The Vatican’s chief ambassador to Israel has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the church’s top ambassador to Washington and the U.S. church.
Archbishop Pietro Sambi, a 67-year-old Italian and a veteran diplomat, will succeed Gabriel Montalvo as the papal nuncio, or ambassador of the Holy See. Montalvo has held the post since 1998 and retired when he reached age 75.
More Americans requested emergency food and shelter in U.S. cities last year than the year before, according to a national survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Some service providers were forced to turn clients away, and officials fear that caring for relocated hurricane victims could further inundate urban agencies in 2006.
With many mainline Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church expecting fewer young pastors in coming years, the Fund for Theological Education (FTE) says that it will receive $6 million from the Lilly Endowment for matching grants to congregations that back seminarians starting their Master of Divinity studies.
Addie Davis, 88, the first woman ordained a Southern Baptist minister, died December 3 in her hometown of Covington, Virginia, after a brief illness. She was ordained in 1964 by Watts Street Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina. At the time no one at the church knew that the seminary student was making history. Davis served churches in Vermont and Rhode Island as well.
Mercer University and the Georgia Baptist Convention have agreed to terms that will end their 172-year-old relationship. The convention will end funding of the school after 2007, and Mercer will get control of trustee elections and all assets, including a $19.6 million endowment.