The Monthly Update

January 2006

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:


I trust that everyone has had a great Christmas and looking forward to a new year in 2006.


I remember during the period of the Vietnam War thinking "2000. Wow. That seems like such a long way off. I wonder if I will even be alive to see it?" It is amazing how quickly time goes by; not only has 2000 come and gone but here it is the year 2006 already. One can only wonder what the future holds. I am so glad that the Lord is in charge; that way, we don't have to worry, but can go confidently into the future despite what circumstances seem to be.


This Monthly Update contains more information on what is happening in our society, the Iraqi War, and religion in America.


It may seem that we have given undue space to a study published by a Presbyterian Renewal group — the Presbyterian Lay Committee. They do really good work, and we have found that what happens in their denomination portends what can happen in our United Methodist Church — and vice versa. In this case, the study starts with their own denomination, then deals with statistics in the mainline denominations along with some evangelical ones and the Roman Catholic Church, and then examines trends taking place in their church. Again, we can take a lesson from what is happening in their denomination.


I would like to thank you for your support of Concerned Methodists. Your gift is truly an investment in the hope for revival in the United Methodist Church. It has been a challenging year — both in terms of internal growth and opportunities, and in terms of denominational problems that have become all too readily visible. We have sent out a record number of copies of The Christian Methodist Newsletter, which has proven to be challenging both operationally and financially.


I think that there is little doubt that we have severe leadership challenges within our Council of Bishops. We must remember to keep them in our prayers — while at the same time challenging positions that we deem to be questionable and actions that do not reflect well on our denomination. So much is at stake, both in our church and in our nation.


You can rest assured that those of us in Concerned Methodists will work tirelessly toward revival in our United Methodist Church.

In His service,


Allen O. Morris,

Executive Director

January 2006 Update


Bits and Pieces from across the United Methodist Church


Character is doing the right thing when no one else is watching. — J. C. Watts.

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The Good Stuff.  RED FRIDAYS ----- Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called he "silent majority". We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions. Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday - and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that:  Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar, will wear something red. By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once "silent" majority is on their side more than ever, certainly mo re than the media lets on.

     The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can we do to make things better for you?" is...We need your support and your prayers. Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear some thing red every Friday.

      Their blood runs red - so we wear red! ---  May God help America to become one nation under Him.

- Received and re-transmitted by e-mail.

Of Interest.

+   Target Getting the Message - Stock Drops 7%

"There is an anti-Christian bias in this country, and it is more on display at Christmas season than any other time."

—        Bill O'Reilly, The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News Channel (Speaking about the decision of Target and other stores to ban the use of "Merry Christmas" in their stores and advertising.)


On October 7 we brought to your attention that Target was banning the Salvation Army's kettles from the front of their stores. Now we've learned Target is also banning the use of "Merry Christmas" from their in-store promotions and from their advertising in papers, TV, etc. Your efforts are having an impact. USA Today (11/16/05) announced that "Target alarmed investors by saying projected sales at stores open a year in November would miss the estimated 4% to 6% growth. Shares of Target fell $4.13 to $54.30." (A 7% drop.)

     Target's ban of the Salvation Army and "Merry Christmas" expresses the same attitude toward Christianity as that held by Michael Newdow, who wants to ban "In God We Trust" from our currency and "under God" from our Pledge of Allegiance.

     AFA (i.e., the American Family Association headed up by UM pastor Don Wildmon) had asked individuals to boycott Target [on the Thanksgiving weekend. [In addition they are getting names for a petition to boycott] Target. This petition will also be sent to other major chains banning the use of "Merry Christmas" including Costco, BJ's, Wal-Mart, Sears/K-Mart and Kohl's. It is basically too late to change their policies this year, but we can change it for next year. Last year we called for a boycott of Federated Stores because they banned "Merry Christmas." This year they are using "Merry Christmas!"

     A successful boycott of Target will send a message to every company!

     This is your opportunity to make your voice heard. Please act today and then forward this to friends and family.

