Pastors and church members gathered at New Hope Church Honolulu, Hawaii on Monday to protest the Freedom to Marry Act, which may pass in a special session this Fall, to make Hawaii the 14th state to legalize gay marriage.
"Same-sex marriage is against the will of God," argued Dennis Sallis, pastor of Hope Church Waliki. "We're just preaching the word of God."
A week before, however, over 30 representatives of faith-based groups signed a resolution supporting same-sex marriage, following a service at the Nuuanu church where President Obama went to Sunday school in his childhood years. "They did not choose to be gay – this is how God made them," said Methodist Minister Barbara "Babs" Grace Ripple, 71. "Who am I to say that they should not have the same benefits in life that I have?" more >>
A black megachurch pastor said that despite great advances from the violence of the 1960s, America still has work to do in solving racial wounds. But he hopes that the Church will lead the way in reconciling the racial divide.
"The true reconciliation process has not really been achieved or accomplished in the nation," Bishop Harry Jackson Jr., chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., told The Christian Post on Tuesday. Nevertheless, he expressed great hope for the future.
Jackson explained that many African Americans see themselves as "second class citizens" following the July 13th acquittal of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot black teen Trayvon Martin last year. While condemning "the way the media spun the original announcement," the pastor argued that the case did provide an avenue for addressing the civil rights issue today. more >>
A U.S. District Judge in South Carolina has dismissed a trademark lawsuit leveled against a diocese that broke away from The Episcopal Church over theological differences.
Judge C. Weston Houck of Charleston decided last Thursday that The Episcopal Church in South Carolina's suit claiming rightful ownership of the title of bishop was to be "denied without prejudice."
The suit, filed by Rev. Charles vonRosenberg against Rev. Mark Lawrence, was over which of the two men could rightfully use the title of bishop of the South Carolina Diocese. more >>
The head of The Episcopal Church has stated that the declining numbers of her denomination could be the work of the Holy Spirit to create "greater fruitfulness."
TEC Presiding Bishop the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori made this statement last Thursday in remarks delivered at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's (ELCA) Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh. "Some have judged our smaller numbers as faithlessness but it may actually be the Spirit's way of pruning for greater fruitfulness," said Jefferts Schori.
"If we see ourselves standing at the foot of the cross, any such judgment will be far less important than our response." more >>
A seminary student arguing for shorter, more viral sermons, in the area of 18-minutes long, claimed that pastors are not following Christ's most famous example in the way they preach, pointing to the Sermon on the Mount. But three pastors remain unconvinced, and denounced the argument as unbiblical and misguided for the church.
Evangelist and seminary student Jeff Tatarchuck argued that pastors should keep their sermons below the 18-minute mark last week. When pastors weighed in, arguing that people's natural attention spans are longer than that, and that it takes more than 18 minutes to develop disciples, Tatarchuck responded by citing the length of "the greatest sermon of all time," Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, which, he argued, "can be read in 12 minutes, 30 seconds."
The student quoted Andy Stanley's book Communicating for a Change, saying that "every sermon should have one main idea." He argued that "many pastors (including myself) are guilty of trying to fulfill the 40-45 minute sermon expectation by filling their sermons with content not essential to the topic." He also added that discipleship should be one-on-one, rather than from the pulpit. more >>
Voters at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's 2013 Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh have elected the first female leader of the mainline Protestant denomination.
The Reverend Elizabeth Eaton, bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod, was elected ELCA Presiding Bishop with 600 votes, beating out incumbent Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, who got 287.
"We are a church that is overwhelmingly European in a culture that is increasingly pluralistic," said Eaton in remarks delivered Wednesday following the election. "We need to welcome the gifts of those who come from different places, that is a conversation we need to have as a church." more >>