1. Presbyterians un-divesting
The Presbyterian Church (USA) has been accused of being anti-Semitic for singling out Israel in statements and positions regarding human rights. But at its national assembly this year, the church decided it would change its policy of divestment from businesses that operate in Israel to one of investing in "peaceful pursuits."
The Associated Press reports that Jewish groups are satisfied with the action.
David Bernstein of the American Jewish Committee's Washington office, who is observing the assembly, said the new wording "subjects Israel to the same process as every other country in the world. That's what we wanted. Singling out Israel is not the way to approach peace in the Middle East."
The resolution also apologized for "the pain that this has caused" among "many members of the Jewish community and within our Presbyterian communion," reports The New York Times.
2. Pro-life Presbyterians?
The PCUSA also adopted a resolution that "viable unborn babiesthose well-developed enough to survive outside the womb if deliveredought to be preserved and cared for and not aborted." The AP reports that "an amendment to add 'based on the choice of the mother' was defeated."
3. African primates respond
Weblog, who admits ignorance of all things mainline, wonders why the Episcopal Church passed on a resolution that seems to have upset everybody. The resolution, which asked for restraint in consecrating bishops "whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church," does not address same-sex blessings and is not a moratorium, which the rest of the Anglican Communion leadership asked for in the 2003 Windsor Report. The Episcopal News Service says the resolution was an effort to stay in conversation with the rest of the Anglican Communion. But it looks like those in the Global South aren't buying it. Peter Akinola, primate of Nigeria, wrote on behalf of the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa.
We have observed the commitment shown by your church [ECUSA] to the full participation of people in same gender sexual relationships in civic life, church life, and leadership. We have noted the many affirmations of this throughout the convention. As you know, our churches cannot reconcile this with the teaching on marriage set out in the Holy Scriptures and repeatedly affirmed throughout the Anglican Communion.
We assure all those Scripturally faithful dioceses and congregations alienated and marginalized within your Provincial structure that we have heard their cries.
4. Daystar tries again
Daystar is renewing its offer to buy KOCE after a judge ruled that the station was illegally sold to an organization that had underbid Daystar. The AP reports that the court said the station should have been sold to Daystar, but now it must be put up for bid again.
5. North Korea: U.S. suppresses religious freedom
"An unnamed spokesman for North Korean's Christian Federation claimed U.S. authorities refused to let North Koreans participate in a meeting of the U.S. Presbyterian Church in Birmingham this week," the AP reports. So, the North Koreans say, the U.S. is suppressing religious freedom. Yeah, if only we Americans had it so good as the North Koreans.
ECUSA | PCUSA | Church life | Catholicism | Missions & ministry | Education | Politics | Television | Film & theater | Crime | More articles of interest
- US Church eases gay bishop stance | The US Episcopal Church has agreed to "exercise restraint" in consecrating gay bishops in an effort to prevent its expulsion from the Anglican communion. (BBC)
- Episcopal resolution on ordination of gays finds many critics on both sides | The Episcopal Church, rushing to adopt a stance on gay ordination before its triennial convention ended last night, agreed not to consecrate any candidates for bishop whose personal lives could cause friction with the worldwide Anglican Communion. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Episcopalians vote to 'exercise restraint' in choosing gay bishops | The Episcopal Church, rushing to adopt a stance on gay ordination before its triennial convention ended last night, agreed not to consecrate any candidates for bishop whose personal lives could cause friction with the worldwide Anglican Communion. (Toledo Blade)
- Church urges its dioceses not to elect gay bishops | The Episcopal Church called on its bishops and dioceses yesterday to avoid backing the election of openly gay bishops, marking a retreat, if only temporarily, from its previous embrace of gays and lesbians at all levels of denominational life. (The New York Times)
- Episcopal Church votes to curb gay bishops | The U.S. Episcopal Church, trying to appease an angry and alienated worldwide Anglican community, reversed itself on Wednesday and agreed to try to avoid the consecration of more openly gay bishops. (Reuters)