- Donald E. Wildmon, Chairman, American Family Association website:


+ Creeping defeatism

(Washington, D.C.): To its discredit, the United States Senate today approved an ill-advised -- and possibly disastrous -- amendment to the annual Defense authorization bill. The amendment offered by Senator John Warner, the Republican chairman of the Senate's Armed Services Committee, was adopted after the rejection of an even more problematic version proposed by Senate Democrats. The latter, which would have required a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, was rejected by a bipartisan vote of 58-40. Unfortunately, the Warner amendment endorsed the central idea of the Democratic proposal: It calls for "2006 to be a year of significant transition" from American to Iraqi forces - irrespective of the conditions on the ground in Iraq. In other words, it implicitly (if not explicitly) embraces the preposterous notion that the United States can safely begin standing down next year, even if doing so would jeopardize the mission and negate the sacrifice of blood and treasure made to date by this country and Iraqis yearning for freedom. The 79-19 vote for the Warner amendment is evidence of the onset of creeping defeatism. It can only encourage our enemies in Iraq and elsewhere in their conviction that the United States lacks the will to fight a determined totalitarian ideology like Islamofascism, and that it is just a matter of time until we are defeated - both in the Mideast and beyond. That perception will inevitably lead to an increase in attacks by terrorist-wielding foes, both on local populations and American soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. In due course, it will ensure that we are also once again subjected to their lethal violence here at home. Fortunately, there is an alternative to the defeatism offered by Senate Democrats and some Republicans. A compelling new book lead-authored by Center for Security Policy President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., entitled War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World, (available from makes clear that far more is at stake than the fate of Iraq. Accordingly, it underscores the folly that cutting-and-running there would represent. And War Footing demonstrates that we have, as a practical matter, no choice but to mobilize the American nation and people to prevail if we hope to survive the War for the Free World.

-; Tuesday, November 15, 2005 

(UM) Polity.

+  Methodist Conference locks up Ohio church

Miller, OH - Imagine being locked out of your church in the morning with padlocks and a note on the door. That's what members of a small country church in Miller, Ohio faced, but they did something about it.

     The Forest Glen United Methodist Church did not hand over money to the United Methodist Church Conference. The doors were locked and a no trespassing sign was taped to the door. The signs and locks were removed and the fifteen members of the church planned on resuming services on Sunday morning.

     Arlie Ramey has attended Forest Glen for almost fifty years. She says she can't believe the Methodist Conference would try to lock them out. "What I think is unfair is they think all of the money is theirs when they haven't supported our church in any way," said Ramey. According to Ramey, the church was in the process of breaking away from the Methodist Conference and changing its name to the Forest Glen Independent Church. In the process, she says the Methodist Conference is asking for all records and funds. "We don't object to paying the church the appraised price, but we object to them taking all the money in our treasury," Ramey elaborated.

     Mrs. Ramey said the congregation voted to surrender all financial records and accounts in July, but didn't realize that included an estimated $7,000 the church saved to repair the roof.

     Rev. David Brown with the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church gave WSAZ the following statement regarding the Forest Glen's grievances: "They broke the agreement by not completing the sale of the property and transfer of the funds. That's why I've taken these actions."

     According to Mrs. Ramey, the church planned on opening for Sunday School at 10 a.m. on Sunday and for their regular 6 p.m. services on Sunday and Wednesday.

     Rev. Brown said that it will be up to the bishop of the West Ohio Conference to make a decision whether or not he wants to press charges against church members for trespassing.

[Editorial note: This type of action in seizing a church's funds and locking the doors comes as not surprise to us. This seems to be common practice by the hierarchy against a local church.]

- WSAZ-TV–Huntington-Charleston, WV. Received by e-mail. 


+ Liberal Church Officials Make Advent Appeal against Republican Budget

Wrapping a quintessentially partisan political issue in the messianic language of Advent and Christmas, top officials of five mainline Protestant denominations have joined to urge Congress to "vote down the FY '06 Federal Budget." The five insist that "there should be no compromise" regarding proposed spending "cuts" that might save $35 billion to $50 billion over the next five years (out of federal spending totaling almost $14 trillion over the period). They "pray that Congress will use this Advent season for purposeful reflection and in so doing conclude that the compromises required are unfair."


