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Clergy & Congregations

Southern Baptist pastors demand inquiry into handling of sex abuse cases

By Yonat Shimron — June 7, 2021
(RNS) — The pastors want to confront allegations detailed in letters from outgoing SBC ethics chief Russell Moore, who said top leaders of the convention resisted sexual abuse reforms and bullied a sexual abuse victim.

Calvin University’s first openly gay student body president paves a path

By Yonat Shimron — June 3, 2021
(RNS) — Claire Murashima’s role as a gay student body president directly challenged the school’s theological positions.

Study: More churches closing than opening

By Yonat Shimron — May 26, 2021
(RNS) — The study, which analyzed church data from 34 Protestant denominations and groups, found that 4,500 churches closed in 2019, while about 3,000 new congregations were started.

Why the first in-person gathering for many US Jews may not be so celebratory

By Yonat Shimron — May 14, 2021
(RNS) — Debates over the crisis in Israel may not be the most desirable way to start in-person gatherings. But it will be a hard topic to avoid.

Six arrested in burglary of an Arkansas Buddhist temple, in what may be a nationwide spree

By Yonat Shimron — May 5, 2021
(RNS) — A string of Buddhist temple burglaries has taken place in the last month, including in Southern California, Arizona, Oklahoma and North Carolina.

Tree of Life names renowned architect Daniel Libeskind to design synagogue complex

By Yonat Shimron — May 4, 2021
(RNS) — Libeskind, the architect behind such high-profile designs as New York’s ground zero site plan and Berlin’s Jewish Museum, is the son of Holocaust survivors.

Ahead of Andrew Brown Jr’s funeral, North Carolina clergy cry out for justice

By Yonat Shimron — May 1, 2021
(RNS) — For North Carolina clergy, the killing of an unarmed Black man by law enforcement is personal.

In New York, interfaith coalition makes common cause against rising tide of hate

By Yonat Shimron — April 26, 2021
(RNS) — The new group will share best practices, speak out against violent extremism and ensure the safety of New Yorkers at their places of worship.

Last North Carolina immigrant to take sanctuary at a church goes home

By Yonat Shimron — April 19, 2021
(RNS) — Juana Luz Tobar Ortega was the first person to seek church sanctuary in North Carolina in 2017 and she is the last to leave.

Study: Multiracial Methodist churches draw and keep more people than their white counterparts

By Yonat Shimron — April 16, 2021
(RNS) — The 6.6 million-member United Methodist Church is predominantly white. But its racially diverse congregations are faring better than white churches at a time when the denomination as a whole is experiencing declining attendance.

How Tutu’s spirituality incorporated Christian mysticism with the African notion of interdependency

By Michael Battle — April 14, 2021
(RNS) — Tutu’s worldview of Christian mysticism counteracts the system of apartheid. His Ubuntu incorporates the African Bantu perspective of personhood with a mystical image of God’s diversity in unity.

Another NC man is free to leave church sanctuary as immigration policies ease

By Yonat Shimron — March 24, 2021
(RNS) — Eliseo Jimenez, a 42-year-old itinerant laborer who worked in the state’s tobacco fields and later in construction laying floors, has been living at Umstead Park United Church of Christ since Oct. 9, 2017.

With Beth Moore’s exit, more evangelical women are challenging strict gender norms

By Yonat Shimron — March 19, 2021
(RNS) — While no one expects a groundswell of women to follow Moore, some evangelical women are beginning to speak out about the limits of complementarian theology.

Black pastors sign letter supporting compromise bill on LGBTQ equality

By Yonat Shimron — March 16, 2021
(RNS) — They expressed support for LGBTQ civil protections but are asking that the Senate take up a rival bill called Fairness for All, which includes religious exemptions.

Survey: Churchgoers say they plan to return to in-person services

By Yonat Shimron — March 10, 2021
(RNS) — Many churches are already meeting in person, but attendance has typically been smaller to accommodate for social distancing. That will likely change, a Lifeway Research poll suggests.
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