News reports from the Inter-European Division, New York City, AdventHealth (Orlando), Loma Linda University Health and Italy:

From the Inter-European Division: Faith and Science Fundamentals is a series of webinars intended for those who have questions about the relationship between two apparently distant concepts: religious faith and scientific knowledge. Are they opposed?  Completely independent? Compatible? Complementary?

Christians believe that God is the author (editor) of the Bible and the creator of nature, so knowledge drawn from these two sources should always be in harmony. But that does not seem to be the case. Or is it?

These are the types of issues dealt with in the Faith and Science Fundamentals webinars. “Once a week for sixteen weeks we will explore the main issues of the faith-science debate, focusing especially on one of the most controversial topics: Origins,” said Dr. Noemí Durán, biologist, professor, and director of the European Branch Office of the Geoscience Research Institute (GRI).

The content is organized in four sections: Science; Models of Origins; Biology and Design; and Rocks, Fossils and the Flood. Each section contains four webinars. The specific titles and dates for each session are available on the Facebook page GRI Live Creation

This webinar series is a basic course on Faith and Science recommended for teachers, pastors, students, and any other person interested in this topic. No previous training or knowledge is required.

The webinar presenter is Dr Noemí Durán.

The event is free but it requires registration. It will be held on the Zoom Webinar platform. The registration link is here.

According to the NBC news site, the Supreme Court of the State of New York’s Second Department has ruled that falsely claiming someone is gay is not defamatory per se.

The court ruled on a case, Laguerre v. Maurice, from 2017, in which Pastor Jean Renald Maurice of Gethsemane Seventh-day Adventist Church in Brooklyn stated that church elder Pierre Delor Laguerre “was a homosexual” in front of 300 people. According to a court opinion, the pastor also said Laguerre “disrespected the church by viewing gay pornography on the church’s computer.” Laguerre was disfellowshipped as a result of the accusation.

Stated NBC news:

The Second Department court ultimately dismissed Laguerre’s defamation claim, citing Yonaty v. Mincolla, a 2012 ruling by the Supreme Court’s Third Department that found that previous decisions labeling false claims of homosexuality as defamation per se were “inconsistent with current public policy and should no longer be followed.” That decision also ruled that “it cannot be said that current public opinion supports a rule that would equate statements imputing homosexuality with accusations of serious criminal conduct or insinuations that an individual has a loathsome disease.”

From AdventHealth (edited for length): ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 14, 2021 — Randy Haffner has been named president and CEO for AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division, effective Feb. 1.

In his new role, Haffner will oversee the strategic direction, development and expansion of the entire division which includes 18 campuses spanning across seven counties. Haffner replaces Daryl Tol, who recently resigned from his position.

Currently, Haffner serves as senior executive vice president for AdventHealth and president/CEO for the Multi-State Division, where he leads the division’s five regions, which comprise 20 campuses across eight states. Additionally, he provides executive oversight for AdventHealth’s Leadership Institute and serves as chair of the Epic Steering Committee, which oversees the organization’s electronic health record transition to the Epic platform.

From Loma Linda University Health / By Lisa Aubry (edited for length): COVID-19 and its affiliated safety measures have increasingly shifted activities related to work, exercise and leisure from the great outdoors and public spaces to the home —spurring the development of some not-so heart-healthy habits, such as reduction of physical activity.

Yet implementing a few simple changes in lifestyle can, over time, boost heart health despite quarantine’s challenges, according to Jason Hoff, MD, an interventional cardiologist at Loma Linda University International Heart Institute.

Cook consciously

There is a silver lining to be found in the inevitability of spending more time at home, says Hoff: more time and flexibility to make healthy meals. “This is the best time ever to take up a hobby of cooking.”

Hoff recommends aiming for a whole plant-based diet — the best diet for the heart.

“Typically, I tell patients to look at what they eat over the course of a week or two, pick the least healthy meal, and substitute that one first with a recipe that’s whole plant based,” Hoff says. “If you like it, keep it and work your way through all your dishes to make them healthier. Over time it becomes significant.”

Move often

Strong as the temptation to ditch an at-home workout may be, Hoff assures there are plenty of opportunities for you and family members to sustain heart health. In fact, Hoff says those working from home may benefit from more sustainable exercise by customizing their work station or daily routine to incorporate frequent movement.

Take Care

Hoff says staying heart healthy is a balance of the whole body. Prioritize mental health by securing enough quality sleep and managing stress levels through physical exercise, mental meditation and other relaxing activities, he says. Staying connected to friends and family via technology is also key to emotional health. When mental health suffers, Hoff says physical health often follows suit.

From ADRA Italia (edited for length) The social educational project ‘Il Marciapiede Didattico, Disabilita il Pregiudizio’ (The Educational Sidewalk, Disabling Prejudice), coordinated by ADRA Italia, has become a research project investigating how to reduce discrimination against disabled people and minority groups, among boys and girls, by simulating situations of discomfort.

The experiment was carried out among groups of students (450 in all), aged between 11 and 15 years old, attending some secondary schools in the Municipality of Florence. The main objective was to reduce prejudice against those with disabilities, using the perspective of identification, i.e., putting oneself in the shoes of others, sitting in a wheelchair and walking along a modular wooden pavement mounted inside the school facilities with all the difficulties and obstacles of any city pavement.

The results obtained from the study support the initial thesis and show that taking the point of view of a minority group while interacting with a person from this same group leads to more favourable attitudes, higher levels of empathy, and higher contact intentions towards people with disabilities. On the other hand, those reported by individuals who completed the activity of putting themselves in someone else’s shoes, without encountering a person belonging to a minority group, were lower.

The significantly interesting aspect that these results revealed is that the perspective of immersion proved to be effective in reducing prejudice towards minorities who were not explicitly mentioned during the intervention.

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