Religious or not, many Americans see a creator’s hand

*by Cathy Lynn Grossman (RNS) You don’t have to believe in God or identify with any religion to see a creator’s hand in human life and morality, suggests a new survey. LifeWay Research’s overall finding — that most Americans believe there is a creator who designed the universe and defines human morality — is not […]

Transgender Latina tells her story at Philadelphia workshop

Religion News Service video by Taylor Nakagawa *By Anne Marie Hankins PHILADELPHIA (RNS) — In the basement of Arch Street United Methodist Church, Nicole Santamaria shared a story of hardship, love and transition. Santamaria is a Roman Catholic intersex woman from El Salvador. With her mother, Vilma, looking on, she recounted growing up in an […]

For some churches, food trucks are a vehicle for serving the poor

By SARAH ANGLE c. 2015 Religion News Service FORT WORTH, Texas (RNS) Allen Lutes wipes his brow as he prepares another plate of food. The culinary school-trained chef is serving grilled chicken, fresh vegetables and rice pilaf. But this isn’t a typical restaurant and Lutes isn’t a standard chef; he’s an associate minister at Arlington […]

America welcomes Christians, Jews; atheists, Muslims not so much

By CATHY LYNN GROSSMAN c. 2015 Religion News Service (RNS) Americans are all for religious freedom — but disagree on who can claim it. Diverse religious groups are recognized — but Christians and Jews are significantly more welcome than atheists, and many don’t see a welcome mat for Muslims. And not everyone means the same thing when […]

Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage

The Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the United States Friday in a closely divided ruling that will stand as a milestone in its 226-year history.

Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church reopens with prayer, praise and a call for change

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Hundreds Sunday packed the pews of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church readying themselves to bury nine beloved members and seek justice on their behalf as part of the church’s activist tradition. In an energetic and emotional service, the Rev. Norvel Goff assured those gathered that the victims, including the church’s pastor and […]

Deadly rampages: We have seen this before

It has happened before in a kindergarten class, a college campus, a movie theater, a McDonald’s. The words resonate as places forever linked with the unspeakable: Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Luby’s.

United Methodist conferences petition denomination on behalf of LGBT rights

(RNS) An Upstate New York bishop has dismissed a 2013 complaint that accused a retired United Methodist pastor of breaking church law by officiating at several same-sex weddings, including his daughter’s. Bishop Mark J. Webb’s May 26 decision to dismiss charges against the Rev. Steve Heiss eliminates a costly and controversial church trial, which in other […]

Possible Boy Scout gay leadership change has religious groups weighing options

(RNS) The phone calls and emails have been pouring in at Trail Life USA since Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates said his organization should remove its ban on gay leaders. “I think this is the major public turning point,” said John Stemberger, chairman ofTrail Life USA, which bills itself as a Christian alternative to […]

What might tomorrow’s faith community look like?

(RNS) Enough about churches that are dying. Let’s imagine something that lives, breathes, serves, makes a difference. Would we even call it “church”? The term seems tattered and torn after two millennia of use. Maybe the term “faith community” would convey fewer historical negatives. Whatever. Let’s not get hung up on names. Let’s imagine what […]