Briefly noted

January 12, 2010

Longtime executive Bill Anderson has resigned after more than two decades as the leader of the CBA, the major umbrella group for Christian retailers. Anderson, 61, abruptly ended his role as president and CEO of CBA, the organization formerly known as the Christian Booksellers Association, in late October, as reported by Christian Retailing in its December 7 issue. Anderson gave no reason for his departure. He became the association’s first full-time convention manager in 1978. At its peak in 1999, the annual summer convention had close to 15,000 in attendance. Since then, the industry has struggled with competition from big-box chains and online retailers.

With the support of a $30 million endowment, Washington University in St. Louis announced Wednesday (Dec. 16) it will open a religion and politics center named for former Senator John C. Danforth. Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said the purpose of the center, which will open in January, is to deepen academic and public understanding of religion and U.S. politics and “encourage a civil discourse in which a pluralistic society can respectfully address profound issues on which its citizens sometimes disagree.” Danforth, an Episcopal priest who served 18 years in the Senate as a Republican from Missouri, said he believes the center can help create common ground for a diverse country to move beyond political polarization.

In a fight that mirrors church property disputes in the United States, a British Columbia judge has ruled in favor of a Canadian Anglican diocese in a legal battle with conservative dissidents. The November 25 decision may set a precedent as other groups attempt to secede with property assets as they depart the Anglican Church of Canada in a global conflict over homosexuality and interpretation of scripture. Justice Stephen Kelleher of the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that the Vancouver-based Diocese of New Westminster may keep possession of four church properties. One of the churches, St. John’s Shaughnessy, is widely acknowledged to be the largest Anglican parish in Canada.