Very big, very unexpected news out of Mars Hill today. Following the sudden, surprise resignation of famously controversial pastor Mark Driscoll, the massive, multisite church he founded will dissolve over the next two months. Each of the 13 churches that comprised Mars Hills' empire will either go their own way, merge with another church or close their doors for good. As Mars Hills teaching pastor Dave Bruskas wrote in a letter to the church today:
"Rather than remaining a centralized multi-site church with video-led teaching distributed to multiple locations, the best future for each of our existing local churches is for them to become autonomous self-governed entities. This means that each of our locations has an opportunity to become a new church, rooted in the best of what Mars Hill has been in the past, and independently led and run by its own local elder teams."
In the meantime, Mars Hill will sell all their existing church properties or allow them to be assumed by the new, independent churches. Mars Hill will also fire all their existing staff and then dissolve entirely. "Ultimately, the success of this plan, and the future viability of each of these new local churches rest solely on all of us continuing to be faithful in supporting Jesus’ mission through our attendance and continued giving," wrote Bruskas ... Discuss
In the second spacecraft disaster this week, one pilot is dead and another seriously injured after Virgin Galactic's tourism rocketship, dubbed SpaceShipTwo, exploded over the Mojave Desert. Virgin Galactic is owned by eccentric billionaire Richard Branson, who has long promised that the company would pioneer commercial space travel. The cause of the crash was not immediately identified, but the company said the craft "suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle" ... Discuss
In what is being called "the most horrific single atrocity ISIS has committed," the terrorist group lined up 600 Shia, Christian and Yazidi male prisoners in the desert, shot them at point blank range and threw them into a ravine, according to a report from Human Rights Watch. Allegedly, the victims were separated from about 1,500 other prisoners along religious and ethnic lines, and then the victims were searched for any valuables. The prisoners were then starved for 24 hours while they were driven out to the desert. Allegedly, they were repeatedly told that they would be given food and water once they reached their destination, only to then be told "You'll be given water in paradise."
The report was given by nine survivors, who faked death until the militants left ... Discuss
On the heels of Orange Is the New Black, Netflix is gearing up for its next original series. This one stars Kyle Chandler (Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights) and Linda Cardellini (Freaks and Geeks and Mad Men), so it's got some big guns. We don't know much about it at this point, other than it's about four adult siblings whose dark pasts refuse to stay in the past ... Discuss
Katy Perry, global superstar, Super Bowl Halftime Show headscratcher and possible Christian hip-hop copycat, is not exactly the greatest pop star of our time. However, she might just be the greatest Halloween costume wearer of our time because just look at this giant Cheeto. She's leading our unofficial celebrity Halloween costume ranking right now, although honorable mentions must go to Jessica Alba for her Slash costume and baby North West's skunk getup ... Discuss