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Update to "Conservatives Counseling Gay or Lesbian Clients"

A few years back, values-based referrals by counselors were proper under the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics if done tactfully, so as not to wound the client, and were ethically permissible if the therapist, because of personal beliefs, could not provide what the client was seeking. Since we first reported on this issue, several big changes have altered that premise, most importantly, a major change in the ACA Code of Ethics.

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Part 4: Risk and Vulnerability

Hi Brent,

The very nature of missions is that we have to be willing to take up our cross and die for Christ. Most of the great missions biographies show us people living very difficult lives and even being martyred. Our brothers and sister in many countries are being martyred right now.

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Four Things Your Ministry Needs to Do to Get Ready for the New Overtime Rules

Pastors work tirelessly preparing for sermons, counseling parishioners, and managing other administrative aspects of running a church. A teacher at a religious school spends countless hours developing lesson plans, and even more instructing students on matters of doctrine. A missionary’s work in the field does not fit the traditional 9 to 5 work day, and the person may be “on call” nearly 24-7. Often, religious workers, driven by a sense of calling, work far more than a 40-hour-work week. Does a religious organization have to pay overtime under a federal law called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)? While the answer used to be “most likely not,” a recent change in the rules governing when overtime must be paid creates some confusion, and probably a mixed result.

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Part 3: Risk and Vulnerability

Well done, Theresa! I thought you tried to cover a lot of things there, some of which we have talked about in other blogs in the past. But you got me thinking about a particular issue that revolves around the theology or missiology of suffering. I have suggested to a number of mission agencies that they intentionally have missionaries take into account the reality of the hardship of cross-cultural ministry, and the fact that there may be very bad outcomes at certain times and in certain places.

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Part 2: Risk and Vulnerability

Hi Brent. It’s no surprise to me that New Zealand, being fairly socialized, would pass such an Act. One small consolation may be that the Act likely cannot be enforced against those who are not New Zealand employers. For one thing, it would be hard to get jurisdiction over them. And even in New Zealand, it will take awhile to develop a body of case law around the legislation.

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Part 1: Risk and Vulnerability

Hi Theresa! A recent issue of the online newsletter Missions Interlink from New Zealand has an article about the 2016 “Health and Safety at Work Act” and its application for missions.

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The Court Prevents a Former Minister from Suing his Church for Defamation

Defamation claims against religious organizations are more common than you would think. It’s almost impossible to challenge who a religious organization selects as a minister or how it disciplines that minister. So these claims focus on the idea that what was said about the minister is defamatory—something that is not directly controlled by constitutional law. Here is a recent example of a case that ultimately had an indirect constitutional defense. 

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