Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dallas celebrated Israel at the American Airlines Center

 In Dallas, thousands turned out yesterday to take part in the "Party on the Plaza: A Celebration of Israel," at American Airlines Center. According to Rabbi Adam Raskin, president of the Rabbinic Association of Greater Dallas, about 5,000 attendees came out to brave the heat and support Israel.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas organized this inaugural celebration, which showcased Jewish culture, Israeli history and interfaith initiatives. Speakers included, among others, Pastor Terri Pearsons of Christians United for Israel and Eagle Mountain International Church.

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to religious tolerance, multiculturalism, diversity and social justice. The mission of the seminary is to prepare men and women, from every background, for careers in ministry.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Five years later: church recalls its fight against Hurricane Katrina

It's been five years since Hurricane Katrina tore its way through southeastern Louisiana, as well as the rest of the Gulf Coast. During the storm, 1,800 deaths were reported, many thousands were left homeless, and New Orleans experienced a 53.9-percent drop in population (between April 2000 and July 2006). In addition, more than $81 billion in property was destroyed, which makes Katrina America's most costly disaster ever.

The Rev. Dennis Watson is the pastor of the Celebration Church, situated in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans along the east bank of the Mississippi River. Pastor Watson recounts his congregation's struggle to stay together in the face of overwhelming odds, and to serve God through the most difficult of pastoral challenges. The church dedicated its new facilities on 17 acres within the Lakeside District of New Orleans in 2004. However, Lakeside flooded and the levees couldn't hold against the force of Katrina.

For Pastor Watson and his congregation, their joint challenges to reclaim the church turned out to be a "teachable moment" that speaks to the endurance of the human spirit and the power of God's grace.

The New York Theological Seminary is dedicated to multiculturalism, diversity, religious tolerance and social justice. The mission of the seminary is to prepare men and women, from every walk of life, for careers in ministry.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vanderbilt, CMDA locked in Tennessee embryonic stem cell conflict

In Tennessee, Vanderbilt University is conducting human embryonic stem cell research that it believes will save lives. The university has been a national leader in human embryonic stem cell research for several years. However, a state-level Christian group, the Christian Medical and Dental Association, is opposed to the university's research.

Consequently, the Christian Medical and Dental Association welcomes the news that a federal judge has decided governmental funding for human embryonic stem cell research is not legal. The Federal Government intends to appeal the decision. Tennessee has become a key player in the stem cell debate. Even the state's two U.S. senators oppose each other on the issue.

Vanderbilt's Dr. Mark Magnuson said that, unless the judge's ruling is reversed, all embryonic stem cell research by his organization will have to stop. Meanwhile, Dr. David Stevens, who is the CEO for the Christian Medical and Dental Association reiterated that embryonic stem cell research "crossed the line of ethical medicine."

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to diversity, multiculturalism, religious tolerance and public justice. The mission of the seminary is to prepare men and women, from every background and walk of life, for careers in ministry.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rare Nation of Islam documents found abandoned in Detroit attic

Video Caption: An early film about the founding and history of the Nation of Islam and its leader, Elijah Muhammad.

Recently, abandoned boxes of documents from the Nation of Islam's earliest days were discovered in a Detroit attic. Among the historic documents were rare correspondences from Nation founder W.D. Fard. Reportedly, the historic files, some of which date back to 1933, were slated for the trash before they were rescued by a family.

Eventually, the family involved contacted attorney Gregory J. Reed about the find. Reed characterized the records as "priceless heirlooms," which explain the Nation's early teachings and structure to its American Islamic movement. These papers also, Reed said, demonstrate the importance the Nation placed upon African Americans leading spiritual, productive and healthy lives. In one instance, among the documents, a 1933 manifesto for the group was found. And, these records show the Nation operated about 40 schools in the Greater Detroit Area.

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to multiculturalism, diversity, social justice and religious tolerance. The mission of the seminary is to prepare men and women, from every background, for careers in ministry.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Episcopal church invites dogs to services at Perfect Paws Ministry

Do good dogs go to heaven? Ask their owners and you'll get an enthusiastic affirmation. But, at Calvary Episcopal Church, in Danvers, Mass., they go one step further in their Perfect Paws Ministry, as "well-mannered, leashed dogs are invited" to a special pet service on the third Sunday of every month.

