—After two years of wrangling, a civil lawsuit, a heresy trial, and defrocking of Richard Rhem on sexual misconduct charges, the Muskegon Classis of the Reformed Church in America and Christ Community Church in Spring Lake, Michigan, reached an agreement December 18 settling all issues in the dispute between them. The settlement stipulates that the church pay the classis $400,000 during the next decade and that the classis release the congregation and property from the denomination.
—The national headquarters of the United Church of Canada has been inundated with demands for the resignation of the denomination's moderator after he declared he does not believe that Jesus was God or that he was bodily resurrected. The general council of the 3 million-member denomination, the largest in Canada, unanimously supported 55-year-old Bill Phipps, saying his beliefs are "well within the spectrum of the United Church."
—The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled 6 to 0 December 9 that a divorced father must stop imposing his religious beliefs on his three children, who live with their mother of a different faith. Barbara Kendall, an Orthodox Jew, has been raising the children, ages 4, 6, and 9, since her 1994 divorce from Jeffrey Kendall, caused in part by his joining the Boston Church of Christ. The court ruled that Kendall had "substantially harmed" the children by putting his religious beliefs above their well-being.
—Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder died December 30 after suffering an aortic aneurysm at his office at Notre Dame University, where he was a theology professor. He had turned 70 a day earlier. His 1972 book, The Politics of Jesus, focused on the political implications of Jesus' proclamation of the kingdom of God. Yoder taught theology at Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, from 1965 to 1984, and served as president of the school from 1970 to 1973.
—Terry Madison, 59, is the new president and chief executive officer of the U.S. office of Open Doors with Brother Andrew in Santa Ana, California. Madison, who had been director of publications for World Vision in Seattle, replaces Peter Torry, who is now a freelance development consultant.
—Correction: An obituary in the January issue incorrectly listed the first name of former Open Bible general superintendent Frank W. Smith.
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