By Eric Marrapodi and Athena Jones, CNN
Henryville, Indiana (CNN)– Church members held hands as they prayed among the pews at Henryville Community Church on Sunday morning.
"One week ago, we prayed, 'God use us in some way,' " pastor Rich Cheek said as he led the congregation in prayer.
"This morning, so many of you have lost everything," Cheek said, his voice cracking with emotion. "We asked God to use us, and he did."
Outside, a forklift off-loaded pallets of dry goods and bottles of water from a tractor-trailer. The church recreation center and basement have become a clearinghouse for supplies brought in from nearby Louisville, Kentucky, and trucked in by tractor-trailers from Convoys of Hope, a relief agency from Springfield, Missouri.
(CNN) - The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Tuesday voted to allow the ordination of openly gay and lesbian ministers.
The church put the vote to its 173 presbyteries, or governing bodies, nationwide.
On Tuesday, the Twin Citites Area presbytery, which covers Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, became the 87th presbytery - and the deciding vote - to approve an amendment that will remove the constitutional requirement that all ministers, elders and deacons live in "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness."
The change, which opens up the possibility that people in same-sex relationships can be considered for ordination, is expected to take effect starting on July 10. It is the latest move by a Protestant denomination toward the inclusion of gay and lesbian clergy.
"I see this as an opportunity to build a stronger church. Faithful and qualified lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Presbyterians will be able to openly serve the church with energy, intelligence, imagination and love," said Rev. Dr. Janet Edwards, a Presbyterian minister in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, soon after the vote.
Read the full story here.
Editor's Note: The Rev. David Lewicki is co-pastor of North Decatur Presbyterian Church in Decatur, Georgia. He is a graduate of Yale University and Union Theological Seminary and was ordained in 2005 by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
By the Rev. David Lewicki, Special to CNN
On Sunday night I watched the news as it crescendoed around the president’s speech declaring the death of Osama bin Laden. The talking heads worked capably with what few details they had. On the split screen, familiar spliced video footage replayed what little most of us know — or care to know — about bin Laden: wearing a turban, sitting drinking tea, a long salt and pepper beard, speaking to friends, crouching holding a machine gun, skyscrapers smoking.
Twitter gave a way to take the public temperature. Some passed information without editorial: “Bin Laden is dead!” Others tried to score political points: “took O 2 years to do what B couldn’t do in 7,” or “THAT’S a ‘mission accomplished.’” Reports said impromptu crowds gathered in front of the White House and at Ground Zero exuberantly chanting “USA! USA!,” singing our anthem. Others retorted that they would not celebrate any person’s death, no matter who it was. Still others retrieved unsettling data about what it has cost us to find and kill bin Laden, in dollars and human lives.
Finally, from those with an intimate connection to the innocents of 9/11, there were tweets about tears. Tears of relief? Tears because the news dragged them back to the still-tender memories of a decade ago? Yes and yes. I was a first-year theology student in New York City on that day in 2001; I know the tears.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.