Christianity

When a Jewish hospital chaplain was asked to perform a Catholic baptism

October 15, 2021

When Hope Fried received the text from the primary pediatric staff chaplain at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City last spring, she burst into tears. She was on call, working the overnight shift during the residency year of her training as a chaplain. Pacing her Manhattan apartment, her mind was racing.

The message came in at around nine in the evening explaining that a Catholic, Spanish-speaking mother in the labor and delivery unit was preparing to give birth to a baby who would either be stillborn or expected to die soon after birth. She was asking for her child to be...

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Washington National Cathedral dedicates carving to Elie Wiesel, the first modern Jew memorialized in the building

October 12, 2021

Washington National Cathedral on Tuesday dedicated the fourth of the planned “quartet” of human rights carvings in the building’s vestibule, honoring the late Elie Wiesel with prayer and discussion of the Holocaust survivor’s legacy of pursuing justice, hope and faith in the face of humanity’s darkest crimes.

The dedication marked the first time a modern Jew has been memorialized at the huge, Gothic-style cathedral, which houses hundreds of images in its carvings, stained glass and other art inside and outside in an effort to be a...

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'A Safe Space': Black Pastors Promote Vaccinations from the Pulpit

October 11, 2021

Dozens of people gathered at the Word of Life International Church in the South Bronx on a recent Saturday for its weekly food bank, but the pastor wanted to ask the crowd a question before the groceries were handed out: Did anyone know where to find the closest vaccination site?

“Yankee Stadium is always open!” shouted one woman, seated on one of the many folding chairs in the windowless, fluorescently-lit room. “Take the six bus, straight up.”

“174th street and 3rd avenue is 24 hours,” said another woman, standing up in the crowd. “You go there at 2 o’clock in the...

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The remnants of one of the nation's oldest Black churches have just been found

October 7, 2021

The brick foundation of one of the nation's oldest Black churches has been unearthed at Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum in Virginia that continues to reckon with its past storytelling about the country's origins and the role of Black Americans.

The First Baptist Church was formed in 1776 by free and enslaved Black people. They initially met secretly in fields and under trees in defiance of laws that prevented African Americans from congregating.

By 1818, the church had its first building in the former colonial capital. The 16-foot by 20-foot (5-meter...

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American Girl releases doll outfits for Eid, Diwali, Hanukkah celebrations

October 5, 2021

This holiday season, American Girl characters Samantha, Addy and Josefina can celebrate the Christian holiday of Christmas, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah or Diwali, the festival of lights observed by Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs.

Next year, they’ll be ready for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, too.

The religious holidays are part of a capsule collection of doll clothes and accessories for six cultural celebrations and were released last week by American Girl, the popular line of dolls and books telling the stories of American girls throughout history to the...

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'COVID has been harder on us:' Some Black churches remain hesitant to reopen

October 4, 2021

The pastor of a New York church that has halted in-person meetings since the coronavirus pandemic hit last year predicts the predominantly Black congregation won’t gather inside its sanctuary until the start of next year.

A Pennsylvania minister is counting on warm fall weather to allow some of her congregants to meet for worship outside in October, as it did ...

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Catholic, Protestant groups support commission on US Indian boarding school policy

October 4, 2021

A number of Catholic groups and Protestant denominations are calling for the United States to establish a Truth and Healing Commission to reckon with the country’s history of boarding schools that separated thousands of Indigenous children from their families and cultures during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Their support comes as the Catholic Church and a number of Protestant denominations are ...

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Supreme Court to hear case over Boston's refusal to fly Christian flag

September 30, 2021

The Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case over local officials' refusal to fly a Christian group's pennant outside Boston City Hall.

In a brief order list addressing cases that accumulated over the summer, the justices indicated they will review an appeals court ruling issued in January that found the city did not violate the Constitution by turning down the flag-flying request from a Christian organization called "Camp Constitution."

The case could provide an opportunity for the court's relatively new, six-justice conservative majority to expand the rights of...

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Young evangelicals to host Capitol Hill rally for climate action

September 23, 2021

Growing up in the Church of Christ in Burbank, California, Angelea Hayes was often told Christianity and environmentalism were incompatible. But in her first year at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Hayes found herself sheltering in place and sleeping on gym floors as 2018’s Woolsey Fire burned across Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Today, Hayes sees climate change not only as a matter of the utmost urgency, but a matter of faith.

This weekend, Hayes, now a senior at Pepperdine, will join other young evangelicals to rally for climate action on Capitol Hill....

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Women making strides in leadership of Black denominations amid hestiancy

September 22, 2021

Women in Black Baptist circles knew that it was a matter of time before one of their own was named to lead a major church organization.

Female clergy describe having a sense of anticipation for years before this summer’s elevation of the Rev. Gina Stewart to president of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Missionary Society, a 124-year-old movement of about 10,000 volunteers and contributors based in Maryland.

“We knew Gina Stewart was going to become the president in 2021,” said the Rev. Leslie Callahan, pastor of St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Philadelphia. Callahan...

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