A blue-ribbon panel has recommended that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lift its ban on partnered gay and lesbian clergy, but only after the church agrees in principle on gay relationships and agrees to respect the consciences of those who dissent.
Barbara Wheeler, one of the first women to head a theological school in the U.S., will be succeeded in July by another woman as president of New York City’s Auburn Theological Seminary, it was recently announced. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, currently the seminary’s executive vice president, will become president on July 1.
President Obama has unveiled a revamped White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, but postponed a decision on whether religious groups can discriminate in hiring—an issue that has bedeviled similar government projects.
Spin cycle: The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials recently approved a national network of bi cycle paths and lanes of over 50,000 miles. Called the U.S. Bicycle Route System, it will largely incorporate existing trails and roadways. The success of the system will depend on state highway departments and agencies that oversee roads and trails (Bicycling, March).