November 19, 2014
- NEWS: 1) National Council of Churches governing board issues statement from Ferguson 2) In addition to constant prayer, funds are needed in Nigeria 3) Court rules to ‘vacate’ clergy housing allowance case 4) Communication informs about new IRS rule on pre-tax health insurance premium contributions for pastors, church workers UPCOMING EVENTS: 5) Congregational Life Ministries offers webinars on ‘Just Friendship’ and ‘Youth Work after Christendom’ 6) On Earth Peace to host informational webinar...
- As Missouri governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency yesterday in anticipation of the imminent indictment, or lack thereof, of officer Darren Wilson, the National Council of Churches (NCC) gathered in St. Louis for a meeting of its governing board. The atmosphere was tense in the room as the governor's order to ready the National Guard came during a panel discussion featuring four pastors and community leaders from Ferguson, Mo.
- The following is the script from a short video report on the Nigeria crisis by Church of the Brethren videographer David Sollenberger. He returned last week from a reporting trip to Nigeria on behalf of Brethren Disaster Ministries and Global Mission and Service. In the video, this script is interspersed with brief interviews not quoted here. View the video at www.brethren.org or on YouTube at http://youtu.be/T_Y9hlxuBfo :
- UCC pastor the Rev. Starsky Wilson has been named co-chair of the Ferguson Commission by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. The group is reviewing the underlying social and economic issues raised by events in Ferguson, and will issue a report with policy recommendations no later than Sept. 15, 2015.
- The Keystone XL Pipeline is a no-go—at least for now.
Webinar: Faithful Internet
Rallying people of faith to keep the Internet open and free
Join us at Faithful Internet’s kick-off webinar on Monday, Nov. 24. RCC member Cheryl Leanza ( DC chapter) will work with colleagues to discuss connecting the dots between communities of faith and net neutrality.
On Monday, Nov 10th, President Obama announced his plan to...
- “We have good news to share!” said an update from Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) about a court case that had the potential to seriously affect the tax status of clergy housing allowances. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the clergy housing allowance case brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. is to be vacated (eliminated) and remanded (sent back) to the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin with instructions to dismiss the case. The court ruled that...
- A communication with important information about how churches report their pastors’ (and lay employees’) income with regard to health insurance premiums is being sent to each Church of the Brethren congregation. The joint letter is from Mary Jo Flory-Steury, associate general secretary of the Church of the Brethren and executive of the Ministry Office, and Scott W. Douglas, BBT director of Employee Benefits. An additional letter from Douglas gives information about IRS rules for Section 105 HRA...
- Congregational Life Ministries is a co-sponsor of two webinars scheduled for this week: on Wednesday, Nov. 19, Anthony Grinnell will present a webinar related to ministry and evangelism and justice titled “Just Friendship”; and on Thursday, Nov. 20, Nigel Pimlott is the presenter of a webinar on the topic “Youth Work after Christendom-Revisited.” Both webinars start at 2:30 p.m. (eastern time).
- On Earth Peace invites interested individuals to participate in an informational webinar to learn more about the organization’s Anti-Racism Transformation Team.