BALTIMORE (RNS) A recent Sunday service at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore ended with an apology. Laurel Mendes explained that religious doctrine had been duly scrubbed from the hymns in the congregation's Sunday program. But Mendes, a neo-pagan lay member who led the service, feared that a reference to God in “Once to Every Soul and Nation” might still upset the humanists in the pews. “I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable by reciting something that might be considered a profession of faith,” said Mendes, 52, after the service. “We did say `God,' which you don't often hear in our most politically correct hymns.”
(RNS) Retired United Methodist Bishop Leontine T.C. Kelly, the first African-American woman elected to the episcopacy by a major religious denomination, died Thursday (June 28). The teacher, pastoral leader and activist was considered a pioneer for her ministry of more than two decades. She was 92. By B. Denise Hawkins.
(RNS) When Israel's most prominent Holocaust memorial was vandalized earlier this month with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic graffiti, many were shocked that those charged with the crime were observant Jews. But many Israelis were not surprised. By Lauren Markoe.
(RNS) High school kids can join the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Jewish Student Union, the Muslim Students Association and, in some schools, a Hindu or a Buddhist club. Now they can join the young atheists club, too. By Kimberly Winston.
First lady Michelle Obama held up the church as the place to deal with political issues and the catalyst for getting people to the polls in a keynote speech to African Methodist Episcopal Church members on Thursday (June 28). By Adelle M. Banks.
(RNS) Supporters of President Obama’s health care reform law celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the landmark legislation, but they may want to keep the corks in their champagne bottles. By David Gibson.
LONDON (RNS) Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams criticized some Christians for feeling so “embarrassed and ashamed and disgusted” over homosexuality that they send out a message signaling a lack of understanding and patience. By Al Webb.
(RNS) Religious groups and social conservatives are reacting to the Supreme Court's historic ruling that largely upholds the Obama health care reform law. RNS will provide live updates throughout the day.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Social conservatives say its unfair to allow children conceived through egg or sperm donors not to know their parents. They also know they're unlikely to be able to ban the practice. Like opposition to divorce or gay adoption, it leaves them with a dilemma: opposing something without the ability to ban it. By Chris Lisee.
(RNS) An advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse by clergy has asked Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput to defrock the priest convicted last week of shielding priests who preyed on children. By David Gibson.