Reeling from an internal investigation that revealed financial misconduct at its highest levels, the Orthodox Church in America has vowed to work on “building a culture within the church which fosters communication, transparency and personal responsibility.”
From Christians in Hawaii to Buddhists in Connecticut, and from Jews in New York to Muslims in Wisconsin, people of all walks of faith are finding a myriad of ways to care for the environment, states a first-of-its-kind report from the Sierra Club.
When Lutherans recently celebrated 50 years of ordaining women as pastors in Sweden, they invited Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, to speak at festive events in Uppsala and Stockholm.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is inviting its members to participate in a monthly churchwide fast for “repentance, reflection, and coordinated actions” to empathize with those suffering from hunger and famine around the world.
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.”
Michael Paulson of the Boston Globe has won the two top prizes for reporting and writing in covering religion news in 2007. The Templeton and Supple awards from the Religion Newswriters Association were presented September 20 at the RNA meeting in Washington, D.C.
The United Methodist Church, like other mainline denominations, is steadily losing members. Yet it has some large, thriving congregations, and about 100 of its churches draw more than 1,200 people on a typical weekend.