Mennonite pastor Peter Ediger was sentenced recently to six months of unsupervised probation on a conviction of trespassing at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant northwest of Denver (see November 3, issue, page 59). Ediger and nine codefendants, including Daniel Ellsberg and two other Arvada, Colorado, Mennonite church members, were among those involved in the continuing blockade of railroad tracks leading into the plant. Ediger, a divisional staff member of his denomination (General Conference), saw his action as a “Christian witness” toward alleged dangers imposed by the plant.

For the third straight year, the Southern Baptist Convention reported fewer baptisms performed in its 35,000 churches. There were about 337,000 baptisms in 1978, the lowest figure in 27 years.

Christian and Missionary Alliance officials recently set guidelines for a proposed global expansion project, which would double the church’s North American constituency by 1987. The CMA board of managers said that 840 new churches will be needed in North America to double CMA membership to 385,000. Also proposed was an increase in the number of CMA missionaries by 200 to a 1,200 total. The eight-year program is to begin April 1.

Officials of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., refused to stop their plans for a $400,000 remodeling project, as demanded by a social activist who had vowed a fast to the death unless the money was used to help the city’s poor (see October 6, issue, page 47). Mitch Snyder, a member of the Washington-based Community for Creative Non-Violence who has a history of protest activities, gave up his total fast after eleven days, soon after the church stated, “… It is not reasonable for us to submit to your judgment.”

When asked in a recent Gallup Poll why people join cults such as the People’s Temple, 15 per cent of the respondents cited primarily the need for leadership. About 13 per cent thought cults offered a lure of personal happiness, and another 13 per cent blamed cult involvement on gullibility. The poll indicated that the People’s Temple massacre in Guyana was the most widely followed event of 1978.

Over 7 million copies of the Good News Bible have been placed in circulation since the first copies were published two years ago, the American Bible Society announced. Nearly 60 million copies of “Good News for Modern Man,” the New Testament part of the Good News Bible, first published in 1966, are in circulation.

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