For some 400 years, the small Reformed Church in America has relied on only three confessional statements of belief, all of them forged in the crucible of the Reformation. Now they have added a fourth, and its unlikely origins—apartheid-era South Africa—speak volumes about the changing nature of global Christianity and its impact on one of America’s oldest denominations.
The National Religious Campaign Against Torture wants the government to investigate claims that doctors and medical professionals performed unethical experiments on detainees in CIA custody during the Bush administration.
Visa problems, an ongoing concern for ecumenical gatherings in the Northern Hemisphere, put a damper on the June celebration of the new World Communion of Reformed Churches, a group created by the merger of the two largest networks of churches in the Reformed tradition.
Virginia’s Supreme Court has sided with the Episcopal Church in its dispute with breakaway conservatives over historic and valuable parish property—a partial but important victory for the embattled denomination.
Major crises in recent years have been fostered by an unregulated private sector. Wall Street’s recklessness unraveled the economy and put millions out of work. BP oil company cut corners on safety and ravaged the environment in pursuit of profits.
To little fanfare, Denis McDonough, President Obama’s chief of staff, joined a team on the streets of San Francisco doing a head count of the homeless. It was part of a survey required of cities every two years in order to qualify for federal funding for homeless programs. The president had told McDonough he wanted to know firsthand what the city was doing about the homeless. San Francisco has been able to get 19,000 homeless off the streets during the past decade by expanding housing and support services, but it still had over 6,000 people on the street during the 2013 count. “This is the same sort of challenge we face all over the country. The numbers tell the story,” McDonough said. “I had no idea anyone gave a damn,” one homeless man told the team (SFGate.com, January 30).