In 2010, the US apologized to Native Americans. A new spiritual movement aims to recognize it.


(RNS) — Negiel Bigpond’s family was forced from their land and marched across the country on the Trail of Tears. Bigpond, who is Yuchi, was sent away from his family as a child to what were known as Indian boarding schools, where he remembers being made to cut his hair and dress differently, as well … Read more

UMC edges toward historic split over LGBTQ inclusion. This church showed the way.


(RNS) — When Asbury Memorial Church in Savannah, Georgia, announced its disaffiliation from the United Methodist Church last year, Asbury said in a press release that it believed it was “the first church in the USA to leave the United Methodist denomination due to its unequal treatment of LGBTQ people.” The church’s claim points to … Read more

With more than a million children orphaned by COVID, faith-based groups look to mobilize support


(RNS) — More than a million children around the world may have been orphaned by COVID-19, losing one or both parents to the disease or related causes. Another estimated 500,000 lost a grandparent or another relative who cared for them. RELATED: In many COVID hot spots, a pattern: High concentrations of white evangelicals The numbers … Read more

World Relief announces Myal Greene as new head amid ‘the most significant crisis of our lives’


(RNS) — World Relief announced Tuesday (July 20) that longtime staff member Myal Greene will become the next president and CEO of the evangelical Christian humanitarian organization. RELATED: World Relief leaders stepping down after guiding evangelical organization through ‘tough season’ The announcement comes after current World Relief President Scott Arbeiter and CEO Tim Breene announced … Read more

Lawsuit accuses Liberty University of ‘enabling on-campus rapes’


(RNS) — A new lawsuit against Liberty University claims the Lynchburg, Virginia-based evangelical Christian school has “intentionally created a campus environment” that makes sexual assaults and rapes more likely to occur. The complaint points a finger at the “weaponization” of Liberty’s student honor code, known as the Liberty Way, which it claims makes it “difficult … Read more

Wally Funk’s church celebrates her Blue Origin spaceflight: ‘What an inspiration she’s been to us all’


(RNS) — Six decades after being denied a spot in the space program by NASA because of her gender, 82-year-old Wally Funk finally reached space aboard the first human flight of billionaire Jeff Bezos’ space tourism venture, Blue Origin. Few people were more excited for Funk than her fellow congregants at White’s Chapel United Methodist … Read more

Tokyo archbishop bans Olympians from Catholic churches amid surge in COVID-19 cases


(RNS) — Spectators already have been banned from the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo amid a surge in COVID-19 infections in the area. Now the city’s Catholic archbishop has banned visitors to churches in the Archdiocese of Tokyo, too. RELATED: God and the games That includes athletes competing in the games and their support staff, … Read more

United Church of Christ declares racism a public health crisis


(RNS) — The United Church of Christ kicked off its Special Edition General Synod on Sunday (July 11) by passing a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis. RELATED: As United Church of Christ takes on race and LGBTQ issues, consensus reigns Delegates to the mainline denomination’s biennial meeting, held virtually this year, approved “A … Read more

As United Church of Christ takes on race and LGBTQ issues, consensus reigns


(RNS) — When the United Church of Christ kicks off its General Synod on Sunday (July 11), the Rev. Traci Blackmon isn’t worried about fractious votes, conservative insurgencies or to-do’s over high-level resignations — or calls for the same. The UCC, in short, is no Southern Baptist Convention, which endured all of the above at … Read more

Presbyterian Church in America leaders say those who identify as gay are not qualified for ordination


(RNS) — Pastors and church leaders in the Presbyterian Church in America passed an overture at its General Assembly this week saying those who identify as gay are not qualified for ordination in the conservative Presbyterian denomination. RELATED: Julie Rodgers shares story of surviving ‘ex-gay’ ministries in new book and Netflix documentary The overture includes … Read more