Church Briefs

Posted: Friday, June 09, 2000

Guest evangelist featured at Sterling church

Abundant Life Assembly of God in Sterling announces special meetings with prophetic evangelist David McDonald beginning today and going through Wednesday.

There will be a men's banquet and event beginning at 6:30 tonight. On Saturday, coffee and doughnuts are planned for 8 a.m. A trap shoot will be held at the Johnson airstrip at 10 a.m., followed by a barbecue at the church at 1 p.m. For more information, call Kevin at 262-1386.

On Saturday, there also will be a youth rally featuring the F-5 Youth Band and McDonald beginning at 7 p.m. Meetings Sunday will be at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Meetings Monday though Wednesday will be at 7 p.m.

The public is invited to all events. The church is located at Mile 81.5 Sterling Highway, just past the post office.

McDonald recently emigrated to the United States after spending most of his life in South Africa, where he met his wife, Dee, while attending Bible school. They now live in southern California with their two sons. He has ministered on four continents to all levels of society and different races, according to his biography.

McDonald's "heart is for those who are hurting, and there is a compassion and sensitivity to minister to them with words of comfort and deliverance. He ministers with a sensitivity and freedom in the Holy Spirit that is refreshing (and) which brings a very strong presence of God," according to his biography.

For more information about the meetings, call 262-7266.

Kenai Evening Aglow plans Monday meeting

Kenai Evening Aglow will meet Monday at 7 p.m. at The Salvation Army Chapel, 201 N. Forest Drive in Kenai. The guest speaker will be Mary Durman of Homer, who will talk about "The Making of a Miracle."

For more information, call 262-2780.

Poll: Christian boom among Asian-Americans

VENTURA, Calif. -- ''If spiritual revival has occurred among any group of people in the United States in the past decade, it is undeniably among Asians,'' says a report on U.S. religious trends by the nondenominational Barna Research Group.

In a February poll, 27 percent of the Asian-Americans told Barna they had made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that remained important and expect to reach heaven because they confessed their sins and accepted Christ as their savior. That's how Barna defines ''born-again'' commitment. The poll of 1,002 adults had a 3 percent sampling error

In a 1991 poll, only 5 percent of Asian-Americans said this.

In another shift, 25 percent of born-again adults came from households earning $60,000 or more, compared with 13 percent in 1991. Barna said this reflects both an increase in upper-income households and in Evangelical faith among the more affluent.

Barna also found a notable increase in born-again commitments in the South, already a devout region.

There was a born-again increase among adults in all age categories except for those 18 to 29, where there was a statistically negligible decline since 1991. Poll director George Barna said young Baby Busters ''have proven to be the most gospel-resistant generation the Church has seen in many years.''

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Nebraska Methodist won't admit he led same-sex ceremony

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- On the advice of his lawyer, a United Methodist Church minister declines to confirm or deny that he actually conducted a ceremony for a gay couple June 3 that he had announced would occur.

The Rev. Mark Kemling opposes the denomination's policy against such ceremonies, which was reaffirmed by the General Conference last month, and said he expects to face church discipline. Another Nebraska Methodist pastor was defrocked for this reason.

''I do believe I was called by God to make a stand on this issue,'' Kemling said. ''Just as it's important for heterosexual couples to make that kind of public commitment, people who love one another and want to be a family together don't want to keep that a secret.''

Struggling Catholic radio network is selling off stations

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (AP) -- The financially troubled Catholic Family Radio Network is looking for a buyer and could go off the air soon if no one is interested, an investor said.

''The only thing certain is we can't continue to run the network with the revenues not covering the expenses,'' said the Rev. Joseph Fessio, whose Ignatius Press in San Francisco invested in the network.

Fessio was unsure how many offers, if any, the network has received or how much money it had lost.

The struggling company is increasingly using programming from another Catholic network, EWTN, which is owned by another of the investors, Domino's Pizza founder Tom Monaghan. Catholic Family Radio's Web site has merged with that for Monaghan's Credo weekly, based in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The idea of nonstop religious radio programming, common for Protestants, remains a possibility for Catholics, said Fessio, but this company's ''business plan didn't work.''

The San Diego-based network purchased seven stations from Children's Broadcasting Corp. for $37 million in fall 1998. Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker John Lynch, the founding chief executive officer, was dismissed about six months ago, Fessio said.

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Evangelicals' declaration insists on the right to spread their message

CHICAGO (AP) -- A group of 84 Evangelical Protestant leaders issued a declaration Tuesday insisting on believers' right to spread their message to all.

The ''Chicago Declaration on Religious Freedom,'' named for the city where it was drafted and issued, does not mention the uproar over a summer evangelism project in Chicago by the Southern Baptist Convention that has become a divisive issue between Jews and conservative Christians.

Southern Baptist officials were prominent in developing the statement, along with figures like Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ, Charles Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries, president Richard Mouw of Fuller Theological Seminary, executive editor David Neff of Christianity Today magazine, chief counsel Jay Sekulow of American Center for Law and Justice and executive director David Brickner of Jews for Jesus.

The new declaration says that only free speech in ''the robust marketplace of ideas envisioned by America's founders can safeguard the true liberty, freedom and human dignity we all pursue.''

The declaration acknowledges that some churches have lacked ''proper respect for the rights and dignity of others,'' and denounces ''coercive techniques, dishonest appeals, or any form of deception.''

It rejects any assertions that evangelism efforts ''undermine a peaceful, pluralistic society and may lead to intolerance, bigotry and even violence.''

On the Net: Full text and list of signers at:

Research survey indicates religiously active people live longer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An American Psychological Association journal reports that people who regularly attend religious worship services definitely live longer, judging from an analysis of 42 scientific studies involving 125,826 persons.

''The odds of survival for people who scored higher on measures of public and private religious involvement were 29 percent higher than those people who scored lower on such measures,'' said lead author Michael E. McCullough of the National Institute for Healthcare Research in Rockville, Md., which examines links between spirituality and health.

''Public'' involvement, which was particularly beneficial for mortality rates, meant regular participation in a church, synagogue or other religious institution, as opposed to personal prayer and other private activities.

McCullough and colleagues at Duke University, Iowa State University, Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin analyzed the 42 research projects for the association's Health Psychology journal.

The scientists suggested that religiously active people tend to take better care of their health -- for instance, they show less obesity -- and benefit from social support and friendships through attending worship.

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Christian Scientists plan $50 million library

BOSTON (AP) -- The Christian Science Church has announced plans to build a $50 million headquarters library for research and display of rare church documents.

The Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity, with 75,000 square feet of space, will house 7,000 historical objects, 14,000 photos and 500,000 unreleased papers related to the life of Eddy, who founded Christian Science.

''With the heightened interest in women and spirituality, we realized the need for greater availability of Mrs. Eddy's ideas and life,'' said Virginia Harris, chairman of the Christian Science board.

The unreleased papers include Eddy's writings and correspondence from others about the late 19th century and early 20th century when Eddy was prominent.

The Boston library completion is set for June 2002, and a satellite library will open in 2003 at Seneca Falls, N.Y., where Eddy founded the faith.

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