Using the familiar and familial motif of the front porch as a gathering place, three African-American pastors of the Reformed tradition have launched a platform to host conversations about winsome and troublesome aspects of the Black Church in an effort, according to one, to "hold fast to those things that are good, and to do away with those things that are not worthy of our mission."
"We have need for conversation," explained Thabiti Anyabwile. "The Black Church is large, it's not one thing. There's great diversity in it. So there's opportunity in that diversity for conversation that strengthens the different quarters of the church. There's opportunity in that diversity not just for conversation but for conflict. And we need to get on the porch and work some of those things out and to be built up and sharpening each other."
Leading The Front Porch along with Anyabwile, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands) and Gospel Coalition blogger, are Louis C. Love Jr., pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Vernon Hills, Ind., and Anthony J. Carter, lead pastor of East Point Church, in East Point, Ga. more >>
A Missouri-based group devoted to helping victims of clerical sexual abuse is critical of former Pope Benedict XVI's recent claim that he did not hide sexual abuse incidents.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) of St. Louis took issue with Benedict XVI's recently published letter denying involvement in a cover-up.
David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, told The Christian Post that the Pope Emeritus' recent words were "hurtful and deceitful." more >>
A prominent official in the Roman Catholic Church has stated that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi should be denied the sacrament of Holy Communion over her pro-choice politics.
Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the Vatican's highest court, said in an interview with the Catholic publication The Wanderer earlier this month that he believed Pelosi violated Canon 915. Part of the Church's Code of Canon Law, Canon 915 is part of several canons that deal with who can and cannot receive the sacrament of Holy Communion in the Catholic Church.
"Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion," reads Canon 915. more >>
The excommunication of an Australian priest known for being outspoken on his support of same-sex marriage and ordaining women for priesthood is keeping the discussion about where Pope Francis stands on moral and social issues at the forefront.
Earlier this year, Greg Reynolds was defrocked and excommunicated for his views via a direct order from the Vatican, according to the Australian publication The Age. Reportedly the first excommunicate in Melbourne, Reynolds had already resigned as a parish priest in 2011 and had founded a progressive Catholic group known as Inclusive Catholics.
Negotiations are still in the process regarding benefits for Reynolds in light of his 32 years of service to the Roman Catholic Church as a priest, according to The Age. more >>
The United Methodist Church will consider whether various resolutions passed by regional bodies opposed to the denomination's stance against homosexuality are in violation of church rules.
The United Methodist Judicial Council will hold a hearing next month on the resolutions passed by conferences within the Western Jurisdiction of the UMC in the 2013 annual conference session.
Homosexuality is considered "incompatible with Christian teaching" and "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" cannot be ordained, according to the UMC's Book of Discipline. The document further states that UMC clergy may not officiate same-sex unions and defines marriage as between one man and one woman. more >>
A Christian publication geared towards churches and ministries has recently published its annual lists of the 100 largest and fastest growing churches in the United States.
Outreach Magazine, a California-based publication that includes ideas, features, and interviews with evangelicals, published the two lists earlier this month. With approximately 43,500 worship attendees, Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church of Houston, Texas, was number one in the largest church category. Triumph Church of Detroit, Mich., was the fastest growing, having experienced an increase of about 3,800 worship attendees or 49 percent.
High ranking congregations on both lists included NewSpring Church of Anderson, S.C., which was number 2 on the fastest-growing list and number 4 on the largest. NewSpring Central Communications Director Suzanne Swift told The Christian Post that they were "honored" by the blessings God had given their congregation. more >>