The Peace Corps, one of the largest government-run volunteer organizations in the U.S., announced on Tuesday that as of June it is changing its policy to allow same-sex couples to volunteer together in the overseas service program.
"Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining leadership experience for Americans who want to make a difference around the world," said Deputy Director Hessler-Radelet in a statement. "I am proud that the agency is taking this important step forward to allow same-sex domestic partners to serve overseas together."
The Peace Corps, established by former President John F. Kennedy in 1961, works in 76 different countries in various social and economic development programs, aimed at helping people better understand Americans, while at the same time offering U.S. citizens more insight into people of other cultures. more >>
At a recent interfaith prayer breakfast in Jacksonville, Fla., Bishop T.D. Jakes, lead pastor of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas, encouraged religious and city leaders to acknowledge their "daunting job" of helping at-risk youth by uniting on a private, public, and spiritual front to improve graduation rates and decrease crime and unemployment rates in the city.
Jakes served as the keynote speaker at Mayor Alvin Brown's annual Interfaith Breakfast on Monday. along with speakers from Faith Temple Assembly of God, Evangel Temple, Alachua-Central African Methodist Episcopal Church, Celebration Church, and Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.
As America waits with bated breath for the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage, one Ohio church became the target of gay marriage supporters after it advertised an event celebrating biblical marriages that promised to reward husband and wife couples with free $25 Chick-fil-A gift cards.
In the advertisement of the event hosted by the Cornerstone Baptist Temple in Dayton, Ohio, and boasting Chick-fil-A's logo, the church noted: "We have been given a donation to provide a $25 Chick-fil-A gift card to honor every visiting husband and wife." The ad also listed the church's pastor, Jerry Siler, and Tom Raper as special speaker.
But the ad which was shared on Reddit before the event took place, elicited a barrage of snarky comments ridiculing Raper's last name, biblical marriage and Chick-fil-A's assumed association with the event. They even contacted the church directly using what Siler sums up as "hate speech." more >>
[Updated 10:45 am, May 21: An earlier version said at least 91 people were dead, but an updated report in The New York Times says that spokeswoman for the Oklahoma City medical examiner Amy Elliot's figures that at least 51 people were dead and 40 more bodies were being delivered is "no longer accurate." The confirmed death toll is 24.]
As darkness fell on the tornado-ripped community of Moore, Okla., and the severely damaged areas surrounding Oklahoma City on Monday, at least 24 people, including children, were confirmed dead as the search for survivors continued. Many undamaged and secure structures, such as churches, served as emergency shelters for those whose homes were destroyed as the result of the 200 mph winds. Government-funded disaster relief teams were joined by faith-based organizations, some already mobilized from previous disaster efforts, for immediate action.
A frantic search for students, teachers and staff at the flattened Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore, which was in the storm's direct path, continued into Tuesday morning. Reports indicate that 75 third-graders were believed to have been huddled when the tornado struck, with seven now confirmed dead, a number of students showing up alive at a nearby church, and many still missing. more >>
Soon-to-be-college graduates worried about starting a career in a tough economic climate can find encouragement from how President Ronald Reagan overcame many obstacles when he graduated college in 1932 at the height of the Great Depression when the unemployment rate was 24 percent.
Lessons on leadership and Reagan's life told by best-selling author and speaker Margot Morrell in Reagan's Journey, highlights the fact that, "even storied careers have ups and downs. Ronald Reagan's was no exception. Throughout his career, Reagan used timeless strategies to coach himself through economic slumps, industry upheavals, and personal challenges. With determination and effort, he climbed to the top of five professions – sportscaster, Hollywood star, union leader, public speaker, and statesman."
How did he do it? Morrell wondered. Over time she found that Reagan's success started when he identified his own talents and strengths. "Through a conversation with his mentor, he focused in on who he wanted to be and who he was," she explains. His mentor, Sid Altschuler, a successful Jewish businessman from Kansas City, Mo., asked Reagan a life-transforming, and quite simple question – "What would you like to do?" His question and attention opened up a new way of thinking for Reagan, who spent a "couple of days and sleepless nights" figuring out his answer. He narrowed down his response to three areas. He discovered that he wanted to "entertain people," he was interested in sports, and he loved politics. He found that these were his God-given strengths and interests. more >>
Editor's Note: This is the second part of a four-part series based on the new book, "Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions." The Christian Post series looks at racism and multi-ethnicity in the church from the perspective of African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American Christian leaders. Part One, an interview with the editor of the book, Anthony Bradley, can be read by clicking here.
Amos Yong is an American Pentecostal theologian who was born in Malaysia. He is one of nine evangelical theologians, including Bradley, an associate professor of theology and ethics at The King's College, who write about their personal experiences as minorities interacting with white evangelical institutions in the book, Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions. Yong is Dean of the Divinity School and the Rodman Williams Professor of Theology at Regent University.
In the book's third chapter titled, "Race, Racialization, and Asian-American Leaders in Post-Racist Evangelicalism," Yong writes that "the North American evangelical world has taken many important steps toward overcoming the racist history of slavery in this country, and my own story, to be told in this chapter, reflects how I and other Asian-Americans have been beneficiaries of such repentant attitudes and even practices." more >>