A Jewish Guide to Interreligious Relations by A. James Rudin

By A. James Rudin

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The PCUSA delegates voted to continue funding new churches specifically aimed at converting Jews to Christianity—efforts that stray far from usual Presbyterian evangelization. Alarmed by a declining membership, the PCUSA now endorses the establishment of churches similar to the Avodat Yisrael (“Worship Service of Israel”) congregation in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. Some Presbyterian critics believe the action repudiates the 1987 PCUSA document. In 2005, the Church voted to defund Avodat Yisrael.

We particularly deplore the appropriation of Luther’s words by modern anti-Semites for the teaching of hatred toward Judaism or toward the Jewish people. … We recognize in anti-Semitism a contradiction and an affront to the Gospel ... and Churches and Church Bodies 39 we pledge this church to oppose the deadly working of such bigotry, both within our own circles and in the society around us. Finally, we pray for increasing cooperation and understanding between Lutheran Christians and the Jewish community.

Catholic Conference (USCC). The latter organization deals with the church’s public, educational, and social concerns throughout the country and internationally. The former deals with such church concerns as priestly formation and training, liturgy and family life, and ecumenical and interreligious relations. There are some 380 Catholic bishops in the United States and approximately 50,000 priests, 94,000 sisters, and 6,200 brothers. The latter are not ordained but often serve as teachers, nurses, social workers, and in other capacities.

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