In today’s News:
LCMS former CFO called home
Dr. Thomas W. Kuchta, who served as Chief Financial Officer of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) from 2001 to 2010, died Tuesday in Elm Grove, Wisc. He was 78. Kuchta served three terms as the Synod’s CFO. At the 2004 LCMS convention, he was the only nominee to receive 100 percent of the vote — all 1,122 votes cast. Kuchta served on numerous Synod boards, including for Concordia Publishing House, Lutheran Church Extension Fund, the LCMS Foundation, the LCMS Board of Directors and Concordia Plan Services. Kuchta is survived by his wife, Ilona; two daughters, Michelle Kuchta and Stacey Setzer; two grandsons, Alexander and Broderick Setzer; and one brother, James Kuchta.
Religious freedom is ‘foremost’
A draft report from an advisory body to the U.S. State Department on human rights says that religious freedom is “foremost” among human rights. The commission was established last July by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who announced that Mary Ann Glendon, former U.S. Ambassador to The Holy See, would lead it. Pompeo explained the need for the commission yesterday, noting that an increase in the number of recognized human rights presents “risks of collision” between rights claims, as well as “risks of trivializing core American values.” In his time at the state department, he said, as cables from around the world came in he realized officials were discussing rights in ways that were “deeply inconsistent.”
Churches sue California’s governor
On Wednesday, three churches sued pro-abortion Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom for singling out houses of worship in his latest coronavirus restrictions, the Washington Examiner reports. The churches, Calvary Chapel of Ukiah, Calvary Chapel Fort Bragg and River of Life Church, said California leaders are unfairly targeting them by allowing massive protests to continue while heavily restricting religious worship. On July 1, the California Department of Public Health issued new guidelines outlining steps that houses of worship must take to help prevent further spread of the virus. One of those measures prohibits singing, even when people are social distancing and wearing masks. The state also limits indoor religious attendance to “25 percent of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.” According to the lawsuit, the churches could face fines, imprisonment or both if they violate Newsom’s mandate.
City ends partnership with church
Local government authorities ended a partnership with a Christian church in Alabama offering outreach programs at public housing communities after a senior pastor was criticized online for liking several conservative-based memes. The church also was banned from leasing public high schools for its worship services. According to a report by al.com, Senior Pastor Chris Hodges was first denounced by high school English teacher Jasmine Faith Clisby, who pointed out on Facebook that “Hodges, founder of the Church of the Highlands, repeatedly ‘liked’ social media posts by (Charlie) Kirk.” Kirk is the founder and president of Turning Point USA, a national student movement promoting the principles of free markets and limited government among young people.