Last month Willow Creek Community Church announced plans for satellite churches around the Chicago area. These churches will incorporate "a mix of in-house worship and preaching beamed in via fiber-optic lines," reported the Chicago Tribune. David Staal, the megachurch's director of communications, told the paper, "The purpose of the regional centers is to reach more people in the Chicagoland region who are unchurched." So what better place to launch its first satellite church than in the "evangelical Vatican" of Wheaton, reputed to have the most churches per capita in the U.S? There are obvious ironies here, but some are more subtle. First, the church is apparently launching not because of the unchurched but because of the churched: Willow Creek found that many of its parishioners are from Wheaton, which is about 20 miles away from the church's Barrington campus. Second, the other reason that Willow Creek can come into the town is because a Willow Creek clone, Ginger Creek Community Church, is moving into its own building—allowing Willow to use the high school auditorium Sunday mornings.
Retraction of the month There are retractions, and then there are Retractions. Weblog has attempted to stay away from the Gary Condit- Chandra Levy story, excepting one link to a column about how Condit's religion shaped his politics. There have been other religion angles to the story, of course, but with as much coverage as this case has received elsewhere in the media, there's probably no angle that hasn't been written. Still, Weblog was pushed over the edge upon reading an article in Saturday's Washington Post: the Pentecostal minister who made front-page news with accusations that his ...1