Faith and Religion briefs ... AALC seminary president at Kongsvinger ... Love Feast meal ... Pope to visit Benin in 2011... etc.
AALC seminary president at Kongsvinger The Rev. Rich Shields, president of the American Lutheran Theological Seminary and director of Pastoral Formation and Congregational Development within The American Association of Lutheran Churches, will con...
AALC seminary president at Kongsvinger
The Rev. Rich Shields, president of the American Lutheran Theological Seminary and director of Pastoral Formation and Congregational Development within The American Association of Lutheran Churches, will conduct the worship service Sunday at Kongsvinger Lutheran Church.
The Kongsvinger worship service begins at 9:30 a.m.. At 11 a.m., Shields will lead a one-hour discussion on topics and questions of interest within TAALC and other Lutheran church bodies. Kongsvinger Lutheran is located 14 miles north of East Grand Forks. For more information, log on to www.kongsvingerchurch.org .
Love Feast meal
Zion United Methodist Church at 1001 24th Ave. S. in Grand Forks will host a free meal from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. The meal will be prepared and served by University Lutheran Church. Everyone is welcome, and free blood pressure checks will be available.
Sheriff can't stop flag desecration, funeral protests
+ST. LOUIS -- A federal judge has ruled Missouri sheriffs can't enforce state statutes prohibiting desecration of the American flag and protests near funerals.
U.S. District Judge Jean Hamilton signed a consent agreement Monday. It was the second ruling in four months against the state's funeral protest laws. The American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday that the case may be the first to challenge Missouri's flag desecration statute.
Missouri is among a number of states that passed laws restricting protests at funerals after members of Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas began protesting at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Church members claim the deaths are God's punishment for American immorality and tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.
Omaha religious group faces future without church
OMAHA, Neb. -- The Roman Catholic Church has taken an unusual move of warning churchgoers to steer clear of a Nebraska group whose members secluded themselves for more than two decades as they offered prayers for others.
To religious scholars, the dispute typifies the fragile relationships between the mainline church and offshoot groups that take it in uncomfortable directions. They say the church's split with the Intercessors of the Lamb in Omaha is more about control over the group's form and function.
Notre Dame theology professor Lawrence Cunningham said the church worries about such groups turning into cults.
The Intercessors was denounced in mid-October amid allegations of financial mismanagement and intimidation by leadership to keep members in line. Founder Nadine Brown has denied any wrongdoing.
Group wants Virgin church mural visible again
DENVER -- Some Denver residents are urging Catholic leaders to make a mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe visible again behind the altar of a church heavily attended by Hispanics.
The group called Faithful United is upset that local church leaders built a white wall blocking the mural about a year ago at the church in north Denver.
The church's pastor said he decided to block the mural because it "detracted from the central focus of the Holy Presence of the Blessed Sacrament in the altar."
Faithful United plans to deliver a letter Tuesday to Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput to ask for the wall to be removed.
The Virgin is Mexico's patron saint and is known as the dark-skinned Virgin of Guadalupe.
Pope to visit Benin in 2011
VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI will visit Benin next year, one of four trips abroad planned for the pontiff in 2011.
Vatican Radio said in a report Friday that Benedict, 83, will make a pilgrimage to the West African nation Nov. 18-20, where he will mark the 150th anniversary of the Catholic church's evangelization of Benin and discuss the work of its bishops.
Other trips previously announced for Benedict next year are European pilgrimages to Croatia in June; for a Catholic youth jamboree to Madrid, Spain, in August; and to Berlin and other cities in his German homeland, likely in September.