The pet service includes communion for people and a special blessing upon the pets. Calvary Episcopal Church's pet ministry is the brainchild of the Rev. Thea Keith-Lucas.

She noted that owners' commitment to their pets transcends simply caring for animals and, in that love, demonstrates caring for the world entrusted to mankind. During services, Rev. Keith-Lucas said, barking isn't banned and, while the celebration is Christian, the ministry invites interfaith participants.

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to multiculturalism, diversity, religious tolerance and social justice. The mission of the seminary is to train men and women, from every walk of life, for careers in ministry.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Archbishop Tutu joins faculty aboard UVa's 'Semester at Sea'

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 78, may be stepping away from the public spotlight during this season of his life but he is still very active. In fact, the Nobel Prize winner will be sailing around the globe with "Semester at Sea," and its 35 faculty members and 600 students.

He will be joining the world experiment in education at sea, which is an initiative by the University of Virginia, to inaugurate the first Desmond Tutu Distinguished Chair in Global Understanding position. Semester at Sea is headquartered in Charlottesville, and is the oldest seagoing comparative education program in the world.

As part of his shipboard duties, Archbishop Tutu is serving as senior statesman in residence. He will board the MV Explorer, a 590-foot passenger ship serving as Semester at Sea's floating university, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Friday and journey to Cadiz, Spain; Takoradi, Ghana; Cape Town, South Africa; Port Louis, Mauritius; Chennai, India; Singapore; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Honolulu, Hawaii, among other places, before returning to San Diego, California, on Dec. 13th.

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to diversity, multiculturalism, social justice and religious freedom. The mission of the seminary is to train men and women for careers in ministry.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Federal judge suspends funding for embryonic stem cell research

Embryonic stem cell research funded by the U.S. Government was suspended by Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Royce Lamberth on Aug. 23rd.

Judge Lamberth issued an injunction that blocks the continued application of 2009's federal guidelines governing grants for research on stem cells taken from human embryos. While the court case continues, federal funds will not be allowed to be dispersed for any related experimentation.

Specifically, Judge Lamberth ruled against last year's National Institutes of Health regulations outlining government-subsidized scientific research. Proponents of embryonic stem cell research hail the initiative as a revolutionary medical breakthrough, while critics of such research disagree with the benefits of embryonic stem cells. In addition, detractors cite religious and moral conflicts associated with the procedure.

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution rooted in multiculturalism, religious tolerance, diversity and social justice. The mission of the seminary is to prepare men and women, from every walk of life, for careers in ministry.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Seminary president to preach at historic Garden State ABC church

Rev. Dr. Dale Irvin
New York Theological Seminary President Dr. Dale T. Irvin will be preaching at the Stelton Baptist Church, in Edison, New Jersey, on Sunday, September 5th, at the 11 a.m. service.

Dr. Irvin is the eleventh president of New York Seminary. As well as being the seminary's president, Dr. Irvin is also the seminary's professor of world Christianity. Dr. Irvin earned his Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. from the Union Theological Seminary.

Stelton Baptist Church
Dr. Irvin is also a well-known author, who has written, among other works: Volume 1, Earliest Christianity to 1453; Christian Histories, Christian Traditioning: Rendering Accounts; and The Agitated Mind of God: The Theology of Kosuke Koyama.

"I think this is a rare opportunity for our congregation to get a chance to hear Dr. Irvin, who is truly one of the important voices in theology today," said Min. Jim Purcell, chairman of Stelton's Board of Deacons.

Min. Purcell said there is a wonderful synergy to Dr. Irvin's appearance at Stelton. He said, "So much of Dr. Irvin's work is forward-looking in Christianity. Yet, he is both a preacher and an academic who carefully examines our shared history as followers of Christ."

Min. Purcell explained that, in North America, Stelton Baptist Church holds a special place in Christian history by being the second-oldest church in New Jersey and the tenth-oldest in the United States. Stelton Baptist, founded in 1689, was an early member of the Philadelphia Association, which constituted the very beginning of the American Baptist Churches denomination, during the 19th century.

