Roman Catholic Bishops are said to be debating how to include gay couples living together without being married as part of the Catholic Church community, as the major Synod on the family gathering at the Vatican reached its half-way point. The bishops have reportedly ruled out changes to the traditional definition of marriage, but are working with the concept that gay people have "gifts and qualities" to offer the church.
"Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions, it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners," the bishops said, according to The Associated Press.
A document summarizing the closed-door debate reportedly noted that the bishops are looking into the "gifts and qualities" gay people can offer to the church. The bishops also asked if the Church is ready to offer gay people a welcoming place, "accepting and valuing their sexual orientation without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony." more >>
A Roman Catholic Archbishop in Ukraine has said that the nation "cannot be killed, not even with Russian tanks," referring to the ongoing war, while speaking at the Synod of Bishops on the family taking place at the Vatican. Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk also discussed the crucial role of the Catholic family in protecting human rights.
"The new Ukraine that is being born amid suffering is a new society" yearning for full freedom and full democracy, bringing together people from every religion and ethnic group, Shevchuk said, according to Catholic News Service.
"This new Ukraine that is being born cannot be killed, not even with Russian tanks." more >>
Despite being officially ousted by his church, Juan Demetrius McFarland, a defiant Montgomery, Alabama, pastor who made national news last week when it was revealed that he knowingly had sex with multiple female members of his congregation even though he has full blown AIDS, is refusing to give up the pulpit and conducted worship service on Sunday.
A USA Today report said McFarland returned to the pulpit at Shiloh Missionary Baptist church appearing "full of the spirit" and supported by about 50 members of the congregation he pas pastored for 24 years preaching a message of healing from the book of Matthew in the Bible.
In Matthew, Pastor McFarland concentrated on the story of a faithful centurion who called upon Jesus to heal his servant, who was dying of leprosy. more >>
What the church of America desperately needs today is a revival of the fear of God.
I'm not talking about a servile fear for a petty and unpredictable deity. Perfect love casts out that kind of fear (see 1 John 4:18).
I'm talking about the reverential fear deserved by a holy and all-powerful God, the kind of fear that causes us to walk carefully in His sight. Such godly awe is sadly lacking in the Body. more >>
In order to last in ministry, church planters need to adhere by certain guidelines that change the mold of how they build their church structure, said Pastor Rick Warren during the Exponential West conference this past week.
Warren addressed conference goers to utilize his experience as a leader in ministry of over 40 years. He told church planters that about half of them were not going to make it, according to statistics, unless they started doing something radical.
"You must be very careful how you build. Some build with gold, silver, precious stones even wood, hay and straw but the day will come when fire will reveal the quality of your work and if what you build survives, you will receive a reward," Warren said on Thursday of the three-day conference. more >>
Inspired by the concept of "flash mobs," an organization based in Buffalo, New York, has opted to perform "Mass Mobs" wherein large numbers of people agree to meet at a given local Catholic congregation.
Whereas a "flash mob" will do various performances or things in a random public space and then disperse, this group will surprise a given church to attend mass at their facility.