There is a lot going on in the Church of SoNoGo

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Friday, May 1, 2020

Who defines evangelicalism? An interview with Mark Noll

Few Americans say their house of worship is open, but a quarter say their faith has grown amid pandemic
Pew Research: One-quarter of U.S. adults overall (24%) say their faith has become stronger because of the coronavirus pandemic, while just 2% say their faith has become weaker.

How do we keep time during a pandemic?*
Christian Century: When all days seem alike, maybe the best unit of measure is love.

Same storm, different boats: Vatican looks at ways to help all survive
Crux: Pope Francis and his COVID-19 response commission want to see religious, economic and social life resume, but they question the wisdom of hoping for a return to a "normal" that left so many people struggling.

Black churches, via phones and Facebook, bridging digital divide amid COVID-19
Religion News Service: With issues of access and technical ability among some congregants, and a pandemic that has closed their church doors and scattered congregations, African Americans have been scrambling to sustain crucial connections to their houses of worship.

Religious freedom in India takes 'drastic turn downward,' U.S. commission says
NPR: In its annual report, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) says the Indian government's enactment last year of the Citizenship Amendment Act discriminated against Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.


Black pastors say they have trouble accessing SBA loan program
NPR: A new government program that funnels taxpayer money to churches, synagogues and mosques has brought welcome relief to some financially stressed houses of worship, while leaving others -- many of them serving communities of color -- still struggling to survive.

As country begins to open, Italian Bishops argue against continued ban on Masses
Religion News Service: After nearly 50 days of a nation-wide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Italian government is beginning to outline "Phase Two," which will allow the opening of some businesses and freedom of movement for currently home-bound citizens -- but which will not allow Masses.

Beyond Cedarville: Why do pastors keep getting rehired after abuse?
Christianity Today: Victims' advocates caution institutions against plans to "restore" fallen leaders.
Religion News Service: Cedarville's plan to save Anthony Moore abandoned its students -- and Moore

Who defines evangelicalism? An interview with Mark Noll
Religion & Politics: In this latest book, Noll has helped bring together many minds to ponder different facets of the questions facing evangelicalism.

The volunteers helping Muslim medical workers break fast during Ramadan
HuffPost: A group in Kansas City is bringing business to halal restaurants and food to essential workers throughout the month of Ramadan.

More than $400,000 so far raised for small churches at risk during COVID-19
Religion News Service: An initiative that seeks to financially help small and struggling churches in the wake of COVID-19 has raised more than $400,000 and received over 1,000 applications for funding.

LifeWay cutting staff, expenses due to COVID-19 impact on sales
Baptist News Global: LifeWay Christian Resources will cut staff and implement other budgetary cutbacks due to steep revenue declines caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Few U.S. sermons mention abortion, though discussion varies by religious affiliation and congregation size
Pew Research: Abortion remains a contentious issue among U.S. Christians. But when millions of churchgoers file into the pews each week, what do they really hear?

Germany to set out rules for religious services including singing ban
The Guardian: Angela Merkel to meet with state leaders over safely conducting services during pandemic.

Religious freedom attorneys pick their battles amid pandemic
Associated Press: Conservative nonprofits have taken a leading role in representing churches which have challenged stay-home orders.


Church donations have plunged because of the coronavirus. Some churches won't survive.*
Washington Post: About a third of all congregations have no savings, according to the 2018-2019 National Congregations Study.

Switching to online church busted my theology and changed my experience of God*
The Dallas Morning News: A communications director tasked with moving his church online realized that his assumptions about the church, his expectations of the church, were utterly off-point.

Americans are divided by religion on who should get critical care if there is a shortage of ventilators
Pew Research: In the U.S. and elsewhere, questions at the intersection of medicine and morality have arisen, such as who should receive critical care if medical resources are in short supply.

On Fox News, Cardinal Dolan praises Trump's sensitivity to 'feelings of the religious community'*
America: New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan made the case that Catholic schools and nonprofits are in need of financial assistance and praised Mr. Trump for his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wartime Vatican archive shows how much Pius knew about the Holocaust, says researcher
Religion News Service: German researchers found that the pope, who never directly criticized the Nazi slaughter of Jews, knew from his own sources about Berlin's death campaign early on.

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