The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, met privately with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican where the two religious leaders discussed Christian-Muslim relations.
The 20-minute meeting on Monday came months after Williams, the spiritual leader of the 77-million member Anglican Communion, drew fire for suggesting that it was "unavoidable" to adopt some aspects of Sharia law in the British legal system.
An Anglican spokesman said the visit with the pope, who also discussed in the meeting interfaith dialogue and his impression of his visit to the United States last month, was "warm and friendly." more >>
NEW YORK The Rev. A.R. Bernard, founding senior pastor of Christian Cultural Center, was officiated as the new president of the Council of Churches of the City of New York Thursday night, during an installation service where speakers called for the revival of the Church.
Bernard takes the reigns of CCCNY, the nation's oldest ecumenical council of churches, from the Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III who served as president for the past 10 years. Butts is pastor of the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.
Speaking from the stage of his Brooklyn megachurch, Bernard said the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who by aligning his opinions with that of the black church, has sparked a dialogue on what the church truly is. more >>
United Methodists declared Monday a "banner day" as they approved a full communion agreement with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The new relationship between the two major Protestant denominations is not a merger but a recognition of each other's ministry and mission. Full communion recognizes that each church has "the one, holy, catholic and apostolic faith" expressed in the Scriptures and confessed in historic creeds and the core teachings of each denomination.
The two churches also recognize the authenticity of each other's baptism and eucharist and the full interchangeability of all ordained ministers. more >>
Nearly two dozen U.S. church and church-related organizations are pressing for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict at a conference beginning on Sunday.
Representatives of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), The Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Unite Methodist Church among others are gathering for the annual advocacy conference sponsored by Christians for Middle East Peace (CMEP). The theme of the April 20-22 conference in Washington, D.C., is Calming the Storm: Middle East Peacemaking in a Turbulent Time.
"The Annapolis peace process now underway deserves robust support from the U.S. Congress," said Warren Clark, CMEP's executive director, in a statement. "The achievement of a two-state peace agreement will be an important step towards durable peace with security for Israel and will help build a positive future for all the people of the Holy Land, including the now rapidly declining Palestinian Christian community." more >>
Christian leaders from around the world discussed the issue of migration, its effect on the church, and how the church should respond to migrants this week during a conference held in Lebanon.
"Migration is a fact of life. It is as much an instinct to survive as it is an inevitable consequence of globalization, declared participants of the Public Hearing on Migration and the Changing Ecclesial Landscape, April 15-16, in Beirut, Lebanon.
We can neither turn our backs on it, nor control it," the statement read. "Migrants are not commodities, illegal aliens or mere victims, they are human beings." more >>
The participation of emergent church leaders in an interfaith dialogue raised flags for some conservative Christians who have been concerned over a growing cooperation of emergent church leaders with New Spirituality/New Age leaders.
Prior to Tuesday's InterSpirituality Day panel discussions, hosted by Seeds of Compassion, Christian talk show host Ingrid Schlueter of Crosstalk Radio warned the public that emergent leaders Rob Bell of Mars Hill Bible Church and Doug Pagitt of Solomon's Porch would promote universalism.
The panel included various Christian leaders, a Muslim scholar, a Sikh, and the Dalai Lama, among others, who spoke on compassion and spirituality. more >>