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This issue of A Public Witness reports on three unconventional Ash Wednesday services focused on environmentalism, death penalty abolition, and slavery reparations. Each one serves as a glimpse into how this season of spiritual reflection can inspire public action.

The president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has called for the excommunication of unrepentant white supremacists in the church’s ranks, rebuking an extremist effort to exert influence within the conservative Lutheran denomination.

The SBC Executive Committee has deemed Saddleback Church as “not in friendly cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention.” The move comes less than a year after founding pastor Rick Warren left and was replaced by pastors Andy and Stacie Wood.

After an estimated 50,000 Christian worshippers, celebrity pastors, and onlookers flocked to a rolling revival meeting at Asbury University, the school’s administration announced a limited schedule for services in hopes of restoring order to this tiny Central Kentucky town.

An Indiana Baptist pastor, Benkert played a key role in setting up an investigation into how SBC leaders have responded to the issue of abuse. He also reported a church that had platformed former SBC President Johnny Hunt, who has been credibly accused of sexual assault.

Among sermon writers, there is fascination — and unease — over the fast-expanding abilities of artificial-intelligence chatbots. For now, the evolving consensus among clergy is this: Yes, they can write a passably competent sermon. But no, they can’t replicate the passion of actual preaching.

Last Wednesday, students at Asbury University gathered for their biweekly chapel service in the 1,500-seat Hughes Auditorium. They sang. They listened to a sermon. They prayed. Nearly a week later, many of them are still there.

This issue of A Public Witness raises the alarm about political attacks on the importance of the local church and the role of pastors, warns how such attacks aid the decline of U.S. Christianity, and lifts up a different vision for discipling believers.

For students hoping to become pastors in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the exegesis exam is already stressful. But the most recent exam was made even more difficult when the committee developing the test chose one of Scripture’s “texts of terror.”

In a letter sent Friday to the churches of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, president Glenn Swanson announced that state executive director Michael Crawford had resigned from the position effective immediately.