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Lutheran church in Ethiopia severs relationship with ELCA

CHICAGO (ELCA) — The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus is severing its relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Church of Sweden and “those churches who have openly accepted same-sex marriage.” The action for “all Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus departments and institutions (at every level) to implement this decision” was ratified […]

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Fasting like an Old Testament prophet gains followers during Lent

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald (RNS) Amy Lester has followed Jesus for decades, but her keen appreciation for his sacrifice on the cross came only recently when she started eating like the prophet Daniel. During Lent, which starts Wednesday (Feb. 13), the 40-year-old mother of two keeps a type of Daniel Fast, which involves eating only […]

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Estate planning untapped tool for SBC churches

By Russ Rankin NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The majority of pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention believe Christians should include a legacy gift to a ministry or church, but 86 percent of SBC churches provide no assistance to their congregation to help with estate planning, according to a recent study. LifeWay Research conducted a survey of […]

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Lausanne hands leadership baton to next generation with appointment of young CEO

LONDON /Christian Newswire – The Lausanne Movement announced today it has appointed Dr. Michael Oh, a 41-year-old Korean-American serving in Japan, as its new executive director/chief executive officer, effective March 1. “Michael is a cross-cultural bridge-builder, from East to West and across generations; he knows the overall Movement well and understands the complexity of this […]

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Missteps with compensation-setting and related-party transactions cost charity reported $5.5M

Attorney Michael Peregrine’s January 14th article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy highlights the need for charities to implement stronger safeguards in handling matters related to conflicts of interest and compensation-setting. Peregrine’s article explains how a prominent charity in New York City ended up with a $5.5 million price tag from the state attorney general’s office […]

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White House expands exemptions from contraception mandate

(RNS) The Obama administration on Friday unveiled new rules on its controversial birth control insurance mandate that broaden religious exemptions and give greater flexibility to faith-based organizations that have moral objections to providing contraception insurance. The proposals do not, however, offer relief to privately-owned businesses that make conscience claims. The latest accommodation was a long-awaited […]

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Religious construction spending in 2013-2014 expected to increase

Washington, D.C. – Growing at a faster rate than the overall U.S. economy, the nonresidential construction industry is expected to see solid, yet measured, increases in activity this year. The religious sector is expected to post a 2.6 percent increase of spending this year and 4.9 percent in 2014. High demand for hotels and retail […]

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Retired Los Angeles cardinal punished over abuse revelations

By David Gibson (RNS) Retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony has been stripped of his official duties in an unusual public rebuke by his successor that followed the release of thousands of pages of internal church documents showing how Mahony and aides for years conspired to cover up the sexual abuse of children by clergy. […]

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Boy Scouts policy on homosexuality could lead to SBC exodus

By Bob Allen A decision by the Boy Scouts of America to drop its ban on openly gay Scouts and volunteers could prompt churches to find an alternative in Royal Ambassadors, a Southern Baptist missions education program for boys, according to a Jan. 29 story in Baptist Press. “Royal Ambassadors espouses many of the same […]

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Survey: Most SBC pastors not prepared to die

By Russ Rankin NASHVILLE, Tenn. — While the majority of pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention have a will, nearly 40 percent possess no type of estate planning document at all. A recent survey conducted by LifeWay Research on behalf of the Southern Baptist Foundation found 37 percent of SBC pastors do not have a […]

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