New laws that allow same-sex civil unions to be performed on religious premises took effect in England and Wales Dec. 5, but the Church of England says it won’t permit them without approval from its top body.
While the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has come a long way in recognizing the leadership gifts of women of color, the church humbly acknowledges that it has a long way to go.
While the increasing numbers of women serving as pastors and church leaders is something to celebrate, gender and racial inequity in pastoral calls still exists.
In January 2001, the Racial Ethnic Women’s Dialogue of Presbyterian Women – which was established in 1989 to give presence to the voices of racial ethnic women throughout the denomination – made a historic decision to call for a gathering of racial ethnic women. As a result of this action, the first Women of Color Consultation was held in 2004. More than 180 women of color participated, including Asian Americans, African Americans, Latinas, Middle Easterners, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and new immigrant women.
The report of the Women of Color Consultation Task Force – Hearing and Singing New Songs to God: Shunning Old Discords and Sharing New Harmonies – was approved by the 218th General Assembly (2008). The first of the thirteen recommendations contained in that report was to “declare 2009 to 2019 a ‘Decade of Hearing and Singing New Songs to God’ in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which will call for transformation of the church, focusing on the intersections of gender, race, and class.”
Four new church developments and two presbyteries will receive mission program grants from Evangelism and Church Growth of the General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC).
“Church geek” is a label the Rev. Landon Whitsitt says he wears proudly.
And so, when the self-proclaimed “former fundamentalist Baptist turned born-again Presbyterian” and author of the newly published Open Source Church told the annual Moderators’ Conference here Nov. 18 that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) needs to find “new metaphors, new ways of talking about what we’re doing as church,” the gathering of 150 presbytery and synod leaders was ready to listen.
The National Council of Churches in the U.S. and the Council of Churches of Cuba have issued a joint statement calling for reconciliation between the two countries and committing themselves to “pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit that our churches may bear witness to God’s will for justice in economic life.”
Put on your boogie shoes — the new Hanukkah songs are here!
A decision by the German Federal Administrative Court allowing a Berlin school to ban Muslim students from praying on their lunch break is being viewed as a ruling on public religious expression and has been closely watched by members of different faiths.
In recent days, the National Council of Churches (NCC) has been dismayed over the decision by the Lowe's home improvement chain to pull its advertising from the television program, "All-American Muslim," due to pressure from a fringe Christian organization called the Florida Family Association. At the same time, the NCC has been heartened by the outrage expressed by others in our nation toward Lowe's for giving in to the bigotry and ignorance that underlies this pressure. Through its Interfaith Relations Commission, the NCC encourages Lowe's to reverse its decision.
Lowe's is in the business of providing building supplies for the construction of homes. We wish the company were also concerned with the construction of a sound society and the building of a more peaceful nation.
Bells will be ringing … and ringing … and ringing … at least by one Presbyterian here.
Ryan Althaus, founder of the Team Sweaty Sheep ministry, will compete in The Salvation Army’s bell ringing contest which began today at noon EST. Althaus is one of 24 contestants across the country attempting to set a world record for longest continuous hand bell ringing by an individual.
Cuba and the United States have so much in common that despite political differences it’s “overtime” to normalize relations between the two countries, a Cuban foreign ministry official told a group of 15 visiting U.S. religious leaders here Nov. 30.