Multifaith

Finding God online: People turn to live-streaming religious services during coronavirus pandemic

March 13, 2020

 

In a typical year, Purim is a festive occasion. The Jewish holiday, which took place earlier this week, is marked by the reading of the Megillah, or the Book of Esther, during which children are encouraged to shake noisemakers, or "graggers," every time the name of the villain "Haman" is mentioned. People dress up in costumes and families often attend carnivals put on by synagogues to mark the holiday. 

But because of the ...

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South Salt Lake Interfaith Council is bringing unity to its community

March 10, 2020

 

When the South Salt Lake Interfaith Council was established two years ago, its primary objective was to help residents, especially refugees and immigrants, to feel welcome and safe. 

“The goal was for residents to feel a sense of belonging,” said Lauren Levorsen, who serves as the council’s co-chairwoman.

The council felt progress toward this goal was achieved last week through a musical and cultural celebration that drew more than 250 people — much more than anticipated and standing room only, according the...

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Coronavirus reshapes Chicago religious practices, but some not changing their ways

March 6, 2020

 

Even as coronavirus concerns spread across the world and religious groups in the Chicago area made changes to their practices to deal with the disease, some churchgoers said they aren’t worried enough yet to change how they worship.

At St. James Episcopal Cathedral, a group of about 15 parishioners gathered for an afternoon Mass on Wednesday. Prior to beginning the readings, the Rev. Courtney Reid told the group that some tweaks in the ceremony will apply because...

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Despite Rise in Violent Hate Crimes, Some Mass. Police Departments Say They Don’t Need Civil Rights Officers

February 28, 2020

Rabbi Keith Stern still remembers his first encounter with anti-Semitism.

Stern was playing on the swings at his elementary school when a classmate told him a joke about Jewish people.

He never told his father, a Holocaust survivor, fearing he would be furious about what his son had experienced.

Source: Some Massachusetts Police Departments Slow to Train Civil Rights Officers – NBC Boston

Solidarity over segregation: Faith-based coalitions organize across races, religions

February 24, 2020

Rachel Prestipino knows how segregated Miami can be every day, including Sunday: “It’s not just at 11 a.m.”

But one thing all groups in Miami share, said Prestipino, lead organizer for a local faith-based organization called People Acting for Community Together, is an interest in solving local problems. “That desire, for whatever reason, goes across all these lines of difference, whether that’s faith background or race.”

PACT has helped Christians, Jews and Muslims in her community overcome their...

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Do religious dating apps like Mutual, Christian Mingle endanger users?

February 24, 2020

When Marla Perrin, now 25, first heard about Mutual, the dating app designed for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she was thrilled.

Perrin had tried dating apps like Tinder in the past, but found the experience fruitless and frustrating: the men she matched with often didn’t share her faith, and her guard was always up, worried that someone would harass or stalk her. 

But Mutual seemed like a dating oasis to Perrin, who was living in Hawaii and looking to find a partner. She thought that the men on...

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Stresses multiply for many US clergy: 'We need help too'

February 19, 2020

Greg Laurie is among America’s most successful clergymen -- senior pastor at a California megachurch, prolific author, host of a global radio program. Yet after a youthful colleague’s suicide, his view of his vocation is unsparing. 

“Pastors are people, just like everyone else,” Laurie said by email. “We are broken people who live in a broken world. Sometimes, we need help too.” 

Laurie’s 15,000-member Harvest Christian Fellowship, based in Riverside, California, was jolted in September by the death of Jarrid Wilson, a 30-year-old associate pastor. Wilson...

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More US firms are boosting faith-based support for employees

February 14, 2020

It has become standard practice for U.S. corporations to assure employees of support regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation. There’s now an intensifying push to ensure that companies are similarly supportive and inclusive when it comes to employees’ religious beliefs.

One barometer: More than 20% of the Fortune 100 have established faith-based employee resource groups, according to an AP examination and there’s a high-powered conference taking place this week in Washington aimed at expanding those ranks.

“Corporate America is at a tipping point...

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Houses Of Worship Struggle To Balance Security and Belief

February 10, 2020

It's hard to tell who has a gun at Fellowship of Wildwood church.

The men stand silently at the edge of the crowd, as worshippers shrug off their heavy winter coats and sip from paper coffee cups before the Sunday service. 

Nicknamed the "sheepdog ministry," the group of about a dozen volunteers provide armed protection for congregants at the Baptist church west of St. Louis.

Attacks on houses of worship in recent years have left congregations grappling with how to respond. Some have hired armed guards or trained members to carry weapons, but others...

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Teen MOSAIC Program Teaches Cultural, Religious Acceptance

January 28, 2020

Each year, when a new group of teens gathers to participate in the year- long inter faith education, volunteerism and leadership program sponsored by Garden State MOSAIC, facilitators guide them in a simple, ice-breaking exercise designed to demonstrate how much they have in common.

The teens, who represent many faiths and cultures, are invited to assemble into groups based on such simple preferences as whether they like vanilla ice cream or chocolate; comedies or action films; swimming or track.

As the teens...

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West Ridge’s YMCA Debuts Women-Only Night To Help Religious Women Work Out

January 22, 2020

The West Ridge YMCA has started a new program that will allow the neighborhood’s community of religious women to more easily work out.

The High Ridge YMCA, 2424 W. Touhy Ave., has debuted “Women’s Night,” which restricts access to the fitness center to only women. The recurring event allows the Far North Side’s population of Muslim and Orthodox Jewish women to exercise without worrying about their dress.

Source: West Ridge’s YMCA...

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From Vesak to Solstice: Connecting Through Festival

January 17, 2020

What do feeding monks, fighting a crowd to reach the front row of a rock concert, and celebrating the first day of summer have in common? They can all take place at a festival. Whether it’s a religious ceremony or an event in the name of art or music, festivals have a certain allure that brings together diverse crowds of people to share a cultural experience.

The anticipation of a major festival instills a certain type of feeling. There’s a welling of excitement in one’s chest, knowing that it is a “special day.” I have always been attracted to the type of...

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Atheists prefer cats, Christians love dogs, study shows

January 8, 2020

I do not, and will not ever, own a cat.

Instead, I own a dog. In fact, as I type this, Lucy, my 7-pound Yorkshire terrier, is snoring next to me on my office chair.

Why do I prefer dogs to cats?

It could be because — along with being a social scientist — I am an American Baptist pastor. And like many other Christians in the United States, I’m more likely to own a dog than a cat.

Source: Atheists prefer cats, Christians love dogs,...

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State sets aside $1m for grants to help keep houses of worship safe

January 7, 2020

After a national wave of anti-Semitic incidents in recent years, including a stabbing at a Hanukkah celebration in New York last month and the murder of 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018, Governor Charlie Baker pledged Monday to protect the ability of people in Massachusetts to worship without fear.

Baker said state government leaders “have the backs of those who are here to practice their faith, to live their lives without worrying about being assaulted or, in some cases, severely injured or even maimed or killed because of those beliefs. And we’re going to stand...

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