By Melissa Wuske
Businesses Helping Homeless
The Le Carillon project in Paris’s 11th arrondissement neighborhood aims to connect people who are homeless with businesses offering goods and services. Through the program, willing business owners can place stickers in their windows allowing people in need to see what help they can receive from that business. The businesses might offer reheating a meal, charging electronics, sending mail for free, using a first aid kit, and more. So far about 70 businesses are participating. The program allows business owners to show compassion and people experiencing homelessness to overcome the stigma of asking for help.
How the Unchurched View Faith
LifeWay Research conducted a survey to see how people who don’t regularly attend church (called “unchurched” in the study) view church and their friends’ faith. Overall, most people who haven’t attended church in the last six months are white (67 percent), male (53 percent), and regularly attended church as a child (62 percent).
“Unchurched Americans aren’t hostile to faith. They just don’t think church is for them,” said Scott McConnell, LifeWay executive director. While only 35 percent are interested in attending a worship service, 62 percent would consider going to a church meeting about neighborhood safety, 51 percent would be interested in a community service event, and 46 percent would attend a sports or exercise event.
“Unchurched folks are not being overwhelmed by Christians talking about their faith,” said McConnell. “If faith is important to you, then your friends will be interested in hearing about it.” Nearly 80 percent agreed with the statement, “If a friend of mine really values their faith, I don’t mind them talking about it.” Also 47 percent say they discuss religion freely when the topic comes up, and 31 percent will listen to others discuss religion.
Charge a Phone in a KFC Box
Dining at KFC in Delhi or Mumbai, India and your phone is running low on battery? No problem. The limited-edition KFC Watt a Box houses a complete meal and a built-in 6100mAh power bank with a USB outlet. A KFC spokesperson explained the gimmick: “We launched the 5-in-1 Meal Box in March this year with the objective of providing an abundant complete meal and at an affordable price for our customers. With the launch of Watt a Box, we have gone a step ahead and also introduced an element of utility into the box.”
Americans’ Views on Cohabitation
Most Americans think cohabitation—living with a boyfriend or girlfriend—is a good idea, according to a Barna Group study: 41 percent of practicing Christians and 88 percent of people not affiliated with a particular faith think cohabitation is a good idea.
Among those who think cohabitation is a good idea, the majority (84 percent) believe it tests compatibility. Other reasons include convenience/practicality (9 percent) and cheap rent (5 percent). Of those who do not think it’s a good idea, 34 percent cited religious reasons.
Overall, 57 percent of adults are currently or have previously lived with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Some groups are more likely to have cohabitated, including Gen-Xers, people in the Western part of the country, and people earning more than $100,000. People who are semi-active church attenders (62 percent) or very active church attenders (59 percent) are also slightly more likely to have cohabitated. Groups less likely to have cohabitated now or in the past include members of the elder generation, people who’ve never been married, and millennials. “Living together before marriage is no longer an exception, but instead has become an accepted and expected milestone of adulthood, “ said Roxanne Stone, editor in chief at Barna Group.
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).