c. 2011 Religion News Service
(RNS) Deck the halls and cue the pageant! Advent has arrived in American churches, which means the lapsed and the curious who seldom darken the door just might drop by for a taste of the season's spirit.
For more than 200 years, Andover Newton Theological School has
trained future pastors to have expertise in biblical studies, pastoral
care and preaching. But the nation's oldest school of theology has
decided that in today's world, that is no longer enough, and other
schools are starting to agree.
WORCESTER, Mass. (RNS) With a stairwell for a confessional and a folding
table for an altar, the lobby of the DCU Center arena doesn't look
especially holy -- until a band of circus workers gathers for Mass.
Eleven-year-old Sarai Camacho of Donna, Texas, tears up when she
tells why her mother let the babysitter go for her and her younger
sister this summer. It's the same reason her father brought the family
to Indiana so he could work the melon fields for a season.
(RNS) For pastors with ambitions to reach huge audiences, there's often
no better platform than the megachurch, which has given rise to
powerhouse media empires from T.D. Jakes to Max Lucado to Joel Osteen
and many others.
(RNS) As a federal appeals court in Denver considers whether Oklahoma
voters had the right to ban Islamic law in state courts, a coalition of
Muslim groups say they don't want to live under Shariah law in Michigan
or anywhere else.
When GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty goes to church, he knows
he'll hear a 27-minute sermon—never longer, never shorter. But whether
he'll hear a biblical endorsement of the Republican platform is far less
(RNS) For Janis Galvin fasting for Lent has long meant saying no to
candy for the 40 days before Easter. But when the season begins this
year on March 9, it's apt to mean something more: walking when she'd
rather drive, for instance, or turning the thermostat way down.
A small Catholic college in Riverdale, New York, recently got some
news that sent shivers through many religious schools: part-time faculty
have a right to form a union on campus. But that wasn't the worst of
it. The National Labor Relations Board also isn't convinced that the
Catholic school is actually Catholic.
In a blow to retirees of a major Lutheran publishing house, a
federal judge has ruled that the now-dissolved pension plan of Augsburg
Fortress was exempt from federal regulations that would have required it
to meet minimum funding levels.
(RNS) Wanda Colie vividly remembers what she saw in 1984 when, at age
28, a condition that produced blood in her lungs nearly killed her. The
pain vanished and a crowd of familiar faces came to welcome her in a