Lutheran church membership soared in Africa and Asia between 2005 and 2006 but continued its steady decline in the West, according to the Lutheran World Federation, whose total constituency rose .71 percent to just under 66.7 million.
Spring Arbor University in Michigan reached a financial settlement last month with fired transgender professor Julie Nemecek, who had filed a discrimination suit. “It was a difficult thing for me and for the university, but I think we both walked away happy,” Nemecek said.
Asian American United Methodists, including those with Japanese ancestry, are strongly criticizing recent denials by the prime minister of Japan regarding that country’s coercion of “comfort women” during World War II, according to United Methodist News Service.
Flat (and cool) earth society: In response to recent warnings by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) about the consequences of greenhouse-gas emissions, the conservative American Enterprise Institute is offering a $10,000 prize to scientists and economists who write articles which call attention to weaknesses of the IPCC report. In reporting this news, the Chronicle of Higher Education (March 2) said it is eagerly awaiting a patron who will offer “a reward for papers that discredit the spherical-earth theories that have been circulating for the past millennium or so.”