IRD Interim President Alan Wisdom commented: "This misuse of the Advent message to score political points is offensive. Nothing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ prescribes how one should vote on a complex document like the federal budget. These church officials, claiming to be representing close to 20 million followers,' never even bothered to consult those church members. The members would likely disagree on the federal budget. But the vast majority would agree that the good news of this season centers on the birth of Jesus Christ, not on government spending patterns."

     The five officials are Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold of the Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Stated Clerk Clifton Kirkpatrick of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), President John Thomas of the United Church of Christ, and General Secretary James Winkler of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society.

     Their joint statement starts by evoking Isaiah's prophecy (61:1) of a Messiah who would come "to bring good news to the poor." This prophecy, cited by Jesus at the start of his public ministry (Luke 4:18), is sometimes read at Advent as a foretelling of Christ's ministry. But the five mainline officials apply this scripture to the U.S. government. They demand "that the Federal Budget be recognized as a concrete statement of our nation's values, and as such that it bring good news to the poor." The five report that "we have viewed the budget through the lens of faith and our values and found the FY '06 Federal Budget wanting. Now we ask that it be defeated once and for all." They do not offer any specific alternatives to the budget proposals assembled by Republican leaders in the House and Senate, pronouncing them all to be "unacceptable choices."

     The church officials complain that "Congress continues to make decisions which benefit the rich but are paid for by the poor." They object particularly to reductions in projected spending for programs such as food stamps and Medicaid. They do not mention that these supposedly draconian "cuts" are actually small reductions in the rates at which spending on these programs has been increasing. During the past five years, Medicaid spending has increased by 56 percent and food stamps by 79 percent. Under the current House and Senate proposals, the expected federal spending increase would go down from 39 percent over the next five years to 38 percent. Yet the five officials warn that "the lives and future of the poor of this country" are at stake in this budget debate. National Council of Churches General Secretary Robert Edgar has called the "cuts" both "unconscionable" and "sinful." According to Edgar, "We religious leaders cannot be the conscience of the Congress but we have faith that our elected officials can still be taught whose side God is on."

     The IRD's Wisdom observed: "For these officials of declining denominations, unquestioning defense of every penny spent on the messianic welfare state is a matter of infallible doctrine. They do not understand that differing estimates of the public good, and compromises among those holding the differing estimates, are the very essence of politics. Therefore, they have no constructive advice for the Congress. And they have little true good news for the poor,' because even in Advent they prefer to preach about politics rather than about the Savior of the world."

-          Received by e-mail; The Institute on Religion and Democracy, 1023 15th Street NW, Suite 601, Washington, DC

20005. December 8, 2005 Contact: John Lomperis;202-682-4131.


World Methodist Council.  World Methodist delegation meets with Pope Benedict

A World Methodist Council delegation discussed ecumenical relations during a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. The Dec. 9 visit occurred the day following the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, during which the Roman Catholic Church emphasized its commitment to ecumenical dialogue. The World Methodist Council has been engaged in dialogue with the Catholic Church since 1967.

     His Eminence Sunday Mbang of Nigeria, who led the delegation, congratulated the pope on his election on behalf of World Methodists, and thanked him for renewing the commitment that his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, made to ecumenism. Citing progress that has been made in Methodist/Catholic relations through the International Dialogue Commission, Mbang spoke of the "significant theological convergence that has been realized on such fundamental themes as revelation, faith, scripture and tradition." Acknowledging that "there are still doctrinal matters to be settled between Methodists and Catholics," he indicated that each sees gifts in the other that could strengthen the church's witness.

- By United Methodist News Service (UMNS) #692; Dec. 14, 2005.

