Salt Lake City
Former Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints investment portfolio manager David Nielsen broke his long silence, granting an interview to CBS’s “60 Minutes” program about his 2019 whistleblower complaint to the IRS about LDS finances. The church had employed him for nearly a decade at it Ensign Peak Advisors. Nielsen described a culture of secrecy at the highest levels, a failure to properly share wealth in accordance with IRS regulations for non-profits, and a total church bank balance exceeding $150 billion.
The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and McCormick Theological Seminary (Presbyterian) are moving into available space on the campus of Catholic Theological Union, creating a theological mega-campus on the South Side of Chicago. Each school will remain independent with is own identity, mission, and governance.
Bishops associated with the United Methodist Church gathered in Chicago to respond to losing up to 10% of their churches through disaffiliation over LGBTQ policies. They called for renewed attention to those who remain (instead of handwringing over those leaving) and also for a new gathering of bishops in 2024 to consider re-designing the way UMC people are organized and led.
The Public Religion Research Institute issued a new report on religious affiliation of Americans, and Axios analyzed it for reasons people are changing their religion (or denomination): 56% because they stopped believing what was taught; 30% because of negative teachings about LGBTQ; 29% because their family was never associated with it to begin with; 27% because of scandals involving leaders; 18% because of a traumatic personal event; and 17% because the organization became too political.
And among Southern Baptists, three stories: Saddleback Church in California appeals an SBC decision to exclude the church for ordaining women; Florida Baptist Convention announces that it had been scammed out of $700,000 mission money; and former seminary professor David Sills sues the SBC for its inclusion of him in the sex abuse scandal report.