The United Methodist Church is denying that an Indiana church dismissed its openly gay choir director over his sexual orientation.
Dan Gangler, spokesman for the UMC Indiana Conference, told The Christian Post that First United Methodist Church of Alexandria had other reasons for not re-hiring Adam Fraley.
"The position was not open. Mr. Fraley had resigned earlier in the year and the pastor did not think it wise to re-hire him since he already have once resigned from the position," said Gangler. "This was a personnel decision. The position was the church's position in the first place. The church has the option to fill or not fill a particular position." more >>
Human trafficking for labor and sex, considered a worldwide epidemic, is of such heightened concern for this year's Super Bowl that one Catholic social activism group has trained more than 400 volunteers to canvas the New York and New Jersey region during the week-long extravaganza to raise awareness. Other groups, including churches, are taking aim at the problem as well.
In another instance of action against the form of modern-day slavery, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale in Florida, is using the month of January, tagged Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and coupled with their own Super Bowl efforts to encourage Christians to join a team planning to meet in Brazil for the World Cup.
"You've read the devastating statistics (An estimated 27 million are enslaved in the world today; Approximately 80 percent of human trafficking victims are women and are children (boys and girls); human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world-second only to drug trafficking.)," states Calvary Chapel on its website. "But did you know that this epidemic is running rampant at one of the largest sporting events in the world? more >>
Taking care of the spiritual needs of church members on a personal level inside a megachurch with a weekly attendance well into the thousands can be a reality, says Pastor Mark Driscoll. However, following the biblical pattern for church leadership is vital in order to do so, the leader of Mars Hill Church based in Seattle stated in a recent blog post.
"Having been the pastor of the same church for what is now 18 years, I am very certain we take much better care of our people today than we did when we were small," writes Driscoll.
Driscoll shared how the leadership team at Mars Hill is "sheep-focused" while he remains "flock-focused," which has been a successful strategy for the 14,000-member church, despite the assumption that larger churches "do not care for people as well as smaller churches." more >>
A federal appeals court has scheduled arguments on an appeal from a group of churches hoping to erect a temporary cross display on public property in Indiana.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided to hear arguments on an appeal regarding churches, including West Side Christian Church of Evansville, which wanted to create a display with multiple crosses on property in Evansville.
Arguments will be heard on Tuesday, Feb. 18 before the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. more >>
Each year we see new stories of Christian leaders who get entangled in scandalous sin. Our experience tells us that this has happened before and will happen again.
Often we ask, "Who was holding this man accountable?" And, "If I can't trust this seemingly godly man, who can I trust?" It is very common and very appropriate to also ask, "How are we supposed to hold leaders accountable?" If they are local church elders, the Bible speaks directly to the question. The Bible gives a very clearly defined method for dealing with sin in church elders.
How does the Bible say that church elders are held accountable? How do you confront elders in the church? more >>
A Roman Catholic Archdiocese plans to release its files on priests under its jurisdiction reported to have committed sexual abuse.
In a January edition of the Chicago Archdiocese's newspaper Catholic New World, Cardinal Francis George wrote that the files on 30 priests will be released as part of a legal settlement.
"All these incidents were reported over the years to the civil authorities and claims have been mediated civilly. Almost all of the incidents happened decades ago, perpetrated by priests whom neither I nor many younger clergy have ever met or talked to," wrote George. "Nevertheless, the publication puts the actions of these men and the archdiocese itself in the spotlight. Painful though publicly reviewing the past can be, it is part of the accountability and transparency to which the archdiocese is committed." more >>