Reaction to the dissolving of Mars Hill Church called for by its elders two weeks after the resignation of its founding pastor, Mark Driscoll, has been varied, including high praise for the controversial pastor's impact on the lives of people who attended his church, a letter of repentance to two former pastors signed by 18 former elders, and fond memories of an edgy congregation meeting in the Seattle area and taking on the world around them.
"Eleven years ago, I walked into a dimly lit former warehouse with crazy art hung up everywhere, tattooed and pierced guys and girls handing out pamphlets, hard rock reverberating through the dark-painted walls, and a short, kinda thick guy up on stage yelling at everyone," wrote Seth MacGillivray, a former long-time member and deacon at Mars Hill, in a post on his Facebook page Friday evening.
"The place was called Mars Hill Church. I was a new Christian, and had a view of most Jesus-followers as a cross between Ned Flanders and high school girls who listened to DC Talk. Here was something new: an ultra-orthodox view of the bible combined with a liberal view of the world," he continued. more >>
Brittany Maynard took her life on Saturday, Nov. 1, and now Vatican official Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula has condemned her decision to do so.
"This woman (took her own life) thinking she would die with dignity, but this is the error. Suicide is not a good thing. It is a bad thing because it is saying no to life and to everything it means with respect to our mission in the world and toward those around us," de Paula told Italian news agency Ansa.
Maynard was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in April and given only six months to live. She decided to take her own life as her condition deteriorated and planned everything out with her family. Maynard, her husband and parents moved to Oregon, where she could legally take an overdose of prescription medication in order to end her life. more >>
His face has become a symbol for resistance against oppression, a marker for those who demand accountability and in the minds of some – anarchy. In the modern day, the Guy Fawkes mask has been a way for people to anonymously stand against an entity.
Guy Fawkes Day is observed Wednesday in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. Also known as Bonfire Night, the holiday has been given special attention with such cultural items as the famous "Remember, Remember the Fifth of November" poem and the film and graphic novel "V for Vendetta." The date marks the anniversary of when a group of Catholic Englishmen attempted to blow up Parliament in response to the Protestant-led body enacting anti-Catholic laws.
"Catholic dissident Guy Fawkes and 12 co-conspirators spent months planning to blow up King James I of England during the opening of Parliament on Nov. 5, 1605," noted Jesse Greenspan in an entry on the History Channel's website. more >>
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York plans to merge more than 112 parishes into 55 new parishes this year, leading to the closure of as many as 33 churches.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, made the announcement of the mergers on All Saints Sunday.
"This time of transition in the history of the archdiocese will undoubtedly be difficult for people who live in parishes that will merge," stated Dolan. "There will be many who are hurt and upset as they experience what will be a change in their spiritual lives, and I will be one of them." more >>
Pope Francis is set to open the "Complementarity of Man and Woman" conference at the Vatican on Nov.17-19, which is dedicated to traditional marriage and is set to feature speakers from various Christian churches, as well as from Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Taoism and Sikhism. Russell D. Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said that he accepted the invitation in order to bear witness to what evangelicals believe about marriage.
While noting that the different religious traditions who will be speaking have "real and ongoing differences on soteriology and ecclesiology," Moore noted on his website that he is "willing to go anywhere, when asked, to bear witness to what we as evangelical Protestants believe about marriage and the gospel, especially in times in which marriage is culturally imperiled."
Catholic News Service reported that the event will feature more than 30 speakers representing 23 countries, and will aim to "examine and propose anew the beauty of the relationship between the man and the woman, in order to support and reinvigorate marriage and family life for the flourishing of human society." more >>
Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas, successfully raised the $7.8 million the congregation was required to pay Presbyterian Church (USA) by Monday's deadline to keep its property.
In October 2013, a supermajority of the congregation voted to end their affiliation with PCUSA and join the smaller, more conservative Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians.
"The funds for the settlement were raised entirely by the generous giving of the congregation of Highland Park Presbyterian Church. HPPC did not take on any debt to pay the settlement," Zack House, a spokesman for the church, told The Christian Post. more >>