After nearly four years—some say 15 years—of discussion the largest U.S. Lutheran denomination will soon hear if it has some practical and moral wisdom for dealing with homosexual issues that have divided other mainline church bodies for decades.
The Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment says its national clergy sabbatical program will continue for a sixth year in 2005. Recently the foundation announced 132 recipients, who will receive up to $45,000 each. The 2004 winners represented 23 Christian denominations in 37 states.
Two civil-liberties watchdog groups have filed the first known lawsuit to prevent public schools from teaching the theory of “intelligent design.” Critics of the theory, including supporters of evolution, call it “junk science” and say it is a back-door way to teach creationism.
In yet another first for female seminary executives, Leah Gaskin Fitchue has been inaugurated as the head of Payne Theological Seminary, making her the first African-American woman president of a seminary affiliated with the Association of Theological Schools.