Parade of 2016 yearenders: Religion News Service publishes its own 'best of' list

The Religion News Service published its own yearender list -- kind of.

Rather than the top religion-beat news events of the year, apparently this 2016 "best of" collection featured the stories that the RNS staff considered their favorites, perhaps even focusing on stories that hit close to home for the writers.

Click here to read this whole feature, complete with the URLs to the stories themselves.

But here are some headlines and ledes to scan, as formatted by the non-profit news service and its team. The result is kind of an eclectic list of sidebars and features, offering commentary on the year and a few major events.

The best news story in the set? Check out the feature by veteran Adelle Banks on efforts to encourage "end of life" conversations among clergy and members of religious congregations.

And back to list: 

After 40 years of women rabbis, a Q&A with the first
By Lauren Markoe | December 8, 2016
(RNS) A self-described private person, Sally Priesand didn’t want to be a pioneer. She just wanted to be a rabbi.
Meet the soft-spoken US-born rabbi challenging Israel’s religious establishment
By Michele Chabin | November 30, 2016
JERUSALEM (RNS) The Modern Orthodox rabbi founded ITIM, an organization that helps converts and others navigate the religious establishment’s legendary bureaucracy.
Iconography classes draw non-Orthodox in search of spiritual images
By Adelle M. Banks | November 25, 2016
WASHINGTON (RNS) A growing multifaith movement of people has been drawn to the art and the spirituality of iconography. They are taking short-term classes with experts, who often travel from abroad to teach U.S. students.
Sioux anti-pipeline action sustained by Native American spirituality
By Emily McFarlan Miller | November 24, 2016
STANDING ROCK SIOUX RESERVATION, N.D. (RNS) From dawn to dusk, the activists and their supporters take part in prayer and ceremonies that were banned until only a few decades ago.
New film focuses on African-American women in Jonestown deaths
By Kimberly Winston | November 17, 2016
(RNS) Thirty-eight years ago this week, more than 900 people died, most of them by ‘revolutionary suicide,’ at Jonestown, Guyana. A new film fleshes out the experiences of the African-American women who died there.
Can evangelicals unite after the 2016 election?
By Emily McFarlan Miller | November 16, 2016
(RNS) Evangelicals are divided on whether those excited by the election of Donald Trump can reconcile with those who see him ‘representing all of the things Jesus stood against.’
In Indonesia, a new way to take back social media from extremists
By Yonat Shimron | November 15, 2016
JAKARTA, Indonesia (RNS) How can the world’s third-largest democracy bridge its diversity challenges? At a hackathon this summer, a group of Indonesians came up with an idea.
How Leonard Cohen taught Judaism to the world
By Jeffrey Salkin | November 11, 2016
(RNS) Leonard Cohen was a singer, songwriter and poet -- and a “rabbi.”
Congregations spur members to have end-of-life conversations
By Adelle M. Banks | November 11, 2016
(RNS) Congregations that have participated in The Conversation Project say they’ve been given permission to discuss a topic few want to talk about.
Are evangelicals expecting too much from a Trump presidency?
By Emily McFarlan Miller and Jerome Socolovsky | November 9, 2016
WASHINGTON (RNS) “We fully expect him to keep his pledge … to the American people,” said Faith & Freedom chairman Ralph Reed.
Dealt a body blow, atheists and humanists regroup
By Kimberly Winston | November 9, 2016
(RNS) Trump’s victory is forcing them to rethink their strategy for coming elections.
Is Augustine the patron saint of the 2016 election?
By David Gibson | November 3, 2016
(RNS) The great theologian died in 430 as barbarians beseiged his city. At the end of a gloomy presidential campaign, many believers can relate. But are they drawing the right lessons?
Cardinal Dolan confesses: Charity dinner with Trump and Clinton was tough
By David Gibson | October 26, 2016
NEW YORK (RNS) But the archbishop defends the traditional candidates’ roast even as some critics say the glitzy benefit for Catholic charities has outlived its usefulness.
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