“Leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) applauded the passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of federal legislation that invests $4.5 billion in child nutrition programs,” according to an ELCA press release.Â ”The legislation was approved Dec. 2 during the lame-duck session this week, as Congress prepares to adjourn for the holiday season.”
“ELCA members across the country were part of a coordinated effort to pass the bill. Top leaders of several Christian denominations, including the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, wrote to U.S. House leaders earlier this week, urging the legislation’s adoption. Hanson also spoke about the legislation in a Nov. 1 meeting faith leaders’ meeting with President Obama in Washington.”
“‘This bill is an exciting victory for hungry children. After a largely gridlocked year, passage of this bill is a positive sign that Congress can work together in the best interests of Americans,’ Hanson said.”
A scene from the national TV advertisement, "Epic."
“The Bismarck Catholic Diocese will unveil a multifaceted welcome mat soon for those who have drifted away from the church,” according to an articleÂ from The Bismarck Tribune printed inÂ today’s Forum.
“The ‘Catholics Come Home’ TV commercials will air statewide from Dec. 17 to Jan. 30 for both the Bismarck and Fargo dioceses; they are financed separately by each diocese.”
“A National Bible Bee contestant who was unexpectedly added last minute to the competition’s final round ended up taking home the coveted first place prize on Saturday,” reports the Christian Post.
Liesl Lawrence of Georgetown, Texas, was named the 2010 National Bible Bee champion after she was allowed to join the senior division finals as the sixth contestant.
“… Lawrence was supposed to the be fifth finalist but she had been disqualified due to an error in judges’ scoring materials.
“She was added back in after organizers of the event discovered that some of the judges’ scoring materials did not reflect different variances of the Kings James Version that were circulated by the National Bible Bee.”
“Hillsong Church has been expanding its locations at home and abroad. The Australian-basedÂ megachurchrecently announced a new extension site for one of its main campuses and began holding gatherings for its first church location in the United States,” reports the Christian Post.Â “The Pentecostal church has four main campuses across Sydney and international branches in London, Kiev, Cape Town, Stockholm, Paris, Moscow, and nowÂ New YorkÂ City.”
Hillsong may be best known for the popular praise and worship associated with it, including the Sunday morning standard “Shout to the Lord.”
The second in a series of interfaith dialogues sponsored by the Center for Interfaith Projects in Fargo-Moorhead features a discussion of â€œThree Views of Jesus: Muslim, Christian and Jewish.â€ Panelists are Dr. Ahmed Kamel (Sunni Muslim), the Rev. Sue Koesterman (ELCA Lutheran) and Dr. David Myers (Reform Jew). The discussion is 2 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Community Room of the Fargo Public Library, main branch at 102 3rd St. N. For more information, call (701) 388-7368.
Christian philosopher and Biola University professor J.P. Moreland writes:
“In their recent book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow claim that the laws of nature are consistent with the universe popping into existence from nothing, and in fact, they affirm that this is exactly what happened … Apparently, this desperate move results from the fact that they recognize that the universe had a beginning and they want to deflect the need for a transcendent Cause to explain the universeâ€™s origin. Â To my knowledge, they do not argue that the laws of nature themselves created the universe, and thatâ€™s a good thing. Â Why? Â Because the laws of nature are formal causes that direct the â€œflowâ€ of causation, but they are not efficient causes that produce anything whatsoever. Â Thus, this claim, if made, would be a simple category fallacy. Â However, their actual claim is just as egregious, and that for two reasons.”
Mark Hanson, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, held a town hall question-and-answer forum today (Sunday). On-demand video and transcriptsÂ from the event will be posted onÂ the ELCA website Wednesday, Sept. 22.
“Three pastors from the Twin Cities who are lesbians in committed relationships were embraced Saturday as Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastors. The Reverends Anita Hill, Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart were inducted during a service presided over by St. Paul Bishop Peter Rogness at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of the Redeemer,” the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.
In 2009, the ELCA voted at its biannual Churchwide AssemblyÂ to allow individuals in committed same-gender relationships to serve in the clergy. Hundreds of congregations in the ELCA have explored the possibility of exiting the denominations in the wakeÂ of theÂ assembly.Â The ELCA has at more than 10,0o0 congregations.
The Pentagon’s press secretary says that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called Florida pastor Terry Jones and “urged the Pastor not to proceed with it,” NPR reports.
Press secretary Geoff Morrell released the following in a statement: “Secretary Gates reached out to Pastor Jones this afternoon. They had a very brief phone conversation during which the Secretary expressed his grave concern that going forward with the Quran burning would put at risk the lives of our forces around the world, especially those in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he urged the Pastor not to proceed with it.”
Jones was spearheading a protest in which copies of the Quran, Islam’s holiest text, would have been burned on Sept. 11. He has since canceled that protest.