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Newport’s advocacy issue for May asks Congress to nullify the nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act”which makes it easier for biotech companies like Monsanto to spread their GMO seeds without proper safety reviews. Monsanto has been lobbying Congress for over a year for this protection. The rider, which was slipped into the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013, forces the US Department of Agriculture to immediately approve any permits for continued planting of genetically modified seeds at the industry’s request. It undermines the federal courts and strips away the check and balance system devised by the constitution. It amounts to corporate legislative immunity.
Because the spending bill is only in effect until September, there is an opportunity to override the Monsanto Protection Act.
More and more evidence is coming into light that genetically modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancerous tumors, infertility and birth defects as well as environmental effects such as colony collapse among bee populations and deaths of Monarch butterflies.
Monsanto continues to forge a monopoly over the world’s food supply with exclusive patenting rights over seeds. A Monsanto plan developed in 1999 aimed “to make natural seeds extinct” causing great harm to organic and small farmers. Today in the U.S. 80% of soy, 35% of corn, 70% of cotton and 60% of canola is produced from genetically modified seeds. There is no federal requirement for the labeling of GM food in the US or for pre-market safety tests.
By contrast, the European Union passed a law requiring food with ingredients of more than 1% genetically modified contents to be labeled. As a result, there are no GMO crops in Europe. A French molecular biologist replicated Monsanto’s study which claimed no risk for foods modified with Roundup. Instead of Monsanto’s 90 day trial, it ran two years–a lifetime for the rats fed with Roundup modified food. It found the rats suffered liver and kidney damage. Fifty percent of males and 70 percent of female rats died prematurely.
Most of the foods in your local grocery store are now contaminated with GM food ingredients without your knowledge or consent. We are now in the middle of the largest feeding experiment in history and we are the guinea pigs!
For more information read Jeffrey M. Smith’s book “Seeds of Deception” about GMO foods and the politics surrounding them.
Hopelink is conducting a “Campaign to End Summer Hunger for Kids.” In all hunger related issues the numbers are appalling. In this community of plenty the % of students enrolled in the school districts who qualify for Free and Reduced Price Lunch programs in the Hopelink service area include: Bellevue – 21.1% or 3554 students, Issaquah – 9.6% or 1679 students, all the way to Skykomish – 90.4% or 36 students. The total for the service area, which does not include Renton and south is 16,131. These children will be hungry this summer. For more check www.hope-link/take_action/end_summer_hunger/ . Newport supports several food distribution connections. They all need special help during the summer.
Taizé Worship March 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Palm Sunday Worship March 24 at 8:45 and 11:00 a.m.
Good Friday Worship March 29 at 7:00 p.m.
Easter Sunday Worship March 31 at 8:45 and 11:00 a.m.
(Children’s Easter Egg Hunt between Easter Services)
We start Lent on Ash Wednesday, February 13. We will have a simple soup and bread dinner at 6:30 p.m. which will include communion and then the imposition of ashes as we have done the past several years.
Then for the next four Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. we will meet and discuss Gulley’s book. He is a Quaker minister who grew up in a fairly “conservative” faith community. He started asking questions about God’s love and grace which led to two very powerful books: “If God Is Love” and “If Grace Is True.” His writing is very accessible. He has been praised by people like Marcus Borg and Walter Brueggemann. We have been discussing issues these last several years around God’s grace and what it means to be a Christian. This book will help us look more carefully at what it means to be a Christian Church.
We conclude our Lenten Academy on Wednesday, March 20th with a Taizé worship service and com-munion. It, too, will take place at 7:00 p.m. Many have grown to love this contemplative service of singing and silence. It is a great way to end our Lenten preparation before Palm Sunday and Holy Week.
The February advocacy petition will focus on HB 1440, called the “Wage Theft Bill.” According to the Faith Action Network, this piece of legislation will reduce the number of vulnerable victims of wage theft and the ‘underground economy.”
-Increases the penalties and the consequences of breaking the law;
-Bolsters enforcement so efforts match the scale of the problem;
-Ensures that victims who stand up for justice recover court costs and attorney fees;
-Protects workers from unfair charges, fees, fines and paycheck deductions by clearly defining and requiring proof of who is “staff” and who are “independent contractors;”
-Holds employers, who break the law, liable in a civil action for the amount of wages they unlawfully withheld;
-Shields workers from any employer who retaliates against them for speaking out against wage theft.
Join us Saturday, February 16 at 5:00 p.m. for a ladies fun event at the church. After appetizers, we’ll watch “The Sound of Music” and, yep, we’ll sing along as well! Of course, during intermission we’ll pause for dessert (hmmm…we’re guessing we’ll see some chocolate). Invite your friends! Bring an appetizer or dessert to share.
Questions? Contact Linda Hunter at
(425) 644-2455 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year’s retreat is Friday/Saturday, April 19-20 at Rainbow Lodge in North Bend. Our great, and much requested leaders, Holly Hallman and Jackie Tanner, are returning for an encore study of prayer. All women from teenage on up are invited—members or not, in a circle or not, family, friends and more.
Make your plans now and ask those you want to come with you. It’s always a very special time. Watch the newsletters and worship bulletins for more info.
“Surprising Paths to the Kingdom of God”
January 11-13, 2013
Sunday—8:45 & 11:00 a.m. worship
Robert C. Dykstra
Charlotte W. Newcombe
Professor of Pastoral Theology at
Princeton Theological Seminary
Join us at Newport as we welcome Dr. Robert Dykstra to this year’s Meekhof Lecture Series. Friday night’s lecture from 7:30-9:00 p.m. “Unrepressing the Kingdom: Children’s Intuitions of the Divine” draws from Jesus’ convictions, expressed in Luke 17 and elsewhere, that the kingdom of God is to be found within and among persons and is epitomized in the lives of infants and young children.
On Saturday morning from 9:30-11:00, the lecture and time of shared conversation “Finding Ourselves Lost” will build on Jesus’ parable of the one lost sheep from Luke 15. Brunch will be served.
Dr. Dykstra will preach on “Grateful Disobedience” at both the 8:45 and 11:00 a.m. services based on Luke 17:11-19 in which one leper subversively disobeys Jesus’ directive a path to giving God thanks and praise.
Once again we have a wonderful program planned for all.
(If you need childcare on Friday night or Saturday morning, please contact the church office no later than 4:00 p.m. on January 9.)
Here is your opportunity to consider the coal train issue in advance and if you are in agreement add your voice.
On January 20th petitions on the impact of proposed coal trains, terminals, and tankers will be available. If you wish to read more about this issue before then, Newport’s Green Team suggests you visit CoalTrainFacts.org.
The whole congregation is invited to join in this annual tradition of sharing a meal,nativity crafts, Christmas caroling and the greening of the church. This year’s event will be a potluck – please sign up in the Atrium and bring a favorite holiday dish to share!