Churches offer Halo video game to attract youths

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champEven as video games have grown in popularity, the Halo series stands out, selling more than 20 million copies since the trilogy debuted in 2001. Halo 3 sold $300million worth of copies in the first week after its September release, and Microsoft predicts it will become “the No. 1 gaming title of all time.” Halo has spawned novels, games and action figures, with a film based on the series said to be in the works. Since the release of Halo 3, congregations around the country have hosted “Halo Nights,” where hundreds of teenagers came to play the game, eat pizza, listen to a Bible lesson, then play some more. A Colorado-based youth ministry called Dare2Share sent thousands of primers to parents, church leaders and other subscribers, offering tips on using the language and themes of Halo 3 to spread the gospel. Lane Palmer, the youth ministries coordinator who authored the guide, said the organization isn’t condoning the game or trying to promote it. “But you have to understand,” he said, “everybody’s already playing it, so why not use it as a conversation piece?” With its intricate plot, range of weapons and levels of difficulty, the game takes strategy and patience. And, players say, it’s addictive. “When Halo 2 came out, I didn’t have a life for a long time,” said Justin Medina, 19, who plays at Coast Christian. The concept of using cultural trends to attract members is nothing new. Evangelical leaders, in particular, have been savvy in using print, radio, television, the Internet and podcasting to spread the gospel. Many pastors make a point to use popular movies, music, TV shows and top-selling books in order to present their message in ways people understand. “One of our goals is to show how the Bible can be applied today,” said Chris Nicely, a youth pastor at Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch. “We want to try to give (kids) a taste of the fact that God’s not boring.” And anything that helps reach this generation is worth exploring, pastors agree. More than any other age group, the 14- to 30-year-olds are a tough crowd to please. About 20 percent of teenagers in America are unchurched, and 61 percent of those who were raised in a church left in their 20s, according to a 2006 survey by the Barna Group, a Christian research organization based in Ventura. Efforts to keep teens interested, however, often beg the question: How far should churches go to meet kids where they’re at? “It is a fine line, there’s no doubt about that,” said Palmer, with Dare2Share. “Any time you show blood and gore, you have to consider whether the end justifies the means. “It is very subjective, and I think churches have to look at their own traditions and figure out what’s right for them.” Bungie Studios, which created Halo, didn’t intend for the game to be used for evangelistic purposes, although part of its promotional outreach included pastors, spokesman Frank O’Connor said. The game is rated Mature, meaning it’s restricted to users 17 and older, but the M rating is deceiving, he said. “The violence in our game is actually very cartoonish,” he said. “It’s not nearly as bad as some of the other video games out there.” Rolling Hills Covenant Church doesn’t have a formal Halo group, but high school pastor Sean Hurley and a couple of other clergy and teens get together every Friday to play and socialize. “It is a video game, but it’s also a great connection point with kids in the ministry and their peers outside the church,” he said. “We have this commonality, we can establish relationships.” Creating community so kids could build relationships with each other and adults was the goal of Coast Christian when it opened the youth center this fall, said Janice Arnold, manager of The Portal. They also offer activities such as jewelry making and graphic design. On a recent afternoon, all but one of the Halo players was not a member of the church – and that’s typical, she said. The church does hold youth religious services on Friday nights at The Portal, and many of the unchurched kids have chosen to stay. “We certainly don’t bang them over the head with a Bible,” she said. “But most of them want to stay afterward for youth group. We’re very excited about that.” [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Although the plot involves an ark, a covenant, seven halos and religious prophesies, the thrill-kill video game Halo seems a tad out of place at a Christian youth center. But every afternoon after school, dozens of teens flock to The Portal center at Coast Christian Fellowship in Torrance, where they huddle around game consoles and battle for control of the cyber-universe. It’s a scene being played out around the country as religious leaders try to use Halo to attract youths. The goal, they say, is to make a connection and build relationships with teens who might not otherwise be interested in church. “I think people understand that this is part of our outreach,” said Guy Takashima, pastor of Coast Christian, an Assemblies of God church. last_img read more


first_imgThe family pet dog which was savaged in KillygordonGardai are hunting for two dangerous dogs who mauled a sheepdog to death in front of its owner.The dogs attacked the beloved family pet in the Killygordon area on Sunday evening.The collie’s owner, a 76 year old man, tried to save his dog and managed to stab one of the attacking dogs. The dogs, believed to be pit bulls or a cross of fighting dog, fled the scene and the man was thankfully unhurt.The man rushed his dog, a Welsh collie, to the Donegal Animal Hospital but he died a number of hours later due to the savage injuries it received.The dogs are still believed to be on the loose and people have been warned n to to approach them.Anyone who may have come across them is asked to contact Ballybofey Garda station on 0749137740.  GARDAI HUNT FOR PIT BULL DOGS AFTER FAMILY PET SAVAGED TO DEATH was last modified: October 29th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:attackdogsGardaiKillygordonpetlast_img read more

