May be most diverse mainline Protestant denomination
Aug 25, 2009
The American Baptist Churches USA convention this summer was typical of many church gatherings in displaying ethnic and racial diversity. But many ABC leaders think that their denomination may be the most diverse among mainline Protestant churches.
The Church of England, bidding to keep pace with the changing times, has begun promoting a “2-for-1” service that allows couples to combine a marriage ceremony with the baptism of their children born out of wedlock.
Guidelines for the controversial “hatch and match” liturgy went out to the church’s 16,000 parishes this summer.
Debate began over Fundamentals of Orthodox Culture class
Aug 25, 2009
Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has given the green light to efforts by religious leaders to introduce religion into schools.
“Their implementation will help strengthen the moral and spiritual foundations of our society, as well as strengthen the unity of our multiethnic and multireligious country,” he said July 21 at a meeting with religious leaders outside Moscow.
Racial profiling: When President Obama was in the Illinois Senate, he worked on a racial profiling bill that led to state traffic studies on who gets pulled over by police. The latest study reveals a consistent pattern: 24.7 percent of white drivers who consent to a search of their vehicle have contraband, while only 15.4 percent of minority drivers do. Yet minority drivers were twice as likely to be asked to consent to a search of their vehicle (Chicago Tribune, July 26).
Leaders of the (Anglican) Church of England have warned the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden that if it agrees to expand the concept of marriage to include same-sex couples, it risks creating “immediate and negative” consequences for ecumenical relations.
When President Obama named his choices for his administration’s two top medical posts, he chose people of public acclaim whose faith positions may put them out of step with conservative believers—but in tune with White House pragmatism.
Biblical scholar Marcus Borg has been installed as the first canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. Borg, a popular author and lecturer who retired from Oregon State University in 2007, will give public lectures, teach adult courses and occasionally preach.
United Methodists in the U.S. have defeated amendments that would have made church membership open to all Christians regardless of sexual orientation and that would have moved toward allowing the U.S. church to address issues independent of the global United Methodist body.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has suggested that the Episcopal Church may have to accept a secondary role in the Anglican Communion after voting to allow the ordination of gay bishops and blessings for same-sex unions.
Only days after Archbishop Rowan Williams of the worldwide Anglican Communion cautioned Episcopalians against making decisions “that could push us further apart,” delegates at their July 8-17 convention in California voted—swiftly and by a large majority—to open the doors for gay and lesbian bishops.
A Michigan-based Christian relief group, International Aid, has closed its doors amid financial struggles, and World Vision, one of the largest evangelical relief agencies, has eliminated about 75 positions.
The conservative evangelical Presbyterian Church in America has reported a net loss in members for the first time in its three dozen years. The PCA, formed from congregations that left the southern-states Presbyterian Church in the U.S. in 1973, saw membership decline from 345,582 in 2007 to 340,852 in 2008.
India’s Supreme Court agreed July 9 to hear an appeal of a lower-court decision that decriminalized homosexuality after a yoga guru said the right to privacy does not “include the right to enjoy deviant sexual preferences and sexual behavior.”