* U.S. District Judge James Ware in November rejected an attempt to keep the city of San Jose, California, from unveiling a statue of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl (CT, Sept. 12, 1994, p. 62), saying the statue is a cultural symbol, not a religious one. Six people had sued, claiming the eight-foot, $500,000 sculpture of a plumed serpent violates the First Amendment ban on government establishment of religion. At the same time, in the same downtown park, the city removed a manger scene that had been a Christmas fixture for 20 years. "The creche in the park was offensive to a significant part of the community," Mayor Susan Hammer said. The city returned the creche in December following a public outcry.

* Galen Hiestand is resigning January 31 after eight years as North American director of the Wheaton, Illinois-based World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF). The wef executive committee is searching for a successor.

* A group of private investors representing Family Bookstores completed a buyout from its parent company, HarperCollins Publishers, in November. Family Bookstores president Leslie Dietzman says the buyout also makes Family Bookstores independent from Zondervan Publishing House. HarperCollins's chief executive officer, George Craig, says the sale is sensible. "As a retail company, Family Bookstores does not correspond with our core business as a publisher."

* Marlin E. Miller, president of Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, died November 3 as a result of a massive heart attack. Miller, 55, collapsed while exercising at his home. He had overseen the joining of Goshen Biblical Seminary—where he was president for 15 years—and Mennonite Biblical Seminary in 1990.

* James ...

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