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Religion: WORDS & WORKS

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¶ The Rev. John Gerberding of Menomonee Falls, Wis. was acquitted by a trial committee of the Northwest Synod of the United Lutheran Church of heresy charges similar to those for which the Rev. George P. Crist Jr. of Durham was convicted (TIME, Aug. 8). The committee found “obvious confusion, immaturity and inconsistencies in Gerberding’s position and recommended administrative action by the synod. Pastor Grist’s comment: “The trial was considerably different from mine.”

¶ In Detroit, at the first biennial convention of the Council of Liberal Churches, set up in 1953 by the Unitarians and Universalists, delegates voted to set up a “merger commission” to plan for organic union of the 100,000 Unitarians and the 79,000 Universalists.

¶ The Methodist Conferences of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi announced plans to build a million-dollar hotel with a modern church on a 30-acre tract in the wide-open gambling town of Biloxi, Miss.

¶ John Marshall Jacobs of Phoenix, Ariz., one of the U.S. farmers just back from a Soviet tour, took a dim view of the future of religion in Russia. “On one occasion in Moscow,” he told a reporter, “our interpreter pointed out a little domed church in the slum section, an area slated for razing and new housing projects. ‘There’s a so-called church,’ said the interpreter. ‘Nobody goes there but a few old people.’ ”

¶ Moscow authorities announced that 25,000 new copies of the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) were being printed by “popular request.”

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