During denominational meetings this summer, several churches took stands on pornography and abortion. And at least two denominations debated the propriety of holding church investments in companies that do business in South Africa.

The general synod of the 1.7 million-member United Church of Christ (UCC) called for the immediate divestment of all its assets—estimated at $100 million to $125 million—from firms that do business in South Africa. (The synod action is recommended, but not binding, on the autonomous boards of national UCC agencies.) Some say divestment would help pressure the South African government to abolish apartheid, its policy of racial separation. In addition, synod delegates called for church members to refuse to buy products imported from South Africa and to boycott companies doing business with that nation.

A second denomination, the Church of the Brethren, instructed its general board to study the issue of divestment of church assets from companies that do business in South Africa. The general board will present a policy paper to next year’s annual conference of the 164,000-member church.

In a major ecumenical development, the UCC and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in separate meetings voted to enter into an “ecumenical partnership” that stops short of a formal merger. The UCC called on all of its congregations to implement closer ties with the 1.2 million-member Disciples of Christ. The partnership will include shared theological study and common worship that will include sharing Holy Communion.

Other denominations debated a variety of issues, including pornography and abortion. Included among actions taken are the following:

• Delegates to the biennial meeting of the 1.6 million-member American ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.