RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Ally McBeal Joins Mission-Minded Tenants of Boston Office Building (RNS) Heirs to New England’s stern Congregational heritage seem to have added a famous perky lawyer to their assemblage of sober, mission-minded tenants _ television’s Ally McBeal. Keen-eyed visitors to the American Congregational Association’s stately downtown Boston building will find the sitcom star’s name on the office directory in the foyer. That’s because tourists expect to find her there _ and because the keepers of the region’s oldest Christian tradition have a sense of humor. In the “Ally McBeal” show, the Fox Network uses an image of the association’s building to suggest that’s where the fictional McBeal works for the fictional law firm of Cage, Fish.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Ally McBeal Joins Mission-Minded Tenants of Boston Office Building (RNS) Heirs to New England’s stern Congregational heritage seem to have added a famous perky lawyer to their assemblage of sober, mission-minded tenants _ television’s Ally McBeal. Keen-eyed visitors to the American Congregational Association’s stately downtown Boston building will find the sitcom star’s name on the office directory in the foyer. That’s because tourists expect to find her there _ and because the keepers of the region’s oldest Christian tradition have a sense of humor. In the “Ally McBeal” show, the Fox Network uses an image of the association’s building to suggest that’s where the fictional McBeal works for the fictional law firm of Cage, Fish.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Conservative Anglican Leaders Hold Confirmation at Pa. Church (RNS) In a massive challenge to the leadership of the Episcopal Church, a group of conservative leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion converged on a Pennsyvlania church Sunday (Nov. 26) to hold a confirmation service and make a stand against the U.S. church’s liberal-leaning theology. The presiding bishops of Kenya, Uganda, Congo, and Sydney, Australia joined Presiding Bishop Maurice Sinclair of Argentina in the service at the Church of the Good Shepherd outside Philadelphia.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Conservative Anglican Leaders Hold Confirmation at Pa. Church (RNS) In a massive challenge to the leadership of the Episcopal Church, a group of conservative leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion converged on a Pennsyvlania church Sunday (Nov. 26) to hold a confirmation service and make a stand against the U.S. church’s liberal-leaning theology. The presiding bishops of Kenya, Uganda, Congo, and Sydney, Australia joined Presiding Bishop Maurice Sinclair of Argentina in the service at the Church of the Good Shepherd outside Philadelphia.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Supporters of Marriage Declaration Criticize Edgar, Question Future (RNS) The decision by the head of the National Council of Churches to withdraw his name from a Christian declaration on marriage has disappointed supporters of the document and could threaten future cooperation between the ecumenical council and other Christian groups. The Rev. Bob Edgar, NCC’s general secretary, initially supported “A Christian Declaration on Marriage” and co-signed it with Roman Catholic and evangelical leaders on Nov. 14. When some interpreted the declaration as an attack on same-sex unions, Edgar quickly withdrew his name.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Supporters of Marriage Declaration Criticize Edgar, Question Future (RNS) The decision by the head of the National Council of Churches to withdraw his name from a Christian declaration on marriage has disappointed supporters of the document and could threaten future cooperation between the ecumenical council and other Christian groups. The Rev. Bob Edgar, NCC’s general secretary, initially supported “A Christian Declaration on Marriage” and co-signed it with Roman Catholic and evangelical leaders on Nov. 14. When some interpreted the declaration as an attack on same-sex unions, Edgar quickly withdrew his name.

NEWS FEATURE: Community Helps Foster Ramadan Observances on College Campuses

c. 2000 Religion News Service WASHINGTON _ Thousands of miles away from her family in Pakistan, Sabeen Mushtaq couldn’t help but think of them as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approached. The George Washington University freshman was living away from home for the first time, and missed her family’s holy season traditions _ especially the egg omelets and homemade bread her mother cooked for suhur, the family’s morning meal. “It was strange not being with my family for Ramadan,” remembered Mushtaq, who has celebrated Ramadan _ a holy month of discipline through worship and fasting for the more than 1 billion Muslims worldwide _ since childhood. “I really missed being home.” She found comfort among George Washington’s large Muslim student population.

NEWS FEATURE: Memo to Satan: Find Better Movies

c. 2000 Religion News Service (UNDATED) November 2000. To: Satan. From: Your agent in Hollywood. Dear evil one: By some accounts, our plan to increase your visibility by landing you prominent roles in major motion pictures has been a smashing success during the past 14 months.

