1. CRC drops "male" requirement for church office
The Christian Reformed Church's biannual synod voted 112 to 70 to remove the word "male" from its requirements for church office. The denomination had earlier allowed its regional bodies (called classes) to "declare that the word male in … the Church Order is inoperative" and allow the ordination and installation of women as elders, ministers, and ministry associates. More than half — 26 of 47 — of its regional bodies had done so. Last night's vote essentially reversed this local option; while the national body has no gender restriction on offices, classes may "set restrictions on women serving as delegates" to their meetings. A separate vote this morning allowed women to serve as delegates to CRC synods.

2. Many votes at Southern Baptists meeting. Now comes the spin
One of the resolutions most discussed before the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting, Tom Ascol's call for "integrity in church membership," won't even come to the floor for a vote. Meanwhile, there was a fair bit of debate over a resolution on global warming, and no debate at all (just an "overwhelming" assent) to a resolution asking the denomination's executive committee to create a database of pastors who have been "credibly accused of, personally confessed to, or legally been convicted of sexual harassment or abuse." The Baptist coordinator of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which has recently given special attention to the Southern Baptist Convention, praised the vote as very positive and a step forward.

But the big news so far is the passage, by a vote of 2,137 to 1,565, of this resolution:

The Baptist Faith and Message is not a creed, or a complete statement ...
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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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