Towering distinctly over New York Harbor, midway between the shores of New York and New Jersey, is the famous work of art known as the Statue of Liberty. “Lady Liberty” rises 305 feet out of the waters of the harbor with a stern face staring straight ahead, and her right arm outstretched to lift a burning torch. The massive statue was a gift from France to the United States and was officially inaugurated in October of 1886. The translation of her original name was, “Liberty Enlightening the World.” And for over 130 years now, that colossal statue has served majestically as a symbol for that very theme. Friday, July 3, 2020
SPRINGFIELD — The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has eight new priests, the largest class of newly- ordained priests since 1964. The priests, who represent a wide spectrum of ages and backgrounds and who come from different parts of the diocese and the globe, were ordained by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Friday, June 26, 2020
Pastor Scott Parks, Pastor of both First Baptist, Stonington and Old Stonington Baptist Church, has announced the two churches are coming together to offer "Gathering on the Grounds" on Monday, June 29 at 6:00 p.m. on the grounds of Old Stonington Baptist Church. Friday, June 19, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — Things are a bit of a mess in our current time. Division, fear, uncertainty, changes on a scale rarely seen - these are the “new normal” for 2020. You would have to live under a rock to not be aware of this. Even if you lived under a rock, likely you still hear rumblings. What is a person of faith to do? Friday, June 12, 2020
As Marshall Chapman sings the great North American songbook on her new album, the style of tunes chosen is all over the map, probably because they came from such diverse locales as New York, Tennessee, Detroit, Oklahoma and Canada. Friday, June 5, 2020
I recently read of a Christian leader who was complaining about people who were afraid of the coronavirus because it is an unseen enemy. His argument was that he could understand the fear of a foreign army or a criminal invading a home, but this virus is unseen and hence, should not be feared. While I know lots of us tire of the precautions against disease (though we want to keep people healthy and safe), the argument this leader was making is inherently flawed. Friday, June 5, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — It was the scariest thing he had ever done! My son was all of about seven years old, and we were on a family vacation at a major amusement park. He was pretty new to the idea of riding the “big” rides, but he was determined that this would be the day he’d get started. Friday, May 29, 2020
The pandemic for most people was a shock. No warning or preparation was made for this disaster. We were going about with work, recreation, hobbies, social gatherings, community projects, business transactions and daily interactions.
While fighting the coronavirus, medical professionals have offered a strategy now seen everywhere in America, Europe and other developed areas.
Here's the battle plan: Stock up on food and other essentials and then stay home. Wear masks when in public, and practice safe social distancing. Everyone should wash their hands frequently for 20 seconds using soap and hot water. People with fevers or other symptoms should go into quarantine. Friday, May 22, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — The Gospel of John records Jesus saying “if you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free”. A few verses later He says “He whom the Son has set free is free indeed”. This freedom is of the Spirit and soul. No matter where our physical bodies are, nor how confined, Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Many of us are experiencing this truth now. Friday, May 15, 2020
With Mother’s Day right around the corner, my guess is that many of us are thinking about mom. That, of course, is not limited just to those who carried us and gave birth to us, but all the amazing and astounding women in our lives who have been a mother or like a mother to us. Also, as is necessary on a day like this, is a recognition that for some this is a day of mixed emotions. Add into this already tenuous mix a global pandemic that has resulted in reduced or eliminated contact and you have the making of a Mother’s Day like no other. Friday, May 8, 2020
So many things feel out of place at the moment. I feel a bit out of place as I’ve been working from home. The surroundings are familiar, but they are not familiar for the purpose I’m using them. I’m accustomed to work in the office and do the rest of life at home. Not right now. My schedule is a bit out of place. I’ve found that work and every other part of life mix themselves together at present. I find myself working at odd hours because tasks keep coming to mind. Nothing seems normal. Friday, April 24, 2020
TAYLORVILLE — My grandfather, Rev. Carl Bramscher, graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. The year was 1911. He served as a Lutheran minister until his death in 1952. During that time the world saw The Great War-World War I, the Spanish flu pandemic, the stock market crash, the great depression, World War II and the Korean Conflict-War. Friday, April 17, 2020
Absolutely necessary, basic, indispensable, or extremely important, of the utmost importance. These are some of the primary descriptions of something that is deemed “essential.” Essential is not a new or rare word in our vocabulary, but in the current situation that we as a society find ourselves, the word has taken on a unique prevalence in everyday conversation. Once the “Covid-19” crisis became a national emergency, the word essential became the centerpiece of so many health and safety recommendations?Is this business or occupation considered essential? Is this seen as an essential activity? Would this be deemed essential travel? Suddenly now, we are forced to decide what would be considered absolutely necessary or indispensable. And then, there is the discussion about something that may not be indispensable, but it is extremely important. Of course, there is no argument that certain services are essential such as, medical professionals and first responders. (And I wish to say clearly, “Thank you” to those who are working diligently in those areas.) But there are differences of opinion when it comes to other jobs and activities as to their “essential” nature. So, this whole idea of what is essential to everyday life has been a topic of discussion now for several weeks. Friday, April 10, 2020
From finding ways to help others cope to sheltering in place to canceling events, here’s a look at some of the ways the entertainment industry is reacting to the spread of the coronavirus, which most people recover from but can cause severe illness in the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions. Wednesday, April 8, 2020
For Pope Francis at the Vatican, and for Christians worldwide from churches large and small, this will be an Easter like none other: The joyous message of Christ’s resurrection will be delivered to empty pews.
Worries about the coronavirus outbreak have triggered widespread cancellations of Holy Week processions and in-person services. Many pastors will preach on TV or online, tailoring sermons to account for the pandemic. Many extended families will reunite via Face Time and Zoom rather than around a communal table laden with an Easter feast on April 12. Wednesday, April 8, 2020