Nation - Word&Way



Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is urging those attending services at houses of worship to adhere to COVID-19 precautions, like wearing masks and practicing social distancing, particularly for indoor services.

As Georgia becomes the nation’s political hotspot this winter before twin runoff elections Jan. 5 that will determine control of the Senate, faith-based organizing is heating up on both sides. One of the candidates is a Black Baptist pastor.

The coronavirus has extinguished some traditional holiday cheer at the Illinois Capitol. There will be no Christmas tree nor any holiday displays inside or outside the building.

Medical debts totaling more than $5.2 million owed by more than 3,200 families in Kansas and Oklahoma have been paid through a project of the United Church of Christ Kansas-Oklahoma Conference, church officials said Tuesday.

Black clergy leaders are joining forces with the United Way of New York City for a new initiative designed to combat the coronavirus’s outsized toll on African Americans through ramped-up testing, contact tracing and treatment management.

A battle is underway in a Boston suburb over whether it is appropriate to hold a joyous holiday celebration at the site of a now-closed institution where developmentally disabled children were once abused, neglected, and warehoused under deplorable conditions.

In order to improve safety and understand the scope of unlicensed youth residential facilities throughout Missouri, lawmakers are recommending every facility be registered, background checks be required, and that three substantiated reports of abuse and neglect result in children being removed.

Adam Taylor, a Baptist minister, has been named the new president of Sojourners, the national Christian social justice advocacy organization founded and led by Jim Wallis since the 1970s. Wallis will continue working with Sojourners through July 2021.

Catholics split almost evenly in supporting Donald Trump or Joe Biden in the presidential election. Now they’re divided over a declaration by the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that the president-elect's support for abortion rights presents the church with a “difficult and complex situation.”

Protesters who have toppled Junipero Serra statues face charges for the first time. While Serra, an 18th-century Franciscan priest and Catholic saint, is credited with spreading the Catholic faith in what is now California, critics say he was part of an imperial conquest that enslaved Native Americans.