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home : news : religion January 22, 2020

In a hurry
Sometimes just one word in a biblical story can change the way that we understand it.. As I began this year, I felt a need to read through the story of Jesus, and I chose the gospel of Luke as my text. Though it was after Christmas, I began reading through the birth narratives found in Luke 1-2, and I came upon Luke 1:39-40.
Friday, January 17, 2020

Facing the connections between 'pro-life' issues
It's hard to talk about the horrors of human trafficking -- including young women and children forced into the sex trade -- without mentioning the I-10 corridor across northern Florida and over to California.
Friday, January 17, 2020

"Now what?"
TAYLORVILLE — Child after child came running to their mother about another tragedy or injustice in their life. After about an hour of this, the last child came running to mom about a crime a sibling had committed. In frustration and exasperation, mom turns and says, “Now what?!”  
Friday, January 10, 2020

Vatican debates about Pachamama rites refuse to fade
The scene during the Vatican's Christmas concert was simple and even childlike, as a young woman from Latin America instructed participants -- including smiling cardinals -- to fold their arms over their chests.
Friday, January 10, 2020

Pope Francis warns of risks from US-Iran tensions
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis warned  that increasing tensions between the U.S. and Iran are setting the stage for a broader conflict in the Mideast while jeopardizing efforts to rebuild Iraq.
Friday, January 10, 2020

This is 2020. So, what now?
A young boy asked his father, "Dad, if three frogs were sitting on a limb that hung over a pond, and one frog decided to jump off into the pond, how many frogs would be left on the limb?" The dad replied, "Two." "No," the son replied. Then he repeated the question, "There are three frogs and one decides to jump, how many are left?" The dad said, "Oh, I get it, if one decides to jump, the others would too.
Friday, January 3, 2020

For deaf worshppers, it's possible for faith to flourish
The Lord’s Prayer ended with the bang of dozens of fists that landed on open palms after a circular motion and a thumbs up in a joint “Amen!”

Not a voice could be heard inside the cavernous sanctuary of Holyrood Episcopal Church-Iglesia Santa Cruz in Manhattan. There was no need for words: From the altar, the deaf congregants led the hearing ones, who from the wooden pews repeated the silent movement of their hands.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Year-end violence refocuses attention on just how vulnerable worshippers are during religious services
When a machete-wielding attacker walked into a rabbi’s home  in Monsey, New York, during Hanukkah and a gunman fired on worshippers at a Texas church 14 hours later, the two congregations in different regions of the country joined a growing list of faith communities that have come under attack in the U.S.
Friday, January 3, 2020

Holiday Church Services
Friday, December 27, 2019

Beyond Christmas
TAYLORVILLE — I love the excitement of people have for Christmas.  I love how folks become more generous and cheery during December.  I love and deeply moved that we celebrate the source of all life? Jesus Christ.
Friday, December 27, 2019

Mother Teresa's nuns return to her rural Ky. mission
JENKINS, Ky. (AP)  They came in old cars and on foot.

One woman powered an electric wheelchair up the steep road with a dog on her lap. A man inched downhill slowly on a riding lawnmower, outfitted with baskets.

Friday, December 27, 2019

SBC's #ChurchToo moment tops poll of religion news stories
Protest rallies have been common during the #MeToo era, but many of the demonstrators outside the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention were quoting scripture.
Friday, December 27, 2019

Saturday, December 21, 2019

People in Bethlehem look beyond religious tourism
For decades, the people of Bethlehem have watched tour buses drive up to the Church of the Nativity, disgorge their passengers for a few hours at the traditional birthplace of Jesus, and then return to Israel.
Saturday, December 21, 2019

A time to celebrate
Another Christmas is nearly here. I don’t know how many years it has been celebrated, but the birthday event happened a bit over 2000 years ago. Those of us who believe that the Creator of all the earth sent His Son to redeem us from the bondage of sin, never cease to be awed by such love shown to humanity in this season. We remember that God so loved the earth He had created that He sent His Son to give Eternal Life to whosoever would believe on Him.
Friday, December 20, 2019

First Presbyterian Church to host Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols Dec. 24
The First Presbyterian Church in Taylorville will hold a very special candlelight Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. on December 24, 2019.

