When Abraham Smith retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1996, the last thing on his mind was preaching from a storefront in one of the most depressed areas of the nation’s capital. But an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church asked the lieutenant colonel and ordained minister to create a new congregation in the district’s troubled Petworth neighborhood.
Mea culpas: Counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke’s apology for the government’s failure to stop the 9/11 attacks has brought mixed reactions: some family members of 9/11 victims were deeply moved, others thought the apology was opportunistic.
On the presidential campaign trail, Senator John Kerry (D., Mass.) is using the New Testament’s Letter of James to imply that the Bush administration may be long on expressing faith but lacks compassionate deeds in dealing with hunger and joblessness. Following Kerry’s appearance in a St. Louis church, a White House spokesman decried the ploy as “exploitation of scripture.”
Two top officials of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel resigned in March after the church lost $14 million to two investment firms that have been alleged to be fraudulent. The resignations of the president, Paul Risser, and the corporate treasurer, Brent Morgan, were accepted during an annual cabinet meeting in Los Angeles, the denomination announced.
The acquittal of a lesbian Methodist pastor charged with violating a church ban on “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy does not change church law, United Methodist bishops have cautioned members as the denomination prepares for its once-every-four-years convention late this month.