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Presbyterians remove controversial 'Zionism Unsettled' from denomination's website

The Presbyterian Church (USA) has removed from its website a booklet that many Jewish groups have criticized as hostile to Israel and denigrating to Judaism.

"Zionism Unsettled," published in January by the church-chartered Israel/Palestine Mission Network, is a history and commentary on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that paints Israel as the aggressor and describes Zionism as inherently racist and theologically flawed.

The cross on Mount Soledad can stay - for now

The decadeslong battle over a cross erected on public land in California will drag out even longer now that the Supreme Court declined Monday to hear the case.

In the last full day of the current session, the court said the case must first go to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals before the high court will consider it.

The conflict in Mount Soledad Memorial Association vs. Trunk is over a 43-foot cross that sits atop Mount Soledad on public land in San Diego. The cross was erected in the 1950s and has since become a veterans' memorial.

Preacher on preaching: 'homily needs focal point'

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Fr. James J. Bacik told a national assembly of Catholic priests here today that a good homily has a focal point.

“We need focal points, not themes,” he said. A good homily “has to have a concern. It has to have some joy, some sorrow. It’s co-relational.”

But to deliver such a homily the preacher, he explained, needs to know the concerns of those he is preaching to. And how do I know their concerns? “You have to be in dialogue with the people,” he said. If I cannot come up with an example I throw it away … “A doctor burdened with paper work, people burdened with guilt.”

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September 12-25, 2014

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