John Swinton appointed as Queen's chaplain

John Swinton, one of Scotland’s most influential theologians, will become one of the Queen of England’s royal chap­lains. Swinton, who was a nurse for 16 years, is currently the chair of divinity and religious studies at the University of Aberdeen, where he has worked to develop a theology of disability.

In a statement, Swinton joked that because, historically, some of the royal chaplains were singers who traveled with the monarch, he—a singer and songwriter—could perhaps revive that aspect of the position.

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Shuly Rubin Schwartz inaugurated as chancellor of Jewish Theological Seminary

On May 17, Shuly Rubin Schwartz was officially inaugurated as the first female chancellor of Jewish Theo­logical Semi­nary, the flagship school of Conserva­tive Ju­da­ism. Schwartz, a scholar of American Jewish history, technically began the role in July 2020. However, the inauguration ceremony was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vashti Mc­Kenzie named interim head of National Council of Churches

Bishop Vashti Mc­Kenzie has been named interim president and general secretary of the National Council of Churches, the ecumenical orga­ni­zation announced on May 10.

McKenzie succeeds Jim Winkler, who left the post on January 31 after serving in the role since 2013. She is expected to serve a two-year term.

Feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether dies at 85

Scholar and theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether died on May 21 following a long illness. She was 85. Ruether, a Catholic, is widely considered to be one of the founding mothers of Christian feminist theology.

In a statement announcing Ruether’s death, Mary Hunt, codirector of the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual, said Ruether’s legacy was “rich beyond imagining,” noting her work in helping to develop ecofeminist and liberation theologies, her antiracism work, and her concern for peace in the Middle East.

First nine women ordained as Lutheran pastors in Poland 

The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland took a historic step on May 7, as Presiding Bishop Jerzy Samiec ordained nine women to the priesthood at a service in Warsaw’s Holy Trinity Church. The event marked a concluding milestone in the discussion about women’s ordination which has been ongoing in Poland’s largest Protestant church for decades.

Preservationists seek to acquire beloved Hollywood monastery

Fearing the Monastery of the Angels could be sold for private use or redevelopment, Los Angeles preservationists and advocates are forming a nonprofit as they seek to acquire and take responsibility for the beloved Hollywood home to cloistered Dominican nuns.

Over the years, the community has been dwindling as the nuns have aged and some have died from COVID-19 and other causes, making it difficult to sustain the monastery’s way of life. The Domini­cans have devoted themselves to studying scripture and to praying for those who come to them for guidance and penance.

Displaced by the war in Ukraine, some African students struggle to continue their education

Months after Russian soldiers invaded Ukraine, some displaced African students determined to continue their education are finding it difficult to gain residence permits in Germany.

This is happening against the backdrop of many European countries—particularly those closest to Ukraine geographically—demonstrating unprecedented hospitality in welcoming millions of refugees.

Lawsuit accuses ACNA congregation of negligence that led to child sexual abuse

When Cherin Marie joined Christ Our Light Anglican Church in 2013, she couldn’t imagine filing a lawsuit against the close-knit Anglican Church in North America church plant in Big Rock, Illinois, which many of her relatives attended. But three years after her then nine-year-old daughter first said she was sexually abused by Mark Rivera, a lay minister at the church, Cherin feels she has no other option.

How Black people and Jews are linked by White supremacy

The man authorities say opened fire in a Buffalo grocery store on May 14, killing ten Black shoppers, was an avowed White supremacist. But his agenda went far beyond Black people.

In the 180-page manifesto posted online two days before he carried out his attack, the 18-year-old gunman wrote that he chose the Tops Friendly Market on Buffalo’s East Side because it is in an area with many Black residents. Eleven of the 13 people shot there were Black, law enforcement officials said, including all ten who were killed.