Presbyterian Church trying to trim headquarters staff

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), struggling financially, is offering severance packages to about 30 employees at the denomination’s Louisville headquarters.

The Courier-Journal reported that the denomination has been dealing with losses in members and churches over the last decade and now has sustained investment return losses.

Church official Linda Valentine said that reducing expenses to match revenue projections is good stewardship.

The General Assembly Mission Council oversees most of the Louisville employees of the church.

The newspaper reported the council had already eliminated 250 jobs in five separate cuts since 2002.

There remain 346 denominational employees in Louisville in addition to nearly 300 mission and other workers elsewhere.


Second church decides to forsake Episcopal Diocese

A second church in South Carolina has pulled out of the Episcopal Church.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported that St. Andrews Church in Mount Pleasant voted this week to leave the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and join a more conservative group.

St. Andrews is joining the Anglican Church in North America, which was created to provide a theologically conservative alternative to the Episcopal Church.

All Saints Church on Pawleys Island left the Episcopal Church about six years ago, prompting a legal fight between the denomination and the church. The South Carolina Supreme Court last year ruled the local church owned its property. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider the denomination’s appeal.

Conservative churches have been upset by the election of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.


Flag-display dispute sparks clash of Muslims, Hindus

Authorities fired tear gas and warning shots and swung batons Monday to disperse crowds of angry Hindus and Muslims who attacked each other with stones and clubs in southern India, where more than 75 people were injured.

The three days of communal rioting started March 27 in Hyderabad, capital of southern Andhra Pradesh state, and about 1,600 paramilitary soldiers and police were deployed to calm the situation, A.K. Khan, city police commissioner, told reporters.


Trouble started after Muslims hoisted green flags as part of celebrations of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday a month ago but never removed them. Clashes erupted after Hindus attempted to replace the green flags with saffron ones to celebrate a Hindu festival.


Activists seek investigation into fatal shooting of imam

Political and civil rights activists are renewing their call for an independent investigation into the fatal shooting of a mosque leader during an FBI raid.

About 200 people gathered last week for a town hall meeting at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit to discuss the October death of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah.

He was shot at least 21 times during a raid on a Dearborn warehouse by FBI agents who said they were investigating Abdullah and several other men in connection with a theft operation.

Abdullah’s supporters say it was an act of police brutality aimed at a black Muslim.


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