The candlelight service, based upon the traditional Kings College Service of Lessons and Carols, will be presented along with Holy Communion.    A special pre-service recital featuring the talented musicians of First Presbyterian will begin at 6:45 p.m.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Christmas Sunday at Faith Community Worship Center
Sunday, December 22 at 10 a.m. will be Candlelight Christmas Sunday at Faith Community Worship Center located at      South Spresser, (the intersection of Route 40 and South Spresser at 10 a.m.
Friday, December 20, 2019

Log at core of woodcutter's spiritual mission
For 18 years, Tom Durand has watched the battle between heaven and hell play out on two pieces of wood he cut from the same log.

He believes they are gifts from God, sent in answer to a prayer.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Pondering the work of Mister Rogers, a pastor
During a dozen years of ministry, the Rev. Ted Giese estimates that he has performed 200 funerals and made 1,000 hospital visits to the sick and the dying. He also spends many hours in theaters, working on his movie reviews featured at The Canadian Lutheran website.

Thus, Giese knew exactly what was happening in a crucial scene in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." In it, PBS legend Fred Rogers -- played by Tom Hanks -- arrives with a pie for the family of a dying father who has been struggling to heal a bitter rift with his journalist son.

Friday, December 20, 2019

How long is the sermon? Study ranks Christian churches
How long should a sermon be?

The major branches of Christianity in the U.S. have sharply different traditions, with sermons at historically black Protestant churches lasting — on average - nearly four times as long as Roman Catholic sermons.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Church Event Calendar
Friday, December 13, 2019

Black church believed to be oldest in US finishes repairs
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A 160-year-old church believed to be the oldest black church in the United States and built by enslaved Africans has been restored to a version of its former glory.
Friday, December 13, 2019

Chanukah menorah added to Capitol rotunda's holiday display
SPRINGFIELD — A Chanukah menorah was added to the holiday display in the Statehouse rotunda Friday, joining a holiday tree, nativity scene, satanic sculpture and Winter Solstice sign installed days earlier.
Friday, December 13, 2019

News from China, with ties to Baptist hero Lottie Moon
The news reports shocked Christians worldwide, as Chinese police units demolished the giant Golden Lampstand Church in Shanxi Province early in 2018.
Friday, December 13, 2019

"Like a Good Neighbor"
TAYLORVILLE — I was blessed earlier this week that I had a chance to relive some great experiences of my childhood with my own oldest child. It is one thing to tell your children what things were like, it is another for them to experience it, or at least a small taste.
Friday, December 13, 2019

God's unspeakable gift to us
I enjoy this time of  year and all that it brings. It is  a time of  thanksgiving, a time of giving, and, yes, it is a time of receiving. It brings out the child in me as I reminisce about past Christmases and the gifts that I was able to give and receive, the anticipation of what was under the tree, and being able to see family that I had seen maybe a few times or less throughout the year..
Friday, December 6, 2019

Faith made Tubman fearless as she rescued slaves
Millions of people voted in an online poll in 2015 to have the face of Harriet Tubman on the US$20 bill. But many might not have known the story of her life as chronicled in a recent film, “Harriet.”
Friday, December 6, 2019

Kincaid Church of God fundraiser winding down
The Kincaid Church of God (KCOG) has under 100 bags of their famous peanut brittle left.
Friday, December 6, 2019

'Veggietales' creator: Telling the Bible story at the kid level
The ancient Christian leaders who wrote the Nicene Creed never produced a scroll explaining the mysteries of the Holy Trinity to children.

