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Mainline Protestant (Religion)

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  • Presbyterian leaders in Pittsburgh reeling from latest exodus from denomination

    12/12/2012 10:31:59 PM PST · by Cronos · 44 replies
    Post Gazette ^ | 7 Dec 2012 | Ann Rodgers
    Members of Pittsburgh Presbytery expressed grief and frustration with three churches that recently voted to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) without going through the constitutional process for doing so, while the church's national moderator, who coincidentally was at their regular meeting Thursday, said he had offered to meet with leaders of those churches and two others that are pursuing the formal process for leaving. Representatives from only one of the five, later identified as Bellefield Presbyterian Church in Oakland, agreed to meet with the Rev. Neal Presa. About 140 churches are in the countywide presbytery. Recently, Mt. Lebanon United Presbyterian...
  • Episcopal priests offer spiritual support for gay unions

    12/12/2012 10:27:36 PM PST · by Cronos · 18 replies
    Sun Sentinel ^ | 3 Dec 2012 | Lois K Solomon
    Gay couples who seek spiritual affirmation of their relationships can now sanctify their unions with special blessings at South Florida's Episcopal churches. Priests in the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida have been given permission to perform a distinct rite, different from the marriage between a man and a woman. Called "The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant," the ceremony, to be introduced this month, was approved by national convention delegates over the summer. Lorraine Michels and Joan Van Ness were married in 2009 in Massachusetts, but decided to participate in a nine-couple blessing ceremony in April at All Saints...
  • Episcopalian Exodus Over Gay Issues continues

    12/12/2012 10:18:02 PM PST · by Cronos · 19 replies
    Inquisitor ^ | 19.Nov.2012 | inq
    Divisions in the Episcopal Church on the subject of gay marriage have led yet another diocese to break from the national US Episcopal Church. Reuters reports Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina received a letter Oct. 15 from Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori saying he had “abandoned the church” and barring him from exercising his office. The local diocese however had previous stated that it would disassociate with the national church if it took exercised any hierarchical authority. It did, and the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina became the fifth US diocese to break from its mother...
  • UK Government Says it Will Legalize Gay Marriage, but Bar Church of England from Involvement

    12/12/2012 8:42:08 AM PST · by marshmallow · 4 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 12/11/12 | AP
    LONDON — The British government announced Tuesday that it will introduce a bill next year legalizing gay marriage — but banning the Church of England from conducting same-sex ceremonies. Equalities minister Maria Miller said the legislation would authorize same-sex civil marriages, as well as religious ceremonies if religions decide to “opt in. “I feel strongly that, if a couple wish to show their love and commitment to each other, the state should not stand in their way,” Miller said. “For me, extending marriage to same-sex couples will strengthen, not weaken, this vital institution.” Some religious groups, such as Quakers and...
  • Protestant-Catholic Gap Narrows as Census Results Revealed [Northern Ireland]

    12/12/2012 8:29:17 AM PST · by marshmallow · 3 replies
    The Belfast Telegraph ^ | 11/12/12 | David Young
    The gap between the proportion of Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland has narrowed, new census figures revealed today. The percentage of Catholics in the population was up to 45 while Protestant representation has fallen to 48% from the 2001 census. The figures were detailed in the 2011 census, the results of which were published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency today. Almost half the population (48%) designated themselves as British when asked to select one or more of a number of identities, including Northern Irish or Irish. A total of 29% of the overall population included Northern...
  • Eleven Anglican Sisters to be Received into the Catholic Church [UK]

    12/12/2012 8:21:49 AM PST · by marshmallow · 3 replies
    The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 12/12/12 | Mark Greaves
    Eleven Anglican Sisters will be received into the Catholic Church via the ordinariate, it emerged this week. The Sisters, from the Community of St Mary the Virgin in Wantage, Oxfordshire, will be received into the Church by Mgr Keith Newton, leader of the ordinariate in England and Wales, on New Year’s Day. The group, which ranges in age from 45 to 83, includes the mother superior of the community and a Sister who was once a minister in the Church of England. Three are in their 80s. Next year they will stay for six weeks at a Benedictine convent. After...
  • Prayer Request For A Friend (Vanity)

    12/11/2012 4:34:22 AM PST · by poobear · 37 replies
    I humbly ask FReeper Prayer Warriors to Pray for my friend (K). He has had elevated PSA levels and is finally going in to find out if the dreaded 'C' is present tomorrow. K is way too young for this and is quite worried as he has 3 children who are dependent on him. I have been Praying for K daily but I could use some help guys. May G-d Bless all of you! Poobear...
  • The Stranger in the House

