Word&Way News: Feb. 2
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. In addition to a look at the impact of the United Methodist split on members of Congress that is free for anyone to read, paid subscribers to A Public Witness received a report on a prayer event featuring members of Congress and controversial pastors.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
Historic Sermon by Gina Stewart at Joint Black Baptist Meeting Draws Cheers, Controversy. Adelle M. Banks reported on a historic sermon by a female preacher at a large Black Baptist gathering in Memphis, Tennessee.
Review: Being Real. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed Being Real: The Apostle Paul’s Hardship Narratives and the Stories We Tell Today by Philip Plyming.
Church of England Leader Says a Plan To Send Migrants to Rwanda Undermines the UK’s Global Standing. Jill Lawless reported on political advocacy by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Lawmaker Seeks to Restore Ten Commandments Monument to Oklahoma Capitol. Barbara Hoberock reported on the latest in a yearslong controversy over the Ten Commandments in the Sooner State.
At National Prayer Breakfast, Biden Speaks of Praying, Working for Peace. An event that often sparks church-state controversy moved into the U.S. Capitol building for the first time this year.
This week: Tara Culp-Ressler of Mennonite Action
Other noteworthy podcasts this week:
Chris Crawford of Protect Democracy appeared on Respecting Religion to talk about the role churches can play in promoting democracy.
Warren Throckmorton recently launched Telling Jefferson Lies, a podcast series on false history and Christian Nationalism.
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
Lent is coming soon. And in a timing that will challenge people who like both fasting and romance, Ash Wednesday will be on Feb. 14. Instead of the cute “Be Mine” or “I ♡ You” sugar heart candies, I guess we need ones that say “Ashes to Ashes” or “You Are Dust.”
With that day coming in less than two weeks, it’s a good time to grab a Lenten devotional before it’s too late. There are many excellent ones to use. But if you’re not familiar with Unsettling Lent, let me encourage you to get it. It’s a book of daily Lenten devotionals by Angela Parker, Beau Underwood, and myself that Chalice Press published last year. I know many of you used it (and some might reuse it again). But if you didn’t, the good news is Chalice still sells it.
Like our Unsettling Advent email devotionals we’ve published the last three years, the Unsettling Lent book looks at biblical texts and current events to better understand both. Although it came out last year, the issues in it will still seem relevant this year.
Other News of Note
The Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies released a documentary on the role of the New Apostolic Reformation in the Jan. 6 insurrection. The 25-minute film, Spiritual Warriors: Decoding Christian Nationalism at the Capitol Riot, can be viewed for free online.
PBS NewsHour interviewed religion scholar Brad Onishi about Christian Nationalism.
A man who last year firebombed a church for supporting the LGBTQ+ community was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
A political scandal in South Korea that threatens the re-election of the nation’s president was sparked by a Dior handbag a pastor gave to the First Lady.
“You’re not content with subverting the Christian message to pass some of your unjust laws. Now you’re attempting to subvert us and turn us into agents of the state.” — Jose Rodriguez, co-rector of Christ the King Episcopal Church in Orlando, criticizing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis after learning that DeSantis’s efforts to relocate migrants to other states included distributing fliers at churches.
The BBC has documented 74 houses of worship damaged or destroyed in Gaza since Israel started its military campaign in October — and many others have also reportedly been hit.
Doug Pagitt of Vote Common Good wrote for MSNBC about why as a pastor he’s traveling to the border to challenge an anti-immigrant convoy calling itself “God’s Army.”
Photo of the Week
Thanks for reading!