A body within the United Church of Canada has passed a proposal calling for the liberal denomination to review the questions it poses during ordination in light of controversy surrounding a clergywoman who came out as an atheist 14 years ago.
The Ontario-based Hamilton Conference approved the proposal on Sunday that seeks to have the UCC's General Counsel order a "broad based and theological review" of ordination standards.
In a copy provided to The Christian Post by the Hamilton Conference, the proposal alludes to the Rev. Gretta Vosper, an outspoken atheist who will soon face review by the UCC over the "effectiveness" of her ministry. more >>
A regional body of the United Church of Canada will interview a clergywoman who is an outspoken atheist to see about her "effectiveness."
In June, the Toronto Conference of the UCC will enact a formal process known as a review regarding the Rev. Gretta Vosper, an author and founder of the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity who is also a professed atheist.
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 >>
Pope Francis has said that it's the devil himself who keeps evangelicals, Catholics, and Christians from other denominations divided, and rejected the notion that it's heretical to believe that all Christians are one.
"Division is the work of the 'Father of Lies,' 'the Father of Discord,' who does everything possible to keep us divided," Francis said in a video message to a gathering sponsored by the John 17 Movement, according to Catholic Herald.
"I feel like saying something that may sound controversial, or even heretical, perhaps," he added. "But there is someone who 'knows' that, despite our differences, we are one. It is he who is persecuting us. It is he who is persecuting Christians today, he who is anointing us with (the blood of) martyrdom." 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 >>
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 >>