This is not the language found in cartoons:

Friday, December 6, 2019

Guest speaker at FCWC Sunday
TAYLORVILLE — Evangelist Cory Respondek will be the guest speaker in the 10 a.m. morning worship service on Sunday, December 1, 2019.
Friday, November 29, 2019

Wanda Mountain Boys sing at free Tower Hill concert on Dec. 7
TOWER HILL — Southern Gospel Music has always been known for it's smooth harmonies, strong vocals and powerful, straight forward lyrics. For the last 25 years, the Wanda Mountain Boys have displayed all three of these qualities as they have established themselves in the Gospel Music community in the Midwest.
Friday, November 29, 2019

Minister's Message: "Between Giving Thanks and Remembering"
TAYLORVILLE — How fortunate that Thanksgiving is so close to December 1st.  Yesterday, we paused in our busy lives to thank God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for the blessings received this past year. But it has been a rough year.Some of us have lost loved ones. We felt the sting of their absence yesterday. Hopefully the day ended with a word of thanks to God. Our departed loved one who died in faith in Christ is now safe and sound at the never ending banquet feast in heaven.
Friday, November 29, 2019

Anglicans in Canada: a kind of near-death experience
When it comes to having priests at altars, the Anglican Church of Canada is in good shape for the next few decades.
Friday, November 29, 2019

Across Mister Rogers' neighborhoods, his faith echoes
His TV neighborhood, was, of course, a realm of make believe — a child’s-eye view of community summoned into being by an oddly understanding adult, cobbled together from a patchwork of stage sets, model houses and pure, unsullied love.

Visiting it each day, with Mister Rogers as guide, you’d learn certain lessons: Believe you’re special. Regulate your emotions. Have a sense of yourself. Be kind.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Catholic Church boards reviewing sex abuse have largely failed the victims
Facing thousands of clergy sex-abuse cases, U.S. Catholic leaders addressed their greatest crisis in the modern era with a promised reform: Mandatory review boards.

These independent panels with lay people in each diocese would review allegations fairly and kindly. And they would help bishops ensure that no abusive priests stayed in ministry.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Services dedicated to giving thanks at FCWC
The Sunday 10 a.m. service on November 24 at Faith Community Worship Center in Taylorville will be dedicated to the theme "In Everything Give Thanks."
Friday, November 22, 2019

Area Church Services and Events
Friday, November 22, 2019

The thankful one
Best-selling author, Max Lucado, tells about living as an American in Brazil. One day, as he was walking along the street on his way to the University to teach a class, he felt a tug on his pants leg. Turning around, he saw a little boy “about 5 or 6 years old with dark beady eyes and a dirty little face.” The little boy looked up at the big American and said, "Bread, Sir." He was a little beggar boy and Lucado said, "There are always little beggar boys in the streets of Brazil. Usually I turn away from them because there are so many and you can't feed them all. But there was something so compelling about this little boy that I couldn't turn away.
Friday, November 22, 2019

How do some young Americans avoid becoming 'Nones'?
Soon after the internet boom in the 1990s, the Christian consulting firm WisdomWorks obtained software that could run automated chat groups -- allowing anonymous teens to ask candid questions.

Mark Matlock and his team called the project "Wise Intelligent Guide."

Tech-savvy young people were careful, often repeating easy questions over and over to determine if the "bot" was truly autonomous, as opposed to being operated by hidden adults. A typical user would then probe with relatively safe questions, like "Does God exist?"

Friday, November 22, 2019

Court rules man can get "IM GOD' license plate
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A federal court is allowing a Kentucky man to personalize a license plate with the phrase “IM GOD” after a three-year legal battle over the custom engraving.
Friday, November 15, 2019

F-X youth groups displays acts of thankfulness
TAYLORVILLE — During the month of November the "Faith Extreme" (F-X) Student Group from Faith Community Worship Center has been displaying acts of thankfulness in various ways to thank God for blessings in their lives.
Friday, November 15, 2019

Still teaching at 95, Jimmy Carter draws a crowd
The pilgrims arrive early and from all over, gathering hours before daybreak in an old pecan grove that surrounds a country church. They come, they say, for a dose of simple decency and devotion wrapped up in a Bible lesson.

