Covenant to bind Anglicans sent out to churches

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) The final draft of a document aimed at mediating disputes between liberals and conservatives in the global Anglican Communion was sent on Friday (Dec. 18) to its 38 provinces for approval. The Anglican Communion, which is the world’s third-largest body of Christians with 77 million members, has been bitterly divided over homosexuality since the […]

WCC head condemns Uganda’s proposed anti-gay law

Peter Kenny |

GENEVA (RNS/ENI) The World Council of Churches has added its voice to growing concerns around the world about a proposed Ugandan law that would allow the jailing and possible execution of gays and lesbians. Current Ugandan law allows for people to be jailed for 14 years for engaging in homosexual acts; the new proposed law […]

Israel’s Messianic Jews wary of stepped-up persecution

Michele Chabin |

ARIEL, West Bank (RNS) After their teenage son was nearly killed last year by a bomb disguised as a holiday gift basket, few people were as eager for Ya’acov Teitel to see justice as Leah and David Ortiz. Teitel, an Orthodox Jewish loner who confessed to placing the package in the family’s stairwell said he […]

Tuesday’s roundup

The health care bill passed second procedural hurdle in the Senate early Tuesday morning, but the compromise on insurance coverage of abortion continues to be criticized by both sides of the debate. The USCCB’s point man calls the legislative compromise “crazy”; it certainly is complicated. The attorney for accused Fort Hood killer, Maj. Nidal M. […]

Church finds hope, promise in season of rebirth

Anna Griffin |

PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) On just another Sunday morning at St. David of Wales Episcopal Church, the Rev. Sara Fischer preaches about the season of Advent, the coming of Jesus Christ and what this holiday season really means. “People who’ve been around me a long time know that I’m always saying this or that season or […]

COMMENTARY: Good tidings of great freedom

Tom Ehrich |

NEW YORK (RNS) We awakened to eight inches of snow last Sunday and, once the year’s shortest day had dawned, went straight to Central Park for a walk in what amounts to this city’s snowy “countryside.” There we found proof that the urge to be free can overcome almost anything. Despite grumbles from runners who […]

Churches blast Copenhagen summit for lack of agreement

Peter Kenny |

GENEVA (RNS/ENI) Faith groups have expressed disappointment and anger over the outcome of the United Nations talks on climate change that have ended in Copenhagen, pledging to continue to press for climate justice. “With a lack of transparency, the agreement reached this past week by some countries was negotiated without consensus but rather in secret […]

Church shuns decorations to help the poor and needy

Nardy Baeza Bickel |

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (RNS) Passers-by have called Redeemer Covenant Church the “church of lights” for its magnificent outdoor and indoor displays during the holidays. But this year’s decorations are all on the inside: canned goods, lining the steps leading to the altar along with large piles of hats, gloves and scarves. The Rev. Jack Brown […]

Survey: Southerners lead U.S. in religious devotion

Adelle M. Banks |

WASHINGTON (RNS) There’s a reason the South is known as the Bible belt: A survey shows that Southerners — and Mississippians in particular — are most active in their religious practices and beliefs. Residents of Mississippi ranked first among Americans in all four measures of a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public […]

Catholics urge collection plate boycott to protest closings

Michael O'Malley |

CLEVELAND (RNS) A grassroots group that’s fighting the ongoing closing of churches in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese is urging parishioners to boycott Sunday collections. The group, Endangered Catholics, has begun circulating forms that parishioners can fill out, saying they are withholding their money until Bishop Richard Lennon reconsiders some of the closings. The form, to […]