Saturday, February 11, 2006

connecticut does indeed have some COOL religious leaders!

Churches Exploring How We Got Here
By FRANCES GRANDY TAYLOR Courant Staff Writer February 11 2006

The Rev. Woody Eddins of Bristol is one of more than 10,000 Protestant pastors who have signed a letter calling for clergy members to speak out against the anti-evolution movement that portrays science as a threat to religious faith. This weekend is "Evolution Sunday" for more than 400 churches across the country, including six in Connecticut. Ministers plan to address the subject of evolution in their sermons and other activities to bring home the message that science and religious faith are not in conflict."The real tragedy of the creationist movement is what it does to religion," said Eddins, pastor of the Asbury United Methodist Church. "To reduce the Bible to the status of a textbook is destructive to our relationship to God."Many clergy members have allowed the loudest anti-science proponents to become the most dominant Christian voices on the subject, Eddins said. "We the clergy are at fault for this, by not speaking about it enough. Science books can't tell us why God created the world, or why God cares about the world. For me, this is an effort to reclaim the creation story for what it is supposed to be for all of us.""Evolution Sunday" grew out of The Clergy Letter Project, which started about nine months ago as several evolution vs. intelligent design cases were headed to court around the country. Approximately 120 Connecticut pastors from a range of denominations have signed the letter. Creationism is the belief that life on earth was created by God or a supreme being in the literal way it is described in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible. "The ultraconservative branch of the church has hijacked the discussion by being overrepresentative of what the church teaches. It's what a segment of the church teaches, [but] that's not all of us," said the Rev. William Seiburg, pastor of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Norwich. "Theology is the mother of the sciences. Far from being separated, [science and theology] are mutually complementary. If there is truth, how can it be in conflict with other truth?"The clergy letter endorses the teaching of evolution science in public schools. "Christian clergy from many different traditions believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests," the letter says. "To reject this truth or to treat it as `one theory among others' is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children."..........

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