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July 21, 2014
Tweet it, post it, share it: What’s your church story?

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – July 21, 2014 -- Organizers of the international Back to Church Sunday® movement want to know: What’s your church story? How was your life blessed by your experiences at a church?

For millions of people, church is where they learn about God. They have stories to tell about lives changed, families rescued, marriages recaptured – because of what God has done in their lives through meeting Him and His people at church.

Now there’s an effort to share those stories on social media, inviting people to tweet or post on the Back to Church Sunday Facebook page, as well as their own pages, using the hashtag #MyChurchStory.

As more and more people share their stories, supporters hope it will increase awareness of Back to Church Sunday®, an annual movement which seeks to get millions of new people to attend church on the third Sunday of September, this year on September 21. READ MORE...

July 17, 2014

Digital Religion Research Prominent Theme in Upcoming International Conference

Increasing scholarly attention is being given to how religion engages and is shaped by digital culture, as seen by the focus of many presentations slated for the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture conference in early August in Canterbury, UK.

The International Society for Media, Religion and Culture (ISMRC) conference held August 4-72014, is the 9th in a series of events assembling an international group of interdisciplinary scholars to better understand relationships between media, society and religion and the significance of media for religion in public life. The event draws a diverse crowd of academics and students with interests ranging from media studies and religious studies to anthropology and digital humanities. READ MORE...

July 16, 2014
FairMormon Tackles Challenging Issues at Annual Conference

Non-Profit organization known as FairMormon provides faithful answers to critical questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Provo, UT: FairMormon has announced that the 16th annual FairMormon Conference will be held at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo, Utah on August 7-8th 2014. This conference, which has been growing in popularity and size each year, will be tackling controversial issues that have sometimes challenged the faith of those within the international Mormon community.

Among those appearing at the conference will be Ty Mansfield, a marriage and family therapist and co-author of In Quiet Desperation: Understanding the Challenge of Same-Gender Attraction (Deseret Book 2004), who will speak on being gay in today’s Mormon Church. Others appearing include Hannah Smith, one of the attorneys on the recent Hobby Lobby case, who will speak about what Latter-day Saints need to know in order to preserve religious liberty, Egyptologist Kerry Muehlestein, who will be addressing criticisms raised against the Book of Abraham and historian Russell Stevenson who will discuss some of the history surrounding the origins of the 19th century denial of the priesthood to blacks. READ MORE...

July 15, 2014
Senator Bill Frist, M.D., and Melinda Gates Lead Community Conversation at Belmont University on Saving Lives of Mothers and Children in Developing World

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., founder of Hope Through Healing Hands, and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, today, led a community conversation on “The Mother & Child Project: Simple Steps to Saving Lives in the Developing World,” on the campus of Belmont University.

This was the first public event held by the Faith-Based Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide, a joint partnership of Hope Through Healing Hands (HTHH), a Nashville-based global health organization, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

More than 250 individuals representing the faith community, global health NGO and higher-education sectors throughout greater Nashville attended the discussion, hosted by Belmont University. U.S. Olympic figure skating champion Scott Hamilton, who with his  wife Tracie is an active global health advocate, moderated the event.

July 15, 2014
Washington National Cathedral to Honor WWI Centennial With Liturgical Resources

WASHINGTON – To mark the centennial anniversary of the First World War that began 100 years ago this month on July 28, 1914, Washington National Cathedral has created a collection of resources for worship in response to this important historical milestone.

The liturgical resources, which were developed by the Rev. Canon Gina Campbell, the Cathedral’s canon precentor, include suggestions for prayers, a responsive litany, shared readings and guides to preaching. Also included are examples of reflections on related biblical passages, exploring the themes of shame, wisdom and hope.

July 1, 2014

First online classes to begin in October

PHOENIX—Grand Canyon University has expanded its College of Theology offerings with a new Master of Divinity (MDiv) program. The MDiv degree, along with two additional emphases, is a program designed for bachelor’s-prepared individuals who feel led to serve in local churches, Christian organizations or the mission field. The online program includes three unique residencies designed to deepen understanding through peer interaction.

“The MDiv is truly the essential graduate degree for anyone who feels called to a career in ministry,” said Dr. Jason Hiles, dean of GCU’s College of Theology. “Many churches expect a pastoral candidate to hold this degree – some even require it for ordination. Being able to bring this degree to our students has always been a priority for GCU and the College of Theology.”

In addition to preparing students for pastoral ministry, the MDiv program offers emphases in worship leadership and global ministry. The pastorally oriented curriculum of these degrees emphasizes several key areas, including the centrality of the gospel, the significance of the church, and the pressing need to advance the Kingdom of God through missions. READ MORE...

June 30, 2014
U.S. priests want married men to be ordained, support worker pensions, immigration reform and opening up bishop-selection process

A proposal to ask American Catholic bishops to request church approval to ordain married men as priests was approved June 25 by the 230 priests attending an assembly of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests this week in St. Louis.

The group also announced support for full payment of worker pensions, asked that lay people have a role in the selection of diocesan bishops, and made plans to help Catholics learn more about Church teaching in regard to immigration rights and responsibilities.