In addition, outgoing Stelton Baptist Church Pastor Kathleen Tice, who retires from the congregation on Aug. 31st, was a student at New York Theological Seminary during Dr. Irvin's tenure, and remains a close friend.

"I've heard so much about Dr. Irvin, I'm truly excited to hear him speak," said Charles Holt, a long-time member of Stelton and a deacon who sits on the Facilities and Finance Committee as well as the Deacon's Board.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Orthodox Jewish lesbians will have a new online home

American Sarah Weil, 20, emigrated to Israel and threw herself into studying Jewish law through the lens of strict chasidic rebbetzins in Jerusalem. Ms. Weil wants to keep the Torah and mitzvot and live in the Orthodox world. Yet, she is gay and that practice is considered an "abomination" in the eyes of many in the Orthodox community.

However, with the assistance of another "American olah," Talya Levy, as well as a grant from a major Jewish contributor, Weil is readying to launch an English version of the Bat Kol website. Bat Kol ("Daughter of a Voice") lobbies for gay rights in the Jewish world. For religious lesbians, Weil characterized the new site as a "life-net," which is a cross between a lifeline and a safety net.

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution that is dedicated to human dignity, equal rights and social justice for all persons and groups. The seminary's primary mission is to prepare men and women, from diverse and inclusive backgrounds, for careers within ministry.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Catholic adoption agency balks at UK's new national guidelines

In Great Britain, Catholic Care, which is the longest-established adoption agency in the Diocese of Leeds, is not placing children for adoption anymore because the agency will not honor a new law from Parliament giving homosexual couples equal rights to adopt.

The law was adopted in 2007, but took effect only recently. The new national standards for adoption, outlined in the Equality Act Sexual Orientation Regulations, are being vigorously opposed by Catholic Care. Sadly, the agency has been caring for children displaced from their parents since 1865, and directly facilitating adoptions since 1925.

Catholic Church supporters have been vocal in their opposition to the new British adoption standards. Nevertheless, the new guidelines have strong supports nationwide, particularly in the secular world.

The New York Theological Seminary is dedicated to interfaith discussion and religious tolerance. The mission of the seminary is to prepare men and women for careers in ministry in a diverse, culturally sensitive and socially dynamic environment.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Does Muslim center project test religious tolerance for some?

Has the proposed Muslim community center project in Lower Manhattan tested the limits of the American public's tolerance? AP National writer Allen G. Breed questions U.S. society's commitment to "freedom from bigotry or prejudice."

As the Muslim community center project takes center stage in the media, Americans are now forced to examine how truly tolerant they are – or aren't.

In 1790, a letter to newly-elected President George Washington from Rhode Island's Moses Seixas concluded "God's hand" was in the establishment of a government free of bigotry. In reply, President Washington assured the Jewish leader that the United States represented a new chance for people to enjoy freedom and respect.

American history is resplendent with examples of religious tolerance, some unparalleled in human history. So, does the Muslim community center project represent a change of some American attitudes, or values, on any levels?

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to diversity, religious tolerance, social justice and faith. The mission of the seminary is to train men and women for careers in ministry.

Friday, August 20, 2010

United Methodists partner with GlobalMedic to help in Pakistan

The United Methodist Committee on Relief has partnered with GlobalMedic to provide direct support to Pakistan's population, in the wake of its deadliest flood in 80 years.

Reportedly, about 3.5 million children have been impacted by the catastrophe. Some of the most pressing medical needs include treatment for diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and other water-borne diseases. GlobalMedic has provided 40,000 liters of drinking water per day to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. However, strong rains, which began around Aug. 7th, are further aggravating conditions for the country.

Since flooding began, the death toll of the calamity has climbed to about 1,600 people, while 1.5 million people have been made homeless.

New York Theological Seminary's mission is to prepare men and women for careers in ministry, while doing so in an environment that is diverse, multi-cultural and religiously tolerant.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Disneyland hostess claims religious discrimination over hijab policy

In Anaheim, California, Imane Boudial, 26, a hostess for the Storyteller's Restaurant in Disneyland's Grand Californian Hotel, is distressed that she cannot wear her hijab – a Muslim symbol of faith – while performing her job. Consequently, Ms. Boudial has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Disney.

