Christianity

COVID-19 outbreak at Independence church infects 30, hundreds more possibly exposed

August 3, 2020

The health department estimates more than 300 people may have been exposed to COVID-19 between July 19-24 at Old Paths Baptist Church and learned about the connections from the 30 confirmed coronavirus cases through its contact tracing process, said Kayla Parker, the health department’s communications coordinator. 

Robert Alexander, the church’s pastor, said he has worked with the health department since learning about the first positive coronavirus case to inform his community about the outbreak and testing resources. Church services have been moved online indefinitely...

Read more about COVID-19 outbreak at Independence church infects 30, hundreds more possibly exposed

An Orthodox synagogue and a Black church search for shared history with a walk through a once-integrated neighborhood

August 3, 2020

Half of the students in the Zoom class were from Liberty Grace Church of God, a Black Baptist church in Baltimore. The other half attended the Jewish day school affiliated with Beth Tfiloh Congregation, in the Baltimore suburbs.

One teacher was Black and Christian. The other was white and Jewish.

Over a week in July, they gathered together on Zoom to plan an iPad-guided historical walking tour of the city’s Forest Park section, which in the 1950s and early 1960s was integrated — Black and Jewish.

Source:...

Read more about An Orthodox synagogue and a Black church search for shared history with a walk through a once-integrated neighborhood

The Closure Of Catholic Schools Is 'Devastating,' Advocates Say

July 31, 2020

Catholic schools in urban neighborhoods, often seen as an attractive option by low income parents and families of color, are facing an unprecedented crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Across the country, at least 100 urban Catholic schools will close in the fall as a result of declining tuition revenue, and school administrators say the number could double in the next two months.The economic downturn caused by the pandemic is leading to widespread unemployment, and with the subsequent income...

Read more about The Closure Of Catholic Schools Is 'Devastating,' Advocates Say

From changing lives to preaching at iPads: How clergy are coping with the new normal

July 27, 2020

They can’t shake hands. They can’t sing robustly. And, in most cases, they can’t worship in person with people they’ve seen on a weekly basis for years.

Clergy have been forced to adjust to a “new normal” of leadership in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a crisis that was unexpected both at its start and in its continuing duration.

“We moved from snow day mentality to marathon mentality now,” said the Rev. Rob Dyer, senior pastor of a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation in Belleville,...

Read more about From changing lives to preaching at iPads: How clergy are coping with the new normal

Hilary Decent: How Naperville’s faith communities are operating under phase 4 of Illinois reopening

July 27, 2020

Naperville’s faith communities are taking a cautious approach to eased restrictions now that Illinois has moved to phase four of its coronavirus recovery program.

Members of the First Congregational United Church of Christ have been meeting online since March. Rev. Mark Winters said: “Since the middle of March, we have been live streaming our services from our sanctuary. We recently switched to a pre-recorded model which allows us to include more readers and musicians (recording from their home), which is closer to how we would normally worship.”

Source:...

Read more about Hilary Decent: How Naperville’s faith communities are operating under phase 4 of Illinois reopening

Black Catholics’ history: Will US Catholic schools teach it?

July 27, 2020

The history of Black Catholics in the U.S. is a dramatic mix of struggles and breakthroughs, but it has been largely ignored in the curriculum of Catholic schools. That may soon change. 

Amid the national tumult over racial injustice, there are high-level calls for the schools to teach more about the church’s past links to slavery and segregation, and how Black Catholics persevered nonetheless.

In the archdioceses of Chicago and New Orleans, top leaders are encouraging their schools to place a new emphasis on teaching about racial justice, as well as the...

Read more about Black Catholics’ history: Will US Catholic schools teach it?

Houses of worship get creative in time of COVID

July 24, 2020

With COVID-19 concerns still front and center, houses of worship across the North Shore are moving forward with very different approaches — from traditional indoor Masses to meditations on kayaks to online-only services. Some are worried that the pandemic and economic downturn will have damaging, long-term effects.

