Karen Swallow Prior reflects on SBC sex abuse
Plus Latino church leaders “pray with actions” after Uvalde shooting and more headlines
Hi ReligionUnplugged readers,
You won’t want to miss this prose-poetry from Karen Swallow Prior reflecting on the recent report detailing extensive sex abuse inside the Southern Baptist Convention. The report has been a difficult and painful one for Southern Baptist women in particular, and this reflection represents part of that pain.
In other headlines, Pastor Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, is preaching for Christians to “pray with actions” in the wake of the Uvalde shooting. Rodriguez’s influence has placed him as the advisor to multiple presidents and the leader of 42,000 U.S. churches.
He spoke to ReligionUnplugged about his prayers for the country and Uvalde, including the three action steps he’s advocating for.
See you next week! If you like what you read, share this with your family and friends.
The Body Of Christ Is Betrayed: Reflections On Sexual Abuse In The SBC by Karen Swallow Prior
(PROSE-POEM) Karen Swallow Prior, a professor of English and Christianity and Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, reflects on recent findings from an independent investigation that Southern Baptist leaders have systematically ignored, belittled and intimidated survivors of sexual abuse for the past two decades while protecting the legal interests of churches accused of harboring abusers.
As the Holocaust unfolded, what exactly did Pope Pius XII and the Vatican do to help Jews escape? That’s the big question many have been asking, and Vatican documents reveal some interesting details. A new book answers that question and more.
The recent desecration of Catholic churches has triggered fears of future vandalism given the supercharged political climate around abortion, LGBTQ rights and bishops denying politicians Communion. The vandalism may not be tied to one or more of these factors — rising crime rates is also a possibility — but church officials remain vigilant as the summer approaches.
A Korean church located near the Champaign-Urbana campus of the University of Illinois that came under fire last year for allegations of ongoing sexual misconduct has terminated an independent investigation before its completion.
Swedish Lutherans built the Gloria Dei church between 1698 and 1700 and worshipped along the Delaware River for several generations before it became part of the Episcopal Church in 1845. The church’s story and presence symbolize a unique chapter in American religious history and valuable contributions that Swedes made to religious freedom and tolerance in America.
Relief Ministry Cross International Sets Goal To Serve 100,000 Familes By 2024 by Shannon Cuthrell
Florida-based ministry Cross International has said it’s already pacing ahead of its “Reach25” plan, projecting it will reach more than 65,000 people in its 2022 fiscal year (ending next month). That’s up from 56,000 last year and 47,000 in 2020. It now hopes to reach 80,000 children and families in 2023, then 100,000 in 2024.
In the Uvalde, Texas, community of 16,000, everybody knows someone who was directly affected by the Robb Elementary School shooting. The Potters’ postman delivers mail to four families who lost children. A church custodian lost two cousins. An elder’s assistant manager lost his son and niece. But as the town collectively grieves, residents’ ties to each other only strengthen.
Jennifer Christie’s story of giving birth to a child conceived through rape was set to be published in a book from Focus on the Family and Tyndale House, and she signed a contract with Ambassador Speakers Bureau. Now, the book and speaking contract have been canceled amid concerns of the veracity of her story.
Romanian Congregation Becomes Family For Traumatized Souls by Erik Tryggestad
The Church of Christ Cluj, which meets in the northwestern Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca, has become a center of refuge as war rages in Ukraine, about four and a half hours away. The church offers them housing in a rented facility next door, and its free grocery store has served more than 9,400 customers since the war began in late February.
Lessons From The 'World's Most Dedicated Teacher' by Vicky Abraham
Annamma Lucy, 49, started her teaching career in India, now teaches in the UAE and won the 2021 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Award, a global competition of more than 13,000 nominations in 112 countries. While such a title is hard to quantify, Lucy’s dedication to her students is palpable and her gift to the poor each month is a simple calculation: 10% a month.
New Investigative Series Looks Into Sexual Abuse At Kanakuk Kamps by Warren Cole Smith
A series of articles published by the Springfield News-LeaderMay 26 tells the stories of previously silent sex abuse victims and others who say Missouri-based Kanakuk Kamps did not do enough to protect them when they were campers there.
Ukrainians Count The Days As They Pray by Erik Tryggestad
Ukrainian-American family members detailed their difficult journey from the Eastern European nation of Ukraine to the U.S. during a recent missions class at the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City.
Church Near Uvalde, Texas, School Shooting Scene Conducts Prayer Vigil by Audrey Jackson
Tuesday night was supposed to be Adult Game Night at the Getty Street Church of Christ in Uvalde, Texas. But then a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School, less than a mile from the church building. Leaders of the South Texas congregation, about 85 miles west of San Antonio, canceled the scheduled event and planned a special prayer vigil.
In Friday’s Weekend Plug-In column, Bobby Ross Jr. leads with the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas for the second week in a row. Plus, as always, catch up on all the best reads and top headlines in the world of faith.
Don’t forget! You can subscribe to receive Bobby’s column early on Fridays for only $5 a month. Click the button below to subscribe!
Mixed Signals In Leap Of American Bishop Robert McElroy by Terry Mattingly
News Coverage Of Pelosi-Communion Ban Mangled Catholic Doctrine by Clemente Lisi
What The Early Church Said About Abortion by Dr. Michael Brown
The US Bishops, Three Popes And The Soul Of Nancy Pelosi by Terry Mattingly
Don’t miss our latest podcast
African Pentecostalism vs. "Fake Pastors"
Religion Unplugged Contributor Robert Carle talks to Bishop Mudenyo, who oversees a fellowship of fifty-six East African Pentecostal churches, about Kenya's 2014 regulations to crack down on scam miracles and fake pastors. These regulations failed because they sharply curtailed the freedom of real pastors and religious leaders to serve their congregants. Mudenyo instead proposes new methods of self-regulation in Pan-African Christianity. For Pentecostals, it has been challenging to build a system of accountability inside a network of churches that were founded on the principle of freedom of the Spirit to operate unhindered by denominational structures. Find it on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or listen directly on our website.
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Mark Dowdy was a band director at Morningside, the community where televangelist Jim Bakker broadcasts tapings of his show, in 2011. When he began, he hoped he would be able to do good through Bakker’s ministry — but his view quickly changed. He talked to ReligionUnplugged about his time at Morningside and what he thinks of Bakker.
A tireless desire to share their message with the people of Berlin — and Germany as a whole — has helped the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ mission in Berlin persevere over the years, up to the present day.
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