Church - Word&Way



At a diverse multi-ethnic church, refugees, and immigrants find a home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at a time when many White evangelicals view newcomers with suspicion.

On New Year’s Day, 43 congregations of the Reformed Church in America split from the national denomination, one of the oldest Protestant bodies in the United States, in part over theological differences regarding same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBTQ clergy.

As congregations become smaller and smaller, some are being ‘replanted’ by applying the lessons from start-up congregations to older, dying churches. Although not widespread, church replanting is growing in popularity.

Three immigrants who have resided in houses of worship to avoid deportation were granted one-year stays of removal this week, a move faith-based immigrant rights advocates framed as a “Christmas gift” years in the making.

In this edition of A Public Witness, we study the newest debate over the supposed tension between Baylor’s Christian commitments and a research emphasis. We also quiz what this false dichotomy teaches us more broadly about Christian integration of the head and the heart. 

A Pennsylvania church with a 221-year history held its final service and is scheduled to close at the end of the year because of declining membership and attendance. 

An Idaho church has replaced a stained-glass window honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee with an image of the first African American woman bishop elected in the United Methodist Church. 

The Angel Tree program of Prison Fellowship and similar ministries are part of an effort by some faith groups and congregations to bring Christmas cheer — and connection — to prisoners and their kids.

The Washington National Cathedral — whose policies often set the tone for churches in the area — said they were moving all services online during the holiday season. Washington, D.C. currently has the highest COVID-19 case rates in the country.

In this issue of A Public Witness, we attend First Baptist’s “special” Christmas service to detail the clash of liturgies. We give special attention to the inherent political implications of Jesus’s birth. As a benediction, we reflect on the damage moments like this do to the witness of the Church.