Zuma answers Ngobi community’s call

first_img10 February 2012Mmatsheko Pine from the Ngobi area in Hammanskraal will be pleased to know that President Jacob Zuma has answered her call and help is on the way to fix the water problem in her area.In his State of the Nation address to Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, Zuma made a commitment to send Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa to the area, which is under the Moretele Local Municipality, where the community has been without water for the past two years.Pine took advantage of Zuma’s invitation to citizens to write to him ahead of his State of the Nation address and share the challenges they are facing in their communities.In a letter sent via e-mail, Pine told Zuma that her community members were mostly aged and sick and facing a water shortage. They rely on rain to harvest water.“There are water pipes and machines installed but the problem is said to be pressure to pump water. Could your office kindly assist with the powers that be,” Pine asked Zuma in her letter.In his address to Parliament, Zuma promised to send Molewa to investigate the matter with a view to finding an urgent solution.Zuma acknowledged that water expansion had been delayed in some parts of the country due to a lack of infrastructure.“Government continues to extend access to basic water supply, however, clearly, water access is still a challenge in some areas.”He assured South Africans that this was being attended to as five new water augmentation schemes were on schedule.These include the Olifants River Water Resource in Steelpoort in Limpopo; the Vaal River Eastern Sub-System in Secunda in Mpumalanga; the Komati Water Augmentation Scheme in Nkangala in Mpumalanga; the raising of Hazelmere dam in KwaZulu-Natal; and the Clan William Dam in Clan William in the Western Cape.In addition, nine out of 25 dams have been rehabilitated.Following announcements made during the United Nations COP17 climate change conference, Zuma also said an amount of R248-million would be invested over next two years to deal with the issue of acid mine dDrainage in the Witwatersrand.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Jamaica Continues to Make Progress in Curbing Trafficking in Persons

first_imgManager of the Trafficking in Persons Secretariat, Chenee Russell, says Jamaica continues to make great strides in curbing trafficking in Jamaica.According to her, the country continues to increase its efforts to raise awareness through the development of robust trafficking in person systems.Speaking at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s ‘Labour Department and You’ road show in St. James recently, Ms. Russell said the Government continues to strengthen the legislative framework to tackle the crime in Jamaica.She noted that since the passing of the Trafficking in Persons Act in 2007, over 500 raids have been conducted, three prostitution rings disrupted and 86 victims rescued from trafficking in Jamaica by the Trafficking in Persons Vice Squad of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).“The legislative framework continues to be strengthened through amendments to the Trafficking in Persons Prevention, Suppression and Punishment Act. We would have amended the Act in 2013 and, more recently, 2018. One of those amendments is to allow trial by judge alone, as previously we would have had to have a jury to try a trafficking case,” Ms. Russell said.“Our Act also allows for in-camera hearings, and if you are a child and you are a part of that hearing, you do not have to come to court. So, it allows for video evidence to be given,” she added.Ms. Russell said the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons continues to take a zero-tolerance approach to the scourge of human trafficking, and urged students and teachers present at the road show to be vigilant.“We also developed a Trafficking in Persons Curriculum in secondary schools, in 2015, more specifically for grades seven to nine,” she noted.The two-day road show in St. James addressed issues related to human trafficking, efforts to eliminate child labour, and child protection and family services.The final show will be held in St. Thomas on February 27 and 28.last_img read more

