Christianity

Major Environmental Wins in Louisiana Have Faith Leaders to Thank

November 23, 2020

On All Saints’ Day, Nov. 1, religious leaders from multiple denominations gathered in a sugar cane field in St. James Parish where evidence suggests enslaved African Americans were buried. In 2018, archaeological consultants for Formosa, a company that plans to build a giant plastics manufacturing facility on the site, discovered unmarked gravesites.

Bishop Michael Duca of...

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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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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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For whom the bell tolls: COVID-19 deaths recalled with church bell, vigils, services

November 2, 2020

The Rev. Dwight Lee Wolter, pastor of the historic Congregational Church of Patchogue, New York, had been trying to come up with the most appropriate way to mark All Saints’ Day this year as the country copes with the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

A couple of weeks ago, he woke up in the middle of the night and thought, “Oh, my God, we have a bell,” thinking of his church’s 19th-century sandstone, five-story bell tower. 

“It was like, ‘Ring the bell once for each life lost in America.’”

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How do religious groups help America’s homeless vote?

October 21, 2020

The Rev. Kim Jackson ministers to the homeless in downtown Atlanta, and a hot topic of discussion among them — as it is among others around the country — is the upcoming election.

Usually, voting is low on the list of priorities for homeless Americans, says the Rev. Jackson. First and foremost, they’re “hustling to get food” and to find a place to sleep. But this year, her homeless congregants are fired up about going to the polls — and they’re encouraging other members of their community to do the same.

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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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Keeping the faith: how Miami students are practicing religion and faith during COVID-19

October 8, 2020

A lot of people turn to their religious communities for support through tough times. That sense of connection is different as people are navigating through the unprecedented time of 2020, but it’s not lost.

Emily Garforth, president of the Association of Jewish Students at Hillel, has felt the challenges of getting students involved in the organization this semester. She mentioned that less people are showing up to weekly Shabbat services because the dinner portion was pulled. 

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Minnesota sex offenders sue over religious restrictions during pandemic

October 6, 2020

More than a dozen men in Minnesota's Sex Offender Program are suing the state's human services department, alleging the agency has banned the practice of religious gatherings for more than six months in the wake of COVID-19.

Attorney Erick Kaardal, who filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of 15 clients, said the restrictions inside the Moose Lake facility continued even after a June executive order from Gov. Tim Walz that allowed places of worship to reopen at 50 percent capacity.

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Pikeville Independent Schools asked to remove prayer from graduation ceremonies

October 5, 2020

The Pikeville Independent School District is under scrutiny from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) after representatives say the organization received complaints from a community member following the Pikeville High School Class of 2020′s graduation program.

According to a statement from the FFRF, a foundation devoted to the...

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In varying degrees, LDS conference cuts swath through Utah's religious community

October 5, 2020

Saturday is the first full day of Sukkot, the Jewish celebration of the Feast of the Tabernacles remembering when the children of Israel began their wandering for 40 years in the desert.

For one week, the Sukkot traditionally has Jewish families pitching a tent/booth with doors open to the tabernacle as a symbol of looking to God and remembering his protection in the wilderness.

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Amid pandemic challenges, houses of worship show resiliency

October 3, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has posed daunting challenges for houses of worship across the U.S., often entailing large financial losses and suspension of in-person services. It also has sparked moments of gratitude, wonder and inspiration.

In the Chicago suburb of Cary, Lutheran pastor Sarah Wilson recorded a sermon aboard a small plane piloted by a congregation member. The video that went online showed a high-up view of idyllic landscapes.

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Black church turnout effort mobilizes against alleged voter suppression

September 30, 2020

For each day left before Election Day, Martinique Mix, a graphic designer in Atlanta, is developing promotional materials for the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s get-out-the-vote efforts.

“We’re putting them on all social media and email to make sure it has a wide range so that it does reach the person who is 17 ½ and the person who is 77,” said Mix, the granddaughter of a retired AME bishop and president of the historically Black denomination’s ...

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