The teacher is the 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Mexican killings spotlight Mormon history of polygamy
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The slaying in Mexico of nine people who belonged to a Mormon offshoot community where some people practice polygamy spotlights the mainstream church's struggle to distance itself from plural marriage, which has a history in the faith but has long been denounced.
Friday, November 8, 2019

Run to the sound of the guns
TAYLORVILLE — As those who have chosen Christ as Savior and Lord, we are involved in an intense spiritual battle in the Heavens being manifested on earth - in our lives and those around us. Those without Christ are involved as well, but without the hope that is ours in Christ.
Friday, November 8, 2019

Professor Phil Johnson, the Berkeley Christian apologist
Phillip E. Johnson was doing what a University of California, Berkeley law professor was supposed to do during a mid-career sabbatical.
Friday, November 8, 2019

Back again
Last year, my wife and I really enjoyed Fall. It’s my favorite season any way, but it seemed especially beautiful. The vibrant colors popped throughout the area, and we enjoyed driving through town and taking pictures in the park. It made me thankful that we live in a place that experiences autumn each year because our years in Florida included just two seasons: summer and a few weeks of not-summer, that time when things are just a little dull and slightly cool and damp. I longed for trees that changed color during that time.
Friday, November 1, 2019

Kincaid Church of God continues holiday tradition
Kincaid Church of God is at it again. The members of the KCOG church will be coming together starting Nov. 3 to begin their annual Peanut Brittle Season. Peanut Brittle making and selling has been a yearly favorite through out the community. Over the past 40 plus years, the women and men have joined together to make the Peanut Brittle. This year is no different. KCOG uses the proceeds made for various projects in and out of the church. Last year the Peanut Brittle Fundraiser proceeds were used to remodel the church nursery and preschool room.
Friday, November 1, 2019

Pastors Honored
The Evangelical Free Church honored both of their pastors at a special reception on Sunday, October 27, in recognition of Pastor Appreciation Sunday. Lead Pastor Don Beetem has been with the church since 2000, and Co-Pastor Jonathan Sorensen since May 2019.
Friday, November 1, 2019

Italian trombonist performing at Decatur Christian
The Central Christian Church on 650 West William Street in Decatur is hosting a trombone, organ, and piano concert on Sunday, November 10 at 4:00 p.m. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.
Friday, November 1, 2019

2 Stonington Baptist churches now share pastor
On Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, First Baptist Church in Stonington, called Pastor Scott Parks as their new bi-vocational Pastor.  Parks is also the bi-vocational Pastor for Old Stonington Baptist Church, a position he has held since August, 2018, and will remain in that position as he adds First Baptist Church to his Pastoral duties.
Friday, November 1, 2019

Singer Craig Morgan finds God's purpose in song
The last evening that country singer Craig Morgan spent with his 19-year-old son, Jerry, was during one of Morgan’s performances at Grand Ole Opry three years ago.
Friday, November 1, 2019

Concerning the prophet Nathan and Theodore McCarrick
U.S. cardinals needed someone who was willing, in the spring of 2002, to face waves of microphones and cameras and answer questions about a clergy sexual abuse crisis that kept growing more and more intense.
Friday, November 1, 2019

Local and area churches host Halloween activities
Several local churches will host pre-Halloween activities this weekend. The public is invited to attend and wear your costumes.
Friday, October 25, 2019

"October 31st - Reformation from a Conservative Lutheran Point of View"
The reformation that took place in the 1500’s was about the salvation of the soul.   Yes, it did lead to social reforms.   Luther had deep concern and a heart for the poor.   He is often times credited with creating the community chest.  He had given instruction on how to distribute collected fund to needy families.   This was done after the Sunday service.  But that was not the major issue of the Lutherans at that time.
Friday, October 25, 2019

Area churches hosting gospel sings and open mic
Friday, October 25, 2019

St. Mary's to hold White Ribbon service Nov. 3
St. Mary’s Church, through their Elizabeth Ministry, will hold their 23rd Annual White Ribbon Memorial Service on Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 1 p.m.
Friday, October 25, 2019

Americans with no religious affiliation growing
The portion of Americans with no religious affiliation is rising significantly, in tandem with a sharp drop in the percentage that identifies as Christians, according to new data from the Pew Research Center.
Friday, October 25, 2019

Will Democrats enter church-state minefield on taxes?
When preparing the 2016 Democratic Party platform, the drafting committee promised: "We will do everything we can to protect religious minorities and the fundamental right of freedom to worship and believe."
Friday, October 25, 2019

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