“We need your help now more than ever,” the Rev. Jim Achadinha with the Catholic Community of Rockport and Gloucester wrote in a recent blog. “Our parishes depend solely on the generosity of our fellow parishioners to pay bills, make ends meet, and help to ensure...

Read more about Houses of worship get creative in time of COVID

Valley’s religious turns to faith without framework as virus ravages

July 23, 2020

During times of turmoil, many people turn to their respective places of worship for comfort and guidance.

With COVID-19 ravaging much of the Rio Grande Valley and new orders reissued to mitigate the disease’s spread as hundreds more are infected and dozens die daily, many local faith leaders are faced with something of a conundrum: how to provide hope during what many feel is a hopeless time.

For the Valley’s spiritual leaders, the answer lies in social media.

Source:...

Read more about Valley’s religious turns to faith without framework as virus ravages

How Taiwanese death rituals have adapted for families living in the US

July 23, 2020

Taiwanese people living in the United States face a dilemma when loved ones die. Many families worry that they might not be able to carry out proper rituals in their new homeland.

As a biracial Taiwanese-American archaeologist living in Idaho and studying in Taiwan, I am discovering the many faces of Taiwan’s blended cultural heritage drawn from the mix of peoples that...

Read more about How Taiwanese death rituals have adapted for families living in the US

As seminaries welcome openly transgender students, church lags behind

July 21, 2020

When Austen Hartke arrived at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, he knew it was the only Lutheran seminary that didn't participate in his denomination's LGBTQ+ welcoming program. But as his awareness grew that he was transgender, so did his conviction that Luther was the right place for him. 

Hartke, who had come out as bisexual years before applying to seminary, had specifically picked the school, he said in a recent interview, so he would learn to navigate his identity and ministry while being exposed to “the Midwestern attitudes I lived with every day.” ...

Read more about As seminaries welcome openly transgender students, church lags behind

Despite heat and COVID-19 restrictions, St. Mary's Feast continues tradition

July 20, 2020

The soaring temperatures didn’t stop the 115th St. Mary’s Feast in Cranston on Sunday, but the coronavirus pandemic forced it to change some of its plans.

The celebration, which is held every year in July, was scaled back significantly.

It’s an integral part of the Italian-American community in Cranston’s Knightsville section.

Source:...

Read more about Despite heat and COVID-19 restrictions, St. Mary's Feast continues tradition

'A dangerous environment': As churches reopen, outbreaks are sprouting and some are keeping doors shut

July 20, 2020
Read more about 'A dangerous environment': As churches reopen, outbreaks are sprouting and some are keeping doors shut

Racial justice a long-time concern for Roxbury parish

July 17, 2020

Conversations about racial injustice are nothing new at St. Katharine Drexel Parish, a black Catholic community whose members hail from the United States, the Caribbean, and various African countries.

Even before nationwide protests began in the wake of George Floyd's death in police custody, St. Katharine Drexel Parish's social justice committee had been discussing and raising awareness of systemic racism for years. In addition to running ministries within the parish, such as its food pantries and Advent giving tree, the committee regularly has a table at the archdiocese's Social...

Read more about Racial justice a long-time concern for Roxbury parish

In Los Angeles, Catholic schools plan to resume in-person classes, while public schools go online

July 16, 2020

While Los Angeles public schools will remain online this fall, Catholic schools in the county still plan to reopen their doors for in-person classes.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles on Wednesday (July 15) told Religion News Service it would continue with plans to resume in-person instruction for its Catholic schools throughout Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Source:...

Read more about In Los Angeles, Catholic schools plan to resume in-person classes, while public schools go online

Bingo ban hurts religious community

July 15, 2020

Religious institutions in our community are not immune from the impact of the pandemic. While places of worship have been allowed to reopen with limited services, many fundraisers have been either cancelled or postponed.

There's one particular tradition that's on hold for now according to Bruce Corris, the congregation president for Temple Shir Shalom in Amherst. 

Source: ...

Read more about Bingo ban hurts religious community

Pages