In recommending a call for the church to ordain married men, the association cited published reports that Pope Francis would welcome such a request from bishop’s conferences around the world.

During the four-day assembly, the priests formed a task force to clarify the rights and duties of immigrants and to develop materials for preachers and teachers by mid-2015. READ MORE...

June 30, 2014
New Book Asserts That Faith-Based Schools Are A Major Key For Resurrecting American Education And Helping Children Of Color

Santa Barbara, Calif. — A new book by a professor and researcher uses quantitative analysis to assert that the American education system can raise school quality and help students in the inner city far better than it currently does. In his book entitled, School Choice a Balanced Approach, William Jeynes, a Harvard graduate and Senior Fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, asserts the a higher percentage of K-12 schools are controlled by the federal government in the U.S. than even in Russia and China and the public school monopoly is stifling the potential of American students.

Jeynes, who has spoken and written for the White House and worked as a consultant with U.S. presidential administrations and in South Korea during the 1997-1998 Asian economic crisis, claims that such a monopoly is exacerbating the achievement gap, lowering achievement, and is having a dragging effect on the U.S. economy. READ MORE...

June 30, 2014
Empowered21 Expands Global Influence in Advance of 2015 Global Congress in Jerusalem

New regional cabinet in India formed

TULSA, Okla. – More than 30 leaders from across India and Nepal made history this week by meeting to launch the 13th Empowered21 Regional Cabinet. E21 India marks another milestone in the strength of the Spirit-empowered movement, which numbers more than 600 million people globally. Empowered21 serves every inhabited continent through a dynamic relational network.

“It was wonderful to witness the immediate adoption of the Empowered21 vision and mission by these outstanding leaders in India,” said President and Global Co-Chair William M. Wilson. “India continues to emerge into a world economic power and the church in India is also experiencing revival. Empowered21 is serving the movement of the Holy Spirit by fanning the flame of the Spirit-empowered experience in new generations and encouraging the significant leadership transition taking place between older and younger. I am very excited about the potential for the Empowered21 network in India as they serve that vast, diverse nation.”

A report from the United Nations states that India is expected to become the world’s largest country, passing China around 2028, when both countries will have populations of 1.45 billion. After that, India’s population will continue to grow and China’s is expected to start decreasing. A 2010 study commissioned by Empowered21 showed India had around 20 million Christians that identified themselves as Spirit-empowered. READ MORE...

June 26, 2014
Experience the beauty of Mary of Nazareth

Ignatius Press announces parish and school screening program for hit film Mary of Nazareth

SAN FRANCISCO—MARY of NAZARETH, the epic motion picture on the life of the Blessed Mother from her childhood through the Resurrection of Jesus, was seen by some 200,000 people at close to 600 theatrical screening events in more than 270 cities across North America as part of Ignatius Press’ immensely successful theatrical screening program. Ignatius Press now has made the highly acclaimed film available to be shown in your own church or school.

Bring the life of the Mother of Christ to the “big screen” in your own facility to entertain, evangelize, educate, change hearts and even raise funds for your own worthy cause. READ MORE...

June 24, 2014
I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound*

Wild Goose Festival Showcases Spiritual Direction at Annual Gathering

Washington, DC, — The much-anticipated Wild Goose Festival taking place June 26th through June 29th in Hot Springs, North Carolina, will feature, among its many eclectic and rich offerings, a presentation on spiritual direction by Patience Robbins, Director of the Young Adult Life and Leadership Initiative for Shalem Institute and long-time spiritual director on the staff of Shalem's Spiritual Guidance Program. Festival participants will also have the opportunity to experience spiritual direction first-hand from spiritual directors who are graduates of Shalem's Spiritual Guidance Program.

Spiritual direction is the sacred and time-tested Christian practice where an individual opens in a conscious and loving way to the Spirit with the support of a spiritual companion. According to Robbins, who will lead a presentation on spiritual direction on Saturday, June 28th at 2:00 pm at the festival (Chapel, Group Camp), "the heart of this practice is listening with deep reverence for the nudges and invitations of God’s loving and liberating Spirit. The director honors whatever longings, experiences, fears, doubts, questions, or joys that person may bring to a session and prayerfully holds all of this with open attention for God’s guidance." READ MORE...

June 23, 2014
Wiesenthal Center: Presbyterian vote to 'reconsider' two-state solution aligns Church with those seeking end of Israel

PCUSA Divestment Resolution bolsters anti-peace extremists

The Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced today's  votes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) (PCUSA) in Detroit to reconsider its long-standing support of a two-state solution in the Holy Land, and to divest from a number of American companies doing business with Israel.

"We are shocked beyond words. With the crimes against humanity occurring in Syria and Iraq, with the Middle East in chaos, with African Christians regularly selected by terrorists for murder because of their faith, PCUSA chooses to flex its moral muscles by aiding and abetting those pledged to do away with the Jewish State," said Rabbi Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Wiesenthal Center

"The vote to 'reconsider' a two-state solution – the cornerstone of US foreign policy and negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is actually a recommendation to drop it. They call the two-state solution 'unrealistic…when no real possibility of that seems to exist'," he added. READ MORE...

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