Archive for Friday, July 21, 2000

Religion news

July 21, 2000

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Texas minister pays to fill his church pews

Bryan, Tex. Every Sunday morning, the Rev. Rick Sebastian cruises around the missions, cheap motels and housing projects of this southeast Texas town in a big blue bus emblazoned with this plea: "We will pay you $10 to come to church on our bus."

Sebastian, minister at New Life in Christ, acknowledges the message is a gimmick.

"It gets them into church, and if we can get them into church where they can hear the word of God, their lives can be changed," Sebastian told the Houston Chronicle.

Female missionaries have new dress code

Salt Lake City Floral prints are out and light blouses with dark skirts are in for the 185 women missionaries who greet visitors at the Mormon church's Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

The new dress code is meant to "make it easier ... to identify sister missionaries," Michael Purdy, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said Thursday.

Women's clothing "should be consistent with their sacred calling," the instructions say. It should be "Sunday clothes," more professional than casual. Nylon hose and calf-length skirts are a must. No open-toed shoes or T-shirts.

In general, male missionaries wear white shirts and dark suits.

Former Ottawa dean to head Methodist school

Michell, S.D. Robert Duffett, a Baptist and the former provost and academic dean at Ottawa University in Kansas, has taken the reins at Methodist-affiliated Dakota Wesleyan University.

"I think in the era we're in now, in this postmodern world with different ideological views, people are interested in authentic Christianity, not the brand names," Duffett said.

Duffett, 45, succeeds Jack Ewing, who has been named president at Mount Union College in Ohio.

Duffett, the university's 19th president, said he likes to focus on similarities between the denominations: "You can go to McDonald's, Burger King or Wendy's, but they all sell hamburgers."

He does plan to join a local Methodist church to strengthen his tie to the denomination and the university.

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