Salt Lake Tribune: New database gives widest look ever at LDS Church landholdings. See what it owns and where.

Salt Lake Tribune: New database gives widest look ever at LDS Church landholdings. See what it owns and where.. “From thousands of acres of farmlands to thousands of places of worship and from shiny commercial enclaves in urban centers to flowing fields in swelling suburbs, a newly released list shows The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns U.S. properties valued at nearly $16 billion and ranks the Utah-based faith among the nation’s top private landholders.”

Congregational Library & Archives: Congregational Library & Archives launches free digital archives containing treasure trove of important New England historical records

Congregational Library & Archives: Congregational Library & Archives launches free digital archives containing treasure trove of important New England historical records. “The Congregational Library & Archives is pleased to announce the launch of its digital archive which contains over 100,000 images across more than 4,000 extraordinary historical records that illuminate New England history. Records from over 100 New England churches in 90 communities, with most records dating between 1634 and 1850, are freely available for those interested in learning more about the history of their state, community, or family.”

Associated Press: Fund to preserve, assist Black churches gets $20M donation

Associated Press: Fund to preserve, assist Black churches gets $20M donation. “A new effort to preserve historic Black churches in the United States has received a $20 million donation that will go to help congregations including one that was slammed during the tornado that killed more than 20 people in Mayfield, Kentucky, last month. Lilly Endowment Inc., which supports religious, educational and charitable causes, contributed the money to the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund as seed funding for the Preserving Black Churches Project, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which launched the fund.”

Christian Post: More than 30K churches using big data from tech firm Gloo to target new members

Christian Post: More than 30K churches using big data from tech firm Gloo to target new members. “More than 30,000 churches have signed up for the services of Gloo, a small company that uses people’s personal data and online activities to target individuals who might be more receptive to their message and become new members as they seek to sure up dwindling numbers in their pews that was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

CBC: Sisters say mother’s death could have been avoided if church had taken COVID-19 seriously

CBC: Sisters say mother’s death could have been avoided if church had taken COVID-19 seriously. “Pearl Lane was full of life: she still baked regularly, made trips with her daughters and loved her grandchildren with all her heart. A dedicated Christian, the eighty-three-year-old woman never missed a church service. She spoke in the women’s meetings and sang in the church choir. And by all accounts, her devotion to her husband and her children was even greater.”

The B.C. Catholic: Catholic Civil Rights Leagues launches church attack database

The B.C. Catholic: Catholic Civil Rights Leagues launches church attack database. “Last summer’s surge of anti-Catholic arson and vandalism may have abated, but the head of the Catholic Civil Rights League is cautioning that unless Catholics learn to stand together to denounce such hate crimes, worse is yet to come. Christian Elia, executive director of the CCRL, issued the warning while announcing the launch of the organization’s Church Attacks Database, which aims to keep a detailed, public record of all attacks on the Church in Canada.”

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.”