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You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try. — Beverly Sills


Global Outlook


Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. — James Baldwin

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EnglandBritish Methodists Consider Bishops, Same-sex Couples

 At its recent conference, the Methodist Church of Great Britain considered the possibility of blessing same-sex couples as well as moving toward an episcopacy. While concerned about misrepresentation in the press, church leaders continued a "Pilgrimage of Faith" to explore the relationship the church will have toward gay and lesbian persons. The pilgrimage was launched in 1993 as a way to be in conversation among different perspectives on human sexuality. According to David Deeks, general secretary and secretary of the conference, this year's report included discussion of how clergy should respond to British legislation and to same-sex couples asking for blessings. No commitment was made at this point, but rather further conversation and guidance were requested.

      The conference also asked for a report to come to the 2007 conference as to what type of bishops the denomination might have. This report would include considering the role of district chairs, circuit superintendents, and conference staff. No commitment to having bishops of any form, or at all, was made. Possibilities include having only one bishop, the president of the conference, or multiple bishops per district. In addition to internal issues, the denomination will also explore how a decision might affect ecumenical relationships such as the covenant with the Church of England.

- UMNewcope, July 8, 2005.


Iraq.  Commentary: Signs of hope can be seen in Iraq

Sentiments about "Peace on Earth" abound this time of year, as well as prayers of thanksgiving, and Christmas wishes. That infamous song about the missing "two front teeth" could easily be rewritten "All I want for Christmas is my Daddy home..." (or insert "hubby," "sonny," "wifey," etc.).  In light of these wishes for peace on earth and prayers of thanks, let me share again my oft-repeated mission: "The Good News that is often Forgot."

     Back in June, I received a summary of accomplishments in Iraq since Iraq sovereignty in 2004. It included the following: (a whole lot more too, but these are the most obvious indicators)

* As of June 2005 - despite years of neglect by the Saddam regime, an insurgency intent on intimidating teachers and students, and the damage caused by war - 3,105 schools have been renovated and another 950 schools are currently under rehabilitation.

* Considerable progress has been made in the field of education: 860 secondary school master trainers were trained and passed on training to 31,772 secondary school educators nationwide. More than 8.7 million revised math and science books have been printed and no longer mention Saddam Hussein.

* Health care spending is up more than 30 times its prewar levels. More than 3 million children have received life-saving vaccinations.

* There have been 26,785 new Iraqi businesses established.

* Construction is under way on 142 new primary health care facilities across Iraq.

* Sixty-five water treatment projects have been completed, with almost 100 still in progress


Since that report, we had a strong showing at the constitutional referendum, and as we approach the election, we are seeing signs that the bulk of the Sunni population - who boycotted the election in January - will be voting this time, as it appears they are becoming convinced that the democratic process holds for them the most hope. Of course there's still a lot of public fussing about conditions here - it's beginning to sound like a pre-election year back home! Not a pretty sight, but democracy at work nonetheless.

     Even some of the insurgents are trying to get in on the peace train: "President Jalal Talabani confirmed he had been contacted by rebels wanting to join the political process" (Arab News, 28 Nov.). Insurgent groups are responding to President Talabani's offer to "help" them lay down their arms. It's too early to tell what net effect this new development will have, but it is a wonderful sign of progress.

     While I can't quite be Santa and put every soldier mom and dad in a stocking back home, I am glad to say that your prayers for peace on earth are yielding results, and peace is on the move in this end of the world. We're not all there yet, but we are making significant progress in that direction.

     You keep praying for peace, and we'll keep working for it.

[Lewis is in Baghdad with the U.S. Army's 111th Chaplain's Detachment. He represents the United Methodist Church's East Ohio and Florida conferences. ]

- By Chaplain James R. Lewis, a UMNS Commentary; #684; Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn.;  Dec. 8, 2005.     


The Presbyterian Church.

+...A Presbyterian congregation has ordained a homosexual man who refuses to embrace celibacy despite the denomination's ban on sexually active homosexuals joining the clergy. A complaint is likely to be filed with a regional panel of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Raymond Bagnuolo was ordained Sunday at South Presbyterian Church in Dobbs Ferry, New York, and is serving as pastor of the Palisades Presbyterian Church. During the ceremony, when asked if he would abide by the church's constitution, Bagnuolo said yes -- except for a measure that says ministers must practice fidelity if married and chastity if single. Bagnuolo was approved for ordination by the Hudson River Presbytery, which the conservative Presbyterian Lay Committee calls an "unvanquished Alamo of homosexual activists" in the church.

