Multifaith

In Massachusetts, more houses of worship are turning to solar power

August 3, 2020

 

by Sarah Shemkus

Houses of worship in Massachusetts are increasing their adoption of solar power, a trend that advocates say can both influence community attitudes toward renewable electricity and help more low-income households take advantage of the benefits of clean energy. 

At least 64 houses of worship in Massachusetts had solar installations in operation last year, a 14% increase from 2017 and second only to California, according to a ...

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From changing lives to preaching at iPads: How clergy are coping with the new normal

July 27, 2020

 

They can’t shake hands. They can’t sing robustly. And, in most cases, they can’t worship in person with people they’ve seen on a weekly basis for years.

Clergy have been forced to adjust to a “new normal” of leadership in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a crisis that was unexpected both at its start and in its continuing duration.

“We moved from snow day mentality to marathon mentality now,” said the Rev. Rob Dyer, senior pastor of a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation...

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Hilary Decent: How Naperville’s faith communities are operating under phase 4 of Illinois reopening

July 27, 2020

 

Naperville’s faith communities are taking a cautious approach to eased restrictions now that Illinois has moved to phase four of its coronavirus recovery program.

Members of the First Congregational United Church of Christ have been meeting online since March. Rev. Mark Winters said: “Since the middle of March, we have been live streaming our services from our sanctuary. We recently switched to a pre-recorded model which allows us to include more readers and...

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Houses of worship get creative in time of COVID

July 24, 2020

Some worried about finances, some more about safety

With COVID-19 concerns still front and center, houses of worship across the North Shore are moving forward with very different approaches — from traditional indoor Masses to meditations on kayaks to online-only services. Some are worried that the pandemic and economic downturn will have damaging, long-term effects.

“We need your help now more than ever,” the Rev. Jim Achadinha with the Catholic Community of Rockport and Gloucester wrote in a recent blog. “Our parishes depend solely on the generosity of our fellow...

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Valley’s religious turns to faith without framework as virus ravages

July 23, 2020

 

During times of turmoil, many people turn to their respective places of worship for comfort and guidance.

With COVID-19 ravaging much of the Rio Grande Valley and new orders reissued to mitigate the disease’s spread as hundreds more are infected and dozens die daily, many local faith leaders are faced with something of a conundrum: how to provide hope during what many feel is a hopeless time.

For the Valley’s spiritual leaders, the answer lies in social media.

“Almost all of our parishes were able to kind of switch to social media to...

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How Taiwanese death rituals have adapted for families living in the US

July 23, 2020

 

Taiwanese people living in the United States face a dilemma when loved ones die. Many families worry that they might not be able to carry out proper rituals in their new homeland.

As a biracial Taiwanese-American archaeologist living in Idaho and studying in Taiwan, I am discovering the many faces of Taiwan’s blended cultural heritage drawn from the...

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Bingo ban hurts religious community

July 15, 2020

Religious institutions in our community are not immune from the impact of the pandemic. While places of worship have been allowed to reopen with limited services, many fundraisers have been either cancelled or postponed.

There's one particular tradition that's on hold for now according to Bruce Corris, the congregation president for Temple Shir Shalom in Amherst. 

"Our biggest fundraiser of the year is bingo and we have not had bingo since the beginning of March," Corris said. "And we at this point don't have any idea when it may come back. So we're in a budget...

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Multifaith ceremony in Santa Rosa rededicates Holocaust memorial damaged by vandals

July 13, 2020

 

When Rabbi George Gittleman visits the Jewish graves at Santa Rosa Memorial Park, he almost always visits the marker for Lillian Judd.

When he leaves, without fail, he stops at the ritual washing fountain that stands at the center of a memorial honoring Holocaust survivors, including Judd, who survived imprisonment in one of Nazi Germany’s most notorious death camps. She went on to be an author and educator, teaching legions of Sonoma County school children about the horrors of the Holocaust.

Gittleman was close with Judd, accompanying her on many...

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Minnesota 'crisis mode chaplains' seek to heal trauma of George Floyd's death

July 7, 2020

 

Kelly Sherman-Conroy felt the anguish on the streets following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, concluding that people were aching for more than food and emergency relief.

So the Lutheran leader and Native American activist posted an appeal on Facebook for "clergy, spiritual leaders and mental health leaders who would like to serve as volunteer chaplains."

More than 100 faith leaders have stepped forward, fanning out at events ranging from State Capitol protests to food distributions to a Juneteenth celebration. They...

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Federal judge blocks COVID-19 restrictions on New York religious services

July 2, 2020

 

A federal judge eased Gov. Andrew Cuomo's coronavirus-fueled restrictions on religious institutions Friday, lifting a capacity cap on services as churches, mosques, temples and similar facilities.

U.S. District Judge Gary Sharpe issued a preliminary injunction Friday blocking New York from enforcing its prior cap, which limited religious institutions to 25% of their capacity in Phase 2 of the state's reopening process and ...

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Spiritual Houstonians embrace the metaphysical during COVID-19

June 29, 2020

 

People seek Robert Garza when they need answers, healing and hope.

And during the coronavirus pandemic, he said he is more in demand than ever before. At Garza’s store in west Houston, the masses are flocking to buy his herbal remedies and to seek his guidance in spiritual card readings.

“It’s been crazy,” said Garza, owner of Yerberia La Santa Fe.

Now that the future is uncertain to many, the spiritually inclined are finding comfort in the mystical. Crystals and gems are...

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Faith leaders make an appeal to Utahns: Wear a mask to protect your neighbor

June 25, 2020

 

A day after the state’s health care leaders begged Utahns to wear masks with COVID-19 infections surging, an interfaith group of 28 religious leaders issued a joint appeal to people of faith to use face coverings.

Latter-day Saint, evangelical, Catholic, Jewish, Islamic and other faith leaders asked Utahns to sacrifice “a small measure of comfort for the sake of saving...

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Religious leaders call on Mandalay Bay to remove Hindu, Jain statues from cocktail lounge

June 24, 2020

 

Las Vegas leaders from various religious faiths called on Las Vegas Strip resort Mandalay Bay to remove statues of various Hindu and Jain deities from the Foundation Room night club.

The leaders, including Greek Orthodox Christian Priest Stephen Karcher, Buddhist Priest Matthew Fisher and Jewish Rabbu ElizaBeth Beyer, are calling the statues inappropriate and disrespectful.

The group wrote in a release that it “urged William Hornbuckle and Paul Salem, Acting CEO and Board Chairman respectively of MGM Resorts International, parent company of...

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Survey: Most Americans aren’t comfortable going back to religious services

June 24, 2020

 

A new study examining Americans’ response to COVID-19 shows that with the exception of white evangelicals, a majority of Americans are not comfortable returning to in-person religious services.

The results of the survey suggest that despite political pressure to reopen houses of worship — from President Donald Trump as well as leading conservative Christians and religious liberty advocates —...

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Poor People's Campaign stages massive online demonstration

June 22, 2020

With COVID-19 restrictions preventing an intended in-person rally in Washington D.C., at least a million supporters of the Poor People's Campaign reportedly tuned in Saturday (June 20) to watch a mix of live speeches and pre-recorded clips of liberal religious leaders calling for a "moral revolution" and the enactment of a sweeping policy agenda focused on the poor.

“We are gathered today to call for a radical redistribution of political and economic power, a revolution of moral values to demonstrate the power of poor and impacted people banding together, demanding that this...

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