During what some call the start of a recession, mainline church officials are assuring pastors and retirees that their pension funds are secure. But the officials are concerned about how the economic woes will affect their operating budgets and ministries.
The late Pope John Paul II was stabbed by a priest in Portugal in 1982, almost one year to the day after the shooting attempt on his life in St. Peter’s Square, according to a new film. The revelation appears in Testimony, which premiered October 16 in Rome, to an audience that included Pope Benedict XVI.
In a sign that once-frosty relations between the independent-minded Baptist General Convention of Texas and the large Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth may be thawing, the BGCT’s new executive director spoke at the seminary last month.
After turning over the Crystal Cathedral pulpit nearly three years ago to his son as the main preacher on the Hour of Power TV program, founding pastor Robert H. Schuller now says he has “parted ways” with his son over their opposing visions for the ministry.
A fading sign at the corner of Cleveland’s East 79th Street and Golden Avenue announces the Last Stop Bonanza Inc. as “the stop that has your everyday needs”—even though the gate is locked and the space is filled with trash.
In the wake of recent deadly violence against Christians in northern Iraq, the top executive of the National Council of Churches has welcomed the urgent call by Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, for the UN and the Iraqi government to denounce expulsion threats against the country’s Christian minority.
Cuddle and preach? Some people allege that Mattel’s Little Mommy Cuddle N’ Coo doll emits the words “Islam is the light.” The toy manufacturer says that the sound emitted resembles the word night, right or light. The company promises to eliminate the misleading sound in future production of the doll (UPI).
Ending a long legal battle, the largest congregation to break its ties with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in the past two years has voted narrowly to pay $1.75 million for the land and buildings it occupies in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Four students at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, confessed to hanging an effigy of Senator Barack Obama from a tree on campus and were suspended for up to a year, school officials announced September 30. The students’ names were not released.
Mind-boggling: If the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street were paid out in $100 bills, it would amount to a stack 54 miles high. Given the magnitude of the plan, no wonder there is public outrage. But columnist James Carroll noticed another, similar figure: in the fiscal year just begun the Pentagon will spend $607 billion on regular military operations (as well as another $100 billion on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq).
In the first three months that gay and lesbian couples could marry legally in California, an estimated 11,000 of them took their vows—a number that, according to a new study, is higher than the total in the first four years that gay marriage was legal in Massachusetts.
A Presbyterian court in Pittsburgh ruled October 2 that a minister did not violate scripture or church law by performing a union ceremony for two lesbians, since the ceremony was not a marriage under church or state law.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) permits ministers to preside over same-sex unions as long as they are not purported to be marriages.
A Wisconsin-based group of atheists and agnostics has filed suit against President Bush over the federal law designating a National Day of Prayer. The Freedom from Religion Foundation maintains that the law violates the First Amendment’s prohibition against an official establishment of religion.