Watch interviews with delegates to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's recent national assembly, which voted to allow local congregations to hire noncelibate gay and lesbian pastors.
At its national assembly in Minneapolis, the country's largest Lutheran denomination permitted the ordination and hiring of homosexual clergy who are in “lifelong, monogamous” relationships.
"We must return to the values that made the black church a true success," says Rev. Mark Whitlock, director of community initiatives at USC's Center for Religion and Civic Culture, where a mentoring program trains African-American clergy in community organizing, economic development, and church leadership strategies.
Florida megachurch pastor Joel Hunter says evangelicalism is changing, strong interfaith relationships are important, and faith communities should support a broad public policy agenda.
"People think the church can save the country, when really some types of political responsibility can save the church," says megachurch pastor Joel Hunter
We’re segregated in housing. The job market is segregated, and we end up going to churches with people who look like us. Experts say US churches are ten times less diverse than the neighborhoods they sit in.
Read more of Lucky Severson’s interview about interracial churches with Rice University sociology professor Michael Emerson.
After ministering in inner-city Los Angeles for almost four decades, Father Peter Banks, an Irish Catholic priest, says "hope is to be able to sing in the middle of the darkness, and I can still sing in the middle of the darkness."
“Being religious or spiritual has a very profound effect on our biology and our brain,” says neuroscientist Andrew Newberg. “It can change our brain and change ourselves over time.”