She has reportedly been sent home four times without pay. However, Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said Disney does not discriminate. Ms. Brown said Ms. Boudial's hijab is not part of her assigned costume. The hotel tried to find Ms. Boudial a different position, away from the public, according to Ms. Brown, but Ms. Boudial has not opted to accept any of those jobs.

Ms. Boudial, who is originally from Morocco, became a U.S. citizen in June and has been a Disney employee for the past two-and-a-half years.

New York Theological Seminary is an institution that is dedicated to discussing interfaith issues in an environment of tolerance and celebration of differences. The mission of the seminary is to prepare men and women from various backgrounds for careers in ministry.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kentucky legislators pause to honor Suffrage, women's struggle

The 90th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in the United States will be celebrated by the Kentucky Commission of Women with its Votes for Women event.

The celebration will be held Thursday, Aug. 26th, 2010 at the State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky at 10:30 a.m. After Congressional approval, on the first day of the 1920 Kentucky General Assembly, the Commonwealth ratified the 19th Amendment by a margin of 72-25 in the House and 30-8 in the Senate.

This vote made Kentucky only one of four Southern states to adopt the federal amendment, which went into effect after Tennessee followed suit and became the 36th state legislature to ratify the proposed amendment. During August 2010, Kentuckians celebrate the occasion.

According to Lindsay Orange, communications director for Kentucky's House Republican Leadership, "Women from various backgrounds overcame cultural boundaries to fight against this discrimination with pride and unity. Activists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott began the 70-year struggle by women to secure the right to vote, and this mission was carried through here in Kentucky by women, such as Lucy Burns, Dora Lewis and Alice Paul."

During this struggle, women worked in unity, protested, and were jailed and beaten by opponents of equality. However, they overcame and did earn the right for women to vote in the United States.

The New York Theological Seminary is dedicated to the ongoing struggle for the equality of women. Accordingly, the seminary's Women's Center was instituted in order to advance the ongoing discussion regarding sexual equality through not only study but activism.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

King Center grows to accommodate more programs

In Atlanta, Georgia, the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for its 6,500-square-foot expansion.

According to Jerry Jones, executive director at the center, programs at the center have been expanding steadily through its 35 years. However, this center expansion represents the first time that the physical structure of the King Center has grown.

Mr. Jones noted that the physical parameters of the center had to grow in order to accommodate more programming. With its expansion, the center will be able to add up to 3,700 square feet for youth programs. The new construction gives the center six additional rooms, which will facilitate separate service to various groups. Practically, his allows the center to, reportedly, serve up to 200 children per day.

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to preparing men and women for careers in ministry. The seminary espouses the ideals of religious tolerance, diversity and multiculturalism.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The results are in: Couples who pray together stay together

It's been said the family that prays together stays together. According to a new study, attending worship services together does lead to stronger relationships by couples.

The study is part of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. And, it revealed that when couples prayed together it added another level of intimacy. In general, couples who attended religious services together had higher levels of satisfaction with their relationships than all other couples.

However, the study noted that, where marriage partners are from different faiths, religion can actually become an issue that creates discord among couples.

The New York Theological Seminary is a diverse, multicultural institution that espouses diversity, multiculturalism and religious tolerance. The mission of the seminary is to train men and women for careers in ministry.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

President Obama elevates proposed mosque to a national discussion

President Barack Obama has weighed in on the issue of a proposed mosque being constructed near the site of the World Trade Center attacks, in Lower Manhattan. On Saturday, President Obama said Muslims do have a right to build a cultural center where it is being proposed. President Obama went on to say that, in America, people should be treated equally, in accordance with this nation's laws.

Some of President Obama's critics have been vocal about his remarks about the Islamic center. Meanwhile, the president's remarks have also garnered support from those who espouse the rights of people to practice their faith free from governmental interference in the United States.

The New York Theological Seminary is dedicated to fostering religious tolerance and diversity. The mission of the seminary is to prepare men and women from a wide array of backgrounds for careers in ministry.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Church holds post-storm revival; event serves to provide aid info

In Nashville, Tenn. the Southside Community Church is holding its "After the Storm," two-day, city-wide revival the evening of Wednesday and Thursday. Southside Church will be joined by Bright Temple Church, in Shelbyville, and World Music Mission during the event.

