Multifaith

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS: Local resident finds outpouring of support for new holiday installation

December 4, 2020

Sometimes, seeing the world thorugh the eyes of a child brings about the most profound insights. This is what happened to local resident Allison Bloodworth last December when her son, then age 6, started asking some important questions.

"He asked me while we were driving around town, 'Why aren't there any Hanukkah lights?'" said Bloodworth.

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Wisconsin faith leaders say that "loving your neighbor" means complying with COVID-19 safeguards

November 30, 2020

Some religious leaders have called measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus — including limits on crowd gatherings and mask requirements — an assault on their religious liberty. The Rev. Sonja Ingebritsen, a Madison pastor, strongly disagrees.

“When Jesus is asked which of the commandments is most important, he answers, to love God with one’s whole being and to love one’s neighbor as oneself,” says Ingebritsen, pastor at the Community of Hope United Church of Christ in Madison. “Despite some of the rhetoric, religious liberty is not threatened by health mandates to limit...

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Making the Most of Religious Holidays Amidst a Pandemic

November 13, 2020

2020 has taken away countless events that many people were looking forward to, including many important religious holidays. For Muslims, many were unable to celebrate the end of Ramadan with Eid-al-Fitr in May, Eid-al-Adha in July and many other religious events. For Hindus, the nine-night celebration of Navaratri was unable to be celebrated in person and one of the most sacred holidays, Diwali, will ultimately not be the same as previous years. A commonality amongst all of these celebrations is that they are normally spent with large groups, typically family, friends and loved ones....

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Anxiety, loneliness and spiritual isolation characterize life in prison during pandemic

November 11, 2020

NEW YORK (RNS) — The men incarcerated in a New Jersey state prison have a favorite prayer to chant along with the volunteer rabbi who, before coronavirus lockdowns, visited every Friday evening for shabbat: Shalom alechiem.

“It resounds throughout the room when they sing it out, the idea that angels are with them,” the rabbi, who did not want to use her name or the name of the prison in case it led to her visiting privileges being revoked, told Religion News Service over the phone.

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Hate Has No Home In Ithaca, Local Faith Leaders Say

November 11, 2020

Following several racist and anti-Semitic incidents in Ithaca, local faith leaders are doubling down on ongoing anti-racist programming. While their approaches vary, they have a common message: Hate has no home in Ithaca.

In recent months, local religious leaders have invited speakers on anti-racism, organized anti-racist reading groups and have sought to...

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Rehoboth stands ground on Nativity scene ban, will fund inclusive display

November 6, 2020

Rehoboth Beach commissioners and Mayor Stan Mills voted Thursday to continue their formal ban on "private holiday displays" for the third year, a clear indication the city won't allow Nativity scenes or other religious displays on public property this holiday season.

However, this year officials authorized funds that will go toward creating a "holiday display that celebrates the cultural diversity of our great City," according to a Rehoboth Beach press release. 

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Vote, pray, wait: Faith leaders reassure congregations, call for full vote count as election remains uncertain

November 5, 2020

As the first polls began to close Tuesday (Nov. 3), the Rev. Cara Tanis logged off.

Instead of obsessing over election returns as they trickled in throughout the night, she went for a walk.

Tanis was joined by 50 to 70 people who attended “Walking for the Common Good” around Seattle’s Green Lake, carrying battery-operated votive candles and praying that every vote cast in the 2020 presidential election would be counted.

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Faith groups pray, sing in post-vote ritual in New York

November 5, 2020

Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Muslims and people of other faiths prayed and sang together in post-election solidarity Wednesday afternoon in New York City, even as the outcome of the hotly contested and polarizing vote was still in doubt.

Gathering outside a church in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, they stamped their feet on the pavement, sang gospel hymns, looked skyward in prayer and chanted words of hope to the beat of a drum.

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Displays of devotion: Art reflects faith in northwest Ohio homes

November 2, 2020

Lord Ganesha greets visitors to the home of Jagdish and Shobha Patel in Holland.

A figurine of the deity is positioned prominently in an altar set into a wall just off the kitchen, depicted as is traditional with the body of a man and the head of an elephant. One of several such depictions that the couple displays in their home, this one in porcelain and in the characteristic style of Lladró, it serves a purpose both spiritual and artistic.

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An experiment in unity: Jews, Christians and Muslims mingle on shared campus

October 21, 2020

At a time when the nation feels more divided than ever, one unlikely group in Omaha, Nebraska, is trying to bring people together.

The Tri-Faith Initiative is a unique experiment in unity, sprawling across 38 acres on the edge of the city, almost smack in the center of America. There's a synagogue, a mosque and a church — and on Saturday, Tri-Faith introduced a new interfaith center, the final piece of a plan that was years in the making...

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