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Community Building

Congregations Convene for a Greater Cleveland

Slammed by foreclosures, persistent unemployment and poverty, Northeast Ohio can use all the help it can get, spiritual and secular. So the creation of the Greater Cleveland Congregations, a coalition of 40 local religious congregations, could be heaven-sent. The organization, a patchwork of faiths from both city and suburban congregations, promises to put aside theological, geographical and racial differences to concentrate on activism that can improve lives in Greater Cleveland...

Greater Cleveland Congregegations pledges to use interfaith muscle for social justice

During her tenure as Dean of Cleveland’s Trinity Cathedral over the past decade, Tracey Lind has seen interfaith groups come and go. Mostly go. Until recently, few suburban congregations saw the need to collaborate with city churches. And collaborations between Muslims and Jews were not common. Lind claims the newly formed Greater Cleveland Congregations, or GCC, aims to change that. She says the recession has prompted more groups to work together...

In good faith?

The members of the Muslim Educational and Cultural Center of America want to move their mosque to unincorporated Willowbrook because they have outgrown their space in an office park in the village. Seems clear-cut, yet DuPage County leaders are resisting.

In January, the county's Zoning Board of Appeals rejected plans for the MECCA mosque. Earlier this month, the County Board declined to vote on the proposal, kicking it back to planning officials for more study...

Community organisers learn powers of persuasion

As communities get the power to run their own public services, Jessica Shepherd attends a workshop on the art of influence.

The faces around the table are growing redder as both sides become exasperated. A council leader has agreed to meet with a local campaign group that wants to change his mind about shutting a centre for disabled people in the borough. "I'm afraid difficult decisions must be made," the council leader says. "I have another meeting now so we'll have to wrap up..."

Gordon Brown triumphs in unofficial fourth TV leadership debate

Prime minister puts in extraordinary performance when the three party leaders addressed community groups.

Gordon Brown today put in one of the most extraordinary performances of his tenure as prime minister when the three party leaders took part in an unofficial fourth debate – addressing community groups in the largest live audience of the election campaign.

Religions have the power to bring a passion for social justice to politics

Liberal secularists who have so far overlooked Obama's belief should brace themselves for an even greater challenge.

At first I thought it just plain daft; why waste £150,000 putting a slogan on hundreds of London buses: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." It managed to combine so many dotty assumptions - belief in God as a source of worry or as a denial of enjoyment - that I couldn't see who it was supposed to convince. Besides, how can "probably" change someone's mind?

Thousands of church members meet near Dumfries

The first gathering of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, or VOICE, drew 2,014 people from 40 congregations from Prince William, Arlington and Fairfax counties and the city of Alexandria.

Leaders from the congregations that represent 120,000 people met at First Mount Zion Baptist Church near Dumfries on Sunday afternoon and pledged $228,950 to the organization’s mission of providing more affordable housing, strengthening education for people who want to learn English and providing affordable dental care...

Leaders urge Quinn to re-imagine Illinois at North Shore synagogue

A group of Chicago-area religious and civic leaders met with Gov. Pat Quinn at a North Shore synagogue aiming to send him back to Springfield with a mission: clean up Illinois politics.

“We need to take stock of the immense challenges facing the state,” Ibrahim Mohamed said as he explained the purpose of the meeting. “Cronyism and corruption seem to touch all parts of the state...”

An Advocate Lends a Hand as Social Justice Goals Unify Faiths

CHICAGO

Lina Jamoul stood amid the London multitudes that day in February 2003, and in the masses of antiwar marchers in Hyde Park she imagined she saw her political future. There were Socialists and fashion models, dentists and nuns, the sort of coalition that an idealistic graduate student like Ms. Jamoul could envision not only stopping the impending invasion of Iraq, but also making social change at home.

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