Regional bodies of the United Methodist Church do not believe they are violating denominational rules on ordination by no longer questioning clergy candidates on matters of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
As part of the divisive debate over homosexuality within the UMC, some regional bodies, or Annual Conferences, have had their Boards of Ordained Ministry waive the consideration of a clergy candidate's sexual orientation.
Just two weeks after residents in Omaha, Nebraska, reported a 1-and-a-half years mystery of meat-wrapped knives found stabbed into trees, police are now investigating the stabbing of a Bible inside a church in Lincoln.
Rev. Mic Henton who runs the youth ministry at the College View Seventh-day Adventist Church in Lincoln, told local news station KETV that he isn't sure if the knifed Bible is a chilling warning from evil forces but wants whoever has been taunting the ministry with a number of symbolic acts of evil in recent weeks to know that "Jesus still died for them."
Henton said the first instance of trouble he saw before the stabbing was the cutting of the cable for the microphone used in the ministry. more >>
"So what are churches doing to reach people today, Thom?"
I hear some version of that question on a regular basis. The difficult response is that more churches are doing nothing rather than something.
But, to be fair, thousands of churches are doing some type of outreach to their communities and beyond. But the times have definitely changed. more >>
An Oregon church is now facing a $5.2 million lawsuit from a heartbroken mother alleging officials there failed to report her 6-year-old daughter's confession that her biological father repeatedly raped her during visitation that resulted in her eventual contraction of oral and genital herpes.
The girl's mother, identified only as Anna in a KGW local news report, alleges in the lawsuit cited by Oregon Live, that at age 6 or 7, her daughter, now 12, began confiding in leaders at The Church of the Nazarene in McMinnville over a period of nearly two years that her father had been sexually abusing her.
The church failed to report the allegation to police or child protective services as required by Oregon's mandatory reporting law. They also said nothing to Anna about her daughter's claims. more >>
An atheist activist who brought legal action against a Texas church to stop the construction of a 230-foot cross on its property, has agreed to dismiss his case in a "settlement," after the church counter-sued the atheist.
Atheist Patrick Greene, who sued the Abundant Life Fellowship Church in Corpus Christi, Texas, and its Pastor, Rick Milby, over their plan to construct the tallest cross in the Western Hemisphere, dropped the case and pledged this week not to file baseless lawsuits over the freedom of exercise of religion, according to KRISTV.com.
"We hope that Mr. Greene along with atheists everywhere that seem to file baseless lawsuits will now think twice about doing such a thing," Jeremy Dys, senior counsel for First Liberty Institute, which filed the counter suit on behalf of the church, was quoted as saying. more >>
The fight to protect Christians and other religious minorities from genocide at the hands of the Islamic State terror group has intensified, with the United Nations being called to take immediate action, the American Center for Law and Justice has confirmed.
In a letter thanking U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for declaring the massacre against Christians in Iraq and Syria a genocide, the ACLJ called on the U.S. to take several steps and advance the case at the U.N., by:
"1) pressing the United Nations to declare that the ongoing atrocities committed by the Islamic State and associate groups constitute genocide; 2) communicating with all appropriate offices of the United Nations to that end; and 3) doing everything in your power to mobilize the international community to take swift and decisive action." more >>