Wednesday, October 17, 2007

17 October 2007


Diocese of Chicago Considering Lesbian Bishop
[2] Pastor Disappears, 10 Protestants Arrested
[3] Presbyterian Church Proposed for Hillsdale College
[4] Kaua'i Reformation Church Opens
[5] State of the First Amendment Survey, 2005
[6] 10 Commandments Good for Business
[7] Matthews Korean ARP Celebrates New Home

Diocese of Chicago Considering Lesbian Bishop

An openly lesbian priest, who lives with a female partner, is among the five nominees for bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Chicago to replace William Persell, the outgoing bishop who plans to retire. Tracey Lind, dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland will be on the 10 November ballot. Lind, who has served at Trinity since 2000, is also a city planner and author.

+ Ecumenical News International, PO Box 2100, CH - 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland

Pastor Disappears, 10 Protestants Arrested

Christians in Eritrea confirmed that a pastor in Asmara who disappeared remains missing. Pastor Leule Gebreab of Asmara's Apostolic Church failed to return home to his family on 12 August. "His wife is greatly distressed about his disappearance," a local source said. Gebreab, 35, is married with two children.

In a separate development, Eritrean authorities issued an ultimatum to Roman Catholic church leaders on 16 August, ordering that all the church's schools, clinics, orphanages, and women's vocational training centers be turned over to the government's Ministry of Social Welfare and Labour.

More than 2,000 Eritrean Christians remain have been locked up and subjected to severe torture for their religious beliefs. A Kale Hiwot Church pastor and 20 members of his congregation arrested in the town of Dekemhare in late May and early June have yet to be released from custody.

However, the Rev. Zecharias Abraham and 80 worshippers at the Mehrete Yesus Evangelical Presbyterian Church, who had been arrested during Sunday services in Asmara on April 29, were all reported released during the fourth week of May.

+ Compass Direct News Service, PO Box 27250, Santa Ana CA 92799

Presbyterian Church Proposed for Hillsdale College

A group of Hillsdale College students and professors plan start their own church in Hillsdale, near the internationally famous conservative institution. An answer to prayer for some, the Presbytery of Michigan and Ontario will help organize the church, which will meet on campus at 6 p.m. Sundays in the Dow Center. Eventually, the congregation hopes to build a church, but that could be a couple years down the road. By next year, the group hopes to at least be able to have morning and evening services in a more permanent location until a full–time pastor is called.
The beginnings of the church date to 2006, when Richard Gamble, a member of a Fellowship Orthodox Presbyterian church in Florida, became a history professor at Hillsdale College. After driving an hour or two each week to attend church, Gamble decided there should be a church closer to home.

Hamilton moved to Hillsdale from Texas this year and, along with Gamble, contacted Peter Wallace, the organizing pastor of Grace Reformed in Walkerton, Indiana, about starting a church in Hillsdale. Wallace agreed to serve as pastor until a full–time “church planter” can be hired, which organizers hope happens early next year. There are more than 200 Orthodox Presbyterian churches in the nation.

Founded in 1844, Hillsdale College is an independent, coeducational, residential, liberal arts college.

+ Hillsdale College, 33 East College St. Hillsdale, MI 49242

Kaua'i Reformation Church Opens

Approximately 45 people participated in the first service of the Kaua‘i Reformation Church on 2 September. A handful of families from all parts of the island have been meeting on a weekly basis since early summer. This inaugural service was the culmination of hard work and dedication to forming Kaua‘i’s only distinctly Reformed congregation.

These local efforts are being supported by Oceanside United Reformed Church (Oceanside, California) and Grace Evangelical Church (Torrance, California), member congregations of the United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA).
The URCNA is a federation of churches that traces its roots to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century. The body formed in North America from congregations which in large measure had emerged from the Christian Reformed Church.

+ Kauai Reformation Church, Meeting at Kauai Veterans Center (Rooms 3 & 4), 3215 Kapule Highway, Lihue, HI 96766 (808) 821-1800

State of the First Amendment Survey, 2005

The State of the First Amendment survey, conducted annually (since 1997, except for 1998) for the First Amendment Center, examines public attitudes toward the freedoms of speech, press, and religion and the rights of assembly and petition. Core questions, asked each year, include awareness of First Amendment freedoms, overall assessments of whether there is too much or too little freedom of speech, press, and religion in the United States, levels of tolerance for various types of public expression (such as flag-burning and singing songs with potentially offensive lyrics), levels of tolerance for various journalistic behaviors, attitudes toward prayer in schools, and level of support for amending the Constitution to prohibit flag-burning or defacement. Additional questions asked in the 2005 survey include attitudes toward religious freedom in the workplace, freedom of expression in the public schools, the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings, the confidentiality of library records, and government's ability to restrict various types of content in public broadcasts.

+ The Association of Religion Data Archives, Department of Sociology, The Pennsylvania State University, 211 Oswald Tower, University Park, PA 16802-6207

10 Commandments Good for Business

German-speaking business leaders in Paraguay have been encouraged to practice Biblical values. More than 300 leaders from the South American country took part in a Christian convention in Asuncion, 4-6 October. One of the main speakers was the chairman of the Christian Leadership Congress in Germany, Rev. Horst Marquardt, who described the Ten Commandments as an unrivaled code of conduct. According to leading economists economies flourish, when the Ten Commandments are heeded.

Marquardt quoted honesty, charity, faithfulness, and conscientiousness as core values for entrepreneurs and also admonished business leaders to keep their professional and their spiritual life in balance. The Christian leadership convention was held for the third time in Paraguay. Conference Director Siegfried Funk was pleased with the outcome. The convention was organized by the organizations Capellania Empresarial and MEDA in Paraguay.

Capellania Empresarial promotes Christian values at the workplace and MEDA offers micro-credits to the needy. Paraguay has six million inhabitants. Among them are 35,000 Mennonites of German descent. They are leaders in certain commercial fields, for example in dairy products. Mennonites trace their origins back to the Anabaptist movement during the time of the reformation. Their name goes back to the Frisian theologian Menno Simons (1496-1561

+ ASSIST News Service, PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609

Matthews Korean ARP Celebrates New Home

A service of dedication for the Matthews Korean Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church will be held to celebrate its new facilities, 2024 Sam Newell Road, Matthews, North Carolina, at 3 p.m. 28 October. Eung Chu Lee is pastor

+ Associate Reformed Presbyterian Center, 1 Cleveland St Ste 110, Greenville SC 29601-3646