Interfaith

Religious organizations prepare for 'potential onslaught' of evictions

September 9, 2021

The Supreme Court’s Aug. 26 decision to end the federal eviction moratorium brings new challenges for religious leaders and organizations working to aid those at risk for homelessness. More than 3.6 million Americans say they could face eviction in the next two months, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We’re very, very nervous,” said Sarah Abramson, vice president of strategy and impact at Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston. “There is already a tremendous housing shortage in Boston. And we know from our data, and from the experience of our partners...

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This rabbinical school is moving into a Catholic university

September 2, 2021

The Academy for Jewish Religion California has rented space in several locations during its 21-year existence as a transdenominational seminary that trains rabbis and cantors.

For a while it was housed in an office building in downtown Los Angeles, then at Hillel, the Jewish campus organization at the University of California Los Angeles.

But beginning Oct. 1, in an arrangement both novel and pathbreaking, the academy will move to Loyola Marymount...

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How Intel and other top companies make room for religion in the office

August 21, 2021

Intel has been a star in the technology world for nearly half a century. One secret to its success is a little more spiritual than you might have guessed, according to CEO Pat Gelsinger.

In a recorded message that will play during an international conference on business and religion this week, Gelsinger highlights the competitive advantage that comes from building a culture that celebrates personal faith alongside other employee traits. At Intel, workers are...

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Maine faith leaders sign letter calling on Sen. Susan Collins to back For the People Act

August 18, 2021

More than 125 religious leaders and people of faith in Maine have signed a letter calling on lawmakers to support the For the People Act, adding to substantial religious pressure on elected officials to pass the sweeping federal voting rights bill.

In a news conference unveiling the letter at Portland’s Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church on Tuesday (Aug. 10), a trio of faith leaders championed various provisions of the For the People Act, which would overhaul federal election law in ways advocates say will help vulnerable Americans vote.

“Working for this...

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The Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, interfaith leader, dies at 78

August 6, 2021

The Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, who came to the United States as a childhood refugee from war-torn Poland and later became a leader in cross-church cooperation and the first Eastern Orthodox president of the National Council of Churches, has died. He was 78.

Kishkovsky died of a heart attack Tuesday at Glen Cove Hospital in Glen Cove, New York, according to the Orthodox Church in America, where he served as director of external affairs and interchurch relations. He had long been in high-level administration at the Orthodox Church in America’s offices on New York’s Long Island,...

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Plaintiffs propose replacing Bible with Book of Faith

July 28, 2021

The plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit challenging the display of a Bible at New Hampshire’s veterans hospital have proposed replacing it with a Book of Faith containing writings and prayers from seven religious groups.

The lawsuit filed in 2019 by two U.S. Air Force veterans against the hospital director said the Bible’s inclusion on a table honoring missing veterans and POWs is a violation of the U.S. Constitution. They said the table should be a memorial to all who have served.

Government lawyers argued the lawsuit should be dismissed because the lead plaintiff...

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Reparations bill gains momentum as an interfaith cause

July 23, 2021

(RNS) — A pastor in Evanston, Illinois, the first U.S. city to adopt a municipal initiative on reparations, told a gathering of faith leaders on Thursday (July 22) that they can play a key role in moving a community toward action on the long-debated issue, even if it takes a while.

The Rev. Michael C.R. Nabors, a Baptist pastor in Evanston and the president of Evanston’s NAACP chapter, said it took more than two decades for his city to provide reparations.

“Faith leaders have been involved from the beginning,” he told Religion News Service after addressing a webinar...

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Religious Americans Demand Climate Action

July 21, 2021

President Joe Biden has pursued a bold agenda to address the climate crisis. On his first day in office, he had the United States rejoin the Paris climate agreement.1 A week later, he signed an executive order to “Tackle the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.”2 On Earth Day, April 22, he convened world leaders to address the urgent need for collective action on the climate crisis. During that summit, he announced that the United States will target reducing planet-warming emissions by 50 percent to 52 percent across the economy by 2030 compared with 2005 levels....

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LGBTQ youth of faith pray, bond at 'Beloved Arise' group

July 4, 2021

Jessika Sessoms grew up in a conservative Black evangelical family, attended Christian schools and often heard that being gay was an abomination, until she understood that she was queer while studying to become a missionary.

The 23-year-old from Florida came out publicly last year and has found healing and a sense of community after joining Beloved Arise, a Christian nonprofit dedicated to celebrating and empowering LGBTQ youth of faith.

Maria Magdalena Gschwind, 20, from Germany, credits the U.S.-based group for inspiring her to study Protestant theology in college...

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For 3 weeks, clergy and immigrants fasted to pressure lawmakers for pathway to citizenship

June 30, 2021

(RNS) — For about two years, Rosa Gutierrez Lopez avoided deportation by taking sanctuary in Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, residing in the Bethesda, Maryland, church just nine miles from the White House.

Now, Gutierrez Lopez — who is living independently with her children after she was granted a stay of removal — is urging lawmakers to enact policies that offer a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants like herself.

Lately, she’s been back in church — but this time, at Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington, D.C., where she has joined...

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