Although his physical appearance denied that he once played in the NFL, Pastor Ken Hutcherson, reduced by the ravages of the cancer he fought for more than a decade, looked at me as I entered the room for his men's discipleship meeting on a Monday night in early November with the eyes of his former linebacker self – he read me like he was gauging a quarterback about to take a snap.
"Hutch," sitting at the table with about two dozen men, was disarmingly gentle in his demeanor. However, one thing was certain, the leader of Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland, Wash., had the cutting edge sharpness of a sword when it came time to studying and diving deep into the word of God with his men.
Without doubt, the mightiest thought the mind can entertain is the thought of God, and the weightiest word in any language is its word for God. Thought and speech are God's gifts to creatures made in His image; these are intimately associated with Him and impossible apart from Him. It is highly significant that the first word was the Word: "And the Word was with God, and the Word was God." We may speak because God spoke. In Him word and idea are indivisible. more >>
Two lesbian Methodist pastors in Seattle, Wash., could soon be defrocked after they decided to celebrate their undying love for each other by getting married in defiance of the Methodist Book of Discipline two weeks ago.
The news comes on the heels of an announcement Thursday by leaders of the United Methodist Church that they had defrocked the Rev. Frank Schaefer of Pennsylvania for officiating the wedding of his son to another man six years ago.
According to a King5.com report, the two female pastors, the Rev. Joanne Brown who pastors Tibbetts United Methodist Church and Christie Newbill who is a pastor at Woodland Park United Methodist Church got married on Dec. 7 before a full house at Brown's church. more >>
The megachurch movement in the United States is not dying or slowing down, according to a recent, end-of-year report that shows a growing number of attendance, averaging 2,000 people in 46 states.
"With each passing year, megachurches are more in both number and size and the ones at the top of the list are larger than the ones at the top of the list in previous years," Warren Bird, director of research and intellectual capital development for Leadership Network, told The Christian Post.
Megachurches tend to be more protestant in nature and, by definition, hold services for 2,000 members or more. In the U.S., several congregations surpass that figure by large numbers, including Rick Warren's Saddleback Church based in Lake Forest, Calif., and Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, among others. According to Bird, there are currently 1,650 established megachurches in the country, many of which draw a sizeable percentage of young adults. more >>
For the majority of American Christians, women's voices from the pulpit are a rarity.
According to a Faith Communities Today 2010 survey, roughly 24 percent of Mainline Protestant congregations had female leadership. For Evangelical congregations, only 9% had women on the pastoral staff.
Without endorsing a position on female ordination, Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith seeks to bring more female Christian voices to the mainstream, by offering 40 women under the age of 40 a platform to share a myriad of opinions on ordination, sexuality, divorce, doubt, breast feeding, and gender roles. more >>
Pope Francis has approved the attribution of a "miraculous healing" to the intercession of a New Jersey nun who died in 1927. The miracle was the restoration of a young boy's vision without any medical intervention.
According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, N.J., the miracle took place in 1963 when Sister of Charity Maria Augustine at St. Anashaisa School, Teaneck, led the school and parishioners in prayer for the 6-year-old boy through Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich's intercession. The boy had been diagnosed with bilateral macular degeneration, which cannot be healed completely. Following the prayer, he regained his sight without medical treatment, surgery or medications.
The approval by Pope Francis opens the way to Demjanovich's beatification. The next step is to determine a date for Demjanovich's beatification, which depends on the bishop of the diocese of Paterson, N.J., which first opened the cause. more >>
A pastor who officiated his son's gay marriage ceremony has been defrocked by The United Methodist Church over refusing to comply with the denomination's rules on homosexuality.
Frank Schaefer of Pennsylvania had his position as a minister terminated by UMC officials after he met with the Board of Ordained Ministry and refused to turn over his clergy credentials.
John Coleman, spokesman for the UMC, told media that Schaefer was told he had to voluntarily surrender his credentials if he could not comply with the denomination's ban on clergy officiating same-sex weddings. more >>