Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby signed an agreement Monday to support an anti-slavery, anti-human trafficking initiative. The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion backed the initiative known as the Global Freedom Network.
"Many are already engaged in the struggle and we join them with much to learn as well as much to contribute. All are called to join common cause to end this crime and suffering," said Welby. "We are struggling against evil in secret places and in deeply entrenched networks of malice and cruelty. No one of us is strong enough, but together we are ready for the challenge God is placing before us today, and we know that he will strengthen us so that all people may live in freedom and dignity."
In a statement released honoring the occasion, Welby said that the joint endeavor was part of the efforts to have Anglicans and Catholics united. more >>
Megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll recently apologized via an internal letter to his congregation for using a marketing company that promoted his book Real Marriage through what he now sees as a manipulative method to help place the book on top of the New York Times best seller list.
"My understanding of the ResultSource marketing strategy was to maximize book sales, so that we could reach more people with the message and help grow our church," Driscoll stated in the letter. "In retrospect, I no longer see it that way. Instead, I now see it as manipulating a book sales reporting system, which is wrong. I am sorry that I used this strategy, and will never use it again. I have also asked my publisher to not use the '#1 New York Times bestseller' status in future publications, and am working to remove this from past publications as well."
Earlier this month, after a report that the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church he pastors paid a promotional company $210,000 three years ago to make sure that Real Marriage, co-written by Driscoll's wife, Grace, made the New York Times best-seller list, the church released a "Note From Our Board of Advisors and Accountability." In addition to describing a shift in the way decisions made by the church administration are reviewed, the Board addressed the book promotion controversy. more >>
A California megachurch's recent vote to leave Presbyterian Church (USA) has been confirmed by the mainline Protestant denomination. Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, a multi-site congregation which has over 3,000 members, recently voted to leave PCUSA.
The PCUSA Presbytery of San Francisco affirmed the vote taken by Menlo Park Presbyterian Tuesday in a meeting. Nicole S. Laubscher, spokeswoman for Menlo Park Presbyterian, told The Christian Post about the time table now that the Presbytery has approved their vote to be dismissed.
"The effective date of dismissal will occur no earlier than 91 days after the Presbytery vote, and as promptly thereafter as practicable recognizing the need to complete necessary purchase and transfer documentation," said Laubscher. "Now that our dismissal from the PCUSA has been approved, we are beginning the formal transfer process into ECO for both MPPC and our pastors. We are in regular communication with the leadership of ECO to ensure a seamless transition at the end of the 91-day waiting period." more >>
Conservative members of the United Methodist Church have expressed disappointment over a bishop's refusal to punish a clergyman who violated church rules by officiating his son's gay wedding.
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Ogletree, former dean of Yale Divinity School, officiated at the same-sex wedding of his son in 2012. A complaint was filed against him and a church trial was originally scheduled for March.
Bishop Martin D. McLee of the UMC New York Conference reached an "Agreement for a Just Resolution" where no trial will be held. Further, McLee called on a cessation of all church trials for UMC clergy who had presided over gay unions. more >>
With church attendance dropping and the youth losing interest in faith, leaders from all over the world are scrambling to find ways to better engage those who are disillusioned. British-born ministry 3DM proposes an interesting solution to that very problem and already saw great success in the European Union, planting over 500 churches in just five years.
Last month The Christian Post attended a Discipleship and Missions Workshop in Foxboro, Mass. held by the innovative ministry. The event basically functioned as a preview for those in the New England area interested in what it had to offer that could help their ailing congregations. 3DM aims to reshape church culture to something that closely resembles the 1st-century church by returning it to an extended family model.
The ministry uses its own tools and language to do so. More about its Huddles, Missional Communities and Shape Language can be read about in Part 1 and Part 2. The Christian Post had the opportunity to sit and speak with 3DM Central members Eric Pfeiffer and Kristine Blaess. Here's what they had to say about the way we do church, and if their tools could help to keep people inside and outside the faith engaged with the body. more >>
Bishop Martin D. McLee, who heads The United Methodist Church in the New York Area, announced on Monday that he will be seeking to stop church trials of clergy who have officiated same-sex marriages, though some critics have said this could lead to a split in the denomination.
"I am grateful to report that the matter concerning the Reverend Dr. Thomas W. Ogletree will not result in a church trial as a just resolution has been achieved," McLee said in a statement, according to NBC News. "I call for and commit to a cessation of church trials for conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions or performing same-gender wedding ceremonies and instead offer a process of theological, spiritual, and ecclesiastical conversation."
Ogletree, a Frederick Marquand Professor Emeritus of Theological Ethics and one of the authors of United Methodist's Book of Discipline, was facing a canonical trial after it was revealed in 2013 that he officiated his son's same-sex wedding, which goes against church teachings. more >>