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Charitable deduction survives “fiscal cliff” negotiations

ECFA – Late on the first day of the new year, the Senate and House of Representatives joined together in passing the American Taxpayer Relief Act to avoid what had become known as the “fiscal cliff”—a series of broad tax increases and major spending cuts by the federal government scheduled to take effect at the […]

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As bells toll, clergy push Congress on gun control

By Adelle M. Banks WASHINGTON (RNS) – As bells tolled across the country on Friday (Dec. 21) in memory of lives lost in Newtown, Conn., religious leaders gathered outside the Washington National Cathedral to push congregants and Congress to prevent further gun violence. Gun Campaign Washington Episcopal Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde said prayer alone was […]

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Two-thirds of Americans prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ greeting

A new survey finds Americans by a wide margin prefer the traditional “Merry Christmas” greeting to the non-specific “Happy Holidays.”

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Student Life joins LifeWay family

LifeWay Christian Resources and Student Life, Inc., minister to more than 100,000 teenagers each year as two of the largest providers of Christian student conferences. On Aug. 15, Student Life officially became part of the LifeWay family of resources.

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Churches under fire for using gun classes as outreach

By Greg Horton (RNS) Pryor Creek, Okla., is gun country. Located midway between Tulsa and Siloam Springs, Ark., the town of approximately 8,500 sits in the heart of Oklahoma’s greenbelt. Hunting and fishing are simply part of everyday life in Pryor, as it is known to locals. Derek Melton is the assistant chief of police […]

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Unbelief is now the world’s third-largest ‘religion’

By Kimberly Winston (RNS) A new report on global religious identity shows that while Christians and Muslims make up the two largest groups, those with no religious affiliation — including atheists and agnostics — are now the third-largest “religious” group in the world. The study, released Tuesday (Dec. 18) by the Pew Forum on Religion […]

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Richard Hammar notes 39 church and clergy tax developments as 2013 begins

CAROL STREAM, Ill./Christian Newswire/ – Congress enacted new tax laws in 2012 that include provisions of direct relevance to churches and pastors. Several of the most important changes and clarifications are summarized in the January/February issue of Church Law & Tax Report and will assist ministers and churches in correctly preparing tax forms and returns […]

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Newtown shooting galvanizes religious gun control advocates

By Adelle M. Banks (RNS) The shooting deaths of 26 children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school has revived religious support for gun control, galvanizing a movement that has struggled to gain traction against the powerful gun lobby. “We are going to win this and save lives, and faith leaders will not need to […]

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In Newtown churches, many questions – and tears – but few answers

Yamiche Alcindor and USA Today staff NEWTOWN, Conn. (RNS) Dealing with the pain of the school shooting that claimed 28 lives will take faith, support and joyous Christmas celebrations, church leaders said at the first Sunday (Dec. 16) services held since the tragedy. At houses of worship around town, people gathered in pews, crying, kneeling […]

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Most churches intend to give raises next year

According to the 2012 Leadership Network Economic Outlook Survey, 74 percent of churches plan to give raises of at least 1 percent to their staff in the coming year, and nearly 30 percent plan to give a 3 percent increase. Larger churches plan more significant increases in pay. Only 3 percent of the churches surveyed […]

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