The United Church of Christ's biennial General Synod unanimously endorsed the peace pastoral of the Roman Catholic bishops and voted to work "shoulder to shoulder" with the Catholic leaders for disarmament negotiations that would lead to a reduction of nuclear arms.
Delegates to the Synod, meeting in Pittsburgh this week, renewed their denomination's commitment to support peace efforts by approving plans for special offerings for peace on Pentecost Sunday. The proceeds will be used to support local and national peace endeavors.
The 1.75 million-member denomination is the third largest Protestant body to support the Roman Catholic bishops' peace pastoral since the prelates adopted the comprehensive document on May 3. Both the Presbyterian Church and the governing board of the National Council of Churches also have formally commended the bishops' pastoral, with the Presbyterians voting to send a copy of the pastoral to each of the church's congregations.
The UCC Synod also adopted a resolution on Central America that sharply criticized American military support for El Salvador and efforts to destabilize the present government of Nicaragua. It urged the United States to lead other governments in pressing every opportunity for a negotiated solution to conflicts in that area.
After extensive debate, delegates adopted a report on sexuality that maintains that homosexuals should not be barred from ordination to the ministry because of their sexual orientation. Because clergy are ordained by the local congregation in the UCC, the national body cannot make binding rules on the question, although it does set guidelines on qualifications of candidates for ordination.
The denomination elected the Rev. Carol Joyce Brun, 41, of White Plains, N.Y., as secretary, the church's second highest staff post. Brun has been assistant to the UCC president, the Rev. Dr. Avery Post.
A second jury inquest into the death of Italian banker Roberto Calvi has failed to come to any conclusion as to the circumstances of his death.
Calvi, whose Rome-based Banco Ambrosiano had lent some $1.4 billion to the Vatican bank, was found hanged under a London bridge last June 18.
The death originally was ruled a suicide, but his family has fought to have that ruling overturned, charging that he was murdered to keep him from closing a huge deal with the Vatican bank. His widow testified at the recent second inquest that the night before his death, Calvi telephoned her saying he was negotiating a massive deal involving the conservative Catholic order, Opus Dei.
The jury in the lastest hearing returned an open verdict, indicating it could not determine whether Calvi was murdered. People in the news
Vernon Davis has resigned as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Alexandria to accept a teaching position at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City.
The Rev. Eugene A. Gardner, Williamsport, Md., has been elected bishop of the Lutheran Church in America's Maryland Synod, which has 177 congregations in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Delaware.
The Rev. Juran D. Moore Sr., was ordained to the ministry in the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church where his father, the Rev. Dr. Jerry A. Moore Jr. is pastor.
Rabbi Irwin Blank is the new director of the Washington office of the Synagogue Council of America.
The overwhelmingly Scandanavian-rooted American Lutheran Church has just elected its first black bishop. He is the Rev. Dr. Nelson W. Trout, who has been professor ministry and minority studies at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He will head the denomination's South Pacific District in California.
The Rev. Linda Stoerkel of Arlington has been elected associate minister of Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ.