The Use of Wine and Heart Disease

You may have heard that regular use of red wine reduces the risk of heart desease. This is based on research in France, where people consume diets as fatty as North Americans. Another take in this research is reported by the Institute on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency at Andrews University. The heart disease prevention benefits "may be explained by non-alcoholic compounds. Phenolic substances which have strong antioxidant properties are found in red wine, as well as in many fruits and vegetables including grapes and raisins. The phenols have been shown ... in inhibit the oxidation of 'bad' (LDL) cholesterol, thus reducing its atherogenic ability." Want more information? See the journal Nutrition Review, volume 51, pages 185-187 (1993).

Did You Know

In a recent sociological study of religious North America reported in Newsweek. some interesting statistical finding were made. There are more than 1,500 different religious bodies and sects in the USA.

More than 90% of Americans profess a belief in God. More than half say they pray at least once a day and more than 40% claim to attend worship services.

Other interesting findings are:

  • The wealthy attend worship service less often than the poor,
  • Most Americans are not Muslims, and most American Muslims are not Arabs,
  • More African-Americans are Roman Catholic (9%) than Muslim (0.9%),
  • One fourth of American Jews have no religion and another 12 percent are Christian converts.

Utrecht Update

Two subjects discussed at recent General Conference meetings with division officers from around the world included stewardship education and the Commission on the World Church Organization (COWCO). Besides a discussion relating to the modification of the church's constitution, by-laws and policies, COWCO again looked at capping the size of General Conference Session delegations. COWCO has made recommendations to the 1994 Annual Council that offer alternatives to the present 2650 delegates, which world divisions want reduced to 2000. The decision must be made at the General Conference session in 1995. COWCO also plans to make prospective delegates to the Utrecht, Holland,session aware of the issues to be discussed there by distributing a videotape (with supporting documentation) prior to their arrival.

Southern Baptists Maintain Stand on Homosexuality

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the largest Protestant body in the United Sates, recently gave itself the constitutional authority to expel member churches which affirm homosexual behavior.

According to a Baptist Press release by Art Toalston and Louis Moore, delegates swiftly and overwhelmingly voted to emend their constitution to that effect, ending successfully the two-year process for such action.

The implications of the action had the immediate effect of fueling the determination of the SBC to separate itself from positions taken by US president Bill Clinton, a member of a Southern Baptist church in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Convention nevertheless approved a resolution to "separate ourselves"from a detailed list of stances which Bill Clinton espouses. Among the offending issues were his approval of abortion in certain circumstances and his stated determination to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the US military.

Church to Emphasize the Year of the Adventist Woman

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has designated 1995 as the Year of the Adventist Woman. Worldwide emphasis for this special year will highlight contributions women have made to the Adventist Church, and focus on six issues facing women in the world today. These issues, given priority by the Church, are illiteracy, poverty, threats to health and poor health care, length of workday, abuse, and lack of training experience and opportunities to participate in the Church's mission.