Hotelier is the New Custos of St. Mary

first_imgThe parish of St. Mary has a new Custos Rotulorum. He is hotelier Jeffrey McKitty, who was sworn in on Monday (January 14), during a ceremony at King’s House.Mr. McKitty replaces Hon. Alrick Pottinger, whose retirement became effective on December 31, last year.Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who presided over the brief ceremony, expressed confidence that the new Custos would carry out his duties and responsibilities effectively.He said that Mr. McKitty has been a very active Justice of the Peace (JP) in St. Mary and had worked closely with Mr. Pottinger, acting many times in the former Custos’ absence.The Governor-General also noted Mr. McKitty’s involvement in a number of organisations and projects geared towards the development of the parish, pointing out that he continues to have the respect and support of the citizens of St. Mary and the country in general.The Governor-General also extended thanks to Mr. Pottinger for his dedicated service to the parish of St. Mary and Jamaica.“I also want to thank you for the time in which you deputised for me as Governor-General, during my absence, and to commend the grace and dignity with which you performed your role,” he stated.“It was a pleasure working with you and Mrs. Pottinger and I’m sure our collegiality and friendship and work will not come to an end at any time soon,” the Governor-General said.In his response, Mr. McKitty assured that he would continue to do his best to contribute to the development and growth of St. Mary.“I promise that I will do all within my power to continue the good name of St. Mary and the legacy that the Hon. (Alrick) Pottinger has left and to ensure that St. Mary will not fade but will get stronger as the years go by,” he pledged.He said he was grateful to the Governor-General and Mr. Pottinger, as well as the people of St. Mary for the confidence they have shown in him.Mr. McKitty, who was born on November 11, 1943 in Westmoreland, began his working career as a teacher, then moved into the hotel industry where he has worked unstintingly for 35 years, with 25 years at the level of a general manager.While living in St. Mary, he has been actively involved in every aspect of community service, serving as chair of the St. Mary Heritage Company Limited, the St. Mary Attractions and Tours Company, the Parish Library and the Oracabessa High School, where he helped to establish links to develop a new library and a fully furnished and equipped computer lab.An active member of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), he was instrumental in soliciting sponsorship from the Sandals group to host the St. Mary Agri-Expo, which promotes links between agriculture and tourism. In addition, he is also the founder of a fathering programme, which assists boys from single-parent homes.Mr. McKitty also established a youth programme at Jack’s River, where he supplied books and paid the tuition of several students. In addition, he adopted the Mason Hall Primary School where he built sanitary facilities for the students, and the Boscobel Basic and Primary Schools, where he established a school feeding programme. He was also instrumental in building a computer lab at Boscobel Primary School.A dedicated family man, who is married with two daughters, Mr. McKitty is the 2006 St. Mary recipient of the Governor-General’s Achievement Award.last_img read more

Bombardier workers to stage rally in Toronto over Boeing dispute will walk

first_imgTORONTO – The union representing Bombardier’s production workers says employees at the company’s aerospace plant in Toronto will walk out Wednesday — a move meant to pressure Boeing to drop a trade complaint against Bombardier.Unifor national president Jerry Dias said in a statement that the rally is intended to give workers a voice during the ongoing dispute between the two companies.He said Bombardier workers “are well aware that Boeing has no case, and that workers will end up paying the price as corporations fight this out.”Boeing has filed a trade complaint accusing Bombardier of selling its C-Series passenger jets to a U.S. airline at an unfairly low price with help from government subsidies.The U.S. Department of Commerce will release the preliminary results of its investigation next week, and a finding against Bombardier could result in fines or tariffs.Last week, Dias and Boeing officials met in Washington, D.C., where Dias encouraged Boeing to drop the complaint and seek a resolution with Bombardier.Note to readers: CORRECTS name of regulatory bodieslast_img read more

The Latest Apple to appeal iPhone ruling in China

first_imgNEW YORK — The Latest on Apple-Qualcomm dispute (all times local):1:55 p.m.Apple says it’s appealing a Chinese court ruling that would ban some iPhones in China as part of a long-running patent dispute with chipmaker Qualcomm.Apple said it filed a request Monday for the court to reconsider its ruling.Qualcomm had announced earlier Monday that the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court has granted preliminary injunctions ordering four Chinese subsidiaries of Apple to stop selling and importing iPhones.It’s not immediately clear what the full scope of the ruling is. While Qualcomm says the ban covers iPhones 6S through X, Apple says all iPhone models remain available for customers in China.The dispute is over two Qualcomm patents enabling consumers to format photos and manage phone apps using a touch screen. Apple calls it a “desperate move” by San Diego-based Qualcomm.___12:20 p.m.U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm says it’s won an order in a Chinese court banning some Apple phones in China as part of a long-running dispute over patents.Qualcomm said Monday that the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China has granted preliminary injunctions ordering four Chinese subsidiaries of Apple to stop selling and importing iPhones.It’s not immediately clear what the full scope of the ruling is. While Qualcomm says the ban covers iPhones 6S through X, Apple says all iPhone models remain available for customers in China.The dispute is over two Qualcomm patents enabling consumers to format photos and manage phone apps using a touch screen. Apple says it will fight Qualcomm’s “desperate move” in the courts.Apple and Qualcomm also have cases in the U.S. and the U.K.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Ford and Cadillac SUVs Toyota sports car star at auto show

