Pension Fight Raises Moral and Legal Concerns for ELCA, Publisher

“The church cannot say, `We need to raise money for people in Haiti,’ when we have 500 people here who will live on the edge of poverty when they retire because they lost their pension…” As the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) fights to stay out of a legal battle over unpaid pension benefits,... Continue Reading

Report by Independent Consultants Reveals Ineffectiveness of Methodist Church Structures

“Our conclusion is that the Church is confronting a ‘creeping crisis’ of both internal and external origin and that the crisis is primarily a crisis of ‘relevancy’ – both internal and external.” As United Methodists in the U.S. continue to count losses in worship attendance and membership, the denomination is re-evaluating its structures and making... Continue Reading

Vicar conducted hundreds of sham marriages where east Europeans were paid to wed Africans needing UK residency

“The Church of England hierarchy allowed him to continue the weddings, which bolstered its ailing finances.” The brides’ outfits were borrowed, the bouquets garage-bought. Happy couples beamed for the camera, then minutes later went their separate ways. It was the same scene, week after week. Little did passersby suspect they were witnessing not the joyful... Continue Reading

Scotland may turn to the Kirk to perform miracles for tourism

“I have often felt that the Church should engage more in the business of tourism.” Scotland’s saints, whose miracles include raising the dead, curing the mad and even saving a queen from execution, could now be asked to perform another miracle – boosting the country’s tourist trade. With visitor numbers in decline as the recession... Continue Reading

LGBT advocate is new chair of Presbyterian Publishing Corporation

The Rev. Deborah A. Block has been elected to serve as chair of the Board of Directors of the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation (PPC), according to Presbyterian News Service. Block, a member of the PPC board since 2004, succeeds Kenneth Godshall. PPC is the denominational publisher for the Presbyterian Church (USA), but through Westminster John Knox... Continue Reading

Plainly Presbyterian – My visit to an ARP Church

You’ll almost always hear an exegesis of the books of the Bible. And if you knew what the word “exegesis” means you’re probably already Presbyterian. I had always looked at reformed Presbyterians as being kind of dorky. That’s because the denomination I attended years ago in California was extremely conservative on par with some Mennonite... Continue Reading

Australian tax office advocates national body to monitor churches and other non-profits.

“It should be recognised for what it is: a corporation, not a church. Hillsong is really just a sales and marketing operation.” The tax office wants a special national body set up to monitor “not for profit” charities, admitting that churches – such as the multi-million-dollar phenomenon Hillsong – are literally “invisible” to it. And... Continue Reading

PCUSA Pensions Board Proceeds Cautiously with Domestic Partner Benefits

The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is considering a recommendation to extend spousal and dependent benefits to same-gender domestic partners. The board is hoping to bring proposals next year and begin implementing changes to the denomination’s Benefits Plan in 2012. Thomas C. Paisley, Jr., chair of the Board of Directors of the... Continue Reading

Presbyterian worship: Behold, old things made new

There is a movement afoot in worship, especially in Presbyterian circles but spreading across all denominations. We are witnessing a resurgence of interest in “old things” when it comes to the faith. Some have said that the recent fascination with returning to ancient worship tools and practices is a reaction to the historical rootlessness of... Continue Reading

Lutherans Take Historic Step in Asking for Forgiveness from Mennonites – Assembly Participates in Powerful Service of Repentance

Lutherans repented for violent persecution of Anabaptists and for the ways in which Lutheran reformers supported persecutions with theological arguments In what Bishop Mark S. Hanson, President of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), described as possibly “the most significant legacy this Assembly will leave,” the Eleventh Assembly of the LWF today took the historic step... Continue Reading