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From the Dallas Morning News newspaper, link from Religion Headlines, an article on the slow-moving schism in the Episcopal Church. The largest Episcopal parish in Texas with 2200 worshippers each weekend (huge by Episcopal standards) already is leaving the denomination, though remaining within the world-wide Anglican communion. Seven diocese are evaluating their position within the Episcopal denomination. Biggest issue: same-sex unions and gay bishops. Interestingly, the only picture accompanying this article is of a minority member of the Dallas Diocese, a member in favor of same-sex union. Read article.

The seven Diocese are: Dallas; Central Florida; Fort Worth, Tx; Fresno, Cal.; Pittsburgh; Springfield, Ill., and South Carolina. (For you Baptists)--A diocese is the area under the authority of one bishop. A parish is a "church." The Episcopalians have produced far and away more presidents of the United States than mere size would indicate. This fact reflects the elite status of many Episcopalians.
The presbyterian Kirk of the Hills in Tulsa, probably the largest Presbyterian church here in Oklahoma, is leaving the mainline Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., continuing the decline of that once grand denomination. The Kirk of the Hills website is here. On their website is posted this notice:


Yesterday the elders and the trustees of Kirk of the Hills voted to disaffiliate from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) denomination in response to decisions made by the PCUSA at the national level which depart from the authority of the Bible and the denomination’s historical beliefs.

Rev. Tom Gray and Rev. Wayne Hardy have resigned from the PCUSA, and have been hired by the Kirk of the Hills Corporation as co-pastors of the church. Rev. Gray said, “I ask that Christians in Tulsa and around America pray not only for Kirk of the Hills, but also for the Presbyterian denomination as a whole. We will continue to love and pray for our brothers and sisters in that denomination, and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ to use these recent events for His will, and to accomplish His work.”

With this disaffiliation from PCUSA, the Kirk of the Hills will affiliate with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (E.P.C.). This change will not impact day to day operations and ongoing ministries of the Kirk.

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The publishing house of the Presbyterian Church (USA) recently published a book that accuses the US government of bringing down the World Trade Center as a justification to create an American Empire. Not surprisingly, the book has angered many Presbyterians. Putting aside the question of the book's dubious thesis (actually wacko thesis), the decision to publish once more demonstrates that the bureaucratic elites at most mainline denominations remain clueless as to the reasons for the decline of these once great and powerful churches. Article from the Washington Times. Here is the hompage of the publisher which features an ad for the book, and favorable reviews prominently. (Also an explanation for why the book was published.) More information in this Christianity Today article.

Meanwhile, the former mainline churches continue their move to the sideline. See my earlier post.