Archbishop's successor being considered
London The Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, above, retires this year, and the Church of England isn't choosing anyone to fill the vacancy.
Unlike bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States, or any other member of the Anglican Communion, the Church of England's bishops are chosen by the government.
The church's governing General Synod recently affirmed it is content with this position a result of its status as the legally established faith of England rejecting the idea of a break between church and state.
Oddly, the reported front-runner to succeed Carey is the archbishop of Wales, Rowan Williams, who has expressed support for changing the church-state relationship.
Brownback converts to Catholicism
Washington U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., a former United Methodist, has converted to the Roman Catholic Church, a spokesman confirmed.
"It's a personal decision," said aide Erik Hotmire, declining further comment.
The Catholic World News service said the conversion ceremony occurred June 28 at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C., with Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., as Brownback's sponsor.
Methodist agency reduces staff
New York The United Methodist Church's Board of Global Ministries is the latest Protestant agency hit by financial woes.
The board has announced various cost-cutting measures, including a layoff of about 10 employees on top of last October's 20 percent cut in a staff that numbered more than 300.
Officials said church contributions are holding steady, but the board faces decreased returns on investments and reductions in reserve funds.
Liquor panel drafts new definition of church
Lincoln, Neb. Nebraska's Liquor Control Commission will try to redefine what constitutes a church under its regulations, following a state Supreme Court ruling that a building qualifies as a church even if the congregation is just renting the property.
The dispute that reached the high court involved a liquor license granted an Omaha convenience store on grounds that the nearby House of Faith did not qualify as a church because it rents its space. State law forbids alcohol sales within 150 feet of a church.
The commission will hold a public hearing July 30 on a proposed new definition of "church" as "a building where people regularly assemble for worship."
Catholic student isn't welcome at school
Lexington, N.C. A Roman Catholic boy who prays the rosary has been asked to leave Sheets Memorial Christian School, affiliated with an independent Baptist congregation, because of his faith.
"Our philosophy is the home, school and church have to complement one another," said Dan Hightower, school administrator. "Baptist doctrine and teachings do not complement the Catholic doctrine and teaching."
Ben Holmes, 15, entered Sheets Christian last fall because the closest Catholic high school was too far away, said his mother, Cynthia Holmes, who had no objection to her son attending classes that taught Protestantism.
School policy is to admit students of any race or ethnicity "whose parents are in agreement with the Christian philosophy, purposes and standards of the school."