- AP, as reported in AgapePress, November 15, 2005.


+ While mainline Protestants lose members, others are gaining them

General Assembly Stated Clerk Clifton Kirkpatrick has repeatedly argued that the annual membership loss in the Presbyterian Church (USA) [PCUSA] — averaging nearly 50,000 dropouts a year since 1965 — is because Presbyterians are abandoning religion altogether and not going to other churches. But a new analysis of church membership in a larger context indicates that many dropouts may, indeed, be going to other churches, although they may be far removed from traditional Reformed congregations.


The Louisville flight

Even in its own backyard, in the denomination's headquarters city of Louisville, Ky., the PCUSA has experienced the flight of hundreds of Presbyterians to an independent mega-church, the 25,000-member Southeastern Christian Church. It may also be significant that, despite the hundreds of Presbyterian ministers employed at the headquarters, the Presbytery of Mid-Kentucky, which wraps around Louisville, is one of the fastest declining presbyteries in the PCUSA. Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of dropouts have segued to two evangelical Presbyterian denominations — the Presbyterian Church in America (370,000 members) and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (70,000 members) — that arose from the ashes of theological flare-ups in the 1970s and 1980s. (article continues below chart)


Comparing mainline denominations with three major U.S. church bodies 

Church body                   1965                  2003             % change          Gains/losses

American Baptist Churches       1,538,988          1,433,075            -6.9%                  -105,913

Christian Church (Disciples)       1,801,821            770,793           -57.2%              -1,031,028

Episcopal Church USA              3,616,000          2,320,221          -35.8%              -1,295,779

Evangelical Lutheran Ch./Am    5,684,298          4,984,925          -12.3%                  -699,373

PCUSA                                    4,254,460          2,405,311          -43.5%              -1,849,149

United Church of Christ             2,070,134          1,296,652          -37.4%                 -773,482

United Methodist Church          11,067,297          8,251,175          -25.4%             -2,816,122

Assemblies of God                       572,123          2,729,562          +377.1%           +2,157,439

Southern Baptist Convention     10,770,573        16,439,603          +52.6%            +5,669,030

Roman Catholic (US)                 46,246,176        67,259,768        +45.4%            +21,013,592

Totals                           87,621,870       107,891,085        +23.1%            +20,269,215


But, for purpose of this comparison, The Layman Online is limiting the review of the PCUSA and six other mainline denominations that have embraced to some degree what is called "progressive" theology that challenges traditional views of Biblical Christianity.

     And it has compared their membership changes since 1965 with those of the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Church and the Assemblies of God in the United States.

     The other six mainline denominations are the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the American Baptist Churches, the Episcopal Church (USA), the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

     The Layman Online's review was aided by the Institute on Religion and Democracy, an evangelical think-tank in Washington, D.C., which recently posted charts showing membership changes and a number of articles that highlight some underlying trends that shaped those changes.


The big picture

The big picture is this: As a group, the mainline churches are declining sharply, while membership in the Roman Catholic Church, Southern Baptist Convention and the Assemblies of God (as well as other Pentecostal groups) is rapidly increasing.

     From 1965 to 2003, the last year figures were available for all of the ecclesiastical bodies, the seven mainline denominations had a total of 30 million members. By 2003, their membership had fallen to 21.5 million, a decrease of 8.5 million, or 28.5 percent. The loss for the PCUSA during that period was 44.5 percent, the second highest among the seven. (In 2004, the PCUSA lost 43,195 members, reducing the total to 2.36 million.)

     Meanwhile, combined membership in the Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist and Assemblies of God was 57.6 million in 1965 and 86.4 million in 2003 — a gain of 28.8 million or 45.4 percent. Even during the period of one of its greatest scandals — the prosecution of priests who were accused of abusing children in their parishes — the Roman Catholic Church grew by 4 million members in the United States from 2000 to 2003.


