The First Congregational Church in Middleborough, Massachusetts has a rich history that has been made even more so by the discovery of letters of application to the church that date back all the way to 1724. The letters are believed to come from some of the first settlers in America because one of the church was founded in 1694.
James Fenimore Cooper Jr., a professor Oklahoma State University, and Margaret Bendroth, executive director of the Congregational Library in Boston have been working on the project to organize the found documents into one collection that will be held at the Congregational Library in Boston, Mass.
The letters reveal quite a bit about the members of various churches in Massachusetts, such as their various sins, which they listed in order to apply to the churches. One such letter is written by a parishioner named John Briggs. more >>
Over 37,000 people have signed a petition against a planned satanic black mass in Oklahoma City, which has also been protested by the Roman Catholic archbishop of the city.
"The black mass is an attempt to rip God out of the fabric of our nation. That's why more and more people are joining the protest," said John Ritchie, the Student Action Director for the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.
"The sole purpose of the black mass is to attack God, the Catholic Mass and the Holy Eucharist in a most obscene, indecent and hateful manner. Satanists typically steal a consecrated host from a church to desecrate in unspeakable ways." more >>
Pope Francis' first official visit to a Pentecostal church in Italy was praised by some evangelical leaders, who thanked the pope for asking for forgiveness for Roman Catholic persecution of Pentecostals in the past. The Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance, Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, in turn apologized for evangelical discrimination against Catholics.
"It is biblical and it reflects the message of Jesus…..so my hope is that this act of Pope Francis will send a strong message around the world, particularly to those countries where there are significant tensions between Catholics and Evangelicals," Tunnicliffe said regarding the pontiff's plea for forgiveness, Vatican Radio reported on Wednesday.
"But I also need to say this: I recognize that in history there have been situations where Protestants, including Evangelicals, have discriminated against Catholic Christians and I am really sorry for these kinds of actions, because while we can disagree theologically, this should never lead to discrimination or persecution of the other. more >>
The Episcopal Church celebrated the 40th anniversary of the denomination's ordination of the first women as priests Tuesday. In 1974, 11 women were ordained at the Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Celebrations for the occasion included a service held last Saturday at the Church of the Advocate and hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.
A congregation in Alabama has recently hosted a "Spa Day" for the homeless men in their neighborhood.
Government Street Baptist Church of Mobile held a luncheon for the men that included special treatment such as haircuts and showers last Saturday. The Inaugural Spa Day was organized by the Men's Ministry at Government Street Baptist and garnered local media attention.
"We want to let them know that we love them and that God loves them, and our city is a city that wants to care for people like this," said Government Street Baptist Senior Pastor Charles Brown. more >>
Pope Francis became the first pope to make an official visit to a Pentecostal church, after he flew on Monday to speak at the Evangelical Church of Reconciliation in the southern city of Caserta, Italy. The pontiff apologized for persecution of Pentecostals the Roman Catholic Church was involved with in the past, and reached out with friendship to evangelicals.
"Among those who persecuted and denounced Pentecostals, almost as if they were crazy people trying to ruin the race, there were also Catholics," Francis said, according to The Associated Press, referring to Italy's fascist regime when the Pentecostal practice was forbidden.
"I am the pastor of Catholics, and I ask your forgiveness for those Catholic brothers and sisters who didn't know and were tempted by the devil." more >>