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Jesse James DeConto

Jesse James DeConto is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Jesse James DeConto

Camps teach kids to put their faith into action

July 5, 2016

DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) Across the U.S., churches are joining with social-change organizations to teach children and youth about the civil rights movement and how they might be part of its renewal.

Among M.Div. graduates, a new crop of transgender students

May 26, 2016

(RNS) A small, but growing number of transgender students seek out divinity school precisely because it is a place where they can wrestle with questions about their place and purpose in the universe.

Charleston shooting survivor Jennifer Pinckney: ‘I want to carry on (Clementa’s) work’

February 10, 2016

DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) Jennifer Pinckney survived the Charleston massacre that took her husband’s life and the lives of eight others. “I want him to smile down on us. I want him to be proud,” she said at a Duke University event.

In some churches, talk of reparations draws a hearing

November 9, 2015

DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) Harvey’s 2014 book, “Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation,” has led to speaking engagements at United Church of Christ gatherings, Presbyterian assemblies and college campuses.

Why hipster pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber thinks the church is for losers

September 29, 2015

(RNS) Her newest book, “Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People,” expands on her trademark exploration of finding God in the unexpected.

When it comes to worship music, Hispanic churches look within

August 26, 2015

DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) Hispanic congregations are following in the footsteps of Pentecostal churches by raising up music and worship ministers from within, even if they can’t fret a guitar string.

Rob Bell’s ‘Everything Is Spiritual’ tour explores the evolution of the universe

July 28, 2015

DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) Rob Bell maps Christian faith onto modern evolutionary science, quoting New Age healing champion Deepak Chopra, Sufi mystic Rumi and Catholic theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin — an amalgamation sure to rile some in the evangelical crowd that made him famous.

Activist who took down Confederate flag drew on her faith and on new civil rights awakening

July 12, 2015

HOT SPRINGS, N.C. (RNS) Speaking at the Wild Goose Festival, Bree Newsome said she prepared for her mission, scaling the 30-foot flagpole outside the South Carolina Statehouse, by rereading the biblical story of David and Goliath.

Once patrons, now landlords — churches rehab buildings for artist spaces

June 30, 2015

(RNS) Churches that own old buildings are embracing the arts as a way of enlivening hallowed spaces, breaking down barriers with neighbors and paying the heating bills.

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