Mainline loses huge market share

When aggregating the seven mainline denominations and the Roman Catholics, Southern Baptist and Assemblies of God, the figures point to an expanding church membership base — not a declining one reflecting dropouts to secularism. In 1965, the 10 church bodies had 86.7 million members. Their total membership in 2003 was 107.9 million in 2003. In 1965, Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists and the Assemblies of God accounted for 65.7 percent of the total. In 2003, they accounted for 80.1 percent. In the words of the advertising industry, the PCUSA and its mainline allies lost a huge share of the market.

     What if the seven mainline denominations, instead of losing 8.5 million members between 1965 and 2003, had each kept pace with the Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists and Assemblies of God? The seven mainline denominations would have reached 43.5 million members by 2003. The PCUSA's share would have been 6.2 million.


The major issue: Why is the difference so great between the PCUSA and its mainline counterparts and the Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists and Assemblies of God? If the mainline losses are due to secularism, why are the Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists and Assemblies of God growing despite secularism?


The Real Reason for Decline

The Institute of Religion and Democracy points to some possible explanations, including an article published in First Things in March 1993. The analysis, titled "Mainline Churches: The Real Reason for Decline," was written by Benton Johnson, Dean R. Hoge and Donald A. Luidens. "The least credible theory attributes their decline to the secularizing effects of industrialization, urbanization, and the spread of mass education," they say.

     The Johnson, Hoge and Luidens study is of particular interest to Presbyterians because it was based on 500 Gallup-style telephone interviews and 40 face-to-face follow-up interviews with Presbyterians who had been confirmed during the 1960s. They were tracking the baby boomers.

     So what kept the confirmands in church - or brought them back if they dropped out? "In our study, the single best predictor of church participation turned out to be belief - orthodox Christian belief, and especially the teaching that a person can be saved only through Jesus Christ," the authors said.


Other factors

They cited some other factors that attributed to membership losses in the PCUSA:

"Nationwide data gathered in the mid-1960s showed that mainline Protestants not only held less orthodox views than did evangelicals, they also attended church less frequently and had fewer close friends in their own congregations."

"A survey of Presbyterian General Assembly pronouncements on social issues, which one of us recently conducted, reveals an erosion throughout the twentieth century of official commitment to traditional Presbyterian standards of conduct."

"Meanwhile, in the mainline churches themselves, the weakening process continues. Not only are a majority of our active baby boom Presbyterians lay liberals of one kind or other, on the average their level of participation is much lower than that of their parents when they themselves were in their teens."

"  of all the various categories of churched and unchurched people that our study identified, only the fundamentalists reported that they attend church more frequently than their parents did."

"Among lay liberals, degree of church involvement has mainly to do with such mundane matters as their sex, their marital status, the presence of children, and where they live."

"The underlying problem of the mainline churches cannot be solved by new programs of church development alone. That problem is the weakening of the spiritual conviction required to generate the enthusiasm and energy needed to sustain a vigorous communal life."

"Many of them have reduced the Christian faith to belief in God and respect for Jesus and the Golden Rule, and among this group a growing proportion have little need for the church."


One of the major points of the study by Johnson, Hoge and Luidens is that the mainline church has increasingly embraced what they describe as "lay liberals" — people who were not nurtured in orthodox faith or rejected it. The lay liberals, they argue, also began setting the agenda in the mainline denominations, with a focus on such issues as individualism, sexuality, peacemaking and religious pluralism.

     Johnson, Hoge and Luidens do not express confidence that the mainline denominations will turn around. But, they say, "If the mainline churches want to regain their vitality, their first step must be to address theological issues head-on. They must listen to the voices of lay liberals and provide compelling answers to the question, 'What's so special about Christianity?'" 

- By John H. Adams, The Layman Online (published by The Presbyterian Layman); November 14, 2005.

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Experience is the name that everyone gives to their mistakes. Oscar Wilde.

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