LOS ANGELES – Church planter and Together LA lead organizer, Pastor Brannin Pitre, is hoping an upcoming three-day conference bringing together Christian leaders in late February to discuss what it means to love Los Angeles will expand thought and action on what he sees as a newer hot spot for church planting.
"There's a little bit of a buzz and an excitement that's brewing for people and I think Together LA is part of this catalytic movement that gets this buzz farther down the road that says, 'If you really want to be involved in some really dynamic ministry that's going on right now in this country, you've got to think about Los Angeles,'" Pitre told The Christian Post recently.
"About 15-20 years ago, it was New York, even 10 years ago it was New York," he explains. "There's been other hot spots around the country. I do think that there is something significant happening in Los Angeles that we are just at the cusp of and it would really be fun to see what the Lord does." more >>
Pope Francis has said that his continued criticism of the global financial system is not because he supports Communism, but because of Jesus' call for Christians to serve the poor. The Vatican meanwhile is set to publish a report titled "This Economy Kills," highlighting the damage that the world economy brings to impoverished populations.
"Jesus affirms that you cannot serve two masters, God and wealth," Francis said Sunday in an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa. "Is it pauperism? No, it is the Gospel."
"Jesus tells us that it is the 'protocol' on the basis of which we will be judged, it is what we read in Chapter 25 of Matthew: I had hunger, I had thirst, I was in prison, I was sick, I was naked and you helped me: dressed me, visited me, you took care of me." more >>
Maryland's second-highest ranking Episcopal bishop, Heather Cook, 58, is now staring at a sentence of up to 21 years in prison and $20,000 in potential fines after Baltimore's new state's attorney, Marilyn J. Mosby, announced Friday that she'll be charged with multiple crimes, including driving under the influence, causing an accident due to texting while driving, and leaving the scene of a fatal accident that claimed the life of 41-year-old married father of two, Thomas Palermo, on Dec. 27.
Ending weeks of speculation over the bishop's suspected sobriety at the time of the deadly incident, Mosby noted in a statement that Cook registered a staggering .22 breathalyzer reading shortly after the fatal collision, just shy of the .27 reading she registered in the 2010 DUI incident that Episcopalian leaders failed to reveal to the general convention of delegates who elected Cook to the esteemed position in the Diocese of Maryland last spring.
While noting that Cook is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, Mosby said: "The State's Attorney's Office is committed to applying justice fairly and equally, no one is above the law. As concerned members of the public, I ask for your patience and understanding as we allow justice to run its course." more >>
In the midst of the NFL playoffs, some churchgoers might find themselves in a quandary over whether to skip a worship service or watch their favorite football team still in the hunt, but a recently released survey shows that most churchgoers would rather attend worship service.
In a recent LifeWay Research study of a random sample of 2,000 Americans, with the survey conducted only on those who are Christians and attend religious service, more than 8 in 10 (83 percent) of the faithful disagree with the statement: "I would skip a weekly worship service in order to watch my favorite football team."
The survey of 994 churchgoers also showed that nearly 7 in 10 (68 percent) strongly disagree. Only about 1 in 7 churchgoers (15 percent) say they'd skip church in order to watch their favorite football team. more >>
In my first post, I shared with you trends 9 to 15 for 2015. Here is the introduction I wrote to that article:
Trend prediction is both an art and a science. It is a science in the sense that I utilize the good objective research of credible research organizations like LifeWay Research and others. It is an art in that I depend on observations, anecdotal information, and ongoing interaction with church leaders and members.
At the beginning of every year, I attempt to present to you the major trends for congregations for the coming twelve months. I review my predictions from previous years to see how accurate I am. I have come to two conclusions. First, I am far from perfect in my predictions. Second, I do have a decent track record. more >>
Two weeks after a California church's pastors were shot at while sitting in the church parking, a staff member informed the Christian Post that the congregation is seeking to expand it's gang ministry to reach even more troubled men in their San Diego community.
The attack occurred December 28. That Sunday night Greater Apostolic Faith Temple Church's lead pastor Dwayne Shepherd and another minister with the last name Profit were inside a parked car just outside the church when an unknown gunman fired four shots into the car window at close range.
Both men scrambled out of the passenger's side door as soon as the firing began and took cover in the church basement. Fortunately neither suffered life-threatening injuries: Shepherd, who was seated on the passenger side, was wounded when took a bullet grazed his chest and entered his arm. The other pastor escaped unharmed. more >>