In 2014

This week on State of Belief, Welton checks in with several activists on the cutting edge of religious and political activism. The Rev. Dr. J. Bennett Guess of the United Church of Christ will fill us in on the first ever marriage equality lawsuit brought be a religious denomination, Danielle Feris of Hand In Hand will tell us about a new strategy to organize employers for worker’s rights, and Amichai Lau-Lavie will share his latest approach to engage the ‘nones’ in religious practice. Don’t miss this introduction to these exciting and dynamic movements. Download Icon

The United Church of Christ Sues to Bring Marriage Equality to North Carolina
Many have said that bringing marriage equality to the United States is essential to protecting religious freedom and now, for the first time, a religious denomination has filed a case in court arguing just that. This week Rev. Dr. J. Bennett Guess, the Executive Minister of the United Church of Christ’s Local Church Ministries, will walk Welton through the case that the UCC just filed in North Carolina and the families they are fighting for. Tune in to hear this groundbreaking religious freedom argument for marriage equality. CLICK HERE FOR EXTENDED INTERVIEW VIDEO AND TRANSCRIPT

Working Hand in Hand with Employers to Protect Worker’s Rights
With so much of the faith community united to work for economic justice, Welton checks in with an activist who is taking a unique approach to these issues. Danielle Feris is the national director of Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network, an organization that works with the employers of domestic workers to help them ensure that they treat their employees with dignity and respect. She’ll explain how partnering with employers and showing them how domestic worker rights benefit everyone is key to this ongoing work for justice.

Lab/Shul: A “Pop-up Synagogue” to Engage the Next Generation
Some see reports of the decrease in religious observance among young Americans and are disheartened – others are inspired. Welton will sit down with rabbinical student Amichai Lau-Lavie who has taken that inspiration and created Lab/Shul, a “pop-up synagogue” designed to engage this very community.  Amichai tell Welton about ‘Beta testing’ this new model of Jewish community, what he has learned and what he thinks the future might hold. Be sure to check out this interview with an inspiring leader at the forefront of the evolution of modern religious communities.

A Reflection On Race in America
Finally, Welton will close the show with some thoughts about the racial tensions and racism that have dominated the news this past week. He’ll reflect on the words of Donald Sterling, the inspiring actions of thousands of activists across the country and the final decision of the NBA commissioner. This moment should be a call to action for all of us, to challenge racism in those near to us and across our country, to celebrate activism and to think critically about the power of money and those that wield it.

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