The Federal Emergency Management Agency intends to reimburse religious groups that have offered relief to victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, marking a new step in the White House’s faith-based initiative.
In a four-year financial and volunteer alliance to increase affordable housing, Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans have announced a $100 million agreement that includes $5 million to help rebuild homes in the Gulf Coast area.
Chris Glaser, a longtime advocate in Presbyterian circles for ordination of openly gay and lesbian pastors, was ordained this month in Decatur, Georgia, as interim pastor of a congregation affiliated with the gay-oriented Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.
Rising tides: Environmentalist (and Century editor at large) Bill McKibben reports that according to one prediction up to 150 million people worldwide could become “environmental refugees” by the year 2050 because of rising waters. There is evidence “that tropical storms are lasting half again as long, and spinning winds 50 percent more powerful, than just a few decades ago. The only plausible cause: the ever-warmer tropical seas on which these storms thrive” (Newsday, Sept. 14).
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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.