Today's Top Five Six

1. Another church treasurer embezzlement story
Not all the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s financial woes are due to declines in giving by local congregations. The denomination says that its second-ranking financial officer, Judy Golliher, has admitted to embezzlement and that $100,000 is missing from the general operating fund.

The Courier-Journal notes, "Golliher was originally hired as interim controller in 2004 to replace Nagy Tawfik, who was fired because of allegations he had tampered with a bidding process. The church last month paid Tawfik $390,000 to settle allegations that he was wrongfully terminated, in part based on his national origin. Tawfik is Egyptian."

If this sounds familiar, by the way, you're probably remembering Ellen Cooke was convicted of embezzling $1.5 million as treasurer of the Episcopal Church USA. Or when George Patrick was arrested for embezzling $800,000 as treasurer of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's New England Synod. Just so you know, this isn't what Christianity Today's newest sister publication, Church Finance Today, is about. It's for church treasurers—not a warning about church treasurers.

2. U.K. prison drops InnerChange out of diversity concerns A month after a federal judge called Prison Fellowship's InnerChange Freedom Initiative "pervasively sectarian" and ordered the program in Iowa's Newton Correctional Facility to close, comes word that a sister program has been kicked out of Dartmoor prison in England. "There are two reasons for the closure," Prison Fellowship England and Wales chairman Lady Georgie Wates tells The Church of England Newspaper. "First we don't comply with the diversity policy of the Prison Service because we teach the sanctity ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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