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Women in Ministry—First Century and Today

Basically, the Church was developing within a strongly partiarchal and heirarchical society…. Despite the freshness and hopefulness we see in Jesus and Paul, it is not surprising that male domination would soon assert itself and claim exclusive leadership privileges. Maybe women could lead among women, of course… no real complication or threat there.

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Southern Baptists See Their Future In A Black Pastor

The Southern Baptist Convention is expected to elect its first black president on Tuesday: Fred Luter, a former street preacher who turned a dying New Orleans church into a powerhouse. His election is a milestone for the …

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Domain name dash takes it to .church

LifeChurch.tv, the high-tech megachurch out of Oklahoma, entered the domain-name competition Wednesday, ponying up the $185,000 application fee in an effort to lay claim to .church as the Web faces a massive expansion of domains. But executive pastor Bobby …

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Evangelicals press Congress on immigration

WASHINGTON (RNS) Evangelical activists are pressing Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform plan — a tricky election-year issue that conservatives’ GOP allies have been reluctant to take up. The so-called “Evangelical Immigration Table,” which includes evangelicals …

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Clip from “A View from the Underside”

A View from the Underside: The Legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a one-person play adapted and performed by Al Staggs that brings the life of one of the great heroes of the twentieth century to the stage.

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Franciscan friars back American nuns in Vatican spat

(RNS) The brothers have come to the sisters’ defense. Leaders from seven Franciscan provinces in the U.S. publicly backed a group of American nuns on Thursday (June 7), calling a Vatican crackdown on the women “excessive.” The …

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Quit thinking of the church as a family

Not long ago, I worked with a congregation that had used the services of a national firm to do a “ministry audit” prior to our work together. The firm’s very first recommendation, in bold print, read, “The most important thing (Name of Church) will ever do is end whatever amount of ongoing conflict exists as well as quit thinking like a family.”

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Oneness with Divinity

A Vacation in Provence, France

When my wife and I made plans to visit Provence, France along with two dear friends this spring, I anticipated a true vacation of rest and relaxation, good conversation, good food and lots of great wine…away from emails and phone calls. I did not plan to even think about Progressive Christianity or any Christianity for that matter. I should have known that my life does not work that way for three different and conflicting experiences changed my plans. Admittedly, I was a little ignorant of the rich and deep Christian history in the Provence area of France.

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Beyond Theology

This ten-part series of half-hour programs (3-DISC DVD) explores the notion that the guiding mythologies of modern civilization are undergoing a metamorphosis of historic significance.

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Would An Agnostic Make the Best President?

Does talking about religion distract Politicians from “real” issues?

It’s always refreshing when religious leaders strive to embody the very best values their faith has to offer. I have been reminded of this often over the past year, which is shaping up to be banner one for Christian leaders in the “practice what you preach” department.

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10 years after Catholic sex abuse reforms, what’s changed?

(RNS) When the nation’s Catholic bishops gather in Atlanta next week (June 13-15) for their annual spring meeting, a top agenda item will be assessing the reforms they adopted 10 years ago as revelations of widespread sexual abuse of …

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Beliefs and Worldviews

What tells us more-a lot more-is someone’s worldview, the stage of development in which they operate. Two people who ostensibly share the same beliefs, but have different worldviews, are far more different than two people with the same worldview but different beliefs. This is one reason why churches are increasingly useless. Defining your affiliation with others based on beliefs, despite different worldviews (often starkly different), holds us all back.

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American Nuns Vow to Fight Vatican Criticism

The American nuns who were harshly condemned by the Vatican in April as failing to uphold Catholic doctrine finally responded on Friday in their own strong terms, saying the Vatican’s assessment was based on “unsubstantiated accusations” and a “flawed process,” and …

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An Open Letter from Rev. Otis Moss III To the Black Clergy Concerning the President’s Endorsement of Gay Marriage

The following words are from the Reverend Otis Moss, Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois concerning President Obama’s recent public endorsement of Gay Marriage. The content of the letter is posted in …

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Church of England to allow women bishops

In a meeting behind closed doors in York, the Church’s House of Bishops gave its approval to legislation to admit women to the episcopacy and rejected a series of attempts to significantly water down the powers of …

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Wounded Healers

Henri once wrote that the “J. M.” in the middle of his name could stand for “Just Me.” He believed that the minister (again, every Christian) was called to live a life offered to others. The autobiography or memoir is said to have first appeared in The Confessions of Saint Augustine, and spiritual autobiography has long had a place as a means of doing theology. I lead workshops and retreats on spiritual autobiographical writing, encouraging participants to tell their stories.

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