    12/09/2012 2:35:55 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 11 replies
    WSJ ^ | November 16, 2012
    ....it is worth noting that some of the earliest records of the Christmas-tree tradition are to be found among the records of killjoy officialdom. As Bernd Brunner notes in "Inventing the Christmas Tree," the town clerk of Strasbourg, in 1494, put the kibosh on the local "custom of cutting off pine branches at the New Year and bringing them home." By the 16th century the custom was widespread enough to pose some threat of deforestation: In 1554, the city of Freiburg im Breisgau banned the cutting of trees for Christmas. [SNIP] The Tannenbaum (which simply means "fir tree") came to...
  • Senior home Christmas tree ban touches nerve about religious diversity, tolerance

    12/09/2012 2:35:53 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 23 replies
    The Willits News ^ | 12/07/2012 | Mariecar Mendoza
    News of Newhall seniors protesting the removal of a Christmas tree from their community room this week because, they said they were told, it was a religious symbol prompted a national outcry -- a collective bah humbug from Christmas defenders. It was, many said, another example of the so-called "war on Christmas" and political correctness run amok. The issue isn't new, but the debate over appropriate public demonstrations of traditionally religious holidays has now spread beyond blatant symbols like the cross and Nativity scenes to the unassuming Christmas tree. Chalk it up to the melting pot, experts say. "The country...
  • Rejecting Synergism and Returning to Monergism

    12/09/2012 11:34:49 AM PST · by HarleyD · 28 replies
    Critical Issues Commentary ^ | Unknown | Bob DeWaay
    ”For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8, 9) A key idea in the contemporary evangelical movement is that revival can be engineered. The Purpose Driven Web site says, “Peter Drucker called him [Warren] ‘the inventor of perpetual revival’ and Forbes magazine has written, ‘If Warren’s church was a business it would be compared with Dell, Google or Starbucks.’”1 The Purpose Driven movement can cite this business management guru approvingly only because they have a...
  • Former Episcopal priest grateful to Pope for Catholic ordinariate

    12/08/2012 2:34:25 PM PST · by NYer · 73 replies
    cna ^ | December 8, 2012 | Kevin J. Jones
    Former Episcopal priest Larry Gipson. CNA file photo. Houston, Texas, Dec 8, 2012 / 01:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Former Episcopal priest Laurence Gipson, who became Catholic in October, says his reaction to the Catholic ordinariate for former Anglicans is one of “gratitude.” “The ordinariate, I think, is a wonderful opportunity for people like me, Anglican clergy and Anglican laity, who are seeking Catholic faith,” he said. On Jan. 1, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI established the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter to allow Anglican and Episcopalian groups in the U.S. to become Catholic as groups, not only as...
  • THE VIRGIN BIRTH: A MYSTERY TO BE CRIED ALOUD

    12/08/2012 7:18:22 AM PST · by HarleyD · 51 replies
    Reformed Perspectives ^ | 2002 | John Hartog III, TH.D.
    Reprinted by permission of Faith Baptist Theological Seminary's Faith Pulpit, December, 1999. The virgin birth refers to Mary's miraculous conception of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, without any male participation, so that, though the birth process was not unlike that of other humans, Mary was still a virgin when Jesus was born. This Biblical doctrine should be distinguished from the Roman Catholic tenets of Mary's immaculate conception and her perpetual virginity (Erickson, 179). The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception According to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, Mary was "preserved free from all stain of original sin"...
  • Prime Minister David Cameron Backs Gay Weddings in Church [UK]

    12/07/2012 6:39:11 PM PST · by marshmallow · 9 replies
    The Evening Standard (UK) ^ | 12/7/12 | Joe Murphy
    David Cameron will risk a major battle with his party next week by backing gay weddings in churches, the Evening Standard can reveal. He will go further than ever in his modernising drive by saying religious groups should be allowed to host same-sex civil weddings in churches, synagogues and other religious buildings if they choose. Organisations that reject gay marriage, such as the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, will have legal protection from being forced to host ceremonies against their wishes, the Prime Minister will pledge. Tory MPs will have a free vote on a Bill next...
  • Presbyterian leaders in Pittsburgh reeling from latest exodus [Presbyterian Caucus]

    12/07/2012 9:10:09 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 14 replies
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ^ | December 7, 2012 | Ann Rodgers
    Members of Pittsburgh Presbytery expressed grief and frustration with three churches that recently voted to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) without going through the constitutional process for doing so, while the church's national moderator, who coincidentally was at their regular meeting Thursday, said he had offered to meet with leaders of those churches and two others that are pursuing the formal process for leaving. [SNIP] Recently, Mt. Lebanon United Presbyterian Church, Round Hill Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth Township and the First Presbyterian Church of Bakerstown voted to secede without going through nine to 18 months of discussions with presbytery officials...
  • Canterbury Concedes Anglican Communion Has Become "Corrupted"

