Christianity

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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Staying spiritual, safe: Campus religious groups adapt to social distancing

September 9, 2020

The Hillel Jewish Student Union used to pack hundreds of students into its Forbes Avenue building almost every Friday evening. Although students can no longer gather in crowded rooms, they’re still spending their Fridays with a few friends and a whole lot of challah.

From socially distant Shabbat to virtual Bible studies to international pen pal programs, students of various religions are solidifying their faith and their communities while following public health guidelines. Faith...

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For Nearly 140 Years, A Seaside Mission Has Offered Ship Workers Small Comforts And Spiritual Support

September 4, 2020

On a hot July morning last summer, the Rev. Steve Cushing rummages through the cluttered shelves in a tiny convenience store that sits on a pier jutting out into Boston Harbor.

The 62-year-old is readying his shop, operated by the New England Seafarers Mission, for an oncoming rush of cruise ship workers.

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The Christian flag and the Boston flagpole

August 31, 2020

Three soaring flagpoles stand on the plaza outside the entrance to Boston’s City Hall. Two of the flagpoles are almost never disturbed — one always flies the American and POW-MIA flags, and the second displays the flag of Massachusetts. But what flies from the third flagpole varies. The city has a longstanding policy of allowing private groups to hold flag-raising ceremonies on the plaza, when they can replace Boston’s flag on the third pole...

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Amid virus lockdowns, prison ministry groups had to adapt

August 31, 2020

Normally Teresa Stanfield spends her days in prisons talking with inmates about how she changed the course of her troubled life, and how they can do the same. But the coronavirus has locked her on the outside.

“When COVID came and shut down programming, I was extremely disappointed,” said Stanfield, Oklahoma field director with Virginia-based Prison Fellowship. “But I also knew that God had a plan and we were going to do everything we could to continue to encourage our returning citizens and keep our volunteers connected.”

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Under tents and with folding chairs, Catholics resume First Communions and baptisms outdoors

August 31, 2020

It’s been tradition for Annmarie Juarez’s children to receive their sacraments of First Communion at St. Frances X Cabrini Church in San Bernardino County, where dozens of their family members gather for the celebrations.

This year, amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, things were a little different for her fourth and youngest son.

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Bipartisan network of Christian groups launches police reform initiative

August 19, 2020

A network of more than a dozen Christian groups is launching an initiative to address police reform.

The Prayer & Action Justice Initiative — bringing together Black, Hispanic and Asian organizations along with groups focused on prisoners, prayer and public justice — will advocate for greater equality, accountability and transparency in the criminal justice system.

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Online prayers, social distancing in the pews: Christian leaders debate how to do church amid pandemic

August 18, 2020

On a recent Sunday, Rod Loy, senior pastor at the First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, Arkansas, delivered the message of the Gospel through his computer screen.

"It's easy to live out your faith when everything is going good," he preached to his...

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Worship during COVID-19: How Cheez-Its, ZOOM and blue tape are the new norms in faith

August 14, 2020

Each Sunday, Ray Smith and his family go to their living room for church, which they've watched online since the coronavirus pandemic caused most places of worship to close earlier this year.

His wife knew how to prepare unleavened bread from her time at a small church while growing up and soon she was providing the bread for their home communion. 

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Virginia shines as solar hot spot in Catholic Energies expansion

August 12, 2020

A quick scan of the parishes and groups partnering with Catholic Energies reveals a noticeable geographic pattern: Virginia is a growing hotbed of solar activity.

Last month, three parishes in the Arlington Diocese powered up new solar installations, each developed and financed through Catholic Energies, the burgeoning program of the Catholic Climate Covenant that helps church institutions find outside funding to take on energy...

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Harris brings Baptist, interfaith roots to Democratic ticket

August 12, 2020

Kamala Harris, tapped on Tuesday as Joe Biden’s running mate, attended services at both a Black Baptist church and a Hindu temple growing up – an interfaith background that reflects her historic status as the first Black woman and woman of South Asian descent on a major-party presidential ticket.

The 55-year-old first-term Democratic senator, whose name means “lotus” in the Sanskrit language, identifies as a Baptist as an adult and brought another faith into her life in 2014 when she married Douglas Emhoff, a Jewish attorney. Their wedding featured the breaking of a glass, a...

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