Hawaii Public Radio: Oʻahu’s oldest Christian church has begun digitizing over 200 years of documents

Hawaii Public Radio: Oʻahu’s oldest Christian church has begun digitizing over 200 years of documents. “Kawaiahaʻo Church in Honolulu received a $98,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to digitize these records and make them available to the public online. Kawaiahaʻo was established in 1820 and soon became the primary place of worship for Hawaiian royalty. But many of the church’s records remained in filing cabinets in the basement.”

Mother Jones: A Wildly Popular App for Churches Is Now an Anti-Vax Hotbed

Mother Jones: A Wildly Popular App for Churches Is Now an Anti-Vax Hotbed. “In its promotional materials, Subsplash promises to give individual churches full control over their content. Indeed, what is available on Subsplash-hosted platforms varies widely, as it reflects the diversity in spiritual and political beliefs of the vast array of congregations in the United States. “With no ads or censorship, auto-updated content, and a fully-customizable media player, keeping gospel-centered content in front of your community has never been easier,” the company boasts. But there’s a dark side to the company’s hands-off approach. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Subsplash has given voice to and amplified messages from many religiously affiliated anti-vaccine activists.”

Conservative Baptist Pastor Sees “No Credible Religious Argument” Against Vaccines (Mother Jones)

Mother Jones: Conservative Baptist Pastor Sees “No Credible Religious Argument” Against Vaccines. “…several large churches have announced that they will not be granting any exemptions, including the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Previously, Catholics, who are anti-abortion, expressed concern that coronavirus vaccine research used fetal cell lines. However, the vaccine itself does not contain any and the Vatican announced that Catholics may receive the vaccine in good conscience. ”

The Alabama Baptist: Church leaders faced with more decisions on how to handle masking, distancing as Delta variant spreads

The Alabama Baptist: Church leaders faced with more decisions on how to handle masking, distancing as Delta variant spreads. “With the CDC’s latest recommendation that all people, vaccinated or not, wear masks indoors (see updated coronavirus-related guidelines released July 27), Alabama Baptist churches are again faced with decisions about how to handle masking and social distancing. And church leaders across the state are assessing the situation in their local communities to make decisions about how to proceed.”

Facebook’s Next Target: The Religious Experience (New York Times)

New York Times: Facebook’s Next Target: The Religious Experience. “Facebook, which recently passed $1 trillion in market capitalization, may seem like an unusual partner for a church whose primary goal is to share the message of Jesus. But the company has been cultivating partnerships with a wide range of faith communities over the past few years, from individual congregations to large denominations, like the Assemblies of God and the Church of God in Christ.”

KHN: Black Churches Fill a Unique Role in Combating Vaccine Fears

KHN: Black Churches Fill a Unique Role in Combating Vaccine Fears. “In the hospital with covid-19 in December, Lavina Wafer tired of the tubes in her nose and wondered impatiently why she couldn’t be discharged. A phone call with her pastor helped her understand that the tube was piping in lifesaving oxygen, which had to be slowly tapered to protect her. Now that Wafer, 70, is well and back home in Richmond, California, she’s looking to her pastor for advice about the covid vaccines. Though she doubts they’re as wonderful as the government claims, she plans to get vaccinated anyway — because of his example.”

Wired: The Digital Divide Is Giving American Churches Hell

Wired: The Digital Divide Is Giving American Churches Hell. “For places of worship, Covid-19 has upended traditions and emptied sacred spaces. About 45 percent of Americans attend religious services regularly, most of them in Christian churches, like Buckhead Church. Or they did, until last spring. Then shutdowns and stay-at-home orders sent congregations scrambling to move their services online, similar to schools and workplaces.”

Christian Post: PCUSA digitizes records of historic Mother Bethel AME Church

Christian Post: PCUSA digitizes records of historic Mother Bethel AME Church. “The national archives of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has digitally preserved records of the historic Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mother Bethel was originally founded in 1794 by Methodist preacher and former slave Richard Allen, who served as the first bishop of the AME denomination.”

Find Los Russian & Ukrainian Family: Photo database of more than 20,000 Russian churches brings new life to genealogy

Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family: Photo database of more than 20,000 Russian churches brings new life to genealogy. “The tragic history of destroying churches in Russia cannot be forgotten. Thankfully, volunteers in Russia are photographing the churches still standing throughout the massive country. So far, the Temples of Russia project has more than 26,000 photos of Russian Orthodox and Old Believers churches and chapels in its database. The amazing database has churches that are functioning, closed and forgotten. Photos were even added today.”

The Daily Beast: Virus-Plagued Megachurch Bedevils Town—and Locals Are Mad as Hell

The Daily Beast: Virus-Plagued Megachurch Bedevils Town—and Locals Are Mad as Hell. “Erik Withers is furious. The 29-year-old from Redding, California, works at a private security company, and was desperate to return to work when novel coronavirus restrictions recently began easing in the state—and the pandemic appeared to turn a corner. But over the past few weeks, as local COVID-19 cases have crept up, launching the county from higher tier to higher tier in the state’s color-coded guide to the pandemic, that dream has been dashed.”

BuzzFeed News: Trump And The Coronavirus Are Dividing Black And White Churches In Georgia

BuzzFeed News: Trump And The Coronavirus Are Dividing Black And White Churches In Georgia. “In Georgia, where [Trump spiritual advisor Paula] White recently rallied Trump supporters ahead of the presidential election, the divide between the white and Black church is increasingly bitter and transparent. Part of it is just Trump, who has polarized religious communities along racial lines, and who faces a real risk of losing Georgia in November. But the divide has become even more explicit in the day-to-day during the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, and resulted in the hospitalization of the president himself.”

Spokesman-Review: After balking at masks, pastor and church staff in North Idaho contract COVID-19

Spokesman-Review: After balking at masks, pastor and church staff in North Idaho contract COVID-19. “A Coeur d’Alene pastor who opened his large church in early May for in-person services that allowed and even encouraged unmasked congregants to gather has been recovering from COVID-19 at the Kootenai Health intensive care unit. Paul Van Noy, the senior pastor at Candlelight Christian Fellowship, has spent the past two weeks in the ICU while his wife, Brenda Van Noy, recovered from her own bout with COVID-19 at home. Five other church staff have been infected, said Eric Reade, body ministry coordinator the church.”

BBC: South Korea church coronavirus cluster causes alarm

BBC: South Korea church coronavirus cluster causes alarm. “South Korea is dealing with its biggest daily jump in coronavirus cases in five months – with 279 cases reported on Sunday alone. Many have been linked to the Sarang Jeil Church, whose pastor has been a vocal critic of President Moon Jae-in. Another church, the Shincheonji Church of Jesus was identified earlier this year as South Korea’s biggest virus cluster.”