Multifaith

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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Hospital chaplains embrace new role during the pandemic: caring for caregivers

March 23, 2021

Before entering the room of a COVID-19 patient, the Rev. Peggy Kelley dons personal protective gear — both physical and spiritual.

She pulls on a sterile gown and places a face shield over her mask. She pumps Purell into her gloved hands and holds them over her chest, checking in with her heart. With a few deep breaths, the hospital chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center sends some words heavenward:

“God, be with me. Walk with me in...

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Pittsburgh religious leaders offer prayers, comfort and encouragement during COVID memorial service

March 19, 2021

Out of grief and sheer frustration due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rev. Karie Charlton of Third Presbyterian Church in Shadyside admitted that she cried herself to sleep at several points throughout the past year.

In sharing her story of grief and vulnerability, Rev. Charlton said she hopes others may feel inspired to make themselves vulnerable to their loved ones as well during such a difficult time.

Source:...

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Chaplains and the rise of on-demand spiritual support

March 9, 2021

Mourning a death. Coping with grief. Healing the heartsick and soothing the sufferers. For much of human history, people addressed loss and trauma through rituals drawn from faith traditions, performed in spaces we called sacred — churches, temples, shrines, mosques — and led by ministers and rabbis, imams and priests. But in New England, where the influence of Puritan piety has yielded to unceremonious secularism, something more malleable is emerging. To meet spiritual needs when and where they arise, we’re turning to chaplains, people trained to work outside the structure of religious...

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School Board Directs FCPS to Draft New Calendar Ahead of Vote

March 9, 2021

Inundated with messages from staff and community members on proposed changes to the 2021-22 calendar, Fairfax County School Board members directed Superintendent Scott Brabrand to redraft it.

During a work session on Tuesday (Mar. 2), the board told staff to consider ways to add flexibility through floating holidays. They said the calendar...

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COVID strikes clergy as they comfort pandemic’s sick and dying

March 2, 2021

The Rev. Jose Luis Garayoa survived typhoid fever, malaria, a kidnapping and the Ebola crisis as a missionary in Sierra Leone, only to die of COVID-19 after tending to the people of his Texas church who were sick from the virus and the grieving family members of those who died.

Garayoa, 68, who served at El Paso’s Little Flower Catholic Church, was one of three priests living in the local home of the Roman Catholic Order of the Augustinian Recollects who contracted the disease. Garayoa died two days before Thanksgiving.

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Religious Groups Keep Faith During Pandemic, Remote Academic Year

February 23, 2021

D. Anthony Alvarez ’21, a member of the Harvard Latter-day Saints Student Association, has attended religious services at the same congregation off campus since he arrived at Harvard as a freshman.

This semester, Alvarez said he still attends services at that same congregation. Amid Covid-19, though, he must sign up to attend ahead of time, don a mask, and eschew singing, which can spread infectious particles.

Source:...

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Group pushes for recognition of minority religions in Fairfax County school calendar

February 23, 2021

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (ABC7) — Dinan Elsyad said it has been difficult balancing life as a Muslim and a Fairfax County student.

“It’s honestly been really hard for me every single year when the holiday rolls around,” said Elsyad who is a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. “I have even gotten into arguments with teachers in the past about whether or not I can get an extension if I leave on that day.”

Source:...

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Salt Lake County taking COVID vaccines to Black churches, mosques to reach wary minority communities

February 17, 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations have been given in at least one Salt Lake County church and soon may be offered at several other religious sites — especially those serving minority communities.

Calvary Baptist Church, one of Salt Lake City’s oldest and most prominent Black congregations, gave 85 doses Monday and will do more starting March 1, when the age for eligible recipients drops to 65. Officials hope to have enough vaccine supply to offer them twice weekly...

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Religion Amidst the Pandemic: How Framingham Has Continued to Practice Their Faith

February 9, 2021

FRAMINGHAM – Over the past year, countless organizations have had to take a step back and think of new and innovative ways to operate during the coronavirus pandemic. Religious institutions have been no exception.

Despite the roadblocks and restrictions brought on by COVID, many religious institutions have actually found great success in navigating the technological world and allowing people to continue to practice their faith in new, COVID-friendly ways.

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Faith leaders urge Congress to honor election result

January 4, 2021

More than 2,000 faith leaders and religious activists are calling on members of Congress to honor the result of November’s election and avoid “a delayed and drawn out objection” this week when President-elect Joe Biden’s win is set to be certified.

Signatories to the statement released Monday include many prominent religious liberals, such as Barbara Williams-Skinner, co-convener of the National African American Clergy Network, and the Rev. Mariann Budde, bishop of Washington’s Episcopal diocese.

Also signing on are a handful of evangelicals who have criticized...

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Religious leaders worldwide across faiths died in 2020

January 1, 2021

The Catholic priest who for decades had been one of the Vatican's top experts on the Latin language died on Christmas Day at a nursing home in Milwaukee. A United Methodist Church bishop in the West African nation of Sierra Leone died in a traffic accident in August as he was engaged in efforts to resolve the denomination's conflicts over inclusion of LGBTQ people. Back in March, a 49-year-old priest in Brooklyn became the first Catholic cleric in the United States killed by the coronavirus. They were among many religious leaders — some admired worldwide, others beloved only locally —...

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Pelosi Names 1st Female Chaplain To Serve Congress

December 31, 2020

Speaker Nancy Pelosi marked another milestone for women in Congress Thursday by appointing retired Navy Rear Adm. Margaret Grun Kibben as chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives. Kibben is the first female congressional chaplain since Congress' founding in 1789.

"Kibben brings decades of decorated experience in the military and the ministry, as a retired Rear Admiral who served as the U.S. Navy's Chief Chaplain and the chaplain of the Marine Corps," Pelosi said in a statement. "Her integrity, experience and patriotism will serve the Congress and the Country well, as she...

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