The United Church of Christ, with its traditionally liberal leadership, has often passed resolutions at national gatherings that seemed "ahead of their time." Such was the case when the UCC's biennial General Synod in 1993 "strongly urged" the U.S. government to end the ban against gays and lesbians in military service. But it wasn't until the U.S.
The day before elections some 20 Christian leaders met and prayed
with President Obama at the White House and discussed a host of
concerns, including Middle East conflicts, domestic poverty and
incivility in political life.
Donald G. Bloesch, a theologian who as a United Church of Christ minister actively critiqued his denomination's liberal tendencies yet found faults with some forms of evangelical theology, died August 24 in Dubuque, Iowa.
The political-moral spin from online bloggers and television opinion-makers is enough to make citizens dizzy, if not profoundly unsure of where U.S. public opinion is headed. The controversies relating to religious views have put the nonpartisan Pew polls in the spotlight.
After giving the keynote address at a recent conference on “ecological civilization” attended by more than 60 scholars and government officials from China, theologian John Cobb joined conferees in a group photo. Then, in a spontaneous break in the schedule, Chinese participants took turns standing or sitting near Cobb while associates and friends snapped their pictures.
The ever-growing phenomenon of the megachurch continues to elicit study from researchers intrigued by how these huge congregational complexes—with more than 2,000 adults and children attending church on a weekend (using the usual definition)—market their religious product.
Officials at the Claremont School of Theology, which has a long-term project to create a multifaith university and seminary campus, breathed a sigh of relief in late June when United Methodist Church agencies released about $350,000 in funding and reinstated the school’s standing in the church.
After reading the research on booming Protestant megachurches and their senior pastors, I couldn’t help noting how my neighborhood megachurch and its lead pastor (an acquaintance for more than a dozen years) fit the trends.
The National Council of Churches, its key mainline members and other church organizations are calling for Israel to alter its policies on the Gaza Strip after an Israeli action against an international flotilla on the high seas resulted in nine deaths, many wounded and damaged diplomatic relations.
The notion that enrollments at theological schools rise in tough economic times did not hold true for Protestant and Catholic seminaries in North America this academic year. In fact, over the past three years, the total student population slipped about 6 percent—down to 75,500 from a three-year plateau in mid-decade when more than 80,000 students were studying theology.
The United Methodist Church is withholding funds from two of its seminaries until they submit updated financial reports, and one campus—Claremont School of Theology in southern California—will also have to defend its proposed reconfiguration into a multireligious university.
A man who by his own testimony sought chances to kill Dr. George Tiller, one of the few U.S. physicians who perform late-term abortions, was quickly convicted of murder in a Kansas trial. The outcome was welcomed by pro-choice groups and by most established pro-life groups.
Nearly a week after the devastating earthquake, with the capital city suffering from a shortage of water, food, medical help, gasoline, housing and safety from looters, Haiti’s Episcopal bishop Jean Zache Duracin rejected an offer to evacuate him from Port-au-Prince. “No, I will stay with my people.
Despite public school controversies that generate sparks every December, church-state columnist Charles Haynes of the Freedom Forum recently wrote, “The First Amendment solution is stunningly simple: Schools should plan holiday programs that are educational in purpose and balanced in content [but] to pretend Christmas doesn’t exist . . . is just plain silly.”
In October, Lutheran Bishop Margot Kässman of Hanover, Germany, was elected as the first woman and, at 51, the youngest cleric to head the Evan gelical Church in Germany (EKD), an umbrella body of Protestant churches with 24 million members.