WELCOME!
This issue begins our second year in publication, a year filled with changes in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements – and we hope we’ve met our charge to keep you updated on them. With this issue, we bring you more stories "from the front," plus a review of events and changes over the last year, and a surprise announcement. Thanks for your continued support!
 
The Association of Former Pentecostals, Editor

XPC-Examiner, Vol. 2, Issue 1.  ex-pentecostals.org   © 2002. The Association of Former Pentecostals All Rights Reserved.

Pentecostals in the News*
 
BREAKING NEWS!!!
Charismatics on Columbia
On their fateful voyage home, 7 astronauts died Saturday as the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart after re-entry into the atmosphere.  Two crew members aboard that flight were also members of a Charismatic church on the outskirts of Houston, Grace Community Church – a congregation in the Clear Lake suburb south of the metro area, close to NASA’s Johnson Space Center complex.  Sunday, this congregation held a memorial service in honor of their fellow worshippers: Rick Husband (shuttle commander), and Michael Anderson (payload commander), according to a report by Charisma News Service.
 
In other news. . .
Pentecostal in the Park
The last year has been a newsmaker for the largest "Oneness" organization in the Pentecostal movement. Reports from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch early this month continue this trend within the United Pentecostal Church, albeit in a more scandalous fashion.
 
The newspaper reported that Rev. Ronald Oree Nation was recently arrested after propositioning a male officer in a public park. This happened during a sweep where 11 men were arrested after neighborhood citizens complained of men using the park for sex. He could face up to a year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Rev. Nation is a top official in the UPCI – serving as Sunday School Director for the entire organization, and holding various top posts within the group for the last 20 years. His office was in the church’s World Evangelism Center, their headquarters in Hazelwood, Missouri.
 
Spokespersons for the group have stated that he was slated for retirement in February, while others said he would not be welcome back regardless of the outcome, and have hinted at revoking his ministerial license. 
Information for this report was forwarded by a reader!
 
Anglicans Oust Charismatic Priest
Many churches and organizations within mainstream and orthodox Christianity have tolerated the "Charismatic" practices that have influenced many of their congregations in hopes that this would stem the exodus of people leaving for these more "energetic" churches. One church in England, however, had enough of these "happy-clappy" services, and had their priest removed for bringing in the "Pentecostal" themes.
 
The congregation at St. Bartholomew's in Horley, Surrey had endured the changes made when Rev. Peter May became their pastor seven years ago. Although this "modernization" did boost attendance and lower the median age, eventually it ran off many of the regulars. It became apparent soon after his arrival that his preferential style of worship would not be optional, nor only contained to one particular worship service. He dismissed the choir of this 14th Century church, tore down the choir stalls, and rebuked anyone who criticized his moves, asking them to "repent," according to a web report by The Telegraph (telegraph.co.uk).
 
After several complaints from parishioners to the Bishop of that diocese, Rev. May quit. It is unclear whether he did so under pressure from the Bishop, or if he did so on his own accord.
 
Pastor Charged with Murder
In a morbid report by the Kansas City Star and Charisma News Service, a Pentecostal minister and his wife have been charged with murdering their adopted son. Neil and Christy Edgar were charged with first-degree felony murder of their nine-year-old son, Brian Edgar, who suffocated after a bizarre disciplinary practice by the parents and a baby-sitter (who has also been charged). The boy was found bound and gagged, with tape across his mouth – a procedure stated to be a method of discipline for children in that church before they are put to bed. Their other children were also found this way, but were unharmed. The parents were separately charged with child abuse in these cases.
 
The pastor’s organization, the Church of God in Christ, has denied that the church-at-large teaches abuse, or "this sort" of discipline.
 
Church Says "Yes" to Lotto Tithe
Though most Pentecostal denominations teach that gambling is a sin, the pastor of Abundant Life Church of God in Torrence, California, has decided to turn a blind eye as that church prepares to receive its part of a promised "lottery tithe" from a former parishioner who recently won the $315 million Powerball, according to a New York Times report. Pastor Gerald Abreu has written the whole event off as not teaching him "not to gamble." The winner is splitting his "tithe" to three different local churches.

YEAR IN REVIEW
 
Before there was an "ex-pentecostals.org," all that existed was a small email list called "Ex-Apostolics," with about 50 members. Initially, I thought it would be nice to create a newsletter just for this group, but after browsing news sources, I realized that there simply wasn’t that much news continually being generated by "Oneness" sources. I had also hoped to "broaden" our scope of service, and realized that this would be a great way to start – by creating a newsletter for all former Pentecostals, regardless of the sect.
 
