Religion Briefing March 10, 2012

By NEMS Daily Journal

Seeking your information
The Daily Journal is once again working on its annual publication of The Source. If your church is new or your church has updated information that should be included with the church listings in The Source, please email stephanie.rebman@journal inc.com by Tuesday, March 20.

Breakaway Anglicans ordered to return property
A Virginia judge has ordered seven congregations that broke from the Episcopal Church to return all property to the local diocese – from valuable land to sacred chalices – by April 30.
The Diocese of Virginia had wanted the properties returned by March 30, a week before Easter. But Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows agreed to give the breakaway congregations more time.
In a closely watched case that reached the Virginia Supreme Court, Bellows ruled in January that congregations had the right to leave the Diocese of Virginia, but not to take church property with them.
The conservative congregations must return an estimated $40 million worth of property, according to The Washington Post, including several large, historic churches.

William Hamilton, who said ‘God is Dead,’ dies at 87
PORTLAND, Ore. – William Hamilton, the retired theologian who declared in the 1960s that God was dead, died Feb. 28 in his downtown Portland apartment. He was 87.
Hamilton said he’d been haunted by questions about God since he was a teenager. Years later, when his conclusion was published in the April 8, 1966, edition of Time Magazine, he found himself at the center of a theological storm.
Time christened the new movement “radical theology,” and Hamilton, one of its key figures, received death threats and inspired angry letters to the editor. He lost his endowed chair as a professor of theology at what was then Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1967.
Hamilton moved on to teach religion at New College in Sarasota, Fla., and then joined the faculty at Portland State University in 1970.

Mormons warned against baptizing Holocaust victims
SALT LAKE CITY – Anne Frank, Simon Wiesenthal’s parents, Gandhi, Daniel Pearl, Elvis. Mormon leaders are fed up.
On March 2, the LDS church’s governing First Presidency issued an unequivocal mandate to its members: Do not submit names of Jewish Holocaust victims or celebrities for proxy baptism.
“Without exception, church members must not submit for proxy temple ordinances any names from unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims,” LDS President Thomas S. Monson and his counselors wrote in a letter to all Mormon bishops, dated Feb. 29.
“If members do so, they may forfeit their New FamilySearch privileges (access to the church’s genealogical holdings). Other corrective action may also be taken.”
The letter, which was to be read over pulpits and posted on bulletin boards in every Mormon congregation, reminds members that their “pre-eminent obligation” is to their own ancestors, and any name submitted for proxy rituals “should be related to the submitter.”

Last week’s question and answer:
Q. Where did Jesus say people would come from and sit down in the kingdom of God?
A. East, west, north and south (Luke 13: 29)
This week’s question:
Q. Name Noah’s three sons.