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Sunday Bulletin: Lenten Carbon Fast, First Church of Yosemite Sam, and Jesus Named Next Indian Idol

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Haven’t done a Sunday Bulletin in a couple of weeks. Here’s the going ons in church news:

carbonBritish bishops call for a fast from carbon this lent. (AP, Christianity Today) I bet it was difficult to celebrate Ash Wednesday without any carbon.

Man with guns rides horse to church. (Washington Post) Claims Yosemite Sam is his personal lord and savior.

jesusbeerIndian Text book illustration of Jesus with a beer and cigarette sparks protests. (Christian Post, Washington Post, AFP) Listed in a children’s textbook under “I” for “Idol.” Does that make Jesus the next Indian Idol? What is all the fuss, how else are we going to make Jesus relevant to all the smokers who like cheap Budweiser beer?

Sunday Bulletin – Feb 7, 2010

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Here are some church news highlights from the past week…

“Pope can fly with us” says easyJet. Silly easyJet, Pope’s don’t fly; nuns do!

Baptist in Texas spread the Gospel using CDs. (Washington Post) The Gospel on CD, how futuristic! What will they think of next?

kimo-cross-tattoo2Churches start Mixed Martial Arts Ministry in order to attract more members. (NY TimesA version of this article appeared in print on February 2, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition) The bouts are extremely short because of the “turn-the-other-check” tactic. But it does give young Christians the opportunity to bash the devil out of each others hearts. Bringing the coliseums back to Christianity will mean only one thing – new martyrs.

Check out FightPastor.com which hosts the blog of Brandon Beals, a pastor who practices mma as a ministry.

Sunday Bulletin Jan 10, 2010

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Here’s some news for the second week of the new year…

Rick Warren exceeds fund raising goal. LA Times

Egyptian church attacked. NY Times

Malaysian churches attacked after Allah ruling. Washington Post

Louisiana prison offers ministry degrees to inmates. NY Times

Brit Hume becomes a televangelist. USA Today, NPR (interview with audio), NY Daily News “He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith.” I can’t say I disagree.

Blasphemy now illegal in Ireland. NPR (Thanks Adrian for sending this in)

Sunday Bulletin Jan 3, 2010

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Pope attacked during Christmas eve mass. Reuters, LA Times, CNN, BBC, NY Times

Pope Pius XII moved closer to sainthood. Pope Pius XII is accused of not doing enough to help Jewish victims during the holocaust. USA Today

Jonah Goldberg, in an LA Times opinion piece, examines the faith themes in Avatar. The faith aspect is not controversial because the good guys adopt a new age religion. “What would have been controversial is if — somehow — Cameron had made a movie in which the good guys accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts…If the Na’Vi were Roman Catholics, there would be boycotts and protests. Make the oversized Smurfs Rousseauian noble savages and everyone nods along, save for a few cranky right-wingers.”

Church fined for offering to shelter the homeless. Times Leader

4-year old killed in church on New Years Eve. WCTV with video, WSB Radio, Fox News

Malaysian Court Rules that Christians May Use ‘Allah’ to Refer to God. AFP, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, The Baltimore Sun, BBC

Saddleback Church Faces $900,000 Budget Deficit. OC Register, NY Times

Sunday Bulletin for Dec 20, 2009

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Here is a fresh scoop of news to for the pot-luck dinner…

jesus-thumb-295x508-343Boy sent for psychological evaluation for drawing crucifix at school. A 2nd grade class was given an assignment to “draw something that reminds you of Christmas.” A boy drew Jesus on the cross. When asked about the drawing he said “that’s me on the cross.” He was suspended and forced to undergo psychiatric evaluations. CBS (local, with video), AP, Washington Times, Fox (local), NY Post, Boston.com with balanced reaction from the school.

Pope calls for action on climate change. AP

DisciplesWorld Magazine to end publication. DisciplesWorld is the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) affiliated magazine. From their website.

