An Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. has been welcoming Muslims into their sanctuary for Friday prayers for eight years, and the men who meet there now outnumber the church's congregation.
The Rev. Elizabeth Gardner of the Church of the Epiphany said the congregation felt called to open the church to the Muslim community because they were in need of a place to worship.
Church leaders from 33 different countries and all 50 states participated in Pastor Rick Warren's three-day "Purpose Driven Conference" at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, this week, with nearly 70 percent being newcomers who were not at the first conference 10 years ago.
"The world needs hope like never before," Warren said in his opening speech Tuesday morning. "Our hope is not in government. It will never come through a politician. Our hope is not in who we put in the White House, but in who we put on the cross."
The Purpose Driven paradigm is like "the operating system for the church," Warren said in a statement ahead of the conference. "We must help plateaued churches and discouraged pastors, and we must train a whole new generation to embrace God's five purposes for the church: fellowship, discipleship, worship, ministry and evangelism." more >>
At the Presbyterian Church in America's General Assembly lin Mobile, Alabama, last week, delegates voted overwhelmingly in favor of an overture that offered an apology for past and present actions of racism.
"Therefore be it resolved, that the 44th 11 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America does recognize, confess, and condemn these past and continuing racial sins and failure to love brothers and sisters from minority cultures in accordance with what the Gospel requires," reads the overature, called "Pursuing Racial Reconciliation and the Advance of the Gospel."
"Be it further resolved, that this General Assembly praises and recommits itself to the Gospel task of racial reconciliation, diligently seeking effective courses of action to further that goal, with humility, sincerity and zeal, for the glory of God and the furtherance of the Gospel …" more >>
A Pennsylvania megachurch's congregation voted overwhelmingly Sunday to leave Presbyterian Church (USA) over theological differences on homosexuality and gay marriage.
About three-quarters of First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem approved the measure yesterday that involved leaving PC(USA) for the more theologically conservative Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians.
In a Facebook post to their official page, FPC Bethlehem noted that the measure to seek dismissal passed with 76.5 percent of the 1,048 voting members present approving it. more >>
The PC(USA) Presbytery of Lehigh filed a lawsuit earlier this week asking a judge to prohibit the 2,600-member First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, from leaving the denomination.
"The countersuits by the Lehigh Presbytery were joined by 22 members of the 140-year-old Center Street Church, the largest Presbyterian congregation in the Lehigh Valley," reported The Morning Call.
"It came as church leaders have scheduled a congregational meeting Sunday to vote on whether to immediately separate from the denomination, according to the filings." more >>
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission received criticism from some members of the Southern Baptist Convention at the denomination's annual meeting on Wednesday for filing an amicus brief on behalf of a Muslim group seeking to build a mosque.
In May, the ERLC joined a diverse coalition of groups in an amicus brief to support the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge in its lawsuit against a New Jersey township that rejected its application to build a mosque.
At the SBC's annual meeting held earlier this week in St. Louis, Missouri, some of the messengers called for action to be taken against the ERLC for joining the amicus brief. more >>