- Episcopalians adopt resolution for bishops | Conservative and liberal Episcopalians left a national meeting upset by a measure that won last-minute approval asking for restraint on electing more gay bishops. (Associated Press)
- Churches losing foundation | The new leader of the Episcopal Church in America, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, says she does not believe homosexuality is a sin and that homosexuals were created by God to love people of the same gender. (Cal Thomas)
- A sign of hope for Episcopalians | Why on Earth would there be any controversy about the election of the first woman as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church? (Robert V. Taylor, Seattle Times)
- Presbyterians shift investment focus off Israel | Balance sought in Mideast conflict (The Courier-Journal, Louisville)
- Presbyterians reverse stance on Israeli divestment | Policy no longer singles out the Jewish state (The Boston Globe)
- Presbyterians ease Mideast divesting policy | The largest U.S. Presbyterian church on Wednesday backed away from a policy that ordered it to divest stock holdings in companies doing business with Israel that profit from the violence in the Middle East. (Reuters)
- Presbyterian Church shifts investment plan | The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) national assembly has softened its 2-year-old policy on disinvesting in companies that do business with Israel and has shifted more strongly against late-term abortions. (Associated Press)
- Presbyterians revise Israel investing policy | The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted yesterday to back off from a decision it made two years ago to pursue divestment from companies that profit from Israel's involvement in the Palestinian territories. (The New York Times)
- Detterick: Anderson will keep word on gift | A top executive of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) told its national assembly Wednesday that he's confident Denver businessman Stanley W. Anderson will make good on a $150 million gift he has promised to his denomination. (Associated Press)
- Denomination welcomes predominantly gay church | United Church of Christ offers 'home' (The Tennessean)
- National groups befuddled, Springs churches say | Two of Colorado Springs' most prominent churches are at odds with their national denominations, and one church may split from its denomination. (The Gazette, Colorado Springs)
- Church fight | St. Andrew's Presbyterian pastor Jim Rigby's (left) decision to let atheist UT professor Robert Jensen (right) join the church has outraged conservative Presbyterians. (Austin Chronicle)
- 700 in town for church meeting | This is the 26th annual General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. (Rome News-Tribune, Ga.)
- 'End times' religious groups want apocalypse soon | 'End times' religious groups want apocalypse sooner than later, and they're relying on high tech -- and red heifers -- to hasten its arrival. (Los Angeles Times)
- Depressed? Don't suffer in silence any longer | "There's a belief in the black community that if you have insufficient faith, you become depressed," said Martin, who will be one of the speakers at the forum. "But there are many church pews filled with depressed Christians. Your brain chemicals can become depleted whether you have faith or not." (Desiree Cooper, Detroit Free Press)
- Bishop decries Sri Lanka attack | A Sri Lankan bishop has written to the Vatican accusing the country's navy of a grenade attack on a church in which a woman died and 40 others were hurt. (BBC)
- Pope names longtime aide Vatican No. 2 | Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone of Italy, a longtime aide to Pope Benedict XVI and the first major church official to speak out against "The Da Vinci Code," was appointed Thursday as secretary of state, the Vatican's No. 2 official. (Associated Press)
- Vatican official warns Amnesty against abortion move | Human rights group Amnesty International will be discredited if it pushes for the decriminalisation of abortion worldwide, a senior Vatican official said on Wednesday. (Reuters)
- Two closed parishes hear promising peal from the Vatican | Two closed churches get review (The Boston Globe)
- Pope promotes 'hardliner' in reshuffle of his top team | Pope Benedict XVI carried out a long-awaited reshuffle of his top team at the Vatican today, naming Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Archbishop of Genoa, as Secretary of State in effect, the Pope's deputy. (The Times, London)
- Diocesan screenings for abusers give slack to undocumented | In L.A. and O.C., illegal immigrant Catholics can volunteer with children without background checks because they lack the required ID. (Los Angeles Times)
- Third Base a born-again coffeehouse | A coffeehouse with a Christian theme will open later this month in the former Third Base Bar & Grill on Main Street. (Fitchburg Sentinel, Mass.)
