A conservative Presbyterian church that was founded in 2012 in response to the growing theological liberalism of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has reached its 200th member congregation.
The Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians gained congregation number 200 when First Presbyterian Church of Griffin, Georgia, joined the denomination earlier this month, following a unanimous vote.
"We have planned for it. We have dreamed about it. The hardest part has been waiting, but the wait is almost over," noted First Presbyterian in their May newsletter. "It will bring deep satisfaction to move into this next chapter together. It will also bring rest. And the truth is, we need both." more >>
A vicar in the Church of England has proposed a motion that would allow for a liturgical celebration of an individual's identity following gender transition, much like a baptism, and would include a renaming ceremony.
The Rev. Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory, recently proposed the motion for the church's General Synod to consider.
"That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person's gender transition," reads the motion. more >>
An annual conference focused on gathering Christians together to advance justice for the less fortunate is scheduled to take place in Chicago next month.
Known as the Justice Conference and sponsored by World Relief, the event will be held June 5-6 at the Auditorium Theatre and will feature notable speakers discussing issues pertaining to human rights and Christian ethics.
Those expected to attend and give remarks include Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church of Atlanta, Georgia; Cornel West, social activist, author, and professor; Stephan Bauman, president and CEO of World Relief; and the Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. more >>
A United Methodist body approved proposed legislation that would, among other things, allow clergy to perform gay marriage ceremonies and local conferences to ordain non-celibate homosexuals.
The Connectional Table voted 26 to 10 in favor of proposed legislation that would allow clergy to perform gay weddings without concern of facing church discipline or to be "openly self-avowed practicing homosexuals."
While the proposal was passed by the Connectional Table, the General Conference, the denomination's top lawmaking assembly, will determine if it becomes official policy when it meets next year in Oregon. more >>
Sun Ho, the co-founder of Singapore's City Harvest Church and wife of lead pastor Kong Hee, took the stand for the first time on Tuesday in the long-standing case against Kong and five other CHC leaders accused of misusing millions of church funds for Ho's career. The singer claimed that the Crossover project was meant to serve the mission of the church, and not her own career.
The Straits Times reported on Tuesday that Ho, who has not been charged herself, said that the Crossover project was "always about the church."
The six CHC members are being accused of funneling money into Ho's career through sham bond investing in the management company called Xtron, which the prosecution says was operated by CHC's leadership. The six accused face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of having misused the $19.2 million in church funds in question. more >>
The number of congregations belonging to Presbyterian Church (USA) fell below the 10,000 mark during 2014, according to statistics released by the denomination.
PCUSA earlier this month reported that it had 9,829 congregations in 2014, which represents a decline from the 10,038 congregations it had in 2013.
110 congregations were listed as dissolved and another 101 were dismissed to other denominations. In contrast, in 2014 PCUSA had 15 new congregations organized. more >>