Multifaith

Houses of Worship Struggle Back, and Tread Lightly on Vaccines

August 25, 2021

The weekly rhythms of Catholic life have started to return at Our Lady of Lourdes in Harlem. The pews are packed on Sunday mornings, prayer groups meet after work and the collection plate is almost as full as it was before the coronavirus pandemic began.

But parishioners are starting to worry about the virus again.

“For a little while everyone felt more free, not using masks and things like that,” said the Rev. Gilberto Ángel-Neri, the pastor. “But now that we hear all the news about the Delta variant, everyone is using masks again.”

Source:...

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How Intel and other top companies make room for religion in the office

August 21, 2021

Intel has been a star in the technology world for nearly half a century. One secret to its success is a little more spiritual than you might have guessed, according to CEO Pat Gelsinger.

In a recorded message that will play during an international conference on business and religion this week, Gelsinger highlights the competitive advantage that comes from building a culture that celebrates personal faith alongside other employee traits. At Intel, workers are...

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Gen Z doubles down on spirituality, combining tarot and traditional faith

August 18, 2021

A new survey released by Springtide Research Institute confirms what metaphysical store owners and veteran tarot readers have known since the term Gen Z was invented: Younger Americans, known for fashioning their own spirituality the way they curate their social media feeds, are doing so using well-established alternative practices.

“There is such little ownership over a religious belief system that you’re just told all the right...

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Legislation Offers Relief To Delaware Students Observing Religious Holidays

August 2, 2021

A few days before the holy month of Ramadan, when most Muslims observe daytime fasting, Rep. Madinah Wilson-Anton received a phone call from one of her constituents asking her about the school’s attendance policies for religious holidays. 

“I was like, that is a good question, let me ask,” she said. 

After several phone calls to various departments, Wilson-Anton discovered that there was no universal policy for students regarding religious holidays. 

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Facebook’s Next Target: The Religious Experience

July 25, 2021

Months before the megachurch Hillsong opened its new outpost in Atlanta, its pastor sought advice on how to build a church in a pandemic.

From Facebook.

The social media giant had a proposition, Sam Collier, the pastor, recalled in an interview: to use the church as a case study to explore how churches can “go further farther on Facebook.”

Source: Facebook’s Next Target: The Religious...

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The Religious Leaders on the Front Lines of Mental Health

July 22, 2021

The Rev. Edward Cardoza estimates that the volume of calls, messages and texts from members of his St. Mark’s Episcopal Church increased 20-fold over the past year. Most read something like this: “I’m sure you’re really busy and don’t have time, but if you do, would you have time for a conversation?”

People who had been sober for 10 or 15 years worried they might start drinking again. Some mentioned suicide. Couples who rarely argued were yelling at each other.

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Denominations have begun creating special prayers for fatal mass shootings

July 16, 2021

When there are mass shootings, like this week in Chicago, or the previous week in Toledo — or, really, any week in this country — Episcopal Bishop Scott Hayashi thinks of that split second in a Tacoma record store decades ago. The beat when he turned toward a man with a gun to ask, “What did you say?” and saw his own 19-year-old face in the man’s mirrored shades before his body hit the floor.

Hayashi spent two months in the ICU and almost died after being shot in the stomach during the robbery. He now advocates with a group of other U.S. Episcopal bishops on the issue of gun...

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Seattle council approves density bonus for religious organizations that build affordable housing

June 29, 2021

Seattle will allow extra density for housing built on sites owned or controlled by religious institutions, while requiring the housing to charge below-market rents, according to legislation passed Monday by the City Council.

The legislation will allow affordable projects on religious properties to rise one to six stories higher than the city’s zoning rules would normally allow, depending on location. Where only single-family houses are allowed, such projects will be allowed to cover more ground than normal.

Mayor Jenny Durkan’s administration developed the...

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Religious institutions step up to help after Surfside tragedy, special mass to be held Friday

June 25, 2021

SURFSIDE, Fla. – The South Florida community is eager to help the victims of Thursday’s condominium collapse in Surfside, including religious institutions.

Local 10 News has learned that many people who lived in the Chaplain Towers South building regularly attended temple at The Shul of Bal Harbour.

And just four blocks away from the collapse, donations are pouring in to The Shul Jewish Community cCCenter.

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Senate Passes Bill To Protect Religious Expression For Student Athletes

June 11, 2021

A bill to protect a student's religious expression during school sporting events is on its way to the House after getting unanimous support in the Senate.

Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) says she introduced the bill, SB181, after learning about Noor Abukaram, who was disqualified from a cross country meet in 2019 for wearing a hijab running for Sylvania Northview High School.

Gavarone, while urging support for the bill, commended Abukaram on the Senate floor. 

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One year after George Floyd’s murder, faith leaders continue the call for racial reckoning

May 25, 2021

(RNS) — Los Angeles pastor Stephen “Cue” Jn-Marie is quick to point out the movement for Black lives and Black Lives Matter has been going on for eight years, but he believes it was “an act of God” that transformed it last year into the largest social movement in U.S. and world history.

“Who can articulate that, but a faith leader?” he added.

For Jn-Marie, who founded the Church Without Walls in Skid Row, the Black Lives Matter movement is valid without faith leaders but, he said, clergy help “people see God’s heart for the movement.”

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Between religious and LGBTQ rights, what does fairness look like?

May 13, 2021

Casey Pick has always viewed Kim Colby with a certain amount of wary respect. 

Both are accomplished attorneys, and both are advocates for causes that cut to the heart of their deepest selves. They are on opposite sides of what has been one of the nation’s most divisive and intensely personal political debates – about sex, gender, and the civic integrity of religious belief.

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Hoboken’s first Sikh mayor is on the front lines of fighting antisemitism

May 5, 2021

When Ravi Bhalla moved to Hoboken, N.J., he was a recent law school graduate thinking he’d stay for a few years and save on rent by not living across the river in New York City. “I was a bachelor,” said Bhalla. “Hoboken checked all those boxes [for] a young, single person wanting to have access to Manhattan, but also being a Jersey boy like myself, wanting to stay in New Jersey.” 

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Iowa City school board takes historic vote, adds days off for Eid al-Fitr, Yom Kippur

April 14, 2021

In a historic move for the state, Iowa City school district officials on Tuesday approved two days off next school year to accommodate Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday, and Yom Kippur, a Jewish holiday.

It all started with one student's advocacy. Reem Kirja, 13, has been petitioning the district to change the calendar since she was in elementary school. In her three years of emails and discussions with district leadership, she has argued that allowing days off for Eid recognizes the diversity of the district, breaks down stereotypes about...

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Religious Life at BU Is “Resilient and Resurgent,” despite Pandemic

March 30, 2021

In spring 2020, the 104-year-old widow of a former BU professor became one of Marsh Chapel’s first congregants to die from COVID-19. “We have not been able to gather” to memorialize her or others lost during the pandemic, as on-premises gathering remains suspended, Marsh Chapel Dean Robert Allan Hill laments one year later.

Yet while the virus forced what Hill calls “worshipping...

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