G. Jeffrey MacDonald

G. Jeffrey MacDonald is an award-winning reporter and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.

All Stories by G. Jeffrey MacDonald

Episcopal Church grapples with ‘transformative role’ in Native American residential schools

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — June 18, 2024
(RNS) — Two commissions overseeing research into the denomination's part in the assimilationist schools are asking Episcopal bishops to grant access to archives in their regions and to recruit research assistants of their own. 

Full-time ministry drains too many clergy and church budgets. Part-time pastors can help.

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — March 14, 2024
(RNS) — The happier, healthier future of ministry is in part-time clergy.

Brandeis University stands by caste-bias ban despite pushback from Hindu activists

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — October 19, 2020
(RNS) — A year-old ban against caste bias, says the Hindu American Foundation, is a ‘deeply problematic’ remedy for a largely nonexistent problem.

Schools may not open to students this fall, but churches might — for remote learning

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — July 24, 2020
(RNS) — Churches that have space and ample Wi-Fi may turn their buildings into remote learning sites for students whose schools aren't open in person.

How a part-time pastor can keep a financially strapped church alive

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — May 7, 2020
(RNS) — Despite fears that losing full-time clergy will lead to further decline, going part time can mean more vitality, not less.

Lion of Judah church straddles Boston’s two worlds

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — April 12, 2019
BOSTON (RNS)  — For the last 30 years, Ivy League-educated Pentecostal pastor Roberto Miranda has been fighting Boston's demons as leader of Congregación Leon de Juda.

Does God care if you smoke weed? Many Bay State faith groups say yeah, man

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — January 23, 2019
BOSTON (RNS) — For many people of faith in the Bay State, legalization hasn’t burned away the moral issues that come with using drugs for fun.

Catholic schools struggle to accommodate disabilities

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — August 28, 2018
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (RNS) — Disability practices aren’t uniform across Catholic schools, and families wanting a Catholic education for their disabled children face tough choices. 

Buddhist nun shares art of eating mindfully

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — August 24, 2018
(RNS) — In her book, Thubten Chodron teaches the Five Contemplations, which are aimed at fostering mindful eating. They're short verses designed to inspire reflections.

Nepal bans Hindu practice of exile during menstruation

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — August 23, 2018
KATHMANDU, Nepal (RNS) — Placing menstruating girls and women in sheds or huts is a centuries-old tradition called chhaupadi, practiced throughout the Hindu-majority country. But on Aug. 17, it became an offense.

We’ve forgotten how to mend. Faith traditions can help.

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — August 17, 2018
(RNS) — When things fall apart, like when religious leaders enter areas of sexual sin or when men abuse their power to victimize women, we are not so good at repairing relationships. In fact, we are at a loss for how to begin.

Dodging dangers, mission groups weigh risks and rewards

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — August 15, 2018
(RNS) — This year's many pitfalls, from fuel price riots in Haiti to violent unrest in Nicaragua, have forced a fresh reckoning with thorny questions: How much risk is too much?

Shane Claiborne: Christians are why the death penalty lives on

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — August 6, 2018
(RNS) — Wherever Christians are most concentrated in America is where the death penalty has flourished.

United Methodists debate, lobby and worry in advance of LGBT decision

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — August 2, 2018
(RNS) — The United Methodist Church's decade-long debate over LGBT clergy and same-sex marriage is heading for a showdown in February that will determine whether the denomination will split up or go forward together.

Eritrean Christians released from shipping container prisons

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — July 24, 2018
NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) – For the last two decades, Eritrean authorities have persecuted religious groups, frequently arresting church leaders and detaining them in small shipping container prisons where advocates say they're routinely deprived of water, food, proper sanitation and medicines.
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