Three months after allowing the ordination of openly gay clergy, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seems headed for a split as nearly 2,000 conservative Presbyterians are gathering in Minneapolis on Thursday and Friday with creation of a “new Reformed body” as an agenda.
Making preparations for the conference is the Rev. Paul Detterman, executive director of Presbyterians for Renewal, an independent organization based in Louisville, Ky., where the denomination’s headquarters are.
Detterman, administrative consultant for the new Fellowship of Presbyterians, the organizer, recently wrote in a communication to fellow conservatives that initially only a few hundred people were interested in new ways of “being church,” but the change in the ordination standards increased the number of registrations to over 1,900. more >>
With the third annual National Back to Church Sunday rapidly approaching, the initiative and churches involved are working hard to make sure that the event is a success.
On September 18, an estimated 10,000 churches will be inviting all who don't attend church regularly or at all to pay a visit to their local congregation. Six-thousand churches have already invited approximately a half million people to join the event.
"It is the privilege of every Christian to invite someone to church," director of ministry development for LifeWay Research, Philip Nation, said. more >>
More and more, conservative congregations are choosing to leave liberal denominations. Rarely does the opposite occur with a liberal congregation withdrawing to unite with a more conservative denomination.
“I think conservative Christians generally take their faith seriously,” says Dr. Jeffry Marlett, an associate professor of religious studies at The College of Saint Rose in Ablany, N.Y. “They feel that it’s better to stand by their faith and not become conformed to the ways of the world, which is why you see conservative congregations leaving liberal denominations and not vice versa.”
In December 2006, parishioners of Truro Epsicopal Church in Fairfax, Va., voted overwhelmingly to sever ties with The Episcopal Church (TEC), igniting a hailstorm of controversy. While church leaders pointed to TEC’s gradual shift away from the traditional teachings of TEC on the authority of Scripture and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the core reasons for the disfellowship, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the election of Gene Robinson, a practicing homosexual, as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003. more >>
The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod's president is speaking out as many question presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's decision to leave the denomination. In his latest statement, he explains the church's disagreement with the Roman Catholic papacy and its biblical teachings.
While WELS disagrees with the pope's station in the church and Catholic teachings on salvation, it denies being bigoted toward Catholics. In fact, the WELS head holds that many Catholics are true believers.
The Rev. Mark G. Schroeder wrote in a commentary that he makes no apology for the church’s belief that the Roman Catholic papacy fits the biblical characteristics of the antichrist. Schroeder states that WELS draws its teachings solely from the scriptures. more >>
Some of the Episcopal Church bishops in New York will require its gay clergy to avail themselves to the state’s Marriage Equality Act that legalizes same-sex marriage when it goes into effect on July 24.
Bishop Lawrence Provenzano of the Diocese of Long Island announced in a pastoral letter that clergy living in same-gender relationships in the Diocese of Long Island must either marry within nine months of the new law being implemented or live separately.
“For the gay and lesbian clergy of this Diocese who are living in domestic partnerships or civil unions, I hereby grant a grace period of nine months from the effective date of the New York State Law permitting same-gender marriages for those relationships to be regularized either by the exchange of vows in marriage or the living apart of said couples,” said Provenzano in the letter. more >>
The Presbyterian Church U.S.A. has officially cleared the way for openly gay men and women in same-sex relationships to be ordained as clergy.
The new policy goes into effect today after the church's assembly and 97 of the denomination's 173 presbyteries approved the change within the church’s constitution. The move represents a major change in the history of the 2.8 million-member Presbyterian denomination.
“The new policy for the Presbyterian Church becomes official on Sunday and a number of churches will mark the moment with prayer and rejoicing in their Sunday services,” according to a press release from the members of the More Light Presbyterians. more >>