Wednesday, November 28, 2007

28 November 2007


[1] Alphonza Gadsden, Sr., Becomes Bishop of Southeast
[2] Women in the Church Leadership Training
[3] Eden Professor Will Direct NCC
[4] Chadwick Heads to Rome
[5] Chalmers Center for Economic Development
[6] True Russian Orthodox Church Prepares for Rapture
[7] EPC Adventures in Brazil
[8] Conservatives Define Human Rights in Nova Scotia
[9] Louisville Celebrates Transgender
[10] Egyptian Police Detain Convert Who Wedded Christian
[11] Ft. Worth Distances Itself from The Episcopal Church

[1] Alphonza Gadsden, Sr., Becomes Bishop of Southeast

On 17 November the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) consecrated a new bishop for its Southeastern jurisdiction. The Very Reverend Mr. Gadsden is a D.Min. student at Erskine Theological Seminary. Bishops Leonard Riches, Royal U. Grote, Jr., David Hicks, and Alex Dickerson participated in the event which took place at Pineville, South Carolina.

The 134-year-old REC is one of ten Anglican jurisdictions and organizations pledged to take the first steps toward a new ecclesiastical structure in North America under the title Common Cause Council of Bishops. The historic meeting took place held in Pittsburgh 25-28 September.

+ Bishop Royal U. Grote Jr., The Reformed Episcopal Church, 4142 Dayflower Dr.Katy, TX 77449 (800)

[2] Women in the Church Leadership Training

The 2008 Presbyterian Church in America Women’s Leadership Training will be held in Atlanta at the Marriott Perimeter Center Hotel 28 Feb. 28 - 1 March 2008. The theme of this year’s conference will be focusing on the purpose and privilege of women’s ministries within the local church. The schedule will include general sessions and workshops filled with practical training and networking with regional women’s groups. This conference will be most beneficial to those who are involved in PresWIC Leadership, Local Women’s and Bible Study Leadership, and Directors of Women’s Ministries.

+ ByFaith Magazine, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, Lawrenceville, GA 30043

[3] Eden Professor Will Direct NCC

Michael Kinnamon, a professor at Eden Theological Seminary, will leave Saint Louis at the end of the year to lead the National Council of Churches (NCC). Upon ratification of the selection in November, Dr. Kinnamon became the successor to Bob Edgar, who left the NCC in September to become President and CEO of Common Cause.

A product of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Kinnamon, joined the Eden Faculty in 2000, becoming the first occupant of the Allen and Dottie Miller Professor of Mission and Peace chair.

+ Eden Theological Seminary. 475 East Lockwood Avenue, Saint Louis, Missouri 63119-3192

[4] Chadwick Heads to Rome

First Presbyterian Church of Rome, Georgia, has called Jeff Chadwick to be Senior Pastor, succeeding Bill Flannagan, who retired in June, 2006. Jeff had served as the Director of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church World Outreach since September 2000. Under Chadwick’s leadership, the World Outreach missionary family has grown in number by 40 percent, and giving to World Outreach has increased by 70 percent, to an annual total of US$2,350,000 in 2006.

Ordained in the Southern Presbyterian Church (PCUS) in 1982, Jeff served two yoked, rural Presbyterian churches in Monroe, North Carolina, until 1989. Chadwick then served as senior pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Bluefield, West Virginia, until receiving the call to become the EPC World Outreach Director in 2000.

+ Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Office of the General Assembly, 17197 N. Laurel Park Drive, Suite 567, Livonia, MI 48152-7912 (734) 742-2020

[5] Chalmers Center for Economic Development

Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant conducts low-cost email-based courses train the church world-wide how to minister to the poor without creating dependency – helping the church help the poor to help themselves become financially self-sufficient.

The various courses provide training on: 1. Christian microfinance and microenterprise development in the two-thirds world, 2. Economic development ministry in the US/Canada addressing the areas of savings, asset accumulation, financial literacy, job training, and housing, 3. Short-term missions to the poor without doing long-term harm

+ Chalmers Center for Economic Development, Covenant College, 14049 Scenic Highway Lookout Mountain, GA 30750 (706) 419-1808

[6] True Russian Orthodox Church Prepares for Rapture

The True Russian Orthodox Church went underground some two weeks ago in order to "save themselves during the time of the apocalypse," which they say will come in May 2008.