first_imgDETROIT — SUVs and a big pickup truck will get top billing at Detroit’s auto show this year, but there are some surprise sports cars and electric vehicles on the agenda.Press days for the show begin Monday, although there are a couple of unveils set for before the show startsThe most popular vehicle of the bunch is the Ford Explorer, revealed ahead of the show Wednesday night at Ford Field, the home of the National Football League’s Detroit Lions.Cadillac will show off its XT6, a smaller-than-a-truck, three-row family hauler at an event Sunday night. Toyota brings back the high-performance Supra on Monday. The sports car developed a cult following when it was on the market from 1978 to 2002. Nissan and its Infiniti luxury brand plan to show two concept electric vehicles on Monday as well.This year’s North American International Auto Show will take place in January for the final time. In 2020, it switches to June to escape the cold weather and show off more products outside, including autonomous vehicles.Here are the big unveils coming up for the show, which opens to the public from Jan. 19 through 27:CADILLACThe marketing folks at General Motors’ Cadillac brand are hoping the new XT6 big SUV will carve out a niche in the crowded market for utilities with three rows of seats but aren’t so huge they’re considered trucks. The six- to seven-passenger XT6 has a chiseled Caddy look and unique premium luxury materials to set it apart, but it’s going against well-appointed luxury versions of the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, as well as entries from BMW, Audi and other automakers. It’s also got the same engine as the other brands, a 3.6-litre V6 that puts out 310 horsepower, and a nine-speed automatic transmission. The XT6 has a suite of standard safety features including automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert. It goes on sale in the summer as a 2020 model in the U.S. Price and gas mileage weren’t announced.The Associated Presslast_img read more

6 arrested for online fraud

first_imgNEW DELHI: Crime Branch of Delhi Police busted a gang involved in online cheating under the guise of technical support for various companies and application such as Google and Paypal. Six persons identified as Mohit Bansal, Udit, Yashwant Singh , Guraman Singh, Rohit Chauhan and Pfokreni Kayio involved in the racket have been arrested. Huge quantity of information technology equipment including several servers, routers, SIM Box, hard disks, SIM Cards used for cheating the gullible persons have been recovered from their possessions. Cash Rs 7.40 lakh has also been recovered from these gang members. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsInputs were received that a racket involving several persons based in India and abroad are involved in cheating the gullible persons on the pretext of providing technical assistance to the customer base of Google, Iphone, Paypal, Facebook etc. These fraudsters were making as well as receiving international calls by passing the legal long distance internation call gateways, thus thereby causing a huge loss to the Government Exchequer. During interrogation, it was revealed that these fraudsters had been working with a unique modus operandi by registering on Google Search Engine paid services license for helping customers in troubleshooting.last_img read more

JU fails to resolve admission debacle English Comparative Lit depts adamant on

first_imgKolkata: The Executive Council (EC) at Jadavpur University (JU) on Monday failed to resolve the long-standing admission debacle, with the English and Comparative Literature departments still sticking to their stand of admitting students in undergraduate level only on the basis of marks scored in entrance test. The EC, which is the highest decision-making body of the varsity, reverted the matter back to the admission committee, asking for reconsideration. The other Humanities departments, namely Bengali, International Relations, Philosophy and History, are in favour of the equal weightage system of admission, where 50 percent weightage will be given to marks obtained in the admission test, with the other 50 percent to marks scored in higher secondary or equivalent examination. The two-member admission committee formed by the varsity had recommended admission following the equal weightage system. It may be mentioned that in 2018, there were allegations of improper evaluation of answer scripts of History and the varsity had to conduct re-evaluation with external academicians. It was found that there was a significant variation of marks secured by the candidates in the first and second evaluation. The first evaluation was conducted by professors of the varsity’s History department while the second one was done by external experts. As a result, there were multiple changes in the revised selection list for History. A total number of 15 candidates, who were on the waiting list after the earlier evaluation, made it to the selection list after re-evaluation. A total of 344 scripts were re-evaluated. The merit list for admission was prepared on the basis of 50 percent of marks in the board examination and 50 percent of the marks scored in the admission test.last_img read more