Special guests for the revival include, among others, Bishop Jerry Maynard Sr., of Nashville's Cathedral of Praise Church.

During the revival, the church will host a community meeting to offer information about Nashville Mayor Karl Dean's "We Are Home" program, which provides grants and low-interest loans to Davidson County flood victims. In addition, members of the mayor's team will instruct residents about how to qualify and obtain assistance. For more information, call (615) 460-7722.

The New York Theological Seminary, in Manhattan, is dedicated to promoting positive community activism through faith institutions. The seminary's primary mission is to prepare men and women from many different backgrounds for careers in ministry.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bloomberg defends Muslim community center near 9/11 site

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg supports a controversial initiative to build a Muslim community center.
Independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lived up to that reputation as he went against the grain of many detractors in his defense of a proposed Muslim community center to be built near the former Ground Zero site.
A Muslim center is planned in Lower Manhattan.

According to Mayor Bloomberg's friend, Howard J. Rubenstein, a public relations executive, the contention about allowing the construction of a Muslim community center upset the veteran mayor. Facing some very derisive critics about his support for the center, Mayor Bloomberg has become well acquainted with several principals of the center.

The mayor is on the record saying that if anyone wants to build a mosque somewhere in the city where it is zones, and they can raise the money, then they should be able to do it without government interference.

The New York Theological Seminary is a vital force within the city, with a mission to prepare men and women from a great many backgrounds for careers in ministry. NYTS is dedicated to diversity, tolerance and excellence in academic and pastoral preparation for its students.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

British Quakers plan for 'Canterbury 2011' global event in Kent

Canterbury Cathedral
According to the Quaker News (p. 3), British Quakers have already begun planning a gathering for Summer 2011 for "Friends from Britain Yearly Meeting and other parts of the world."

Next year's planned gathering of Quakers is titled "Quakers: Canterbury 2011." The proposed site for the international gathering is the campus of Kent, which overlooks Canterbury (complete with a view of the famed cathedral).

At Canterbury 2011, which includes a "big top" theme, there will be special interest meetings, discussion groups, and opportunities to explore Quaker work.

For more information about the event, contact Karl Gibbs (Tel: 020.7663.1109) or contact him via email at ymg@quaker.org.uk.

New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to religious diversity and inclusion. As part of the mission at NYTS, the seminary seeks to expose students to both inter-religious and global dialogue.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Baseball ministry plays ball, feeds villagers, distributes Bibles

The FCA Baseball Ministry conducted a 10-day mission to the Dominican Republic, using sports to spread its message.
Atlanta's FCA Baseball Ministry recently conducted a mission trip to the Dominican Republic to bring the organization's baseball-specific mission there on behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

FCA uses the common bond and love for baseball to influence athletes and coaches. FCA operates various initiatives throughout the city of Atlanta, the state of Georgia and within the Dominican Republic.

FCA helps provide for both physical needs and spiritual healing through evangelism. Consequently the ministry seeks to equip local athletes and coaches to become missionaries. According to FCA, interest in the mission has been great from baseball and softball players.

During its 10-day July trip to the Dominican Republic, FCA was able to provide food to feed five impoverished villages for a week's time and distributed 700 Bibles to villagers.

The New York Theological Seminary prepares men and women for a wide variety of ministries, geared to providing for the physical and spiritual needs of a wide array of people. NYTS is dedicated to inclusiveness and diversity as part of its mission.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Christian aid workers killed in Hindu Kush mountains by Taliban

Christian aid workers traveling in the Hindu Kush mountains were murdered on Aug. 5th by Taliban gunmen.
Ten Christian aid workers who belonged to the International Assistance Mission were murdered in the mountains of Afghanistan on Aug. 5th by several men, described to be members of the Taliban.

One team member did survive the ambush. International Assistance Mission has operated within Afghanistan for 44 years, and was doing so with the permission of the Taliban. The driver for the ambushed team said the group was traveling through the Hindu Kush mountains when the gunmen stopped the team's vehicles, lined up the team members and began to execute them. The driver's life was reportedly spared after he shouted allegiance to Allah.

The Taliban reportedly murdered the medical aid workers because they were handing out Bibles written in Dari, the local language, according to IAM Executive Director Dirk Frans, who denied the Taliban claim.

