—The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has circulated a "Sexuality: Some Common Convictions" message to churches. The denomination issued three study documents on sexuality in the past six years, although controversy over homosexuality kept any from being adopted (CT, Nov. 14, 1994, p. 64). The new document does not address homosexuality directly, although it does say Christians should respect all persons regardless of "sexual orientation." The message affirms heterosexual marriage and denounces adultery, promiscuity, prostitution, and pornography.

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Ken Hemphill, despite complaints of censorship, has canceled the spring issue of the Fort Worth school's scholarly journal due to the "possible perception of unbalanced treatment" of the Baptist Faith and Message statement. The issue was to include articles written by moderate Baptist scholars who left Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, including Molly Marshall. Hemphill had not read the articles. Marshall, meanwhile, has become the first tenured woman professor at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas, where she had been visiting professor of theology, worship, and spiritual formation since August 1995.

—Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., will become the third president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary on July 1. Robert E. Cooley, 66, president of the seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, since 1981, will become its first chancellor, a part-time post. Kaiser, 63, is the Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Old Testament and director of the Mockler program in biblical foundations for ethics at Gordon-Conwell. The seminary was founded in 1969.

Paul E. Freed, founder and board chair of Trans World Radio (TRW), died December 1 at age 78. Freed started the missionary organization in 1952. Today the Cary, North Carolina-based TRW has a $28 million annual budget. The ministry airs programs in 160 countries and 120 languages from 11 primary transmitting sites and by satellite.

—The Episcopal Church has closed the books on the scandal involving former treasurer Ellen F. Cooke, having recovered all but $102,000 of $2.2 million she embezzled. The denomination spent an additional $320,000 in legal costs in the case. Cooke is serving a five-year prison term.

—Milton B. Engebretson, 75, president of the 92,000-member Evangelical Covenant Church from 1967 until 1986, died of cancer December 10 in Northbrook, Illinois.

—Marriage and family therapist author Dennis Bailie Guernsey, 56, died November 15 of brain cancer. In 1978, Guernsey became department chair and helped develop the marriage and family therapy program at Fuller Theological Seminary. In 1992, he became chair of the Department of Family Psychology at Seattle Pacific University.

—Focus on the Family launched the bimonthly Pastor's Familyin October. Simon "Jim" Dahlman is editor of the full-color, 32-page publication designed to support ministers, their spouses, and children in daily life. It is the eleventh periodical published by the Colorado Springs-based ministry.

Quebec Superior Court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Christopher Bowen, a United Church of Canada minister removed after he posed nude for a homosexual magazine (CT, April 26, 1993, p. 57). Judge Claude Tellier called Bowen's suit against the church "frivolous" and ruled the photos were "pornographic and not acceptable by a minister of a religious denomination, no matter what the beliefs, the creed, the culture, and the traditions."

February 3, 1997 Vol. 41, No. 2, Page 75

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.