Malaysia courts hear case on Christian use of word ‘Allah.’ The Herald translation of the Bible uses the word ‘Allah’ for God. Local Muslims argue that ‘Allah’ should be reserved for Islam, use by Christians they say is confusing. AP, Christian Post

Pope addresses priest abuse in Ireland. USA Today

Archbishop of Lusaka, Emmanuel Milingo is dismissed by Pope. Milingo was an out-spoken advocate for married priests. He ordained married men in his diocese without permission and participated in a mass wedding in New York.  Catholic New Agency, Washington Post, AP, BBC

Muslim countries want a UN resolution banning blasphemy. This story is a bit old, but just heard about it on Dan Carlin’s most recent show. See also AP (via NPR)

Oral Roberts has died. LA Times, Washington Post

An Alabama City Requires Firefighters to be Present for Candlelight Services. NY Times.

Pastor finds dynamite in church. (video), AP

Church billboard in New Zealand sparks controversy. Meant to encourage spiritual conversation about Christmas. I think the picture says it all. The Sydney Morning Herald, Stuff, BBC, The Baltimore Sun, ABC, AP


The Sunday Bulletin, Dec 13 2009

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

I want to change the publication schedule a bit, and so now here is the news from the last couple of days. I’m moving these posts to Sunday because hey “Sunday Bulletin” just sounds right.

More reaction about newly elected gay bishop. Baltimore Sun includes an interview with the bishop elect, Ekklesia, Beliefnet, NY Times, PBS. See also “Pride and Prejudice in the Episcopal Church” by Andrew Klavan in the Wall Street Journal: “For myself, if the church splits, I neither want to join a communion that defines itself by its opposition to homosexuality nor stay with a group that’s been highjacked by radicals now free to override every church tradition…It’s the right decision at the wrong time, which makes it the wrong decision. Gradualism is the whole method of God.”

The Lutheran Church, ELCA, hosts online town forum. Link

Catholic bishops disapprove of Ohio execution. The Catholic Spirit.

No atheists allowed on city council in NC. From one opponent: “My father was a Baptist minister. I’m a Christian man. I have problems with people who don’t believe in God.”  AP

Church hosts 21-foot tall signing Christmas tree. Billings Gazette

Church News Bulletin for Dec 9

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Here’s the latest gossip from Sunday’s coffee hour…

LA Episcopal Diocese elects first woman bishop, first lesbian bishop. Articles on first woman: LA Times, AP, another AP article, CBS News, Christian Post. After the election of the lesbian bishop: The Baltimore Sun, LA Times (blog), LA Times, Daily Mail, UK, USA Today. Archbishop of Canterbury rebukes the vote, calls on bishops to block confirmation: LA Times.

Presiding bishop of ELCA says Bible not final authority on homosexuality. Then…what is? One News Now

A crucifix in a nude Peta ad angers some Christian groups. No, I will not post the racy ad here. But you can read all about it on Parade Online, they are family friendly, right? See also USA Today

UPDATE: Chinese Christians sentence reduced to 2 years in labor camp. AP

Jesus Christ is excused from courtroom. Well, a woman who changed her name to Jesus Christ was excused from a court room. According to the article “Efforts to reach Christ for comment were unsuccessful.” I guess that means Jesus Christ is not the judge of all. AP

The Church of Tiger Woods disbands. AFP

Lutherans ask for forgiveness from Anabaptists. Ecumenism.net

Catholic Bishop: “Gays and transsexuals can’t enter heaven.” I hesitate to post this given the source, The New York Times which is notorious for  misquoting and misunderstanding church officials. But, the corroboration from other sources and a rebuke from the Vatican leads me to believe that these comments were actually made by the cardinal. Unfortunately the cardinal misunderstands church teaching which states “They [homosexuals] must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided…by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.” Catechism #2358,2359. In other words – being homosexual does not bar you from heaven nor from life in the Church.

Ugandan church leader speaks out against anti-gay bill. The bill would make homosexuality a crime punishable by death, and failure to report homosexuals punishable by imprisonment. The church leader warns that this will turn into a witch hunt and genocide of the already oppressed people group.  The Guardian

The Pope’s midnight Christmas mass will be at 10pm. By creating a rift in the time-space continuum? Fox “News”, LA Times.

Church News Bulletin for Dec 2

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Here are the stories causing a splash in the baptismal this week…

In some personal news, I have received a call to pastor St. Luke’s United Church of Christ in Timberville, VA! This pastorate begins on January 1, 2010. I am very much looking forward to this ministry. Pray for me!

Latest Jesus sighting: AP


Jesus pressed…for you.

