Christianity

After Supreme Court backs praying coach, no sweeping changes

October 1, 2022

Across the ideological spectrum, there were predictions of dramatic consequences when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a public high school football coach’s right to pray on the field after games.

Yet three months after the decision — and well into the football season — there’s no sign that large numbers of coaches have been newly inspired to follow Joseph Kennedy’s high-profile example.

“I don’t think there has been a noticeable uptick in these sorts of situations,” said Chris Line, an attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which advocates for...

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AP-NORC poll: On game day, some see prayer as a Hail Mary

October 1, 2022

Dolores Mejia thought the Chicago Bears could use a Hail Mary.

In fact, she said the prayer several times as she watched the 1986 Super Bowl, pairing the intercession to the Holy Mother with two other rosary staples — the Our Father and the Glory Be — before her team defeated the New England Patriots 46-10 and took home their first and only Vince Lombardi Trophy.

“I was ecstatic, but I couldn’t believe it,” she said.

Source:...

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Non-diocesan Catholic groups submit their own synod reports to the US bishops

September 7, 2022

Inmates, college students, climate activists, LGBTQ people, clergy sex abuse survivors, health care professionals, church reform advocates and older Catholics are among those who have participated in their own listening sessions for the grassroots consultation that has been held ahead of the 2023 Synod of Bishops in Rome.

In all, 110 non-diocesan Catholic groups—universities, advocacy nonprofits, religious congregations, ministries and private associations of individuals, among others — submitted their own synodal "synthesis" reports this year to the U.S. Conference of...

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Prom or Passover? Schools making progress on accommodating the diversity of Santa Cruz County

September 26, 2022

Debra Feldstein is a bit frustrated, and cautiously optimistic.

Since her older child started going to school 11 years ago, she’s been asking teachers, principals and administrators if they could consider not having picture day, school dances or crucial testing happen on important Jewish holidays, such as the Rosh Hashana New Year’s celebration happening this week.

“I have been fighting this battle every year for 11 years,” she told Lookout on Wednesday. Now, given new efforts to respond to such concerns by both the Santa Cruz County Office of Education and some...

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How faith groups helped pass the climate law

September 7, 2022

Hours into last month’s debate over one of the most significant pieces of climate legislation ever passed, Maryland’s senior senator turned his remarks to Jewish tradition.

Sen. Ben Cardin, who is Jewish, noted that discussion of the Inflation Reduction Act, with $369 billion in funding for climate and energy at stake, coincided with Tisha B’Av, a time of Jewish collective mourning over historic tragedies.

The Democrat’s comments stemmed from Dahlia Rockowitz, a leader for the group Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action, who had reached out to Cardin’s office over...

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Yes, most Latinos are Christian. No, that doesn't make them anti-abortion.

September 20, 2022

Alba has never been in a situation where she had to consider an abortion, even during four high-risk pregnancies. And the Latina mother of five from Dodge City, Kansas, doesn’t know what she’d do if she were in such a situation.

“Even if I don’t agree with it for myself, I’m not going to get in the way of somebody else seeking health care,” said Alba, who was raised Catholic and asked to be identified only by her first name because of the stigma around abortion in her conservative community. “The decisions that I make for myself are for myself only.”...

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Little churches still matter, says Martha's Vineyard pastor of church that took in migrants

September 16, 2022

The Rev. Vincent “Chip” Seadale was at a denominational meeting in North Carolina when he got a call that something was brewing on Martha’s Vineyard.

The call was from a counselor who sometimes attends St. Andrew’s, the small Episcopal church Seadale pastors in Edgartown, Massachusetts, a popular island tourist destination.

She had just learned that about 50 migrants from Venezuela had landed at the airport on Wednesday and needed help...

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Los Angeles archbishop issues new call for immigration reform

September 19, 2022

Speaking to the faithful ahead of National Migration Week, Archbishop Jośe Gomez of Los Angeles encouraged prayer for a society of “solidarity and compassion” that better serves the “poor and least among us.”

“My brothers and sisters, once again we are called to help our neighbors and leaders to feel compassion for the common humanity and destiny that we share with one another, including our immigrant brothers and sisters,” Gomez said. “So let us keep praying for our nation and working hard for immigration reform and let us remember to keep our lives centered on Jesus.”...

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Parishioners reclaim Ojibwe language through hymn translation

September 4, 2022

Holding a wooden flute, Larry Martin stood during a recent Mass and welcomed the congregation to join the responsorial psalm. He began: “Aw ge-chi-twaaa-wen-daa-go-zid, Gi-gi-zhe-ma-ni-doo-mi-nann.”

The language was Ojibwe, and the words translated to “Our God is one who is glorious,” taken from Psalm 19.

Martin, a 79-year-old director emeritus of American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, worked with another language expert to convert the English to Ojibwe, the traditional language of many of the American Indian Catholics who worship at...

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Pastor-led group seeks missing migrants in border desert

September 15, 2022

After strapping on knee-high snake guards and bowing his head to invoke God’s protection, Óscar Andrade marched off into a remote desert at dawn on a recent Sunday to look for a Honduran migrant. His family said he had gone missing in late July “between the two hills where the backpacks are.”

The Tucson-based Pentecostal pastor bushwhacked for three hours in heat that rose above 100 degrees (38 Celsius), detouring around a mountain lion, two rattlesnakes and at least one scorpion before taking a short break to call the aunt of another missing man. Andrade believed he found the...

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Cruel or harmless? Pastors mixed on GOP migrant transports

September 15, 2022

As Republican governors ramp up their high-profile transports of migrants to Democratic-run jurisdictions, the practice is getting a mixed reaction from Christian faith leaders — many of whom, especially evangelicals, have supported GOP candidates by large numbers in recent elections.

Some depict the actions as inhumanely exploiting vulnerable people for political ends, while others say it’s a harmless way of calling attention to the impact of...

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Dominican Sisters' COVID-19 art exhibit memorializes pandemic deaths

September 3, 2022

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the community of Adrian Dominican Sisters was a microcosm of the suffering and loss inflicted by the coronavirus. Of the 219 residents at the sisters’ motherhouse in Adrian, 14 passed away from COVID-19 in the pandemic’s first year.

The loss left the remaining sisters to process their grief, and many chose to do so through art. This past May-August, the sisters displayed some of this art at an exhibit in their gallery at the Weber Retreat and Conference Center. The exhibit, “Art in the Time of COVID,” featured the work of eight women,...

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Jehovah's Witnesses return to door knocking 'like getting back on a bicycle'

September 2, 2022

When the pandemic hit, Aisha Sees thought she’d just be taking a short break from the “main hallmark” of her faith.

Like other Jehovah’s Witnesses, she turned to letter writing and phone calls instead of the traditional knocking on doors.

“The preaching never stopped for us,” she said. “It’s just, the way we went about it changed.”

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