Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 22, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 22, 2008

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:

  • Cali. Clerics Ousted for Leaving Episcopal Church
  • Aid Group Remembers Slain Worker in Afghanistan
  • PC(USA) Megachurch Settles $1.75M Property Suit
  • Aid Groups Provides Food for Struggling Zimbabwe

Cali. Clerics Ousted for Leaving Episcopal Church

Religion News Service reports that an Episcopal Church committee voted Friday (Oct. 17) to oust more than 50 California clerics who left the denomination last year to join a more conservative province in the Anglican Communion. The 16 deacons and 36 priests have six months to recant and return to the Episcopal Church before they are defrocked. San Joaquin Diocesan spokeswoman Nancy Key said two clergy have decided to rejoin the Episcopal Church since the committee began considering charges against them. In late 2007, 42 of 47 parishes in the diocese left the Episcopal Church and joined the Argentina-based Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. Bishop John-David Schofield, who seceded with his diocese, was defrocked by the Episcopal Church last January, though he remains a bishop in the Southern Cone. A conservative majority in the Diocese of Pittsburgh left the Episcopal Church last month. Forth Worth, Texas, and Quincy, Ill., are expected to make similar decisions next month.

Aid Group Remembers Slain Worker in Afghanistan

The Christian Post reports that slain humanitarian worker Gayle Williams, 34, was remembered Tuesday by the aid organization she worked with, SERVE Afghanistan. Williams was killed by Taliban gunmen in a drive-by shooting Monday as she walked to work in Kabul, said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary. “She was a person who always loved the Afghans and was dedicated to serving those who are disabled. Needless to say we are all in shock,” said the charity in a statement. “Gayle will be remembered as one of the inspiring people of the world who truly put others before herself,” said Serve Afghanistan. “She was killed violently while caring for the most forgotten people in the world; the poor and the disabled. She herself would not regret taking the risk of working in Afghanistan. She was where she wanted to be – holding out a helping hand to those in need.”

PC(USA) Megachurch Settles $1.75M Property Suit

A breakaway PC(USA) megachurch in Tulsa, Okla., will pay a $1.75 million settlement to the denomination in order to keep their church's property, the Associated Press reports. A Tulsa Country District Court judge ruled last month that the 2,0000-member Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church was technically owned by the denomination, thanks to the PC(USA)'s constitution, prompting church members to vote for the settlement. Kirk of the Hills members voted in 2006 to leave the Presbyterian Church USA. The court's ruling differs from a similar Virginia case, in which several breakaway Anglican churches were found to be the rightful property owners.

Aid Groups Provides Food for Struggling Zimbabwe

ASSIST News Service reports that Christian AID has announced its release of emergency funds provide seeds for farmers in Zimbabwe's Midlands province. The grant of more than £50,000 ($86,548.47 USD) will provide 118 families and three primary schools with seeds and conservation farming techniques for a year, the organization said. Midlands province is one of the worst affected regions of Zimbabwe; UN assessments show that it is on the brink of a severe food crisis. William Anderson, Christian Aid's country manager in Zimbabwe told Reuters, "The timing is key; we are entering the planting season for the next harvest and unless we seize this window of opportunity people will have no food. We will start to see people dying of starvation." Half of the country's population is expected to be in urgent need of food aid and medical assistance according the United Nations.