    12/06/2012 12:03:43 PM PST · by marshmallow · 12 replies
    Anglican Ink ^ | 12/5/12 | George Conger
    Push for an Anglican Covenant overtaken by the dissolution of the communionThe Archbishop of Canterbury has conceded defeat in the battle over the Anglican Covenant. In a 2 Dec 2012 Advent letter to the primates, Dr. Rowan Williams said the Anglican Communion had become “corrupted” and could no longer be considered a communion of churches but a “community of communities.” Dr. Williams’ somber appreciation of the state of the communion today, contrasts with his past letters to the leaders of the Communions 38 provinces. Nothing now bound the church together apart from good will. In 2009 Dr. Williams rejected calls...
  • US Ordinariate Receives $5 million Land Donation for Chancery

    12/05/2012 7:00:08 AM PST · by marshmallow
    EWTN News ^ | 12/4/12
    An anonymous donor has purchased five acres of land adjacent to the flagship church of the U.S. Anglican Ordinariate and donated it for building a chancery. “This will be the future home of the chancery of the Ordinariate as well as serve future expansion needs of this wonderful, growing parish. It is an incredible blessing, and I know you all will want to say with me: To God be the glory,” Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, the ordinary of the structure, said on Dec. 2 during a Mass at the parish. The property, which cost the donors $5 million, will allow...
  • Presbyterians and the fiscal cliff: potential impact on your church's bottom line [Reformed Caucus]

    12/04/2012 12:04:45 PM PST · by Alex Murphy · 4 replies
    The Layman Online ^ | 12/3/2012 | Carmen Fowler LaBerge
    * Disclaimer: The following should not be considered legal, financial or tax advice. Every individual situation is unique and you are encouraged to consult with your tax and financial advisor before year end. There's a lot of hype, confusion and speculation related to the so-called "fiscal cliff" America is facing as the calendar rolls over from 2012 to 2013. At the Presbyterian Lay Committee, we're getting questions from donors and churches alike about what they might anticipate in terms of the impact on charitable giving. The answer all depends on what happens between now and the end of the year...
  • Book of lamentations: An intimate look at Anglicanism

    12/04/2012 2:32:38 AM PST · by Cronos · 1 replies
    The Economist ^ | Nov 2012 | Economist
    TO ENGLISHMEN of Roger Scruton’s generation (he is 68), religion was “as unmentionable as sex or love or hygiene”. The clumsy soul who stops by a country church in Philip Larkin’s 1955 poem, “Church Going”, speaks of an “awkward reverence”. This seems to be what Anglicanism means for many: God, as depicted in church services, is an Englishman, “uncomfortable in the presence of enthusiasm, reluctant to make a fuss, but trapped into making public speeches”, .. Mr Scruton’s work has a spurtive, poetic quality to it. Justifications of Anglican doctrine lie beside the author’s thoughts on his village church. Literary...
  • American Catholics less devoted, study suggested

    12/03/2012 7:22:06 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 9 replies
    The Christian Post ^ | December 3, 2012 | Anugrah Kumar
    A new study has found that Catholics now have the lowest proportion of "strongly affiliated" followers among America's major religious traditions, while evangelicals are growing stronger in their devotion to their faith. Philip Schwadel, a sociologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, whose findings rely on a survey conducted among a cross-section of Americans on an annual or bi-annual basis since 1974, notes that from about a 5-percentage-point difference in the 1970s in how strongly Catholics and evangelicals felt about their religion, it has increased to around 20 percentage points today. Roughly 56 per cent of evangelicals now say they're strongly...
  • A Shameful Caricature, and a Warning

    12/02/2012 11:34:36 AM PST · by ReformationFan · 4 replies
    Virtue Online ^ | 11-29-12 | Canon Phil Ashley
    In the wake of the narrow defeat of the women bishops measure in the Church of England's General Synod by six votes in the House of Laity, a torrent of criticism has been unleashed on evangelical and Anglo-Catholic Anglicans who opposed the measure. From the Archbishop of Canterbury, members of Parliament, and down through the ranks, the consciences and reasons of those who voted against the measure have been belittled and even vilified. This vilification is most obvious in the editorial in The Guardian (London) from Friday, Nov. 23 by Canon Giles Fraser. Until recently, Canon Fraser held a senior...