The Republican governor of North Carolina has vetoed a bill that would have allowed state magistrates to opt out of performing gay marriages if they held a religious objection to homosexuality.
Gov. Pat McCrory announced the veto in a Thursday statement.
"I recognize that for many North Carolinians, including myself, opinions on same-sex marriage come from sincerely held religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, we are a nation and a state of laws," stated McCrory. more >>
A married pastor and father of three from Ohio who was about to lose his job after confessing to an affair with a member of his flock earlier this month, reportedly took his own life on Friday inside the church-owned parsonage where he lived with his wife and three children.
The Rev. Seth Oiler, 42, of First United Methodist Church, died by suicide inside the parsonage on Friday morning, according to the Newark Advocate. The report noted that the church had sent a letter to the congregation earlier this month informing them that Oiler had been placed on leave after confessing to the affair.
"The bishop (Gregory Palmer) requested a meeting with Seth at which time Seth freely confessed to sexual misconduct with an adult in the congregation. Seth requested a voluntary leave of absence. He agreed with the bishop that stepping aside from his current appointment at First United Methodist Church was best in order to provide a time of counseling for himself and his family," said Lisa Streight, communications director for the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church, in a statement to the Newark Advocate late Tuesday. more >>
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 >>
A vicar in the Church of England has proposed a motion that would allow for a liturgical celebration of an individual's identity following gender transition, much like a baptism, and would include a renaming ceremony.
The Rev. Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory, recently proposed the motion for the church's General Synod to consider.
"That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person's gender transition," reads the motion. more >>
The mental plight of American servicemen returning home from war zones has been well documented by various groups and news organizations. Politicians and activists alike have noted the high rates of suicide and substance abuse among veterans, mentally wounded by their experiences overseas.
In the United States, there are many churches and faith-based organizations that are seeking to help returning veterans cope with life after combat.
One group is known as the Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs and was founded by veteran and MMA fighter Chad Robichaux. One church affiliated with Mighty Oaks is The Life Church, a Virginia congregation with campuses in Manassas and Winchester. more >>
Russell Moore, president of the ethics and public policy arm of the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., shares his frustrations with how some Christians fail to pursue racial reconciliation and the particular challenge he faces as a white man in ministry in a video recently shared online.
"The easiest thing in the New Testament would have been to say, 'Let's plant Jewish Christian churches and Gentile Christian churches and let's just go in that direction and keep them from getting together and killing each other.' But that's not what the apostles did, because that's a sign to the powers and principalities," Moore says in a videotaped discussion posted online Friday by ministry website The Gospel Coalition.
Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the more than 16 million-strong Southern Baptist Convention, went on to insist that racially and ethnically homogeneous black, white, Hispanic or other congregations should question why they do not have a diversity of ethnicities represented among their numbers. more >>