News & Ideas

Wednesday's News & Ideas - 4/17/2024

  • UMC post-split data
  • Abyssinian Baptist pastor search
  • Undocumented immigrant labor
  • USC cancels speech
  • Sacred and just coffee
  • Running with shelter dogs

After traditionalist churches left, UMC may be more — not less — diverse
Religion News Service: Even after the departures, 24% of North Carolina clergy remaining in the denomination disagree with allowing LGBTQ people to get married and ordained within the denomination.

Prominent New York church, sued for gender bias, moves forward with male pastor candidate
Associated Press: A search committee previously sued for gender discrimination over its hiring process has announced its pick for the next senior pastor of a prominent New York City congregation considered by some to be the flagship of the Black church in America.

Bishop says America would ‘grind to a standstill’ without immigrants
Crux: Highlighting that American communities would “grind to a standstill” without the labor of undocumented immigrants, Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso is encouraging Congress to create more avenues to legal employment authorization for those with pending asylum claims.

USC says it is canceling its valedictorian speech because of safety concerns
NPR: The University of Southern California will no longer have its valedictorian speak at its commencement ceremony because of safety concerns, the school said Monday.

How to make your daily coffee sacred and just
Sojourners: Climate change isn’t the only justice concern when it comes to coffee. The production of coffee is full of economic exploitation. And despite coffee’s origins in Ethiopia, specialty coffee is better known for whiteness and wealth. It’s no accident that a new coffee shop is stereotypically the first sign of gentrification. But what if that could change?

The Spark

Seeking motivation, high school athletes run with shelter dogs
‘I’ve had kids who graduated come back and run with us and the dogs,’ said Jarrin Williams, cross-country and track and field coach in Illinois in The Washington Post.*

*access is limited for nonsubscribers



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Nathalie Nelson Parker

Reflective Leadership Grants offer a step back

“The ability to slow down ... allowed me time to listen, explore and be more impactful for the communities I am called to serve.” 

— Nathalie Nelson Parker, Civitas Consulting Group 

Christian leaders from a variety of roles are welcome to apply. The grants provide “balcony time” to reflect on accomplishments, broaden perspectives and discern next steps. The application deadline is May 28, 2024.

Learn More