Faith-based Fraud

When church leaders want to raise money for building programs, they often turn to companies like Indiana-based Alanar, which trains these leaders to sell bonds to fellow church members. In Alanar’s training is advice to open meetings with prayer, quote Scripture during the sales call, and “never sell the facts, sell warm stewardship and the... Continue Reading

Are U.S. churches stingy?

By Angela Abbamonte, Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Are U.S. churchgoers stingy? That’s one possible conclusion from a newly updated report that shows if parishioners tithed the biblically recommended 10 percent of their income—instead of their current 2.56 percent—an extra $161 billion would be flowing to charity. The report, published by Illinois-based research firm empty... Continue Reading

School bans cheerleader signs, community rallies

Christian Examiner staff report FORT OGLETHORPE, Ga. —More than 500 people turned out Sept. 29 for a support rally for a north Georgia school cheer squad who has been banned from using religious messages in their football game banners. The policy change came after a spectator complained that the teens used a large banner reading... Continue Reading

Justice Thomas Speaks About His Silence on the Bench

Miriam Rozen, The Texas Lawyer For a U.S. Supreme Court justice who remains mum during oral arguments, Clarence Thomas shared a lot on Wednesday during a 90-minute conversation before an audience of 2,300 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Appearing on stage with Theodore B. Olson, former U.S. solicitor general, Thomas began the evening with... Continue Reading

Legendary mission innovator Margaret Flory dies at 95

by Jerry L. Van Marter, Presbyterian News Service LOUISVILLE — Margaret Flory, a visionary Presbyterian leader who created a number of seminal programs that connected Christians around the world with each other, died Oct. 1 in Asheville, N.C. She was 95. During her 36 years on the national staff of the former United Presbyterian Church... Continue Reading

Human irresponsibility to blame for Manila deluge, say churches

Manila (ENI). Philippine church leaders have blamed “man’s sins” as the cause of massive floods following a tropical storm that claimed more than 240 lives and adversely affected almost two million people. The floods submerged most of metropolitan Manila and neighboring provinces following the nine-hour storm “Ketsana” on 26 September, locally known as “Ondoy”. The... Continue Reading

Polish Lutherans shy away from new call for women pastors

Jonathan Luxmoore Warsaw (ENI). A leader of Poland’s Lutheran church has rejected accusations from an international conference of theologians that the church’s refusal to ordain women as pastors amounts to “structural violence”. Jerzy Sojka, spokesperson for the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland, which has 80,000 members, told Ecumenical News International that the... Continue Reading

Norwegian picked to lead World Council of Churches

Lutheran theologian Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the Church of Norway’s ecumenical and international council, has been chosen as the top executive of the World Council of Churches. His election as general secretary took place on August 27 in Geneva during a meeting of the WCC Central Committee. Tveit, 48, will succeed Samuel Kobia,... Continue Reading

Abortion support declines, nation now evenly split

Oct 1, 2009 The number of Americans expressing support for abortion is clearly declining, leaving the nation now evenly divided on the issue, according to results from a Pew survey released on Thursday. The survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People &... Continue Reading

The ‘Graying’ of Oldline Churches

by John Dart, Christian Century Amid their “slow but general retreat” this decade in terms of financial health and membership, the oldline Protestant churches are especially hampered by the aging of their memberships, a new study says. 22 percent of mainline churches surveyed reported that at least half of their members were over 65, whereas... Continue Reading