Obama to speak at prayer service on Sept. 11
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says President Barack Obama
will speak at a Washington National Cathedral concert the evening
of Sept. 11 to mark the 10-year anniversary of the terror attacks.
The concert will be the final event of the cathedral's Sept. 11
commemorative weekend, when the building will reopen after being
damaged by last week's earthquake.
Ten years ago, the Rev. Billy Graham led worship at the
cathedral as the nation was reeling from the terror attacks.
Cathedral Dean the Rev. Sam Lloyd says he hopes this year's
commemoration moves the nation "further down the path toward
On the morning before the concert, Washington National Cathedral
will host a memorial service led by Christian, Jewish, Muslim,
Hindu and Buddhist clerics.
Elderly NY Irene victim had survived Holocaust
NEW YORK (AP) - A Hasidic community leader in Brooklyn says the
82-year-old woman who drowned in the Catskills during Tropical
Storm Irene had survived the Holocaust.
State police in Delaware County said Rozalia Gluck of Brooklyn was vacationing in the village of Fleischmanns
when the cabin where she was staying was swamped by flooding Sunday
Advocate Isaac Abraham says Gluck was born in Krasna, Romania
and spent time in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. She
had five children, about 45 grand-children and a number of
He says Gluck was buried Sunday night in Kiryas Joel (KEER'-uhs
Disaffected Presbyterians forming new fellowship
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) - Theological conservatives in the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are moving to organize what could
become a breakaway denomination.
The new Fellowship of Presbyterians aims to support hundreds of
local congregations opposed to the PCUSA's acceptance of gay
ordination. Nearly 2,000 disaffected Presbyterians from around the
country met last week in Bloomington, Minn., to strategize and
The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reports that a local pastor, the
Rev. John Crosby, called for a "newly reformed body," with a
January vote on a constitution and core beliefs.
The Rev. Gradye Parsons, the PCUSA's highest elected official,
said he hopes those who attended last week's conference will stay
in the denomination and work to make it better.
Mexican Presbyterians break with PCUSA over gay clergy
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AP) - Presbyterians in Mexico are breaking
ties with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) because of differences
The theologically conservative National Presbyterian Church of
Mexico voted to stop working with the U.S. denomination.
The PCUSA voted in May to remove barriers for ordaining people
in same-sex relationships. The U.S. and Mexican churches share a
139-year history and a network of social service ministries.
Presbyterian leaders in the United States said they're saddened
by the decision and hope to find a way they can continue helping
the needy in Mexico and along the border.
Mourners evacuate, coffin saved, amid church fire
GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - A Texas fire chief says his firefighters
respectfully removed a coffin and helped mourners evacuate when
fire broke out at a church during a funeral.
Galveston Fire Department Chief Jeff Smith says an electrical
fire cut power to Wesley Tabernacle United Methodist Church. The
small fire was in an area where power lines connect to the
Smith told The Galveston County Daily News that an elevator to
an upper floor, where about 80 people were attending the funeral,
was inoperable due to lack of electricity.
He said firefighters carried the coffin downstairs for transport
to a funeral home where the funeral continued. Smith says the
firefighters showed respect for relatives of the deceased.
The Rev. Steffon Arrington says the fire did not damage the
interior of the church.
Atheists say they get kudos for church billboard
MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio atheist group says it's been
commended by people for a billboard that actually was put up by a
The road sign in Mansfield features the statement "There is no
God" in capital letters. Below that, it says, "Don't believe
everything you hear."
Pastor Frank Moore of McElroy (MAK'-ul-roy) Road Church of
Christ told the Mansfield News Journal that he wanted to honor God
with an ad that would get people thinking. Moore says his parents
taught him not to believe everything people told him.
The Mid Ohio Atheists say they've been contacted by people
commending them for the billboard. The group says it wants to thank
the church for, as the atheists say, "advertising our thoughts."
Philly area Catholic teachers rally for contract
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The union for teachers at Philadelphia-area
Roman Catholic high schools has called for mediation in a contract
dispute that threatens next week's first day of class.
More than 100 members of the local chapter of the Association of
Catholic Teachers demonstrated at the Philadelphia archdiocese
offices on Tuesday -- the day before their current contract
Church officials say they're surprised by the request for a
mediator, but would consider it.
The two sides say they're far apart on issues like staffing,
tenure and educational initiatives.
The archdiocese has 17 high schools in Philadelphia and its four
surrounding counties. The schools serve more than 16,000 students.
FAITH HEALING-MEDICAL BILLS
Ore. judge to decide who pays girl's medical bills
OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon judge will decide who should
pay about $26,000 in medical bills that piled up after the state
took custody of the baby of two members of a faith-healing church.
After taking custody of Timothy and Rebecca Wyland's daughter,
state officials took her to pediatric specialists for treatment of
an abnormal growth of blood vessels that had engulfed her left eye.
The Wylands are members of the Followers of Christ church, which
practices faith healing. They were convicted in June of criminal
mistreatment for failing to get medical care for their daughter.
They were sentenced to 90 days in jail.
A judge required the couple to purchase health insurance for
Alayna. The Oregonian reports the couple's lawyers argue that the
insurer should pay some of the expenses.
NEWSPAPER IN PRISON
Appeals court reviews La. prison newspaper ban
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A lawyer for the state of Louisiana says its
prisons should be allowed to ban inmates from receiving copies of a
newspaper published by the Nation of Islam.
Kyle Duncan of the state Attorney General's office told a
federal appeals court panel that The Final Call contains racist
rhetoric that could provoke an outbreak of violence.
He asked the panel to overturn a ruling that the newspaper must
be delivered to Henry Leonard, a convicted murderer who claims the
prison violated his right to free exercise of religion.
A lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana
said the ban is unconstitutional and the state hasn't produced any
evidence that The Final Call poses a threat.
Syrian security forces kill 7 as holy month ends
BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian activists say security forces killed at
least seven people, including a 13-year-old boy, as thousands of
protesters poured out of mosques and marched through cemeteries
Tuesday at the start of Eid al-Fitr, a holiday when pious Muslims
traditionally visit graves and pray for the dead.
The three-day holiday marks the end of the holy month of
Ramadan, a time of introspection that many protesters had hoped
would become a turning point in the 5-month-old uprising. Instead,
the government crackdown on dissent intensified and the conflict
has become a bloody stalemate.
In Washington, the Obama administration announced a new set of
sanctions on Syria.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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