So, on February 15th, 2002, "Delivered!" newsletter was unveiled with its first issue. At first, it was only a quarterly, then quickly became a bi-monthly publication. By that fall, we started putting it out monthly, as it is currently published. In January, we changed the name to "XPC Examiner," to reflect its new additional duty as the official "announcer" of changes in our services. Here are a few of the headlining events we were proud to cover this past year:
To read any of these past issues, check out http://ex-pentecostals.org/newsletter.html

ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
To expand the work we are doing on the ex-pentecostals.org website, we hope to have an "essay" page within the next year, filled with essays on Pentecostal doctrine and personal experiences. To kick this off, I am announcing a "Great Ex-Pentecostal Essay Contest!"
The contest begins now, and will end June 30th, 2003. All entries must be email to me personally at contact@ex-pentecostals.org or contact@expentecostals.org . Due to varying word processor formats, essays MUST be sent as regular email, or as MS Word or Works document attachments.
 
There are two categories: 1) ISSUES, and 2) EXPERIENCES. Anything not qualifying as a "personal experience" should qualify as the other. Choose either category (or both), and send in as many essays as your fingers can type. Each individual essay will count as one entry, and will be judged on its own merits – regardless of how many essays one entrant may or may not have sent. The winner will be announced in the August edition of this newsletter, with the winning essay being featured in that newsletter. All applicants imply permission to publish the essay in our newsletter, and for it to be featured on the website for at least a year. For the full list of rules, please click here.
 
What should you write about? Whatever you feel "your" issue was with this church: why did you join that church, what made you question it, what made you leave, where are you know? Or, just tell us your story! Whatever it is, help us help others by sharing our stories with the rest of the world, especially those struggling with Pentecostalism! Many of the essays will be featured on the website after the contest is over.

READERS WRITE
 
A few "letters to the editor" from the past month. Enjoy! (Errors of spelling and grammar are original to the emails)
 
1) "i am currently in the upc. i still want to get your news letter to see what all the xpcers are saying. my family has been in the upc forever and i would be the first to admit that there things wrong with it , espeecially attitudes, but it sounds like you are bitter". ~M
 
2) "I just wanted to say that Jesus Loves you and thenks for backing God's will in "Our rapidly expanding faith" Which means that we might be doing something right in order for this unique faith to expand so fast. Anyway I will not lower myself to bash you or anyone within your organization or affilliates but, man, one thing I'm sure about is that the bile does warn in Matthew 24 that we would be persecuted because of Jesus's name. Thanks for backing us up. Your XPC just proves that we (pentecostals) are under God's perfect plan. So go on and keep spreading the word, It just shows how Loud Pentecostals are screaming in Satans ears." ~ JL
 
If you’d like to send a word to "the editor," please send an email to contact@ex-pentecostals.org or contact@expentecostals.org with the phrase LETTER TO THE EDITOR in the subject bar.

ATTENTION:  You are receiving this newsletter because you have elected to subscribe to XPC-Examiner (formerly known as "Delivered!" newsletter), or the mailing list of ex-pentecostals.org. If you wish to unsubscribe, click here.

About XPC-Examiner
XPC-Examiner is a FREE monthly newsletter for former Pentecostals/Charismatics everywhere, distributed by e-mail only.  It is affiliated with ex-pentecostals.org.  The next publication date of the general newsletter is March 1, 2003. For more information concerning services and forums offered, check out ex-pentecostals.org. To subscribe, simply send a blank e-mail to: xpc-examiner-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.
 
Comments? Submissions? Letters to the Editor?
Check out ex-pentecostals.org/newsletter.html for more information, or e-mail:
contact@expentecostals.org

*information compiled from several independent media sources are considered "public knowledge," and sources are not identified.  When articles are compiled from only one source, the source was identified, and a story written extracting the news using "fair use" rules without intentionally infringing on their copyrights.
 


Copyright © 2001-2003 by The Association of Former Pentecostals All rights reserved.  All stories, opinions, and other text in this newsletter, XPC-Examiner, are the personal copyrighted property of The Association of Former Pentecostals, unless otherwise noted. No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced by any means without permission from this editor.  To request permission for reproducing original materials contained within this newsletter, please e-mail The Association of Former Pentecostals at contact@expentecostals.org for more information.