Lutheran bishop to talk about state of church

The Times Union (Albany, NY)
October 16, 2004 Saturday THREE STAR EDITION

Lutheran bishop to talk about state of church


The Rev. Mark S. Hanson of Chicago, presiding bishop of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will lead a discussion this
afternoon with area clergy and friends about the shape and nature of
the church in the United States and throughout the world. The meeting
with Hanson, who is also president of the Geneva, Switzerland-based
Lutheran World Federation, will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. at First
Lutheran Church, 181 Western Ave. At 10 a.m. Sunday, Hanson will
rededicate the 50-year-old sanctuary of the church. This year marks
the congregation’s 355th year. It is the oldest continuous Lutheran
congregation in North America. Also participating in the
rededication service will be the Rev. Marie Jerge of Syracuse, bishop
of the Ipstate New York Synod, ELCA.Israelis act against Jews who
spit on Christians

JERUSALEM — The Israeli government has vowed to crack down on
religious Jews who insult and spit at Christians. In a stern
statement issued this week, Interior Minister Avraham Poraz condemned
recent incidents in which Jewish seminary students, many of them
Americans studying in Israel, spat at Christian clergy during
processions through the Old City of Jerusalem. Poraz expressed
“revulsion” and called the situation intolerable, vowing to take
action to prevent future incidents.

The latest incident occurred Sunday, when an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva
student studying in the Old City spat at a cross being carried by
Armenian Archbishop Nourhan Manougian as he led a procession near the
community’s church. Jerusalem police said that a scuffle ensued
between the student and Manougian, who slapped the student after the
latter damaged the medallion the archbishop wore around his neck.

Although the practice of spitting is reportedly encouraged — or at
the very least tolerated — at certain ultra-Orthodox seminaries,
mainstream religious leaders abhor the practice. Such conduct is “a
desecration of the Divine Name” and also liable to contribute to
anti-Semitism in the Diaspora,” Rabbi Yisrael Lau, former chief rabbi
of Israel, said in a statement.

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