At St. Stephen Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, the 14,000-member congregation billed itself as a “seven-day-a-week” hub of activity, with choir practices, ministry meetings or small groups scheduled every night.
Then Pastor Kevin Cosby noticed a drop-off—people simply couldn’t afford the gas to drive to several activities on several different evenings.
True confessions: Michael Jinkins, dean of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, says that the pastor of a large evangelical church told him he had decided to do away with a corporate confession in worship services. It’s too much of a downer, the pastor explained. Jinkins asked him, “Isn’t it more of a downer for your people to leave worship without confessing their sins and hearing the assurance of God’s pardon?” (Cultural Encounters, Winter).
As stock market fears and billion-dollar emergency proposals rocked Wall Street, some dazed employees in the financial sector whose faith in the economy was shaken are turning to religious leaders for personal guidance.
In the background, clergy, ethicists and business analysts tried to address the greed and moral errors within the economic system.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu says that ousted South African president Thabo Mbeki scored significant economic achievements and promoted peace in Africa, but he made enemies within his own party due to “his intolerance of challenges and dissent.”