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Carrie Underwood's Evangelical Megachurch GracePointe Comes Out for Marriage Equality: VIDEO

Grace[pointe

GracePointe Church in Franklin, Tennessee has joined the small but growing number of evangelical megachurches that have come out in support of marriage equality, TIME reports.

The church's three year "listening process" on the issue began when country star Carrie Underwood, who attends GracePointe, spoke out in favor of marriage equality in 2012 - a move that led Westboro Baptist Church protesters to show up and picket outside GracePointe.  

via TIME:

For congregants on all sides of the debate, the conversation over the past three years has been at times painful, even devastating. For [pastor Stan] Mitchell, it has been a deeply personal as well as a spiritual journey, especially as he has seen it divide friends and family. And on Sunday, Jan. 11, the church reached a conclusion, as Mitchell shared:

Mitchell“Our position that these siblings of ours, other than heterosexual, our position that these our siblings cannot have the full privileges of membership, but only partial membership, has changed,” he said, as many in the congregation stood to their feet in applause, and other sat in silence. “Full privileges are extended now to you with the same expectations of faithfulness, sobriety, holiness, wholeness, fidelity, godliness, skill, and willingness. That is expected of all. Full membership means being able to serve in leadership and give all of your gifts and to receive all the sacraments; not only communion and baptism, but child dedication and marriage.” [...]

GracePointe’s move is not without concrete consequences. January giving usually is about $100,000–so far this month the church has brought in an estimated $52,000. When GracePointe began the listening process in 2012, Sunday attendance averaged 800-1000. The Sunday he preached the inclusion sermon, attendance was 673, and two weeks later, it was down to 482. “It’s a gut punch,” Mitchell says. “I know a year from now, I’m going to feel a whole lot better, but right now it is just hard.”

For now, spiritual and Biblical convictions are pushing GracePointe and its pastor forward. Pastors are coming to him quietly and undercover from all over town, he says, to talk with him about how to have this conversion in their own evangelical churches. And, while a three-year conversation is ending, another one is just beginning. “Could you be a church in Selma and not march, just handle your own community?” Mitchell asks. “I don’t think I can do that. We are on the front edge of a movement that means so much.”

Watch Mitchell's powerful sermon announcing the change, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Carrie Underwood's Evangelical Megachurch GracePointe Comes Out for Marriage Equality: VIDEO" »


Bruce Springsteen, Chris Martin Step in for Bono at U2 'World AIDS Day' Concert in Times Square: FULL VIDEO

Springsteen

U2 played a surprise World AIDS Day concert for (RED) last night in Times Square but had some last minute substitutions.

Because Bono is still recovering from a November 16 bicycle accident in Central Park, the band announced via its Facebook page at 3 pm yesterday that Adam Clayton, The Edge and Larry Mullen Jr. would be joined by Chris Martin and Bruce Springsteen, who donated their time and talents.

Martin wore a t-shirt that read 'SUBSTITU2'.

Carrie Underwood and Kanye West performed as well. Former President Bill Clinton introduced the band.

Watch the full concert, AFTER THE JUMP...

Martin

Continue reading "Bruce Springsteen, Chris Martin Step in for Bono at U2 'World AIDS Day' Concert in Times Square: FULL VIDEO" »


Was This Your Favorite Moment of 'The Sound of Music Live'? — VIDEO

Rolf

 What did you think of last night's extravaganza, The Sound of Music Live?

Was your favorite moment watching Michael Campayno prance around the forest as Rolf in short shorts during "Sixteen Going on Seventeen"?

If so, you can rewatch that and all the other performances, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Was This Your Favorite Moment of 'The Sound of Music Live'? — VIDEO" »


What To Watch This Week on TV: Kirstie's debut, Ashanti's hunky holidays, a New 'Sound of Music' - VIDEO

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Check out our weekly guide to make sure you're catching the big premieres, crucial episodes and the stuff you won't admit you watch when no one's looking.

— Lifetime, Hallmark and ABC Family are all trotting out their sizable library of holiday films, but how many feature Ashanti and a crew of sexy Santa underwear models? Just one by our count. See Christmas In the City on Lifetime 8 p.m. Saturday.

More picks and clips, including Kirstie Alley's return to the small screen and gangster biopic event, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "What To Watch This Week on TV: Kirstie's debut, Ashanti's hunky holidays, a New 'Sound of Music' - VIDEO" »


What To Watch This Week on TV: Sound of Music; Gaga for Thanksgiving; Babs in Brooklyn - VIDEO

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Check out our weekly guide to make sure you're catching the big premieres, crucial episodes and the stuff you won't admit you watch when no one's looking.

— Skip the Black Friday crowds and settle in with a legend. Relive Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn on Great Performances, Friday at 9 p.m. Eastern on PBS.

More picks and clips, including Lady Gaga's holiday plans and a glimpse at Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading " What To Watch This Week on TV: Sound of Music; Gaga for Thanksgiving; Babs in Brooklyn - VIDEO" »


Carrie Underwood Speaks Out Again for Gay Marriage, as a Christian: 'I'm in Favor of Acceptance'

Underwood

Carrie Underwood covers this month's Allure magazine. They asked her about statements she made back in June which caused a conservative uproar:

In June, Underwood came out in favor of gay marriage. "As a married person myself, I don't know what it's like to be told I can't marry somebody I love," she told a British newspaper.

She elaborates: "I'm in favor of acceptance," she says flatly. "And I am a Christian person, and I do love the Lord, and I feel no matter who you are, what you believe, how you live your life, it's not my place to judge. I don't have that power. I don't want that power. It's my place to love and to show God's love to other people, even if they don't live a life like I live. So that's where I'm coming from."

Underwood was hammered by conservative fans for her remarks, and was blasted by World Net Daily's founder Joseph Farah, who said:

"God did warn us not to profane His holy name. I don’t think that just means misusing His name as a curse word. I think we do that when we represent ourselves as followers of God but betray His Word. That’s blasphemy – and there’s just too much of it coming from people claiming to be Christians."


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