The True Russian Orthodox Church, was formed by Father Pyotr, a 43-year-old diagnosed schizophrenic currently in custody. Pyotr is believed to have ordered his followers underground last week. The group of 29 people, including four children, has threatened to set fire to themselves if any attempt is made to force them to come to the surface.

Orthodox priests have pitched a tent near the shelter and are praying for the sect members, and trying to engage them in "peaceful dialogue" a source in the Penza diocese told the Russian News and Information Agency, adding that Archbishop Philaret of Penza had written to them.

Religion was tightly controlled in the U.S.S.R. and the collapse of the Soviet Union saw an explosion in sects and cults, as well as interest in New Age philosophies and beliefs. The back pages of many Russian tabloid newspapers are full of advertisements for 'healers' and 'magicians' who promise to bring happiness in love, success in business, as well as a range of other services.

Alexander Dvorkin, a Russian expert on religions and sects, earlier said that totalitarian sects were common in Russia, and that “control over their members is absolute, and anything that comes into the heads of their leaders has a direct impact on the entire group.” Dvorkin also said the group in the Penza Region was similar in outlook to the pseudo-Russian Orthodox groups calling for the canonization of Stalin and Ivan the Terrible, adding that the actions of the Penza group could “act as a detonator,” provoking other sects to “announce the end of the world.”

+ Institute on Religion and Public Policy,1620 I Street, NW, Suite LL10, Washington, D.C. 20006 (202) 835-8760

[7] EPC Adventures in Brazil

Evangelical Presbyterian General Assembly Moderator Bill Vogler and Executive Pastor/Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah are in Sao Paulo, Brazil, week meeting with leadership of the Brazilian Presbyterian Church (IPB) and the Andrew Jumper Graduate Study Center.

The leaders and faculty of the Andrew Jumper Graduate Study Center tell that in 2001-2002 the EPC (with particular help from then Stated Clerk Mike Glodo) prevented a “liberal takeover” of the Center. The Jumper Center is an orthodox, Reformed and Presbyterian graduate school of the IPB, which has approximately four million members. It awards M.Div., D.Min. and S.T.M. degrees, and a graduate level certification.

On 17 November 2007 Mark Jumper was scheduled to be hosted by the IPB while attending the tenth graduation class of the Jumper Center, named after his father, the late Dr. Andrew Jumper.

+ Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Office of the General Assembly, 17197 N. Laurel Park Drive, Suite 567, Livonia, MI 48152-7912 (734) 742-2020

[8] Conservatives Define Human Rights in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia's Conservative government is proposing steps to modernize the province's Human Rights Act, including a broader definition of harassment. Previously the definition in the act, which was introduced in 1967, dealt only with sexual harassment.

Michael Noonan, acting director of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, says the definition will now cover harassment on the basis of race, religious affiliation or political belief and also around issues dealing with the disabled. The amendments include changes to other key definitions to ensure consistency with federal charter requirements and with human rights legislation in other jurisdictions.

+ The Canadian Press, 36 King St. East, Toronto, ON M5C 2L9 (416) 364-0321

[9] Louisville Celebrates Transgender

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary celebrated the 9th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on 20 November with a day of campus events, culminating in an ecumenical candlelight memorial service in Caldwell Chapel. The Transgender Day of Remembrance is a national memorial project that honors human beings slain during the past year because of their unconventional gender. The celebration was one of many events around the country to focus attention on threats many transgender people live with daily.

The seminary observance was planned jointly by the Women's Center at LPTS and local organizations representing the transgendered community in Louisville. Events included a morning prayer vigil and a lunch-hour presentation on "Transgender 101: Basic Terms and Concepts" by local activist Beth Harrison-Prado.

+ Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 1044 Alta Vista Road, Louisville, Kentucky 40205 (800) 264-1839

[10] Egyptian Police Detain Convert Who Wedded Christian

Police detained an Egyptian convert to Christianity on her wedding anniversary in Upper Egypt last week, her husband said. Plainclothes officers arrested Siham Ibrahim Muhammad Hassan al-Sharqawi on Thursday (November 22) on the outskirts of Qena, 300 miles south of Cairo, according to an eyewitness. Witnesses said that police treated the woman like a prostitute, calling her a “whore,” and threatening to beat her. Sources gave conflicting reports about whether State Security Investigation officials used physical violence against Al-Sharqawi or limited themselves to only threats.

The convert’s husband said he is not certain whether police are aware that she is a convert, because she was carrying neither her Muslim ID nor her forged Christian papers at the time of her arrest. Apart from false ID, Al-Sharqawi may also be held for marrying a Christian man or insulting Islam.

+ Compass Direct News Service, PO Box 27250, Santa Ana, CA 92799 (949) 862-0304

[11] Ft. Worth Distances Itself from The Episcopal Church

Delegates to the Diocese of Ft. Worth's annual convention took their first step in November to cut ties to the Episcopal Church, a move driven by the diocese's opposition to the ordination of women and gay men and the blessing of same-sex unions. More than 200 clergy and lay delegates voted at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, by an overwhelming majority rejecting on first reading an amendment assenting to the authority of the Episcopal Church. Speaking in a news conference following the convention's conclusion, Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker said the decisions "marked a firm resolve about moving forward together, recognizing that there are parts that are not fully behind the path we've chosen, but the debate is always characterized by respect and honesty." "It's important to note that the decisions made today are preliminary decisions that need to be ratified by another convention," he added. The convention noted that the diocese wishes "to remain within the family of the Anglican Communion while dissociating itself from the moral, theological, and disciplinary innovations of the Episcopal Church..." If the constitutional and canonical amendments pass a second reading, presumably at the 2008 diocesan convention, Mrs. Jefferts Schori and David Booth Beers will claim that this violates the requirements of the Episcopal Church's Constitution and Canons. Article V, Section 1 says that a diocese's constitution must include "an unqualified accession" to the constitution and canons of the Episcopal Church.

+ VirtueOnline, 1236 Waterford Rd., West Chester, PA 19380

Thursday, November 22, 2007

22 November 2007

A Thanksgiving Proclamation

By the President of the United States of America

Americans are a grateful people, ever mindful of the many ways we have been blessed. On Thanksgiving Day, we lift our hearts in gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy, the people we love, and the gifts of our prosperous land.

Our country was founded by men and women who realized their dependence on God and were humbled by His providence and grace. The early explorers and settlers who arrived in this land gave thanks for God's protection and for the extraordinary natural abundance they found. Since the first National Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed by President George Washington, Americans have come together to offer thanks for our many blessings. We recall the great privilege it is to live in a land where freedom is the right of every person and where all can pursue their dreams. We express our deep appreciation for the sacrifices of the honorable men and women in uniform who defend liberty. As they work to advance the cause of freedom, our Nation keeps these brave individuals and their families in our thoughts, and we pray for their safe return.

While Thanksgiving is a time to gather in a spirit of gratitude with family, friends, and neighbors, it is also an opportunity to serve others and to share our blessings with those in need. By answering the universal call to love a neighbor as we want to be loved ourselves, we make our Nation a more hopeful and caring place.

This Thanksgiving, may we reflect upon the past year with gratefulness and look toward the future with hope. Let us give thanks for all we have been given and ask God to continue to bless our families and our Nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 22, 2007, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to reinforce the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

14 November 2007


[1] Louisiana's Largest Leaves
[2] Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Egypt
[3] India: Recent Incidents of Persecution
[4] Rifts Deepen Between Hungarian Churches and Government

Louisiana's Largest Leaves

First Presbyterian Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at 1,600 members the largest congregation in the Presbytery of South Louisiana - has voted to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) for the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC).

The vote by the congregation on 28 October - with less than one-third of its members present - was 422-60. The congregation also voted to authorize the session to make "for a transitional period voluntary gifts to the Presbytery of South Louisiana of some or all of the presbytery portion of the PC(USA) per capita contribution and such other mission gifts as the Session may designate, in its sole discretion."

