(RNS) For Janis Galvin fasting for Lent has long meant saying no to
candy for the 40 days before Easter. But when the season begins this
year on March 9, it's apt to mean something more: walking when she'd
rather drive, for instance, or turning the thermostat way down.
A small Catholic college in Riverdale, New York, recently got some
news that sent shivers through many religious schools: part-time faculty
have a right to form a union on campus. But that wasn't the worst of
it. The National Labor Relations Board also isn't convinced that the
Catholic school is actually Catholic.
In a blow to retirees of a major Lutheran publishing house, a
federal judge has ruled that the now-dissolved pension plan of Augsburg
Fortress was exempt from federal regulations that would have required it
to meet minimum funding levels.
(RNS) Wanda Colie vividly remembers what she saw in 1984 when, at age
28, a condition that produced blood in her lungs nearly killed her. The
pain vanished and a crowd of familiar faces came to welcome her in a
(RNS) Alix Jules is an atheist, but for years he felt uncomfortable at
gatherings of nonbelievers. The reason: he's black.
"I got really tired of going back and forth to free thought events
and being the only black person there," said Jules, 36, who lives in
Dallas. "It was not necessarily inviting. I just felt like an outcast
... No one was reaching out to me."
Religious denominations have long provided retired clergy and staff
with secure pension payments--more secure, in some cases, than corporate
retirement plans. But some recent developments have drawn attention to
the vulnerabilities of so-called church plans, which are exempt from
federal regulations aimed at safeguarding retirement funds for
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (RNS) Harvard University scholar Robert Putnam has
earned a reputation as an expert on the threads that hold America's
social fabric intact. His 2001 bestseller, "Bowling Alone: The Collapse
and Revival of American Community," drew national attention to an
alarming decline in civic engagement.
As the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America fights to stay out of a legal battle over unpaid pension benefits, all sides agree on at least one point: more is at stake than millions of dollars owed to some 500 pensioners of Augsburg Fortress, the ELCA's publishing arm.
As a three-term U.S. senator and a former ambassador to the United Nations, Missouri Republican John Danforth has all the credentials and connections to savor the spoils of his party’s dominance in Washington.
As Americans set new records for charitable giving in response to Hurricane Katrina, some fund-raisers are seeing a principle confirmed: when the sufferers are perceived as innocent victims, donors respond generously.