Ron Sider, evangelical activist, dies at 82

Ron Sider, an author, seminary professor and evangelical social justice activist, has died, according to an online update from his son.

“I have some bad news: my father Ron Sider died suddenly last night (July 27, 2022), of a cardiac arrest,” Ted Sider wrote in a post on his father’s Substack newsletter website. “Please join our family in grieving for him.”

AnneMarie Mingo named head of Metro-Urban Institute at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Religious social ethicist AnneMarie Mingo will be the next head of the Metro-Urban Insti­tute at Pitts­burgh Theological Semi­nary. Mingo comes to the seminary  from Penn State Universi­ty, where she was most recently an assistant professor of African American studies and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.

In a statement, Asa Lee, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s president, praised Mingo: “She is not only an expert in . . . Christian social ethics, but she is also a prolific writer and researcher with a proven track record of engaging students in the classroom.”

UCC leader Teruo Kawata dies at 94

Influential United Church of Christ leader Teruo Kawata died July 1. He was 94.

Kawata, a Japanese American whose family was interned in an Arizona relocation camp from 1942 to 1944, was in­strumental in creating the UCC’s Paci­fic Islander and Asian American ministries. He was also the first person of Asian descent to hold the office of conference minister in the Central Pacific Conference and in the Hawaii Conference.

William Bergkamp named interim CEO of Friendship Press

William Bergkamp has been named the interim chief executive officer of Friend­ship Press, which supports the National Council of Churches and publishes the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

Bergkamp comes to Friendship Press after nearly two decades at 1517 Media, the publishing arm of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He most recently served as editor in chief of the organization’s Fortress Press imprint.

In a statement, Bergkamp said he was excited to bring his experience to Friendship Press.

Methodist woman donates 25 acres for Arkansas bird sanctuary

Betty Hinshaw had always lived in cities when her husband decided, in 1956, that they should move to rural North­west Arkansas. She made him promise there wouldn’t be snakes.

They saw one the first day as they drove the dusty road to their old farmhouse. It had a newly installed bathroom but no air conditioning. The nearest school was two rooms—not counting outhouses.

Georgia Guidestones, long treasured and feared, demolished after bombing attack

After 42 years, the mysterious Georgia Guidestones, often called America’s Stonehenge, are no longer casting a shadow in rural Elbert County, Georgia. Early on July 5, one of the six slabs of granite making up a primitive-looking monument was destroyed by what the Georgia Bureau of Investiga­tion believes was an explosive.

The remaining stones were removed the next day after officials determined they were unstable.

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Episcopal general convention focuses on racism, justice issues

The 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church—postponed a year because of COVID-19—conducted what Presiding Bishop Michael Curry had referred to during the planning process as “matters essential for the governance and good order of the church.”

Among those essential actions, the bishops and deputies approved the first reading of a constitutional change to clearly define the Book of Common Prayer and continued the church’s commitment to reckoning with its history of racism.

Faith leaders attend celebration of gun control law

Faith leaders from a wide range of traditions, including those whose houses of worship have been attacked, were at the White House on July 11 as members of Congress and other gun control advocates gathered for a White House celebration of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, signed into law June 25.

Mike McBride, the leader of Live Free USA, who has long sought political support to help the nation’s urban centers, hailed the signing as an opportunity to address gun violence deaths that do not always make national headlines.

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