Christianity

Jews Find Joy In Christmas Season

December 24, 2000

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On December 24, 2000, the St. Petersburg Times reported that many Jews enjoy some aspects of the Christmas season. Sheila Weinstock, a Jew who grew up in Boston, said she never felt left out of the Christian holiday. Although she does not celebrate Christmas, she does not resent it, either. She said she enjoys the sacred connotations that go along with Christmas. Clara Solomon, also a Jew, said she loves the season. "Solomon always has loved sparkly things. For a time, she sold gold and diamonds at the Wagon Wheel Flea Market....

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Lexington Creche Brings People Together

December 24, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 24, 2000, The Boston Globe reported that "hundreds of singing and shivering worshipers congregated on historic Battle Green last night to turn the site of a controversy into a place for celebration. They came to sing Christmas carols and witness a live Nativity scene. Activists planned the event after town officials banned them from displaying a creche on the historic green." Some say that the ban has brought them together in their feelings of faith. "The service was led by the Rev. Tom DiLorenzo of Holy Rosary Church...

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Black Churches Expanding Their Roles in Community

December 24, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

n December 24, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported, in an editorial, that African American churches are quickly becoming centers of community renewal. Their work goes beyond charity to the use of sophisticated financing as a means to improve real property and attract mainstream businesses. Black churches are revitalizing poorer neighborhoods for three reasons: first, they often confront urgent needs, since poverty, homelessness and unemployment are at crisis levels in these areas. Second, black churches have been an institution in...

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Eastern Orthodox Church Issues Rare Letter To Believers

December 23, 2000

Source: St. Louis Dispatch

On December 23, 2000, the St. Louis Dispatch reported that the bishops who head eight branches of Eastern Orthodoxy in North America issues a rare letter to their believers. The letter marked Christmas and talked about the modern relevance of their faith. "The 44-page document presents Orthodoxy's distinct understanding of Christian faith and offers a social critique of America that covers such problems as materialism, prejudice and abuse of the environment." The letter was issued by the Standing Conference of Canonical...

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Chapels in Malls Attract Devotees with Convenience, Anonymity

December 21, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 21, 2000, The Boston Globe reported on the presence of chapels in malls. The article states that many like the mall chapels, of which there are perhaps a dozen in the country, for their convenience and anonymity, especially regarding confessions. "'A chapel in a mall...is about as anonymous as you get,' explained [Father Bill] Mullin, [a priest at St. Francis Chapel in the Prudential Center mall]. 'For someone who's been away from church for a while, the anonymity of the confessional is very important. I'm never...

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Donors During the Holidays Are Decreasing While List of Those In Need Increases

December 20, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 20, 2000, The Boston Globe reported that this year's list of donors to families in need is low. Maria Contreras, who runs an adopt-a-family program in Boston, asks people to sponsor families, providing blankets, clothes, kitchen appliances and the like. This year, she said her list of needy families has grown and her list of donors has shrunk. Her organization, Soldiers of Health, even sent 250 letters to churches and businesses all over Boston. The families are chosen on a case-by-case basis, and they are families that...

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Christian Finds Personal Meaning In Ramadan

December 18, 2000

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On December 18, 2000, The Christian Science Monitor reported on a Christian and her appreciation of Ramadan. She focuses on fasting, because it requires self-restraint. As she understands it, fasting is a way for people to turn away from materially satisfying the physical body and instead, turn to spirituality, to "a realm beyond the physical and to the home of the perfect and divine." She believes that the spirituality emphasized during Ramadan is not restricted to one religion or only one time of the year. In a...

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Hispanic Initiative Embraces Diversity

December 17, 2000

Source: The Times-Picayune

On December 17, 2000, The Times-Picayune reported that Encuentro, an initiative created to establish guidelines for Hispanic Catholics, has spread to other cultures as well. "'We are Roman Catholic in the Church but we come from many walks of life to be Roman Catholic,' said Francine Collins, a parishioner at All Saints Catholic Church in New Orleans, who spoke at Encounter 2000. 'God doesn't call us to be one uniform. He gave each of us many gifts to use for him.' Parishioners took turns reading poem verses about their different...

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Well-Wishers Inaugurate Church Renovations in Los Angeles

December 17, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 17, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that a historic Los Angeles church, ruined by arson last year, will undergo restoration soon. "Several hundred worshipers and well-wishers turned out on a sun-splashed Saturday afternoon as Cardinal Roger M. Mahony presided over a dedication to begin restoration of the historic church. It serves a community made up mostly of immigrants from Mexico and Central America and their children. Emotions ran high as the cardinal, resplendent in his pointed cap, or mitre, and cream-colored...

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Salvation Army Is More Than A Goodwill Group

December 17, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On December 17, 2000, The Washington Post reported that "for many Americans, the Christmas season is incomplete without the Salvation Army's ubiquitous red kettles, tinkling bells and brass bands urging harried shoppers to remember the needy. Some know that its dependable track record of serving the poor and afflicted has led Americans for the last eight years to give it more money than any other private charity--$ 1.4 billion in 1999 alone. But few people realize that the Salvation Army is an evangelical Protestant denomination...

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A Swedish Christmas

December 13, 2000

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On December 13, 2000, The Christian Science Monitor reported on the experience of a Swedish Christmas, celebrated on Christmas Eve with tradition dishes such as Swedish meatballs and lutefisk. The article is by an American author who was raised in a Swedish family.

Significance of Creches

December 10, 2000

Source: The Plain Dealer

On December 10, 2000, The Plain Dealer reported that creches are important to many Christians during the Christmas season. "For many families, figurines of baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph in the stable at Bethlehem have always had a place under the Christmas tree or on the mantel. But recently, retailers are seeing increased sales of Nativity sets." Creches come in many different styles, from simple to ornate, and often acquire sentimental value as they are passed down in families.

Controversy Over School Nativity Scene

December 9, 2000

Source: The Boston Herald

On December 9, 2000, The Boston Herald reported that "Norwood selectmen voted pro-creche this week, placing themselves on the opposite side of the Nativity scene issue that has entangled Lexington officials in court." Lori Novick requested that the creche, located in front of a public school, be removed. She is concerned that it might make non-Christian children feel marginalized and left out. An attorney for the ACLU is monitoring the situation, as is attorney and head of the Citizens for the Preservation of Constitutional...

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American Muslims Celebrate Ramadan

December 8, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 8, 2000, The Los Angeles Times reported that "an Islamic holiday display now shares a patch of grass in Mission Viejo with Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus, marking what Muslim leaders say is the first time in California that the holy month of Ramadan has received equal billing with Christmas on public space. The small billboard shows a photograph of the Kaaba--the central shrine of Islam in Mecca, Saudi Arabia--with a message: 'Season's Greetings.' A caption under the photo reads 'The First House of Worship on Earth.'...

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Bishop Says Race Is Part Of Homeowners' Battle Against Korean Church

December 7, 2000

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On December 7, 2000, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that "recalling this summer's mosque controversy in Palos Heights, a United Methodist bishop said ethnic bias is partly behind Long Grove residents' fight against a Korean church's plan to move into their community. Traffic and property values are the big reasons that residents oppose the Good Shepherd Church's plan, Bishop C. Joseph Sprague said Wednesday. At the same time, 'I have to wonder if the fact that this is a Korean congregation has anything to do with the kind of...

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