Multifaith

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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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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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