- Hip-hop trend adding young congregants to churches | The melding of religion and the energy of the culture helps to spread the word. (Newsday, N.Y.)
- ACTS to get $169,000 from state | North Carolina Governor Mike Easley has announced Governor's Crime Commis-sion grant awards for 2006 and one of the largest for a single agency is going to a Vance County organization. (Henderson Daily Dispatch, N.C.)
- Missionaries from around the nation, world meet in Kinston for fellowship week | Seventy-five missionary families from 34 nations have gathered to reflect on their service to God and renew themselves for the year of work ahead. (Kinston Free Press, N.C.)
- Bounced out | A small private school hoped to grow through a great boys' basketball program, but the plan failed badly (Los Angeles Times)
- Teach the origins of life based on evidence, scientists demand | Faith schools are being accused of failing to give children the facts about the theory of evolution (TheTimes, London)
- Tory leader proposes tax breaks for moms | British Conservative leader David Cameron is supporting a plan to offer tax breaks to women who stay home with their young children. (UPI)
- N.Korea accuses U-S of blocking its religious delegation | North Korea today accused the United States of suppressing religion by allegedly blocking the entry of its religious delegation into the country and demanded an apology. (Associated Press)
- Latest bid in battle for cross is rejected | 'The moment of truth is upon us,' Aguirre says (Union-Tribune, San Diego)
- Televangelists want Calif. TV station | Televangelists revive offer for PBS affiliate after court ruling on sale (Associated Press)
- Bill Moyers set for 'Faith & Reason' | With an eye toward charting some common ground, and exploring the richness of that terrain, "Bill Moyers on Faith & Reason" presents seven weekly hourlong sessions with writers of wildly varying positions on belief and disbelief and who collectively disavow any simple either-or polarity. (Associated Press)
- Thoughtful television | 'Moyers on Faith' (Jonathan Storm, Philadelphia Inquirer)
- Film rating upsets Christian groups | 'Facing the Giants' received a PG rating (ABC News)
- 'Jesus' amusing and profound | Over its 100-year history, it's likely Cal Performances has presented few if any Christian religious services in its annual potpourri of arts programs. (Contra Costa Times)
- U.S. flag from Iraq stolen from church | A U.S. flag that once flew at a Pentagon base in Iraq has been stolen from the suburban Chicago church it was given to in December. (UPI)
- Minister blames attorney for convictions | The evangelical minister who counts homosexuality and "wicked, sick, perverted rap music" among the contributors to society's ills now blames his conviction for soliciting sexual favors from a borough boy on his defense attorney. (Chester Daily Local, Pa.)
- Thieves take wood meant for ACTS shelter roof | The local charity Area Christians Together in Service fell victim to larceny sometime between May 18 and June 1. (Henderson Daily Dispatch, N.C.)
- Pastor says man discounted wife's talk of suicide before cliff plunge | A Sunday school teacher from Staten Island who the police say killed herself in a plunge from a cliff last week had talked to her husband about suicide recently, the family's pastor said yesterday. But the husband, who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of assisting a suicide, took her comments as emotional outbursts rather than literal warnings, the pastor said. (The New York Times)
- Stepping out of the shadows | Black synagogue testifies to Judaism's diversity (South Bend Tribune, Ind.)
- Decyfer Down mixes rock 'n' roll and religion on the road | The Morehead City-based Decyfer Down has been spreading the gospel of rock 'n' roll make that the gospel and rock 'n' roll for "eight hard years." (New Bern Sun Journal, N.C.)
- Finns pass anti-prostitution law | The Finnish parliament has approved new legislation aimed at curbing human trafficking in the sex trade. (BBC)
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