Pastor Gerrit Dawson is a member of an EPC administrative commission that is coordinating the assimilation of former PC(USA) congregations into the EPC. First Church will be part of a "New Wineskins Transitional Presbytery" of the EPC for five years.

The church will take its property with it. The Presbytery of South Louisiana ceded it to the session a year ago.

+First Presbyterian Church, 763 North Blvd.,Baton Rouge, LA 70802 (225) 387-0617

Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Egypt

Middle Eastern Presbyterians in the United States got a chance to reconnect with one of their mother churches during a recent visit from the head of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Egypt. The Rev. Emile Zaki, general secretary of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Egypt, Synod of the Nile, made a “pastoral visit” to Middle Eastern Presbyterians in the US in October.

+ Evangelical Church of Egypt - Synod of the Nile, El-Kanisah El-Injiliyah, PO Box 1248, Cairo 11221 Egypt

India: Recent Incidents of Persecution

Jammu and Kashmir

At least four Hindu extremists attacked two Christians from the Believers Church in India (BCI) on 4 November in Jammu, the winter capital of the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. A representative of the Christian Legal Association (CLA) told Compass that four extremists came in a vehicle, which carried the name of Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalistic party, and beat two Christians identified only as Rinku and Santosh. The two Christians were on their way to meet a pastor in Arnia area of Jammu. A local leader of the BCI told CLA that the victims were brutally beaten, though they were not hospitalized. Although police refused to register a complaint against the attackers, they helped the Christians and the Shiv Sena extremists reach a compromise, which included a written apology by the Hindu radicals. About 6.7 million people in the Himalayan state are Muslim out of the total population of more than 10 million, while only about 3 million are Hindu, mainly concentrated in and around the Jammu city.


Four Hindu extremists on 4 November beat an independent pastor and filed “prostitution” charges against him near Karnataka state’s Gundelpet town. Dr. Sajan K. George, national president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, told Compass that the 50-year-old independent pastor, M. Thankaraj, received injuries on his head, right hand and chest. He was attacked at about 1 p.m. on Sunday in Hosalli Colony area while he had gone to see off a 33-year-old woman of his church, identified only as Thulasiamma, who had visited him for prayer and counseling. Thulasiamma was facing opposition from her family due to her conversion to Christianity, George said. The extremists held the pastor hostage till about 8 p.m., and then dragged him to the police station, where they filed the complaint against him for “prostitution.” Police readily registered the complaint against the pastor, but refused to file his complaint against the attackers, George added. The pastor was recovering in the Gundelpet Government Hospital, while police were investigating the allegations against him at press time.


Local villagers filed a police complaint against two Christian workers for “forcibly converting” people to Christianity on 30 October in Rajasthan state’s Jhunjhunu district. Panna Lal and Dhan Raj from the Believers Church in India (BCI) were arrested by police in Udaipur Vati area and kept in police lock-up for a night. The following day, police took them to a district official who granted them bail, a representative of the Christian Legal Association (CLA) told Compass. When CLA spoke to police, an officer said the Christians were arrested “under suspicion,” as they failed to prove their identities. The Christians were arrested while they were visiting one of the families that had recently received Christ. A few families in the area had become Christian by listening to a radio program aired by the BCI. The complaint was allegedly filed by the members of the village court who were opposed to the families’ conversion to Christianity.

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

Rifts Deepen Between Hungarian Churches and Government

As the school year in Hungary begins, the country's church-owned schools are facing renewed difficulties due to cuts in state supports, leading to a growing number of closures and mergers, writes Meanwhile, some religious leaders are accusing the Socialist-led government of deliberately trying to create the impression among the Hungarian people that the church is the "enemy."

The Country's leading Protestant denomination (Református) runs 109 educational institutions with 30,400 students, and employs 2,500 teachers. It says it has been forced to close down two art schools and lay off 50-100 employees due to financial hardships as a result of declining state support.

Despite this, the pinch is not being felt by all church-run schools. The Evangelical Church (Evangélikus or Lutheran) has not yet had to close or consolidate any schools, and recently opened a kindergarten in Hódmezõvásárhely and a primary school in Szombathely. The church employs approximately 1,000 teachers, and educate 11,000 students, said Zoltán Mihályné, head of the church's educational department.

