A diverse group of clergy and legal experts sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to keep a rule allowing religious organizations with government grants to maintain hiring practices consistent with their religious beliefs.
Sent to the White House on Thursday, the letter pleads that President Obama reject calls by many progressive organizations to bar federal grants to religious organizations that use religious affiliation as a parameter for employment.
The letter was organized by the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance and signed by liberals and conservatives, religious leaders and religious freedom experts. For instance, Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; Ron Sider, president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action; and Douglas Laycock, Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia Law School, were among the 69 signers. more >>
Heather Cook, the first female to be elected bishop of The Episcopal Church of Maryland, pleaded guilty Tuesday to automobile manslaughter and three other criminal charges for her role in the drunken-driving death of 41-year-old Thomas Palermo, a married father of two and biking enthusiast last December.
According to The Baltimore Sun, prosecutors have asked for a sentence of 20 years, with all but 10 years suspended. This would be followed by five years' probation. Judge Timothy Doory who scheduled sentencing for Oct. 27, said he would not sentence the former bishop any more time than prosecutors are seeking but could give her less.
Cook, 58, who resigned her post on May 1 and was later stripped of her clergy credentials, was charged with murder earlier this year after she hit Palermo then fled the scene as the doting father died. more >>
The largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States recently hosted a same-sex wedding at its national office in Louisville, Kentucky.
An official with Presbyterian Church (USA) officiated a wedding last Thursday between Paul Kempf and Robb Gwaltney at the Presbyterian Center's chapel.
A PC(USA) spokesperson told The Christian Post that the ceremony had "perhaps 25 people in attendance, a combination of family and friends, along with a few staff." more >>
A diocese that broke away from The Episcopal Church is requesting prayers ahead of arguments scheduled to take place before the South Carolina Supreme Court over the regional body's church property dispute.
The Diocese of South Carolina will go before the Palmetto State's highest court to argue that they are the rightful owners of approximately $500 million worth of church property, rather than the national Mainline denomination.
The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis posted a prayer last Wednesday on the diocesan website asking God to "protect this diocese and its parishes." more >>
As the Mainline denomination Evangelical Lutheran Church in America continues to wrestle with declining membership, one of its congregations is experiencing rapid growth.
Lutheran Church of Hope, an Iowa-based multi-site Lutheran megachurch boasting tens of thousands of members, continues to increase its size and scope.
Less than a year after being founded, the Waukee satellite congregation of Lutheran Church of Hope, the newest of five sites for the megachurch, will be moving into the building currently owned by a church called Point of Grace in early October. more >>
Responding to public criticism concerning his hiring of Billy Graham's grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, senior pastor of Willow Creek Church in Winter Springs, Florida, Kevin Labby, said Wednesday that no church rules were broken in hiring Tchividjian who was deposed by the Presbyterian Church last month.
"As a member of the Presbyterian Church in America, I proactively reached out to the South Florida Presbytery through the chairman of the committee overseeing Tullian's care and discipline process. I wanted to make sure that we were pursuing this course decently and in good order," wrote Labby in a letter sent to blogger Tony Arsenal, a graduate of Bethel University and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, who remains opposed to Tchividjian's hiring.
Willow Creek Church recently announced Tchividjian's appointment as director of ministry development on its website. This coming less than two weeks after he filed for divorce from his wife, Kim, about three weeks since he was deposed by the Presbyterian Church, and about two months since he resigned from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida due to an extramarital affair. more >>