The Rev. Seth Pickens, senior pastor of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Los Angeles, has come under the scrutiny of members of his congregation after writing an op-ed titled "10 Reasons I Love LGBTQ Folk" for a community newspaper, but he insists that the situation was not as dire as some have perceived it to be.
Teka-Lark Fleming, the irreligious publisher of the Morningside Park Chronicle, the newspaper that published Pickens' controversial op-ed, said she was inspired when she first met the Christian minister and found him to be "a good guy" partly because he was "doing a lot of good work in the community, the way you're supposed to if you're a pastor."
Fleming, who had invited Pickens to submit the op-ed, claims in her outraged response to the subsequent church fracas that Pickens would be subjected to a "tribunal" and grilled about what he believes the Bible teaches about homosexuality and whether he had ever "communicated to anyone that homosexual behavior or homosexual marriage aligns with the Word of God." more >>
A California congregation once affiliated with Presbyterian Church (USA) has voted to leave the mainline Protestant denomination for missional and administrative differences.
Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, a congregation with an estimated 3,400 members, voted overwhelmingly last Sunday to leave PCUSA.
Passing with a vote of 2,024 members in favor and 158 against, Menlo Park Presbyterian plans to join the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO). more >>
A Roman Catholic Church cardinal has criticized the Ugandan anti-gay law that expanded punishment for gay people and threatened life in prison for certain offenders, arguing that gay people "are not criminals."
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, made the comments Tuesday in Bratislava, Slovakia, during a church and human rights conference, according to CatholicHearald.co.uk. He urged the international community, however, to keep sending much needed aid to Uganda, which is now facing cuts and sanctions because of the law.
Uganda's decision to expand the legal punishment for homosexuality has been criticized by some world leaders, though the nation's political and church leaders have insisted that it is their right to manage the country according to their ways. more >>
Newark Archbishop John Myers in New Jersey is reportedly facing the anger of parishioners who are withholding donations to the church after finding out that more than $500,000 is going into expansions for his lavish retirement home.
A detailed report in The Newark Star-Ledger on Sunday stated that parishioners are "infuriated by what they call a tone-deaf show of excess at a time when Catholic schools are closing and when the pope has called on bishops to shed the trappings of luxury."
"If this is the only way I can be heard, so be it," said 70-year-old Joe Ferri, after finding out about the expansion plans. "I'm disgusted. The archdiocese is not going to get another penny out of me." more >>
An hour or so before the Justice Conference was set to kick off its first main session, I stepped outside of the Orpheum Theatre to soak in one last bit of warm Los Angeles sun and "fresh" air. The red badge dangling from my neck caught the attention of a nearby elderly Hispanic man with smudges on his face, who inquired, "You a tourist?"
I've called the L.A.-area my home for the past 9 years, but I suddenly became acutely aware of how out-of-place I must have looked to this man. Inside the theatre, I was just one of the many hipster-looking young adults who gathered together because we knew that calling Jesus our Savior also meant some sort of tie with justice. Outside of the theatre, I was a tourist - a foreigner - disconnected with the downtown L.A. surroundings and its impoverished residents.
While the Orpheum Theatre was noted by the Justice Conference's website as "one of L.A.'s most venerable landmarks," the truth was that we were located less than two blocks away from Skid Row, an area synonymous with poverty and homelessness. While stories of international injustice boomed from 12-foot high speakers, we were sitting just steps away from factories in the Fashion District with "sweatshop-like" labor conditions. more >>
A mediation process between a breakaway Texas megachurch and the mainline denomination it once belonged to over disputed church property has failed to produce a result.
Highland Park Presbyterian Church of Dallas announced Friday that its settlement talks with Presbyterian Church (USA) over their legal property dispute did not conclude in a resolution.
In a statement posted on their website last week, Highland Park Presbyterian acknowledged the failure regarding talks with the PC (USA) regional body, Grace Presbytery, which is the association the church belonged to before voting to disaffiliate. more >>