The Sunday Assembly, the atheist "megachurch" started in the U.K., sold out its inaugural event in Los Angeles with more than 400 attendees, and launched a "40 Dates, 40 Nights" tour around the U.S. and Australia seeking to raise donations for its cause.
"There was so much about it that I loved, but it's a shame because at the heart of it, it's something I don't believe in," British comedian Sanderson Jones, one of the founders of the atheist church, said about attending Christian church, according to The Associated Press. "If you think about church, there's very little that's bad. It's singing awesome songs, hearing interesting talks, thinking about improving yourself and helping other people – and doing that in a community with wonderful relationships. What part of that is not to like?"
The atheist Sunday Assembly, with its roots in London, has spread to major cities like San Diego, Nashville and New York, proving popular among the 20 percent or so Americans who according to a Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life poll do not identify with a religious affiliation. more >>
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, presented a video apology at the Mosaix 2013 conference on Wednesday for publishing a Vacation Bible School initiative 10 years ago that was titled "Rickshaw Rally" that hurt and offended the Asian American Christian community.
"Ten years ago, LifeWay issued student Bible study material with racial stereotypes that offended many in the Asian American community," Rainer said in the video apology.
"I wasn't part of LifeWay then, but I am now, and I recently learned that the decade-old offense was still a wound of hurt for some. As president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, I want to apologize. I am sincerely sorry stereotypes were used in our material, and I apologize for the pain they caused." more >>
Paul F. Crouch, co-founder of the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), the world's largest Christian-owned cable station, was taken off a ventilator this week after breathing difficulties and shortness of breath led to his hospitalization late last month.
Crouch was admitted to a Dallas, Texas, hospital on Oct. 22 and, according to a statement from TBN, has returned home to California where he remains under doctors' care.
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Kicking off the first plenary session at the Mosaix 2013 Multi-Ethnic Church Conference on Tuesday, Pastors Mark DeYmaz, Derwin Gray and Eugene Cho, and theology professor Paul Louis Metzger shared their belief in this movement that aims to reflect God's love for all people and the diversity of the kingdom of heaven by planting and growing economically and ethnically-diverse churches.
DeYmaz, who planted Mosaic Church in Little Rock, Ark., where he's the directional leader, noted that among all of the churches in the United States, 86.3 percent fail to have at least 20 percent diversity in their congregations, adding that churches are 10 times more segregated than the communities in which they sit and 20 times more segregated than nearby public schools.
"Surely it breaks the heart of God that so many churches throughout this country are segregated ethnically and economically from one another," DeYmaz commented, "and little has changed in more than 100 years since it was first heard that Sunday morning is the most-segregated hour of the week." more >>
As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to take up the issue of prayer before government meetings this week, a major atheist group has filed a lawsuit against a California city, arguing the city allowed a chaplain to deliver sectarian prayers at city council meetings for the past several years.
The church-state separatist group Freedom From Religion Foundation [FFRF] has filed a lawsuit in the San Luis Obispo Superior Court against the city of Pismo Beach, Calif., located on the state's central coast. The lawsuit claims that the city's chaplain Rev. Paul E. Jones, a volunteer, has provided predominately Christian-themed invocations prior to city council meetings for the past five years. The lawsuit seeks to have the city's chaplain position discontinued and to stop the practice of prayer before city council meetings.
"With 20% of the adult population today identifying as nonreligious, at least a fifth of the population is routinely excluded and offended by official prayer conducted by the city," Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president, said in a press release regarding the lawsuit. "Non-Christian believers are also excluded when the government prayer is Christian, as it routinely is. It's time public officials catch up with the changing demographics. Elected officials should get off their knees and get to work," she added. more >>
More than 900 church leaders and planters will be in Long Beach, Calif., this week to attend the Mosaix 2013 Multi-Ethnic Church Conference to equip themselves with the tools they need to build congregations that reflect the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the communities they serve.
At this year's conference, church planters will hear from 68 speakers who'll be leading workshops and discussing issues pertaining to 15 tracks that include topics on community engagement, overcoming the racial divide and engaging Hispanics and Latinos, among others, with each track being translated into Spanish and French.
The theme of this year's conference is "For the Sake of the Gospel" to reflect that the multi-ethnic church movement is exegetically sound and rooted in New Testament theology. more >>