Leaders of the Hungarian Reformed (Református) Church are accusing the Socialist-led government of launching a political and PR campaign to demonize Hungary's leading churches, and even to create unrest similar to that which rocked Hungary in October of last year, according to

"It is most disturbing that in the last five days there has been an institutional misdirection from the real problems, in particular the last year's affairs," wrote Bishop Gusztáv Bölcskei, president of the Reformed Church's synod, in a communiqué. The church has said it is willing to cooperate with the government to solve the "real problems" of society, such as shortcomings in the healthcare and education systems.

+ Magyarorszagi Reformatus Egyhaz, Abonyi u. 21, PO Box 5, 1146 Budapest Hungary

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

7 November 2007


[1] Board of Pensions Tops US$8 Billion
[2] Dignitas Humana Award Goes To Rick Ufford-Chase
[3] Belhar Confession Remains Obstacle to DRC Unification
[4] Library Retracts Decision and Allows Posting of Pro-Life Event Flyer
[5] Lewis Minister To Be Next Year's Moderator
[6] The Confessional Presbyterian
[7] Egypt Frees Christian Human Rights Activists
[8] Yi Headed to Louisiana

[1] Board of Pensions Tops US$8 Billion

With a 9.6 percent return through the first three-quarters of 2007, the investment portfolio of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Board of Pensions topped the US$8 billion mark for the first time. The gain for the year-to-date is US$738 million, vice-president for finance Mike Fallon told the board at its 27 Oct. 27 meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The board heard mostly positive news about the performance and reserve levels of most aspects of the health, death and disability, pension, and assistance plans. Cost increases were approved for only two programs that historically show unpredictable claims experience--a three percent hike for medical continuation (for participants who are no longer in active church service) coverage and a 9.2 percent increase for retired participants in the Affiliated Benefits Program (ABP) who are not yet eligible for Medicare. Both increases are effective 1 January 2008.

The Medical Continuation increase means participants enrolled in the plan prior to 1987 will pay US$8 more per month--from US$280 to US$288--and those enrolled after 1986 will pay US$490, an increase of US$14 per month.

+ Presbyterian Church (USA), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202

[2] Dignitas Humana Award Goes To Rick Ufford-Chase

St. John’s School of Theology-Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota, has awarded its annual Dignitas Humana Award to Rick Ufford-Chase, moderator of the 216th General Assembly of the PC(USA), co-founder and former director of BorderLinks, and current executive director of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.

The award is given each year to an individual who has made significant contributions to the advancement and promotion of human dignity in the United States and around the world. It will be presented to Ufford-Chase in a 17 October ceremony.

+ St. John's School of Theology--Seminary, Collegeville, Minnesota, 56321

[3] Belhar Confession Remains Obstacle to DRC Unification

A large majority of the delegates to three regional synods of the Dutch Reformed Church are in favor of unification with the other three denominations in the Dutch Reformed family in South Africa. However, the synods meeting in October also heard survey reports that fewer than half of the ministers in the DRC are prepared to accept the Belhar Confession as a condition of unity. Those percentages have fallen from 52 percent willing to accept it in 2004 to 48 percent in the 2006 survey.

There is wide regional variation. In the Capetown Synod, about 66 percent of the ministers are ready to accept the Belhar Confession, and 77 percent of the ministers want more visible unity among the four denominations in the family. On the other hand, the synods of the West Transvaal and the East Transvaal, in the center of South Africa, have frankly stated that they want to be under no obligation to accept the Belhar Confession as part of a new church order.

Nelus Niemandt, the Assessor for the DRC, suggested that views seemed to be hardening about the Belhar Confession. He said he did not think there was much objection to the content of the Belhar Confession, but rather to the political context in which it arose.

The Belhar Confession was first crafted by the Dutch Reformed Mission Church, one of the partners in the formation of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa in 1994. At the West Cape Synod, Allan Boesak addressed the delegates, telling them they were no longer guilty of heresy. Boesak, who was instrumental in getting the DRC suspended from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches in 1982 and was Moderator of the Mission Church when it adopted the Belhar Confession, praised the West Cape Synod for its declarations on apartheid. It was his first appearance at any DRC synod since 1982.

