorate marriage and family life for the flourishing of human society” ... Discuss

For the first time since their son Matthew's suicide in April, Saddleback Church pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren and his wife Kay have sat down for an extended interview. During their talk with CNN’s Piers Morgan (which aired last night), Rick Warren said, "I have cried every single day since Matthew died. But that—that's actually a good thing. Grief is a good thing. It's the way we get through the transitions of life." Rick and Kay Warren say that they hope to raise awareness and start a dialogue that may help others who are dealing with mental illness and depression.

The couple also talked about forgiving the person who supplied their son with the illegally-obtained firearm he used to take his own life. “One of the hard things was forgiving the person who sold him the gun,” Rick said. But, they said their faith in Christ and his example of forgiveness helped them to forgive. Kay said that despite the tragedy, they still have a message of God's hope for others dealing with unimaginable loss. Kay said, “There’s hope. It’s so important that people know, no matter how desperate their despair, there is hope, and not to give up” … Discuss

This weekend, Saddleback Church founder and best-selling author Rick Warren returned to the pulpit with his wife Kay for the first time since their 27-year-old son’s suicide four months ago. Their son Matthew suffered from a lifelong battle with mental illness and depression. In April, the family launched a campaign to raise awareness about mental health issues, and have established a memorial fund benefiting mental health programs at churches, in memory of their son. Though emotional, the message was ultimately about choosing joy and God’s peace even in the most difficult times.

“For 27 years I prayed every day of my life for God to heal my son's mental illness ... it didn't make sense why this prayer wasn't being answered. When you go through a difficult time, you automatically start to try and find an answer. But explanations never comfort. You don't need explanations; you need the presence of God."

The sermon is currently available on the Saddleback websiteDiscuss

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