On the persistent question of whether churches should tolerate same-sex intimacy by any of its ministers, opponents won a series of victories in May as United Methodists met in Pittsburgh. If anything, the second-largest U.S. Protestant denomination strengthened its resolve against ordaining openly gay ministers.
The most popular names of Episcopal parishes in the U.S. are in a virtual three-way tie between churches with the word Christ (527), St. John (524) or Trinity (520) on their signs, according to a Michigan priest who recently launched a computer-aided search through the denomination’s annual Red Book.
This was to be a relatively calm year for Mark S. Hanson, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ELCA has not experienced nearly the angst over homosexual issues that Episcopalians, Methodists and Presbyterians have.
The apostle Paul wanted women to cover their tresses while praying because he—like the rest of Hellenistic culture then—believed that the long hair of adult females was the sexual equivalent of male testicles, according to a newly published study.
The news in early March that all United Methodists could receive a free drug discount card with savings up to 65 percent appeared at first glance to be a bold health-care step by a major denomination in the light of national disputes over how to help the nation’s uninsured.
June O’Connor, a noted professor of ethics, leads a double life—and without a whiff of duplicity. Primarily she teaches ethics at the University of California at Riverside. However, she also regularly takes on the persona of advice columnist for “Dear June,” a column that runs in the Catholic Digest.
Episcopal church leaders have reacted sharply to what one called an “unauthorized and clandestine” service in Ohio at which five retired conservative U.S. bishops, joined by a bishop from Brazil, confirmed 110 persons without the permission or presence of the diocesan bishop.
Taking a cue from the United Methodists and other media-savvy denominations, the United Church of Christ will spend $1.3 million for a trial television ad campaign in six metropolitan areas through Easter in hopes of gaining some visibility.
Hundreds of members of the large American Academy of Religion have petitioned the AAR board of directors to rescind last year’s decision to hold its annual meetings separately from the Society of Biblical Literature, starting in 2008. The concurrent conferences, usually held the weekend before Thanksgiving, have a combined registration annually of more than 8,000 scholars.
Churches seeking a new pastor tend to want a man under 40, preferably married to a nonworking woman who volunteers on church committees. It’s a caricature, but only slightly so, says sociologist Adair Lummis, who is describing not congregations from the 1950s, but those today.
Churchgoers pondering whether to see Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ during Lent know from news stories that they will have to steel themselves for graphically violent scenes and potential anti-Semitic overtones.
The controversial R-rated movie has been scheduled to open in about 2,000 theaters February 25, Ash Wednesday on Protestant and Catholic calendars.
The most common reason Protestant pastors leave parish ministry is an experience of stressful conflict, usually arising from differences with laity or staff but sometimes with denominational officials. Compounding these stresses, ex-pastors say, is a lack of support from church officials and fellow clergy.
Moments before receiving an award at a Muslim dinner last month, Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore turned in his seat to watch, along with nearly 400 other people, some clips from his documentary Bowling for Columbine and from his provocative acceptance speech at the 2003 Academy Awards.
As soon as majorities at the Episcopal Church’s General Convention consented to the election of an openly gay bishop, outnumbered conservative delegates condemned the unprecedented action for “breaking the ties that bind” the U.S. church to the rest of Anglicanism. Nineteen dissenting U.S.
The stone box that possibly held the skeletal remains of James the brother of Jesus has continued to come under critical scrutiny. Should the church and scholars take seriously this item of unknown origin sold to an antiquities collector? Did one hand or two scratch the Aramaic inscription on the limestone ossuary?
On the five Saturday nights before the 2003 Academy Awards show on March 23, a young adult group at a large church in Pasadena, California, has been discussing the five Oscar nominees for best picture.
Daniel Aleshire has been executive director of the Association of Theological Schools since 1998. The Pittsburgh-based association is the accrediting and program agency for graduate theological education in North America. The ATS has 244 Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox member schools.
After attending a conference at Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral seven years ago, leaders of the Lutheran Church of the Master in Sylmar, California, started thinking about changing their congregation’s name.
The theoretical source of many Jesus sayings in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke has long been considered a sure thing in New Testament studies. Most scholars writing about the Synoptic Gospels refer to "Q" (the first letter of the German word for source) without reciting arguments for its existence.