Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world. In today's edition:
- Catholic Group Exposes Democrats' Religious Outreach Advisor
- Aussie Wins Inaugural Award
- SC Town Council Won't Let Feds Dictate Prayers
- Church Overlooking Growing Christian Demographic
Catholic Group Exposes Democrats' Religious Outreach Advisor
A Roman Catholic advocacy group says it's glad if it helped get the Democrats' new religious outreach advisor to quit. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights revealed that Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson supported atheist Michael Newdow in his failed effort to bar the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance in schools. Peterson reportedly told Religion News Service that she is quitting the Democratic National Committee post because it is now impossible for her to do her job effectively. Catholic League president William Donohue says the Democrats are "imploding on religion" because the party is run by "devout secularists" who want "freedom from religion."
Aussie Wins Inaugural Award
Ramon Williams, Agape Press
The 16th World Convention of the Churches of Christ was held in the Conference Centre, Brighton, in the United Kingdom, from Wednesday, July 28 to Sunday, August 1, 2004. The theme: "Founded in Christ - Building for Tomorrow" featured Bible studies and a range of workshops addressed by high profile speakers from around the world. At an evening rally, a new international citation was introduced. The "Garfield Todd Citation," in recognition of the ministry of Sir Garfield and Mrs. Grace Todd, was for a person who had served the church and the broader community of the church, politics and commerce. The inaugural award was presented to the Rev. Dr Gordon Moyes AC, MLC, of Australia, who had served in the Churches of Christ from 1957, prior to his appointment as Superintendent of the Wesley Mission in Sydney in 1979. Dr Moyes had met Sir Garfield and admired him greatly. Dr Moyes commented: "I was absolutely speechless and unable to believe it...The president read an outline of my ministry and I was given a standing ovation. It was a highlight of my life, to be honoured by my peers from around the world." The "Garfield Todd Citation" will be awarded every four years. The next World Convention will be held in Nashville Tennessee, USA, and the Moyes are already looking forward to attending it.
SC Town Council Won't Let Feds Dictate Prayers
Some local officials in South Carolina are continuing their traditional prayers at meetings, despite a federal appeals court ruling that specifically Christian prayers violate separation of church and state. Charleston County Councilman Tim Scott says they still have "Christ-specific prayers." Berkeley County Councilman Caldwell Pinckney says, "Buddha didn't die for me. Allah didn't die for me. My religion says Jesus did." He adds, "Nobody can dictate that to me." A three-judge panel of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Great Falls, South Carolina, town council no longer could invoke the name of Jesus at government meetings. The ruling ends a centuries-old tradition in some states and applies to government meetings in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. The Great Falls Town Council is planning to appeal the decision to the full Court of Appeals.
Church Overlooking Growing Christian Demographic
A columnist for ChristianSinglesToday.com says sometimes the Church forgets to address the needs of this growing demographic of single people. Camerin Courtney, herself a Christian single woman, says she wants to cast a positive light on this period of life. But it is unfortunate, she adds, that churches do not realize the stigma they put on singleness. "I think that the Church, logically, has championed the cause of the family. But I think an unfortunate and unforeseen by-product ... is that those of us who are single in this growing demographic are wondering where ... we fit into this 'family-centric ness,'" she says, adding that with no one addressing singles particularly, it is easy for them to think they do not "fit into" the Body of Christ. Courtney says pastors, other leaders, and married couples in the Church need to remember what it is like to be "on the other side of the altar" and give the special guidance singles need.