James Forbes’ ode to Juneteenth calls on Americans to embrace the promise of freedom

james-forbes’-ode-to-juneteenth-calls-on-americans-to-embrace-the-promise-of-freedom

(RNS) — The Rev. James A. Forbes Jr. was already an adult when he first began to understand the significance of Juneteenth. It was his wife, Bettye, whom he met in the early ’60s when they were both students at Howard University, who helped him gain an appreciation for the commemoration. She had grown up … Read more

‘We still have work to do’: How to understand the new Juneteenth holiday

‘we-still-have-work-to-do’:-how-to-understand-the-new-juneteenth-holiday

(RNS) — President Joe Biden signed legislation on Thursday (June 17) recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday, marking June 19 as a day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States and be mindful of Black Americans’ struggles for freedom. Celebrated for more than 100 years, though mostly in Black communities, and already … Read more

After politically charged debate, bishops vote to draft controversial Communion document

after-politically-charged-debate,-bishops-vote-to-draft-controversial-communion-document

(RNS) — Members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have voted to draft a document on the Eucharist, green lighting a controversial effort championed by a group of conservative clerics who have called for denying Communion to President Joe Biden and other Catholic Democrats who support abortion rights. The vote was announced Friday (June … Read more

Albert Mohler’s darkest hour

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(RNS) — For more than 30 years, Dr. R. Albert Mohler has been among the best known and most revered leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention, and when he chose to run for president of the country’s largest Protestant denomination, he was widely considered the favorite. But at their annual gathering this week, the 17,000 … Read more

Catholic House Democrats prepare to send bishops ‘statement of principles’ on Communion vote

catholic-house-democrats-prepare-to-send-bishops-‘statement-of-principles’-on-communion-vote

WASHINGTON (RNS) — A group of Catholic Democrats in the House of Representatives is preparing a “statement of principles” to be released after a planned vote Thursday (June 17) by the American Catholic bishops on a proposal to draft a document on the Eucharist that taps into ongoing debate regarding Communion and politicians who back … Read more

Baker fined for refusing to make transgender transition cake

baker-fined-for-refusing-to-make-transgender-transition-cake

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado baker who won a partial victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by refusing to make a birthday cake for a transgender woman, a state judge has ruled. In the ruling Tuesday (June … Read more

Black community has new option for health care: the church

black-community-has-new-option-for-health-care:-the-church

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Every Sunday at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, the Rev. Joseph Jackson Jr. praises the Lord before his congregation. But since last fall he’s been praising something else his Black community needs: the COVID-19 vaccine. “We want to continue to encourage our people to get out, get your shots. I got both of … Read more

Bishops quick to debate Eucharist — and Joe Biden — at meeting

bishops-quick-to-debate-eucharist-— and-joe-biden-—-at-meeting

(RNS) — The opening day of the American Catholic bishops’ spring meeting on Wednesday (June 16) had nothing on the agenda about the controversial topic of Communion and President Joe Biden. The meeting’s first-day sessions were supposed to be dedicated to the mundane business of nurturing Catholic families and discussing drafts of liturgical language. But … Read more

Ebrahim Raisi poised to sweep into Iranian presidency despite weak religious credentials

ebrahim-raisi-poised-to-sweep-into-iranian-presidency-despite-weak-religious-credentials

(RNS) — Ebrahim Raisi seems poised to emerge victorious in Iran’s presidential elections later this week, thanks to the support of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei more than Raisi’s strength as a candidate. “Raisi is the weakest in terms of the substance of the presidential candidates and is therefore favored by Iran’s ruling elite,” said Babak … Read more

Who is Ed Litton, the new Southern Baptist Convention president?

who-is-ed-litton,-the-new-southern-baptist-convention-president?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) — In a hotly contested election decided by just over 500 votes, Alabama pastor Ed Litton was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Litton, the longtime pastor of Redemption Church in Saraland, Alabama, a congregation with 3,900 members, was considered a long shot in the presidential race. Two other candidates — … Read more