New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to training men and women for a life in ministry. NYTS students come from various backgrounds to prepare for lives of service within many denominations.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Is Main Street U.S.A. expressing anti-Islamic sentiment?

Community groups within California, Wisconsin and Tennessee, among others, have, respectively, fought plans that various parties had put forward to build Muslim houses of worship around the country.

Protesters are reportedly worried about the possibility of violence that may accompany such structures. The question is being asked, where it involves why anti-Islamic sentiment, why is it so evident in some areas of the U.S.?

Expert Dave Lefcourt credits America's two wars in Islamic countries as a primary reason for public anxiety.

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to diversity and tolerance. NYTS prepares men and women from various backgrounds for careers in ministry.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A-Bomb attack led survivor to become Christian peace advocate

A survivor of the A-Bomb attack on Hiroshima discusses how he survived and fought for peace.
A survivor of the Hiroshima blast.
An 82-year-old survivor of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan during World War II says he has waged a lifelong struggle against nuclear weapons in the human mind.

Pastor Shouzo Munetou lived through one of the world's most terrifying event, the dawn of the Nuclear Age, to become a Christian and later an ordained Presbyterian minister.

He characterized nuclear weapons as a symbol "of the devil" produced by egotism, greed, pride and conceit. It is believed that at least 150,000 people perished during the Hiroshima bombing, and this is never far from the mind of Munetou, who has been an active advocate of peace ever since.

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to teaching and preaching peace and tolerance globally. NYTS has a mission of training men and women from various backgrounds for a life within ministry, and does so in a way that is in-keeping with contemporary standards of academic excellence and a realistic examination of the world today.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

NYTS President Dr. Dale Irvin to teach Global Pentecostalism/Charismatic Movements


This coming fall semester I will be teaching Global Pentecostal/Charismatic Movements again at NYTS. The class is being offered Monday evenings, and meets from 6-9 pm at Riverside Church. Students can cross-register for credit from Union, Drew and General through regular means. Others must register with the permission of their respective Deans. I want to be sure you know of this class in case you have someone who is interested in the area, or you want to attend one or more session yourself.

I especially want to let you know that we three outstanding guests lecturers coming to the class this fall. I am opening the class to the wider community on these evenings with an offer to join us. So please pass the word!

-- October 18: Anthea D. Butler, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Graduate Chair at the University of Pennsylvania will be in class to discuss her book Women in the Church of God in Christ (2007)

--November 8: Amos Yong, J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology and Director of Doctor of Philosophy Program at Regent University will be in class to discuss his book, The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh (2005).

--December 6: David Gonzalez, Metro desk reporter for the New York Times and author of the award-winning series, "House Afire" (published in The New York Times Jan. 14-16, 2007), will be with us to discuss “House Afire” (found at http://www.nytimes.com/ref/nyregion/houseafire_index.htm) as well as some of his other important insights and reflections on Pentecostalism in New York City

Please feel free to contact me by phone (212.870.1223) or email (dirvin@nyts.edu) if you need more information. I hope you can join us.

Aqueduct near Old Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate built by Romans

Following an excavation in Jerusalem's Old City, near Jaffa Gate, a gateway was discovered to an ancient aqueduct situated four meter below street level.

At first, it was believed by scientists that the aqueduct was simply another feature to a large construction project credited to King Herod the Great (74-4 BCE) during the Second Temple period.

However, following analysis, it was determined that the new discovery was built during the second century CE and was the work of Roman soldiers from the 10th Legion. Scientists believe the Roman aqueduct was constructed atop another one that Herod probably built.

New York Theological Seminary is dedicated to the study of faith and religion throughout the march of time. From study of the world of the ancients to contemporary societies around the globe, NYTS seeks to explore the past and present to better inform new generations of church leaders.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Catholic bishop decries Proposition 8 reversal by federal judge

A Chicago cardinal complains about a court decision.
Chicago Catholic Cardinal Francis E. George, who is also president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, denounced the Aug. 4 decision of a federal judge to overturn a California ban on same-sex marriage.

Cardinal George characterized marriage as the bedrock of society and the decision as a misuse of law to change the nature of marriage.

