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 >>
Missouri has fined a major insurance company $4.5 million for violating state laws regarding insurance coverage of autism spectrum issues and for covering elective abortions.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced Tuesday the $4.5 million settlement with Aetna, said to be the largest fine the state has ever doled out for insurance law violations.
Robert Gates, president of the Boy Scouts of America, on Thursday urged members to lift the decades-old ban on openly gay adult troop leaders "sooner rather than later," during a speech at the organization's annual national meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
"I am not asking the national board for any action to change our current policy at this meeting," said Gates. "But I must speak as plainly and bluntly to you as I spoke to preisdents when I was director of the CIA and secretary of defense. We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be.
"The Greater New York Area Council, Denver area Council, and others are taking a stand counter to national policy," Gates added, emphasizing that the status quo in the BSA policy "cannot be sustained." more >>
The Church can experience long-lasting racial reconciliation when Christians finally choose to do three particular things that they apparently have been failing to do, according to three Christian leaders who recently took on the issue of how racial unity and the Gospel are intertwined.
In a conference call organized this week by The New York City Leadership Center in anticipation of its October Movement Day gathering, Brenda Salter McNeil, Pete Scazzero and Sherry Jones shared their concerns, suggestions and hopes for the Church in a time when headlines are populated with news of police-involved shootings, of mostly black males.
McNeil is an associate professor of Reconciliation Studies in the School of Theology at Seattle Pacific University and serves as associate pastor at Quest Church. Scazzero is founder of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York. His best-selling books, Emotionally Healthy Church and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, have been used by Christians in the area of spiritual formation. The third participant on race and Gospel call was Jones, who is the president and founder of Sonship Freedom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. more >>