NEWS FEATURE: Roles of Belief, Unbelief in Medical Practice Debated

c. 2000 Religion News Service BOSTON _ Two celebrated doctors from rival institutions, one a man of faith and the other a skeptic, met on a stage here last week with a dicey challenge: engage each other on the role beliefs play in medical practices. It could have been an ugly mud toss or a sparsely attended flop. But the first installment of “Dialogue: Belief and Nonbelief in Modern American Culture” instead drew a sellout crowd of 600 to the Copley Theater for an evening rich in startling confessions. “It was very respectful,” said 68-year-old Lorraine Buchan after the event.

NEWS FEATURE: Roles of Belief, Unbelief in Medical Practice Debated

c. 2000 Religion News Service BOSTON _ Two celebrated doctors from rival institutions, one a man of faith and the other a skeptic, met on a stage here last week with a dicey challenge: engage each other on the role beliefs play in medical practices. It could have been an ugly mud toss or a sparsely attended flop. But the first installment of “Dialogue: Belief and Nonbelief in Modern American Culture” instead drew a sellout crowd of 600 to the Copley Theater for an evening rich in startling confessions. “It was very respectful,” said 68-year-old Lorraine Buchan after the event.

NEWS FEATURE: First Thanksgiving Site Now a Rainbow of Diversity

c. 2000 Religion News Service PLYMOUTH, Mass. _ Visit this spot where the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621 and you’re as apt to see Jamaican drummers and Bolivian bards this week as anything reminiscently Pilgrim. That’s because Plymouth’s celebration has been transformed in recent years from a one-day Pilgrim remembrance to a weeklong multicultural festival. The new rainbow of diversity, which began with a parade five years ago, has ballooned this year with $84,000 in public grants to attract performers, craftspeople and dignitaries from 26 countries.

NEWS FEATURE: First Thanksgiving Site Now a Rainbow of Diversity

c. 2000 Religion News Service PLYMOUTH, Mass. _ Visit this spot where the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621 and you’re as apt to see Jamaican drummers and Bolivian bards this week as anything reminiscently Pilgrim. That’s because Plymouth’s celebration has been transformed in recent years from a one-day Pilgrim remembrance to a weeklong multicultural festival. The new rainbow of diversity, which began with a parade five years ago, has ballooned this year with $84,000 in public grants to attract performers, craftspeople and dignitaries from 26 countries.

NEWS STORY: Bethlehem Cancels Most Christmas Activities

c. 2000 Religion News Service JERUSALEM _ Bethlehem, the traditional site of the birth of Jesus, saw thousands of pilgrims flock to the city last year for Christmas celebrations, but has canceled all of this year’s holiday festivities with the exception of some worship services and a traditional Christmas Eve procession of religious figures. The Bethlehem 2000 Project of the Palestinian National Authority made the announcement over the weekend as Israeli army helicopters and artillery continued their intermittent battle against Palestinian snipers and stone-throwers at various points around the city of Jesus’ birth. “This year, Bethlehem will not be able to celebrate Christmas as planned, and there will be no Christmas festival,” said Christiane Dabdoub Nasser, head of church relations in the Bethlehem 2000 project. “The children will not have their gifts, the worshippers will be in mourning and the pilgrims will be absent.” “Like every year on Dec.

NEWS STORY: Bethlehem Cancels Most Christmas Activities

c. 2000 Religion News Service JERUSALEM _ Bethlehem, the traditional site of the birth of Jesus, saw thousands of pilgrims flock to the city last year for Christmas celebrations, but has canceled all of this year’s holiday festivities with the exception of some worship services and a traditional Christmas Eve procession of religious figures. The Bethlehem 2000 Project of the Palestinian National Authority made the announcement over the weekend as Israeli army helicopters and artillery continued their intermittent battle against Palestinian snipers and stone-throwers at various points around the city of Jesus’ birth. “This year, Bethlehem will not be able to celebrate Christmas as planned, and there will be no Christmas festival,” said Christiane Dabdoub Nasser, head of church relations in the Bethlehem 2000 project. “The children will not have their gifts, the worshippers will be in mourning and the pilgrims will be absent.” “Like every year on Dec.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Alliance of Baptists Becomes Member of National Council of Churches (RNS) The Alliance of Baptists, a moderate group that formed in opposition to the conservative direction of the Southern Baptist Convention, has become the 36th member communion of the National Council of Churches. Delegates to the NCC’s General Assembly in Atlanta voted unanimously Thursday (Nov. 17) to accept the alliance, a 60,000-member organization that is based in Washington. Stan Hastey, executive director of the alliance, thanked the General Assembly for welcoming his organization.