RNS Morning Report: Poor Immortalized In Fresco; UMC Schism Plans; Federal Funding Investigation

Artist Christopher Holt works on the Hayward Street Church fresco in Asheville, N.C., on Sept. 5, 2019. Photo courtesy John Warner/Warner Photography

Need to know: Friday, September 20, 2019

Focus On Outreach

How does a church make the poor visible? This one immortalized them in a fresco

When completed later this month, the 27-foot-by-10-foot composition, painted on wet lime plaster at a cost of nearly $300,000, will illuminate in bright colors the faces and gestures of the people who visit Haywood Street Church. More from Religion News Service

Historic Schism

United Methodists float plans to split denomination after LGBTQ vote

The most likely proposals provide for dissenting congregations to exit the denomination, while retaining ties to United Methodist support organizations.  More from Religion News Service

Funding Threatened

Feds cite Islam focus in review of Duke-UNC language grant

The Trump administration is threatening to cut funding for a Middle Eastern studies program, arguing that it's misusing a federal grant to unfairly promote "the positive aspects of Islam" but not Christianity or Judaism. More from Religion News Service


Why the Arizona Supreme Court ruling in favor of our art studio is a win for everyone

When we decided to start an art studio together, we knew there would be highs and lows. We didn’t know the lows would include the threat of facing jail time. But the highs of winning a tremendous victory for free speech? We really didn’t see that coming, either, write Joanna Duka, and Breanna Koski. More from Religion News Service


Willow Creek's troubles can be found in its word cloud

The recent job description posted for Willow Creek Community Church’s new head pastor is little more than a repetition of the reshaped pastoral role defined by and embodied in Bill Hybels, writes Scot McKnight. More from Religion News Service

Land Restitution

The U.S. once forced this Native American tribe to move. Now they’re getting their land back.

John Stewart, a Methodist and the son of slaves, had dreamed that God told him to travel north from his home in Marietta, Ohio, until he met a people who needed him. Stewart walked until he reached the city of Upper Sandusky in the state’s northern region and encountered the Wyandotte Nation. More from The Washington Post🔒