Tuesday's News & Ideas

Are excessive activities a sign of an ailing church? Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, worries about church bulletin boards that are overstuffed with announcements. Is there room left for God? For listening to the Christ who prays in and through the one in the pew beside you?

Harvard Divinity School plans budget cutsBoston Globe, Articles of Faith blog: Harvard Divinity freezing faculty salaries, postponing searches, hinting at layoffs, and acknowledging that it will not meet its tuition assistance goals.

It’s not a direct line to God, but it's quicker than climbing Mount SinaiLos Angeles Times: Ever tried to define God? Wondered if it’s ethical to eat meat? Or debated if pornography is a sin? AskMoses.com.BBC: The online way to pray for others

A spiritual approach to moneyChristian Science Monitor: One group’s formula for trying times: Live gratefully, spend less, buy justly, give more.

Archbishop calls for more praying in churchesThe Times (London): The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for churches to focus less on activities and more on praying and contemplation.

The Spark

Your family may once have been a different color

Point your elbow to the ceiling. Then imagine yourself naked. Then look at the patch of skin on the inside of your upper arm, the part of you that almost never sees the sun. Whatever color you see there is what experts call your basic skin color. And that color, the one you have now, is probably not the color your ancient ancestors had — even if you think your family has been the same color for a long, long time. As NPR’s Morning Edition explains, skin has changed color in human lineages much faster than scientists had previously supposed, even without intermarriage.