Though many Presbyterians are grieving the current state of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), they need to remember that Jesus Christ has a plan for the church and their job is to follow it, a leader of the fledgling Fellowship of Presbyterians (FOP) said here today at the group’s first gathering.
More than 1,900 Presbyterians from more than 850 congregations in 49 states are meeting here today and tomorrow (Aug. 25-26) to explore their options in the wake of denominational decisions that have roiled the PC(USA). Their movement began last winter when a group of large-church pastors wrote an open letter declaring the church “deathly ill.”
Myanmar was visited by an ecumenical solidarity team representing the World Council of Churches (WCC) from Aug. 4 to 9 as part of the council’s commitment to accompany churches in conflict situations. This was a follow-up to a WCC Living Letters team visit to Myanmar in late 2010.
The Dadaab refugee complex in northern Kenya, where several Christian relief agencies are delivering humanitarian aid to Somali migrants fleeing drought, war and disease, has become Kenya’s third-largest “city.”
With a population of nearly 450,000, the community of white tents and makeshift houses is located about 100 kilometers from the Somali border. More than 1,000 severely malnourished people arrive daily, fleeing the drought and famine affecting more than 12 million people.
“Music,” Ludwig van Beethoven said, “is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.”
Transcending dogma, creed, culture and even language, music has the power to elevate the soul as well as the mind. It’s the source of a type of faith as often discovered outside traditional organized religion as within it.
As reported yesterday, the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (INPM) has voted to end its 139-year-old relationship with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) because of the PC(USA)’s ordination standards, which were amended this year to allow the ordination of sexually active gays and lesbians.
In response to the INPM’s decision, the PC(USA)’s World Mission ministry area has released the following statement:
On Monday evening (Aug. 22), Presbyterian World Mission leaders received a communiqué from leaders of the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (INPM) officially documenting the decision of the Mexican church to sever the historic 139 year relationship between INPM and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
More than 100 Protestant leaders from 12 countries in Latin America, representing diverse denominations and ministries, have written an open letter expressing their concern over the economic crisis in the United States and the decisions being made by the U.S. Congress to address it.
In their letter addressed to Christians in the United States, the Latin American leaders urge them to “lift up the voice of the millions of people who do not have a part in the major economic decisions being made in Washington, D.C.”
An unusual magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck in central Virginia on the afternoon of Aug. 23 significantly damaged the central tower of Washington National Cathedral in the U.S. capital, about 84 miles northeast of the temblor’s epicenter.
Cathedral spokesman Richard Weinberg told Episcopal News Service by phone that the finials or capstones fell off three of the four corner spires of the central tower, which was completed in the 1960s and restored in the 1990s after lightning damage. There were also cracks in some of the flying buttresses that support the cathedral, but there appeared to be no damage to the stained-glass windows.
The old wisdom: The more educated you are, the less likely you will be religious. But a new study says education doesn’t drive people away from God ― it gives them a more liberal attitude about who’s going to heaven.
Each year of education ups the odds by 15 percent that people will say there’s “truth in more than one religion,” says University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Philip Schwadel in an article for the Review of Religious Research. Schwadel, an associate professor of sociology, looked at 1,800 U.S. adults’ reported religious beliefs and practices and their education.
Bible literacy is on a steep decline. Fifty-five percent of adults surveyed by the Pew Research Center could not name the four Gospels, 66 percent do not know who delivered the Sermon on the Mount, and 12 percent of Americans questioned identified Joan of Arc as Noah’s wife.
The National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (INPM) has voted to end its 139-year partnership in mission with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), in response to the PC(USA)’s decision earlier this year to allow the ordination of sexually active gays and lesbians.
That decision to sever the relationship came on a 116 to 22 vote of the Mexican church assembly on Aug. 19. It likely will jeopardize the continuation of the work that 11 PC(USA) mission co-workers have been doing in Mexico ―including significant work along the U.S.-Mexican border ― as well as the future of short-term congregational mission trips to Mexico and more than two-dozen partnerships that PC(USA) presbyteries and synods have established in Mexico.