OFFENSE OF THE CROSS—U. S. postal officials acknowledge they rejected a proposed design for the special Christmas stamp on grounds that it suggested a cross. One of five designs said to have been considered but turned down, it showed a candle burning in a window framed by a wreath. The window panes resembled a cross. Said a Religious News Service report: “Rejection of the design emphasized the fact that no religious symbol, or apparent religious symbol, will be permitted on the Christmas stamps which the department expects to issue each year to encourage use of first class mail for Christmas greetings.” The design chosen for 1962 shows a simple holly wreath and two tapers.
PROTESTANT PANORAMA—Ground was broken for multi-million-dollar Protestant Center at New York World’s Fair grounds. When completed in 1964, the center will include a memorial court for Protestant pioneers, a theater for showing gospel films on wide screen, and a children’s center—as well as exhibit space for a number of denominational and independent religious organizations.
A national cooperative agency for Lutheran archivists, librarians, and historians was formed in Chicago last month with about 100 charter members from various Lutheran synods.
An eight-part series on the history of spiritual awakenings will be featured by NBC Radio on its “Faith in Action” program beginning January 6. The new series was prepared in cooperation with the National Association of Evangelicals.
Christian Outreach, Inc., two-year-old evangelical organization, plans “specialized ministry to those churches interested in experimenting in a ‘depth’ program and in the training of a core of lay leadership.”
A new Lutheran cathedral is being built in Skalholt, Iceland, and is scheduled to be consecrated next summer. Skalholt was the seat of the first bishop of Iceland from A.D. 1050 to 1080. Some 166,000 Icelanders—about 90 per cent of the national population—are Lutherans.
Average church attendance in Finland “is no higher than three per cent,” according to a report appearing in The Northern Ecumenical Institute’s Church News. The report said a comprehensive statistical investigation showed church attendance falling below one per cent in some areas.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION—A proposal to merge the Gettysburg and Philadelphia seminaries of the Lutheran Church in America has apparently been stalled. Negotiations between the schools were broken off after participants were unable to reach agreement.
Baylor University, largest Southern Baptist school, may soon be desegregated. Trustees named a committee to study the race question, and faculty members adopted a resolution favoring integration.
American Baptist Theological Seminary, whose Nashville campus is operated jointly by the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc., and the Southern Baptist Convention, was granted associate membership in the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges. The seminary educates Negro Baptist ministers and church workers.
A $225,000 classroom and administration building was dedicated at Talbot Theological Seminary, La Mirada, California. The seminary is affiliated with the Bible Institute of Los Angeles.
MISCELLANY—Members of the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies will press for a governmental census of all religious groups in 1966. A government representative declared at the ASARB’s annual convention last month that such a census will be taken if religious groups reflect enough desire. A complete census of all American religious bodies has not been made since 1936. A survey was taken in 1946, but results were never published.
A pre-dawn blast at the famed 70-year-old Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City shattered a door and 11 windows. Police said they found a pencil-scrawled inscription on a temple wall, “Viva Castro,” but were not sure that this had any connection with the explosion.
An Ecumenical World Center for Liturgical Studies will be built on a 20-acre site at Boca Raton, Florida, sponsored by the school foundation of the Episcopal Diocese of South Florida and by the International Ecumenical Committee for Promoting Liturgical Research and Renewal. Some $1,000,000 will he spent for buildings and $7,000,000 for an endowment fund.
Ontario’s Roman Catholic bishops are asking the provincial legislature to enable them to operate a tax-supported high-school system and to receive more tax aid for other types of parochial schools. The United Church of Canada issued a protest, declaring that the request “cannot be justified in law or public interest.”
Another Roman Catholic bishop and three priests—all French-born—were deported from Haiti last month. A pillaging charge against the bishop apparently referred to the destruction of a voodoo temple and voodoo charms. All were accused of disrespect toward government officials. In all, three bishops and nine priests have been forced out of Haiti since 1959.
Dr. Richard R. Roseveare, Anglican bishop of Accra, arrived back in Ghana exactly three months after he was expelled from the country for criticizing the government-sponsored Young Pioneers movement. He was recently given permission by President Kwame Nkrumah to return to his diocese.
PERSONALIA—Dr. Louis F. Gough inaugurated third president of Warner Pacific College, Portland, Oregon. The college is sponsored by the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana).
The Rev. Raymond J. Davis named general director of Sudan Interior Mission, world’s largest interdenominational missionary society with nearly 1,300 missionaries serving in ten African nations. Davis succeeds the Rev. Albert D. Helser, who retired last July on reaching the SIM’s 65-year age limit for executive officers.
Dr. Harold H. Etling elected president of National Sunday School Association.
The Rev. Walter L. King of Finleyville, Pennsylvania, was acquitted of a criminal libel charge resulting from the printing and circulating of a bogus Knights of Columbus oath. King, minister of the Nazarene Bible Church (not affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene), was ordered to pay costs of his prosecution.
WORTH QUOTING—“We have too soon taken for granted the idea that communism is something we must live with indefinitely.”—Dr. Douglas E. Jackson, professor at Perkins School of Theology, at a Methodist seminar in Indianapolis.
“It has long been my conviction that there is nothing that outsiders find more annoying and repellent in our papers than the refusal to concede any Catholic wrong-doing.”—Msgr. John Tracy Ellis.
“Could it be that the most awesome military might ever assembled would in the end become the most tremendous missionary force the Christian church ever had?”—Richard R. Potter, in a Link article citing the spiritual potential of 1,398,000 American service people abroad.
DR. NED B. STONEHOUSE, 60, faculty dean of Westminster Theological Seminary, biographer of the late J. Gresham Machen, and editor of a nine-volume New Testament commentary; at his Glenside, Pennsylvania, home. He was a Contributing Editor to CHRISTIANITY TODAY.
DR. PHILIP A. SWARTZ, 73, onetime secretary of the Federal Council of Churches; in New Fairfield, Connecticut.
DR. WILLIAM MCMASTER, 87, president emeritus of Mount Union College (Methodist); in Coral Gables, Florida.
DR. D. M. NELSON, 82, president emeritus of Mississippi College (Baptist); in Clinton, Mississippi.
WALTER A. RYAN, 57, unfrocked Catholic priest whose wife filed a $2,375,000 civil suit against the Roman Catholic Church charging that he had been “forcibly removed to monasteries”; in San Francisco.
BILL CARLE, 57, noted Gospel singer, following a heart attack; in St. Louis.
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