Christianity

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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How COVID affects religious organizations at UM

September 23, 2020

As the University of Miami continues to respond to pandemic, Father Philip Tran the university’s full-time chaplain at St. Augustine Parish says UM’s religious organizations are also concerned about the spiritual health of the student body.

He, along with the rest of the religious organizations at UM, say they are trying to adapt in order to make sure their members can still be a part of their religious communities.

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For hospital chaplains, navigating patient needs during the pandemic takes a toll

September 22, 2020

When the Rev. Tenku Ruff, a Soto Zen Buddhist priest, took over as the pastoral care director at Phelps Hospital Northwell Health in Sleepy Hollow in June, she knew she was entering uncharted territory: She was taking on the hospital-based position in the middle of a pandemic.

As she spoke to doctors and other staff, she heard about Chaplain Cyril Owambo, who early in the pandemic, was asked to counsel a family whose loved one had just died of COVID-19.

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Religious reaction to COVID-19 mask mandate varies in Ohio

September 21, 2020

Although religious groups are exempt from most of Ohio’s COVID-19 orders, at least 21 public-health complaints have taken issue with their coronavirus prevention practices in Franklin County.

Complaints obtained by The Dispatch through Sept. 9 show that people raised a range of virus-related concerns, including a lack of face masks, social distancing and sanitizing. Since early April, 12 complaints regarding religious organizations were made to Franklin County Public Health officials and nine to Columbus Public Health.

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Travelers Find Refuge In Our Lady Of The Airways, The Nation's Oldest Airport Chapel

September 17, 2020

Our Lady of the Airways, the country's oldest airport chapel, is not easy to find.

It’s tucked away near baggage claim at Logan Airport, in between terminals B and C.

But once you’re inside, it feels a world apart.

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Catholic priest’s traditionalist changes face resistance from progressive Cincinnati parish

September 16, 2020

Parishioners at St. Anthony’s Church in the Madisonville neighborhood are used to being asked why they do the things they do.

Why do they play African drums and clap to gospel music at a Catholic Mass? Why do they stand for the entire service? Why do dancers in white dresses and colorful sashes lead the procession into church?

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Suit: Town should pay for religious school tuition

September 16, 2020

Croydon residents Dennis and Cathy Griffin have been sending their now 12-year-old grandson Clayton to Mount Royal Academy, a Catholic pre-K-12 school in Sunapee, since he was in first grade. Now, they say a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision means the town should be paying his tuition.

In a lawsuit that was filed Sept. 2, the family says religious schools should be included in educational choice programs, furthering the same school choice debate that has centered on the town of Croydon in the past.

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Oregon’s fire: Most churches safe, for now, offering shelter

September 11, 2020

While the foothills of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains have been ablaze, creating red apocalyptic skies and leaving five small towns in ashes, most of the churches in the Archdiocese of Portland have not burned and many have offered shelter to thousands of evacuees.

On Sept. 9, two deaths in Marion County and one in Jackson County were reported, but Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said she feared that many more lives were lost.

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3 Vermont families sue for tuition for religious schools

September 11, 2020

Three families are suing Vermont’s education secretary and certain school districts, saying that denying them a state tuition benefit to send their children to religious schools is unconstitutional. 

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court comes two months after a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a Montana case that states can’t cut religious schools out of programs that send public money to private education.

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