+ Reformed Ecumenical Council, 2050 Breton Rd, SE, Suite 102, Grand Rapids, Mississippi 49546

[4] Library Retracts Decision and Allows Posting of Pro-Life Event Flyer

After Liberty Counsel intervened on behalf of a local resident, a library director agreed to allow a flyer announcing a pro-life event to be posted on the West Bend Community Memorial Library bulletin board, West Bend, Wisconsin.

Mary Weigand wanted to inform residents about an annual Life Chain event, so she took an informational flyer to her local public library. A library employee in charge of the display accepted the flyer and indicated that it would be posted with the other community announcements. Later that day Library Director Michael Tyre called Weigand to inform her that library bulletin boards were reserved for educational purposes and the library policy prohibited religious items like her flyer.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented, "When libraries or other government facilities create an open forum such as a community bulletin board, it is impermissible to discriminate against religious viewpoints."

+ Liberty Counsel, PO Box 540774, Orlando, FL 32954 (800) 671-1776

[5] Lewis Minister To Be Next Year's Moderator

It has just been announced that the Rev. Kenneth M Ferguson is the Moderator Designate for the 2008 General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland. Mr Ferguson is the minister of Cross Free Church, Ness, Isle of Lewis.

Born at Back in the Isle of Lewis in 1946, Mr. Ferguson attended Back Junior Secondary School and Lews Castle College where he specialized in textiles. Having spent two years furthering his studies in Dewsbury Technical College Yorkshire, he returned to Lewis in 1965 and spent the next sixteen years employed as a Quality Controller in the Harris Tweed industry.

Mr. Ferguson experienced Christian conversion in 1970 during the ministry of the late Rev Murdo Macaulay at Back. After some years he felt called to preach the Gospel and took an Arts degree with the Open University, graduating in 1980 with B.A. in English and History. Ferguson did his theological training at the Free Church College and was awarded the Diploma in Theology in 1984.

The Moderator Designate’s entire ministry has been spent on the Isle of Lewis where he was ordained and inducted to the congregation of Lochs Free Church in September 1984. From September 2000 to the present time, his ministry has been centered upon Cross Free Church in Ness.

+ Free Church of Scotland, 15 North Bank Street, Edinburgh, Scotland <>

[6] The Confessional Presbyterian

Volume 3 (2007) of the new theological journal The Confessional Presbyterian is now available from the publisher. The CPJ is a journal that maintains high intellectual and theological standards in the hopes of communicating to all across Presbyterian and Reformed denominations from professors to parishioners.

The CPJ website offers the contents of its three inaugural issues, previews of articles, submission guidelines, as well as ordering information.

+ The Confessional Presbyterian, PO Box 141084, Dallas, TX 75214

[7] Egypt Frees Christian Human Rights Activists

Egyptian police this week released two Christian rights activists detained for three months. A host of journalists, lawyers, clergyman, family, and friends gathered at the Cairo home of Adel Fawzy Faltas last night to celebrate the acquittal and release on 5 November 5 of the Egyptian head of the Middle East Christian Association and an associate. Faltas, 61, and colleague Peter Ezzat, 25, had been held on unsubstantiated charges of insulting Islam and tarnishing Egypt’s reputation abroad. Faltas had conducted an online interview with a controversial convert from Islam to Christianity only days before his arrest on 8 August. Sporting a wide grin, shorts and tennis shoes as well-wishers pressed around him at his 8th floor flat, Faltas said, “I was always a free man. When you respect yourself and what you are doing, then you are free.”

+ Compass Direct News, PO Box 27250, Santa Ana CA 92799-7250

[8] Yi Headed to Louisiana

Arsenal Hill Church in Columbia, South Carolina, has concurred with the desire of the pastor, Seth Yi, to dissolve the pastoral relationship so that he can accept the call from the Calhoun Presbyterian Church in Calhoun, Louisiana. Yi served on Catawba Presbytery's Minister and His Work Committee.

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