There's been a number of encouraging news stories I thought I'd highlight. The KY Council of Churches met recently and called for an increase in the minimum wage. Mainline Protestant and Jewish leaders met in our nation's capitol to condemn efforts to direct budget cuts against the poor. And a new interfaith group has been founded in Florida to work for social justice.
The Maine Conference of the UCC recently organized a religious rally that included folks from a range of traditions in support of Maine's anti discrimination law. This law, which protects gay and lesbians from job discrimination, etc. is being challenged this fall in the form of a referendum. There was also a piece on Methodists in Texas, who value inclusion and are discouraged by the rulings of the church's judicial council.
And all 65 active bishops of the United Methodist Church produced a pastoral letter in opposition to the judicial council ruling that allowed a minister to deny membership to someone because they were gay. As one bishop put it "I recognize that the church is not of one mind on the issue of homosexuality but I want you to know that the Council of Bishops is of one mind: Gay and lesbian people are not to be excluded from church membership."