During 2008, the anti-gay initiative known as Proposition 8 was adopted by Golden State voters by a narrow margin. The decision by the federal judge overturns a decision by the California Supreme Court that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to diversity and inclusion. The primary mission of NYTS is to prepare men and women from various backgrounds for careers in ministry.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

In Bulgaria, scientists test possible remains of John the Baptist

St. John the Baptist
Some archaeologists in Bulgaria believe they have unearthed what might be the remains of John the Baptist.

Reportedly, the earthly remains of what could be the saint were found near the city of Sozopol. The discovery occurred while scientists were investigating Sv. Ivan (St. John) Island. Currently, tests are ongoing to determine if the remains of are authentic.

Bulgaria's cultural minister, Vezhdi Rashidov, urged caution on the part of people in believing in the validity of the remains until tests have been concluded and the results revealed.

New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to the study of faith and religion in the United States and worldwide. A vital part of the seminary's mission is the preparation of men and women from various backgrounds for ministry.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Commission paves way for a new Muslim center near WTC site

A group is attempting to build a Muslim community center within blocks of the 9/11 attacks, in Lower Manhattan.
The New York City Landmarks Commission recently denied "historic status" to a building constructed in the 19th century nearby the site of the World Trade Center attacks. By doing this, the commission has cleared the way for a group seeking to build a 15-story Muslim community center.

The new community center is expected to be named the Cordoba House, in honor of the medieval Spanish city where Christians, Jews and Muslims lived in peace and tolerance for nearly a millennium. The developers of this project are hoping to build a center that encourages peace, diversity, and reconciliation between people.

While the project has many supporters, it also has many detractors who criticize the construction of a Muslim community center so close to where the attacks took place.

During the Sept. 11th attacks, many faculty members and students from the New York Theological Seminary assisted with the effort in Lower Manhattan. Likewise, volunteers from NYTS served for long periods of time during the period after the attacks.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Denomination garners trend-busting success as others shrink

The Church of God of Prophecy has grown to about 1.5 million members today, up from 1.3 million in 2008. At the denomination's recent annual meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, it was reported that most of the growth taking place in COGOP is in Africa.

This upward membership trend by the COGOP, which remains true to its Pentecostal roots, bucks an overall experience of declining church membership in many other Christian denominations.

In the COGOP's case, the denomination was established in 1886 as the Christian Union. The union reformed as a denomination in 1903 and subsequently adopted its new name in 1907.

With a growing denomination already enjoying great numerical success, according to church leaders, future goals include even more churches and new members for upcoming years.

New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to the study of faith and religion, through the United States and around the globe. NYTS is committed to diversity, social ministry and training men and women to the highest standards within ministry.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Clergy suffers obesity, hypertension, depression at higher rates

According to a recent study, members of the clergy suffer from higher levels of obesity, hypertension and depression than most Americans. In addition, during the last 10 years, the use of antidepressants by clergy has increased as clergy members' life-expectancy has fallen.

And, one study has concluded, if many felt they could change their jobs then they would. Public health experts do not have any easy explanations about why clergy members are experience dramatically decreased quality of life. Duke University's Assistant Professor Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell said many members of the clergy feel compelled to assist people in need and sometimes find themselves called upon around-the-clock. One pastor in a study group hadn't had a vacation in nearly two decades.

New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to preparing men and women, from a wide variety of backgrounds, for ministry. With a focus upon serving in urban settings, NYTS seeks to prepare ministers for service in a global, diverse and multi-faceted world of faith.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dubious 'nun' found fleecing the faithful in Little Italy

It's a common enough story nowadays: Someone who is not a member of the clergy (though posing as one) collecting donations for themselves, rather than any charitable cause. Yet, every now and again such people do get caught, as did a New York City woman recently who had posed as an Episcopal nun for about a decade in Little Italy. She has reportedly been collecting donations for various 'causes.'

Meanwhile, "Sister Milindia" has never been heard of by the Episcopal Church, and was reportedly arrested, in 1997, for misrepresenting herself as a nun in the Bronx.

New York Theological Seminary is an institution that is dedicated to preparing men and women from various backgrounds for the ministry. NYTS is committed to educating its students to the highest standards of ministerial preparedness.