Here’s what you need to know in news for Oct. 30:
Houston Mayor Withdraws Sermon Subpoenas
Houston’s mayor has withdrawn the subpoenas of sermons from pastors who said they were against an ordinance banning discrimination against LGBT people.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker said Wednesday that the subpoenas, which drew fire from some people, had become a distraction. She had met recently with Houston pastors and national Christian leaders.
“They came without political agendas, without hate in their hearts and without any desire to debate the merits of HERO,” Parker said. “They simply wanted to express their passionate and very sincere concerns about the subpoenas.”
Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said the subpoenas were a “gross abuse of power.”
“We are gratified that the First Amendment rights of the pastors have triumphed over government overreach and intimidation,” he said after Parker’s announcement.
Nigerian Church Leaders Fear Stalemate with Boko Haram
Church leaders in Nigeria are worried that there will not be any resolution between the Nigerian government and the Islamic militant group Boko Haram.
About two weeks ago, the government announced a cease-fire with the militants, who abducted some 200 schoolgirls.
“This is a farce and a grand deceit,” said Rev. John Bakeni. “Boko Haram has become more vicious, killing anything that moves — male, female, children, elderly …
“I think the talks are a tactic for them to regroup, recruit, rearm and strategize,” added the priest.
Mars Hill Pastor Apologizes Publicly
Steve Tompkins, the former pastor of Mars Hill Church Shoreline and current Mars Hill director of schools, has written an apology to church members for his behavior.
“I am deeply sorry that so many people have experienced profound hurt over the years at Mars Hill,” Tompkins wrote. “I also realize that in my role as an elder, including as Lead Pastor at Shoreline, I share responsibility and complicity in some of the ways you have been hurt, disappointed, and sinned against at Mars Hill.”
“Apologies need to be given in person where possible. Now is the time for genuine open-hearted face-to-face repentance,” Tompkins wrote.
Priest Blesses a Penguin
Roman Catholic priest Jacob Gomes bless a four-month-old penguin at the Manila Ocean Park in the Philippines.
See photos of the blessing here.