China sentences five Christian leaders to prison for 7 years. For, well, being Christian! They were pastors of  an “illegal” Christian church in China. All Christians must worship in state-sponsored denominations. Christian persecution still exists (but, not in America – we got it easy.). AP, Telegraph UK

Church robbed during service. A deacon laid a beat-down on the robber who got away with some cash. I doubt the sermon was on Luke 6:29 “If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.” (NIV)  AP Texas News

In an unrelated incident, Man steals from church, leaves note “I’m sorry but I am poor.” AP

How the recession hurts churches. AJC

Many, many congregations serve a free thanksgiving meal to the poor. The Dickson Herald, TN; Chickasha News, OK; FDL Reporter; MLive; Did your church serve a thanksgiving meal? Tell all about it in the comments below.

Episcopal bishop in Massachusetts allows priests to preside at same-sex weddings. Boston Globe, Metro West

DC votes on gay marriage. Same-sex marriage approved by 11-2 vote. Washington Post.

Detroit Church hosts gun buy back. Detroit News, BeliefNet Blog

What are your thoughts on the church news this week? Did I miss any big stories?

Church News Bulletin for Nov 25

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Here are the stories that Christians are talking about round the holy water dispenser this week…

Pray for President Obama, Ps 109:8 shows up on bumper stickers and t-shirts. What is Psalm 109:8? “May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.” And verse 9? “May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.” (both NIV) No, Christians, you cannot use prayer as an Obama sneak attack! We can do better than that. How about, well, praying an actual prayer for President Obama: Numbers 6:24-26, Romans 15:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Philippians 4:8-9, or Jude 1:2. Thanks Matthew Paul Turner. Heard about this first on his blog.

The Manhattan Declaration is published. Some Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical groups draft joint document on marriage & abortion. Read the document here. News articles: Catholic Culture, Washington Times, Christianity Today, Examiner, Crosswalk.

Lutheran Churches ask “Should I stay or should I go? Some Lutheran Churches have voted to leave ELCA; and some to stay. I believe this has been happening already, but there appears to be a great deal in the news this week, particularly stories about individual congregations. This is tearing churches apart. I do not think the church is ready to make this type of decision. Activists (on both sides) have steamrolled these decisions at a denominational level for a political agenda. It seems to me that groups on either side of the homosexuality question have already made up their minds and now are pushing agenda without open dialog within the church. The stories, mainly from small local papers: Cannon Falls, WD Times, JS Online, KSAX, The Lutheran, News Record, Times and Democrat, In Forum, Post Bulletin.

In the first article (Cannon Falls), the vote to leave was only 2/3 (and it took two attempts for it to pass). Of a church with 60 members, this was a church splitting decision down to the congregational level. And they are losing their pastor over it.

Mass: We Pray video game hoax. Turns out this YouTube video is a sneaky advertisement for EA Game’s Dante’s Inferno. I’ve been duped! I was kinda looking forward to earning prayer points toward heaven. (More: Escapist Magazine, GameSpy, Joystiq)

Further reading on my previous post about D.C. versus the Archdiocese: Washington Post, Washington Examiner, NY Times

Kennedy denied communion. This is actually an old letter by Kennedy’s bishop, written in 2007. Who knows why he is rehashing it now? Associated Content, The Boston Channel, In Light of the Law, MSNBC, BBC, Fox “News”.

The USCCB publishes pastoral letter on marriage [link]

Archbishop Williams meets with Pope Benedict XVI on Nov 21. CBS, In The News, UK; Bloomberg, Catholic News Agency.

The Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Pavle has died. UPI.

NY Pastor embezzled church funds to get plastic surgery. AP If you ask me this wasn’t embezzlement, plastic surgery is a business expense for pastors. Botox, a chiseled chin, and slim butt are essential in order to maintain credibility in the pulpit.

Russian priest killed in church. NY Times.

Did I miss any big stories in the church? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Also, please let me know what you think of this new category of blog posts. Is it worthwhile? Any suggestions for improvements? How do you like the format?

In The News for November 18

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Here are the news stories that appear to be making the biggest splash over the last week:

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is having a stand-off with the District of Columbia. The Archdiocese warns that if the upcoming same-sex marriage law is passed then it will cut services in the district.

In other news:

Religious license plates not okay in SC

Local church offers gun safety class.