Pension fight raises moral and legal concerns for ELCA, publisher

G. Jeffrey MacDonald |

(RNS) As the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) fights to stay out of a legal battle over unpaid pension benefits, all sides agree on at least one point: More is at stake than the millions of dollars owed to some 500 pensioners of Augsburg Fortress, the ELCA’s publishing arm. Last month, the ELCA asked […]

10 minutes with … Andrew Kosorok

Alfredo Garcia |

(RNS) Sculpture professor Andrew Kosorok certainly has his hands full for the next three years making representations of the names of God — all 99 of them. Having gained an interest in Islam after 9/11, Kosorok found that many parallels between his Mormon faith and Islam. Islam’s traditional 99 names for God — “The Provider,” […]

Wednesday’s roundup

Kevin Eckstrom |

Rich Cizik, the former DC lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals who lost his job after telling NPR that he supports same-sex civil unions, returned to the same NPR show to reflect on the fall-out. The change, he says, has been good for him. And he still supports civil unions: “While I haven’t come […]

N.J. Supreme Court declines to take gay marriage case

Matt Friedman / The Star-Ledger |

TRENTON, N.J. (RNS) Supporters of gay marriage said they would press on with their fight despite the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a case in which six same-sex couples asked for the right to marry. “We … will never give up — not until our dying breath,” said Steven Goldstein, chairman of […]

Report: Anti-Jewish incidents remain `sustained and troubling’

Alfredo Garcia |

WASHINGTON (RNS) A Jewish group that tracks anti-Semitism has published its annual report of more than 1,200 incidents of assaults, vandalism and harassment against Jews in 2009, saying the level of incidents remained “sustained and troubling.” “America is not immune to anti-Semitism, and 2009 was no different in this regard than in any other year,” […]

Anglicans reject move to `separate’ U.S. church

Kevin Eckstrom |

(RNS) Anglican leaders meeting in London have rejected a move to “separate” the Episcopal Church from the wider Anglican Communion, a proposal that officials called premature and “unhelpful.” The proposal was offered Saturday (July 24) by Dato Stanley Isaacs, a member of the Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee from the Province of South East Asia, according […]

Michael Jackson and Jesus

Alfredo Garcia |

David LaChapelle is the photographer and director widely known in the fashion world for his pictures of such figures as Naomi Campbell, Whitney Houston, Uma Thurman, and recently Lady Gaga. On display in the Paul Kasmin Gallery in NYC is his latest installation, “American Jesus“. LaChapelle has taken pictures that display Jesus interacting in modern-day […]

10 minutes with … Matthew Harrison

The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod – Reporter (RNS): Harrison discussed what’s ahead for the LCMS and its relations with the more liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Some answers have been edited for length and clarity. Read more.

Quietly, Another Mosque Operates in Shadow of Ground Zero

BeliefNet (RNS):Barely visible among the high-rise apartment buildings and cocktail lounges, a battered steel door in Manhattan’s trendy Tribeca neighborhood leads to a basement jammed with barefoot men praying on their lunch break. The makeshift mosque is a far cry from the 13-story proposed Cordoba House, the so-called planned “Ground Zero mosque” that’s two blocks […]