In an unprecedented food crisis, Buddhist anti-hunger fund meets its moment

In June, as the Ukraine war’s disruption to the world’s food supply looked as if it would become a long-term problem and inflation extended its grip over the global economy, the staff of Buddhist Global Relief, a nonprofit fund for humanitarian food aid across the world, gathered for an online meeting to firm up the list of organizations it will fund for the fiscal year ahead.

With $1.5 million to spend, BGR’s team was considering a slate of 54 worthy projects.

Carmen Lansdowne elected United Church of Canada moderator

Theologian and pastor Carmen Lansdowne (Kwisa’lakw) was elected to serve as moderator of the United Church of Canada, a three-year position, on July 23. Lansdowne, a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation, was the sole nominee to be the denomination’s new spiritual leader. She will be the second Indigenous person to serve in the role. Stan McKay, a member of the Fisher River Cree Nation, was moderator from 1992 to 1994.

Influential Black theologian James Deotis Roberts dies at 95

James Deotis Roberts, one of the pioneers of the Black theology movement, died in his sleep on July 26. He was 95.

Roberts, a former president of both the American Theological Society and the Interdenominational Theological Center, taught at several institutions throughout his career, including Howard University, Yale University, Duke University, and Palmer Theological Seminary.

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A San Francisco supper club gives young people a chance to reinvent themselves

Velvety carpet lines the entrance to Old Skool Cafe, and as guests arrive they are greeted by a hallway full of photographs and memories. There is a sense that life has been lived here. Located right next to the Bayview Opera House in the southeast corner of San Francisco, the jazz-themed supper club is three levels high including the bar, an open red-leather seating area, and a balcony for lounging and performances. It feels both roomy and intimate, and warmth suffuses the space.

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Documentary exposes struggle to decriminalize African religions in Brazil

For a century, more than 519 sacred objects from the Umbanda and Candomblé—two religions with African origins—were in the possession of Brazil police.

This possession and the fight to return these relics to their rightful owners is the subject of the new documentary Respect Our Sacred, produced by Quiprocó Filmes. The film captures a landmark of emotion, faith, and antiracist struggle on September 21, 2020, in devotion to the ancestors of the Candomblé and Umbanda.

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As monkeypox spreads, faith networks mobilize to fight stigma

Faith leaders from a range of religions are teaming up with World Health Organization officials to help prevent monkeypox as outbreaks of the disease occur across the globe.

Religions for Peace secretary-general Azza Karam said “theologies of compassion” that developed in response to HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and COVID-19 are shaping the plans being put in place to address the latest disease that is drawing their attention.