Christian Churches Together, an ecumenical organization that brings together representatives of denominations to strengthen Christian witness in the world, gathered in Austin, Texas January 29 to February 1. In addition to holding its annual meeting, representatives of Christian denominations also learned about immigration and the need for reform, shared experiences, prayed, and discerned how God was calling them to respond to the crisis created by an unjust immigration system.
OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. — The Presbytery of Southern New England — which includes Newtown, Conn. — has shared some ideas of how Presbyterians can respond to those affected by the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In a recently published article, Lilia Solano described the impact of Colombia’s armed conflict on its people. A long-time human rights activist, Solano reported that in the decades-long conflict, Colombia has seen 5 million people displaced, 60,000 declared as “missing,” thousands killed, and a million hectares of land snatched away from the rightful owners.
Four decades after Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, many opponents of the decision are in a celebratory mood while those backing abortion rights are glum, feeling that momentum is turning decisively against them.
Pastor Gad Mpoyo from the Democratic Republic of the Congo began reaching out to immigrants and refugees in the Atlanta, Georgia, area in 2008. He remembers visiting a family from Haiti that came to the U.S. after the earthquake.
“Their sixteen-year-old daughter told me, ‘We used to feel lonely a lot,’” says Mpoyo. “Before I started visiting them there was no one coming to see them.”’
Mpoyo, who had been working at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church Night Shelter, felt led by the Holy Spirit to show God’s love to their neighbors in Clarkston, Georgia. He and his student friend from Kenya, Wilson Arimi, formed Shalom, an outreach ministry. Shalom began reaching out to an estimated 8,000 residents from at least 30 countries, responding to their spiritual, social, and emotional needs.
As part of what one church leader called a “crowd-sourcing process,” 140 educators, students, pastors, activists and theologians gathered at Montreat Conference Center Jan. 18-20 to talk, think and learn about peacemaking.
Beverly Wildung Harrison, 80, widely known in theological education circles as the “mother of Christian feminist ethics,” died Dec. 15 in Brevard, N.C. A memorial service was held Jan. 5.
The European Court of Human Rights on Jan. 15 ruled that equality laws trump personal religious beliefs, rejecting three of four appeals filed by British Christians who were fired or disciplined for expressing religious beliefs in the workplace.
“Violence begets violence. It is not possible for Syrians to overcome conflict without a political solution, strong democratic institutions and demilitarization of the country,” said Haytham Al-Manna, a prominent Syrian human rights defender and opposition figure, head of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria (NCB).
Outraged by the raunchy behavior, or simply to capture some of the Super Bowl’s supersized audience, some religious programmers are now producing halftime shows of their own.