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than 50 years ago over financial dis- putes with the board. Their daughter, Sheila Schuller Coleman, started a church in an Orange, Calif., movie theater and at a nearby hotel.


Helping clergy help veterans


This spring the Department of Veter- ans Affairs began offering clergy in the rural South free training on the issues veterans face. The VA reports that about one-fourth of people who seek help for mental health go to clergy. “Faith is an important heal- ing resource for many veterans,” said VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. Among the training topics: post- deployment readjustment chal- lenges, spiritual and psychologi- cal effects of war trauma, reducing mental health stigma and community support (www.ruralhealth.va.gov/ ruralclergytraining).


Mexico: Female pastors The three who serve as the first ordained female pastors in the Mexi- can Lutheran Church see their gen- der as a strength. Ordained in 2009, they have had “the difficult task of breaking new ground for the next generation of women and [to] be a witness to the fact that, with the help of God, anything and everything is possible when it comes to building the kingdom of God on earth,” said Sofia Deyanira Tenorio May, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Mexico City.


Ecumenical spring? Ten years after the formation of Christian Churches Together in the USA, a broad-based church unity group, some of its members hope for an “ecumenical spring.” Stephen J. Sidorak Jr., ecumenical staff offi- cer of the United Methodist Church, said, “I would like to think of it as an ecumenical spring. I think that there’s the potential for the ecumeni-


cal movement to be more alive than it’s ever been because it will be more inclusive.” The group’s leaders plan to use the 50th anniversary in 2013 of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” to pursue anti-poverty projects with houses of worship unlike their own.


Christians harassed Soldiers from Myanmar’s army ran- sacked a Baptist church in the Bhamo district March 13, burning Bibles and destroying property, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The Chin Human Rights Organiza- tion said soldiers disrupted a Chris- tian conference in western Chin State March 10. CSW also reported that troops attacked and herded at least 50 Assemblies of God members from Wai May Township into forced work for the army in November 2011.


Groups condemn killings Calling for interfaith prayers, the


Opening doors


for women Remembering women harmed by domestic violence, senior Mag- gie Williams and other art students at Augus- tana College, Rock Island, Ill., paint a door with healing images and a quote from Elea- nor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” The door was displayed at an April 13 “Opening Doors Gala” held at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, to benefit women entering and exiting a local domestic violence shelter.


New York Jets fans won’t care if he believes in Hare Krishna if he wins. Steve Herz, founder and president of New


York-based IF Management, on Tim Tebow, an evangelical Christian who was traded to the


New York Jets from the Denver Broncos. He was quoted by the New York Daily News.


Council of Christian Churches in France said it “shared the pain of the Jewish community after the murder- ous shooting” at a Jewish school in Toulouse March 19 and hoped the “extreme violence would not shatter harmony” between the various com- munities in France. Some faith lead- ers also denounced political rhetoric targeting immigrants and religious minorities in advance of the two- round French presidential elections slated for April and May.


Guide for marriage The Protestant Church of Hessen- Nassau in Germany issued guide- lines to help clergy with interfaith marriage ceremonies. Ulrike Sch-


12  MARLA ALVARADO NEUERBURG/AUGUSTANA COLLEGE


May 2012 11


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