Christianity

Church Buys 17,500-Seat Forum In Order to Buffer Local Businesses and Community

December 29, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 29, 2000 the Los Angeles Times reported the purchase of the Great Western Forum, a 17,500-seat arena in Inglewood, California, by the Faithful Central Bible Church of Inglewood, for $22.5 million. Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, head of the mostly African-American 10,000-member church, plans to "make this one of the premier family gathering places in Southern California" through a schedule of Sunday services, sporting events, concerts, and ice shows during the week, and religious revival conferences. By bringing business...

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Parishioners Follow Foreign National Traditions on Christmas

December 26, 2000

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On December 26, 2000, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that "Chicagoans traveled many miles to attend foreign language services, revisit ethnic roots and refresh childhood memories" this Christmas. Susan Remington of Oak Park, the granddaughter of Swedish immigrants, celebrated Christmas in the Swedish tradition at Ebenezer Lutheran Church. During the service "former Swedish opera star Lennart Backstrom sang several traditional psalms and hymns in Swedish." Afterward, "traditional coffee and pepparkakor, or gingerbread snaps...

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Chicago Preachers Speak of the Meaning of Christmas

December 25, 2000

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On December 25, 2000, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that preachers look to Christmas as a time when they can impart some spiritual wisdom to believers. Rev. Mary Grace Williams said that Christmas should be thought of as a time of "looking right and doing right." The Rev. Peter Semeyn said, "'The light shined in the darkness, but the darkness did not see it,' 'That light in the darkness is supposed to be us. Maybe the reason people don't see it is because we don't let it shine brightly enough.'" Rev. Charles Jenkins said the...

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Multifaith Families Recognize Hanukkah and Christmas

December 25, 2000

Source: Star Tribune

On December 25, 2000, the Star Tribune reported on the unique ways in which the holidays are celebrated in the home of a junior in high school, who lives in a home with a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. They celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas each year.

Lexington Creche Issue Causes Bitter Feelings In Town

December 24, 2000

Source: The Boston Herald

On December 24, 2000, The Boston Herald reported that many came from around the state of Massachusetts came to the Lexington Battle Green to re-enact the Nativity in the place where the Revolutionary War began. "Despite freezing temperatures, more than 200 people descended on the historic common for a one-night re-enactment of the birth of Jesus, complete with animals, music and signs demanding, 'Put the Christ back in Christmas.' " It was also a reminder, however, that some things have changed. "Last summer, the selectmen voted...

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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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