The Week in Pa. religion news: Aug. 29, 2010

A former Pittsburgh pastor, the Rev. Jane Spahr, was found guilty of misconduct Friday by a regional court of the Presbyterian Church (USA) for officiating the weddings of 16 gay couples when same-sex marriage was legal in California in 2008.
A State College pastor, the Rev. Paull Spring, is the first bishop of the North American Lutheran Church, a new denomination forming in resistance to the ELCA’s decision a year ago to let gay clergy in the pulpit.
The AP reports a Pennsylvania couple secretly videotaped a Roman Catholic priest having sex with their 18-year-old daughter in the basement of their home and are now suing, saying he got her pregnant. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Berks County, alleges that the Rev. Luis A. Bonilla Margarito carried on a sexual relationship with the teen while he was chaplain of Reading Central Catholic High School.
Habib Peer, a U.S. citizen who used to run a newsstand in Germantown, Philadelphia, was slain in his native Pakistan because of his religion — a target of those who consider Ahmadi Muslims like Peer to be heretics.
Three white men were indicted on federal charges of burning a cross in the yard of a black teenager in rural Bolivar, Westmoreland County, in November 2009.
A Harrisburg pastor wants youth sports teams to pick any day but Sunday for games and matches as it keeps kids and their parents from attending worship.
Some parents are keeping their children from participating in mission trips because of qualms about safety prompted by recent bombings or kidnapping in places like Uganda and Mexico.
Former VP candidate Sarah Palin stressed family values at a fundraising banquet for the Pennsylvania Family Institute in Hershey, making a passing reference to the headlines paid to her own domestic situation: “You can read about some of our ups and downs in the checkout line at the grocery store.”

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