Religion Today Summaries - July 2, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 2, 2008

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
  • Obama to Expand Bush's Faith Based Programs
  • Anglican Leader Calls Conservative Proposals 'Problematic'
  • Zimbabwe: Security Unravels Post-Election
  • When Car Seats Become Church Pews

Obama to Expand Bush's Faith Based Programs

The Associated Press reports that an a move that's sure to touch the hearts of evangelical voters, Democratic president candidate Barack Obama announced plans yesterday to expand funding for President Bush's federal social service dollars to religious groups, as well as limited ability to hire or fire employees based on religious faith. "The challenges we face today ... are simply too big for government to solve alone," Obama was to say, according to a prepared text of his remarks obtained by The Associated Press. "We need all hands on deck." Obama's remarks were to be delivered at Eastside Community Ministry in Ohio, which provides food, clothes, youth ministry and other services. Obama does not support requiring religious tests for recipients of aid nor using federal money to proselytize, according to a campaign fact sheet.

Anglican Leader Calls Conservative Proposals 'Problematic'

According to the Anglican Journal, Anglican leader Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams viewed the conservative Anglican proposals to uphold conservative Anglicans from the inside, rather than split, as "problematic in all sorts of ways." The conservative Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), which ended Sunday, announced a new Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, a new council expected to include six of the Anglican Communion's 38 primates, namely those of Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, the Southern Cone, Uganda, and West Africa. Archbishop Williams raised concerns that a Primates Council "which consists only of a self-selected group from among the Primates of the Communion will not pass the test of legitimacy for all in the Communion." Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said, "Anglicanism has always been broader than some find comfortable."

Zimbabwe: Security Unravels Post-Election

Mission News Network reports that an unsettled quiet has settled on Zimbabwe after last Friday's elections, which the international community called a "sham." President Robert Mugabe was sworn into his sixth term Sunday after winning an election that his opponent dropped out of due to state-sponsored violence. Charles Debter with Global Aid Network, or GaiN USA, spoke to a ministry partner in Zimbabwe about the situation Friday. "Groups of youth were roaming the streets. If a person was stopped by them and couldn't recite a particular political slogan or sing a political song, they may be put in jail." He continued, "There have been ministry volunteers who have been jailed because they were not able to recite those slogans. So we really need to pray for those believers who were working there, who want to be lights of Christ, but for whatever reasons might be stopped and harassed."

When Car Seats Become Church Pews

Like drive-in movies? Then maybe drive-in church is for you, according to an Associate Press story. "I think it's incredible," said Kapone's owner, Renee Ford-Murphy, who's been a member at New Hope United Methodist Church in Marietta, Ga., for three years. "I've never had an opportunity to worship in the open air like this." New Hope's pastor, Rev. Norman Markle, said there are 11 churches across the country that have drive-in services today, including Armbrust Wesleyan Church in Armbrust, Pa., where the Markle got the idea. The service has all the markings of a traditional service - hymns, Scripture reading and a sermon - except attendees stay in their car or spread out a blanket. Markle hopes to attract new visitors to his 150-year-old church with this unique experience. ""Maybe they don't have a church or don't care to get dressed up to go to church; let's find a way to eliminate all that," Markle said. "People go where they're comfortable."