News

The pandemic hasn’t stopped Native Hawaiians’ fight to protect Maunakea

August 7, 2020

 

“It almost seems like it never happened,” Pua Case tells Vox about her time in the encampment at the foot of Maunakea, a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii and the tallest mountain in the world. While she lives only a 30-minute drive away, she says, “I have to go back and look at videos or pictures to remind myself that we were really up there.”

For nearly nine months,...

Read more about The pandemic hasn’t stopped Native Hawaiians’ fight to protect Maunakea

Black Girl Magic: How Tarot Is Helping Women of Color Connect

August 7, 2020

 

Once taboo, tarot reading is considered spooky, and even wicked by some. But the form of divination that uses cards dates back to the 15th century—and has become the latest spiritual trend. Decks are sold at almost any store, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram and Facebook pages are dedicated to the art of divination. But some practitioners in the United States have been using the cards for decades as a tool in their spiritual practices as they turn away from Western religions for traditional African-centered and Indigenous spiritualities.

Thirty-...

Read more about Black Girl Magic: How Tarot Is Helping Women of Color Connect

How the Pandemic Is Reshaping Shabbat Dinner

August 7, 2020

Hosting big, bustling meals on Shabbat is in the DNA of my sister-in-law, Rabbanit Dasi Fruchter. Raised in a modern Orthodox family in Maryland, Fruchter grew up celebrating Friday nights with her family’s table at full capacity of both people and food. More recently, as the founder and spiritual leader at the South Philadelphia Shtiebel—a vibrant Jewish congregation in Philly—hosting guests was a central aspect of her job. “On Friday mornings I would wake up at 6 to shop for ingredients, then come home and cook and work and...

Read more about How the Pandemic Is Reshaping Shabbat Dinner

In Massachusetts, more houses of worship are turning to solar power

August 3, 2020

 

by Sarah Shemkus

Houses of worship in Massachusetts are increasing their adoption of solar power, a trend that advocates say can both influence community attitudes toward renewable electricity and help more low-income households take advantage of the benefits of clean energy. 

At least 64 houses of worship in Massachusetts had solar installations in operation last year, a 14% increase from 2017 and second only to California, according to a ...

Read more about In Massachusetts, more houses of worship are turning to solar power

COVID-19 outbreak at Independence church infects 30, hundreds more possibly exposed

August 3, 2020

by Andrea Klick

 

The health department estimates more than 300 people may have been exposed to COVID-19 between July 19-24 at Old Paths Baptist Church and learned about the connections from the 30 confirmed coronavirus cases through its contact tracing process, said Kayla Parker, the health department’s communications coordinator. 

Robert Alexander, the church’s pastor, said he has worked with the health department since learning about the first positive coronavirus case to inform his community about the outbreak and testing resources. Church...

Read more about COVID-19 outbreak at Independence church infects 30, hundreds more possibly exposed

An Orthodox synagogue and a Black church search for shared history with a walk through a once-integrated neighborhood

August 3, 2020

 

by Ari Feldman

Half of the students in the Zoom class were from Liberty Grace Church of God, a Black Baptist church in Baltimore. The other half attended the Jewish day school affiliated with Beth Tfiloh Congregation, in the Baltimore suburbs.

One teacher was Black and Christian. The other was white and Jewish.

Over a week in July, they gathered together on Zoom to plan an iPad-guided historical walking tour of the city’s Forest Park section, which in the 1950s and early 1960s was integrated — Black and Jewish.

And one day,...

Read more about An Orthodox synagogue and a Black church search for shared history with a walk through a once-integrated neighborhood

The Closure Of Catholic Schools Is 'Devastating,' Advocates Say

July 31, 2020

 

 

Catholic schools in urban neighborhoods, often seen as an attractive option by low income parents and families of color, are facing an unprecedented crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Across the country, at least 100 urban Catholic schools will close in the fall as a result of declining tuition revenue, and school administrators say the number could double in the next two months.The economic downturn caused by the pandemic is leading to widespread...

Read more about The Closure Of Catholic Schools Is 'Devastating,' Advocates Say

In its 10th year, the game ‘Pilgrims at Home’ takes on new meaning for Muslim women

July 31, 2020

 

At 4 a.m. in Houston, Afshan Malik wakes up to pray tahajjud, the voluntary night prayers for Muslims. That earns her 5 points. She wins another 20 points for salat al-tasbih and salat al-haja, the prayers of forgiveness and need. Five more for qada yawm, to make up for obligatory prayers missed over the years; another 5 for staying awake until sunrise; 1 for performing the mandatory fajr prayer; and an extra point for doing so just as dawn breaks.

By the time her five children wake up, Malik has already scored nearly half the 100 daily points she can...

Read more about In its 10th year, the game ‘Pilgrims at Home’ takes on new meaning for Muslim women

How some Black Americans are finding solace in African spirituality

July 31, 2020

 

Porsche Little, a Brooklyn-based artist, diviner, and aborisha — or someone who serves the Orisha, a group of spirits central to the Yoruba and other African Diaspora religions — says that she has received a huge increase in requests for divinations and readings throughout the pandemic. 

“There’s so much happening right now in the world to everyone, and I know for certain that all of this is happening for a reason,” she says. “A lot of people are stuck in...

Read more about How some Black Americans are finding solace in African spirituality

Unable To Travel To Mecca, Muslim Community Holds Drive-Thru Hajj

July 30, 2020

 

At a traffic circle in Maryland, Mona Eldadah watched her father plodding in circles. 

Hadi Rahnama, 77, was walking around a black cube, a replica of the Kaaba shrine in Mecca, to demonstrate the tawaf, or ritual prayer, that Muslims perform when they visit the shrine on the hajj. 

Eldadah corrected her father. 

"No, Daddy, the idea is that the car is actually going to do the tawaf," she said. "It's a drive-through." 

This is the time of year when many Muslims undertake the the ...

Read more about Unable To Travel To Mecca, Muslim Community Holds Drive-Thru Hajj