This past weekend, Fall officially arrived, reminding us that 2013 will soon be over. Jackson Presbyterian Examiner would like to recap some of the most significant news event from the past three months, including local, national, and international news.
1. On July 5, The Telegraph reported that Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII will be canonized as saints by the Roman Catholic Church.
2. On July 8, the Church of England voted to draft legislation which will allow females to be elected as bishops. The church plans to draft this new measure by November, but it is not expected to receive approval until November 2015.
3. On July 15, in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the office of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA issued a statement calling for an end to gun violence in America. Citing Jesus’ statement, “Blessed are the peacemakers”, the statement ended by saying, “Peace is not a passive response to times of human trial and pain. Peace is generated by our willingness to trust God while actively engaging in the difficult struggles of human life. Today, we place our faith in Jesus Christ while trusting that the Holy Spirit guides our path toward a world free of fear and violence.”
4. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and her husband, Prince William, welcomed their baby boy, Prince George of Cambridge, on July 22. He was born at 4:24 p.m., and weighed 8 pounds and 6 ounces (http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/22/world/europe/uk-royal-baby/index.html?iid=article_sidebar).
5. On August 8, Presbyterian News Service reported that the PCUSA decided to drop the song, “In Christ Alone” from its new denominational hymnal coming out. The controversy surrounded the words in the second verse, which said that on the cross “the wrath of God was satisfied”. The denomination wanted to alter the words to say “the love of God was magnified”, but the song’s composers, Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, refused to sanction the change.
6. On August 15, Kenneth Jackson Townsend was born at 4:01 at River Oaks Hospital in Flowood, Mississippi. He is the son of Daniel and Michelle Townsend of Clinton. On August 24, Jack was baptized at the Belhaven University Prayer Room in Jackson.
7. In news that will interest fans of the golden age of rock 'n roll music, BuddyHollyandtheCrickets.com reported that, Jay Richardson, son of the late rock ‘n roll legend J.P. “The Big Bopper Richardson”, passed away at the age of 54 on August 21. Jay was born on April 28, 1959, in Houma, Louisiana—two months after his father perished in the plane crash that also took the lives of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. In recent years, Jay garnered a name for himself as “Big Bopper Jr.”, impressing audiences with how much he could sound like his father.
8. On August 25, Miley Cyrus, daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus and former star of Disney comedy, Hannah Montana, made news for a very controversial performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Her dance was widely regarded as vulgar and over the top, even for MTV. Her effort to distance herself from the Hannah Montana image continues, as shortly after the MTV performance, it was announced she would be posing nude for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in October.
9. Justin Wellby, archishop of Canterbury, traveled to Mexico early in September—the first time the leader of the Anglican Communion has ever visited the Latin American nation. Wellby’s trip, among other things, was to encourage Hispanic Anglicans to continue reaching out to Mexico’s poorest citizens. Wellby, an evangelical, has widely been looked to as someone who may be able to revitalize the Anglican Communion after years of internal strife and conflict.
10. The state of Colorado began experiencing massive flooding on September 9, and since that date there have been eight flood-related deaths reported.
11. Last month, the Syrian government reportedly used chemical weapons to kill Syrian civilians. As Syria’s civil war has continued to escalate, on September 9 Russia “urged Syria to put its' chemical weapons stockpile under international control. The initiative was expressed in the wake of American threat of attacking Syria after the chemical attack of August 21. On September 14, the U.S. and Russia announced in Geneva that they reached a deal on how Assad should give up his chemical weapons” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_civil_war).
12. On September 20, Christianity Today reported that Moody Bible Institute of Chicago has changed its policy, allowing faculty and staff to partake of alcohol and tobacco. The former ban, reflecting the college’s conservative evangelical roots, applied to those working for the college as well as those working for Moody’s publishing and radio ministries. The policy change reflects Moody's desire to be more open to the broader Christian community, seeing issues like alcohol and tobacco as matters of conscience, not litmus tests of fellowship.
As readers can see, 2013 has been an eventful summer. May God be with us in the days ahead.