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home : news : religion May 31, 2020

Minister's Message: "A father's words of courage"
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

It will get better!
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.  

Then bam!! 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Fighting the COVID-19 wars - in churches around the world
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

Time to Arise!
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

Lessons to live by
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

Providing the sacraments while keeping a safe distance
Priests in the Church of England have faced many challenges in recent decades -- from plummeting attendance numbers to fierce debates about marriage and sexuality.
Friday, May 1, 2020

A Better Life Renewed
Friday, April 24, 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

My grandfather, my father and I
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

What is essential?
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

Bocelli giving livestreamed performance on Easter
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 Area Churches, Easter This Year Is virtual
Local churches will be offering online Easter services as follows
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Pandemic changes Holy Week celebrations, but not the Spirit
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

Paprocki to celebrate LIVE streaming liturgies of Holy Week
The 125,000 Catholics from across the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois are invited to participate in Holy Week liturgies online with Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

Catholics can go the diocese's website,, or the diocese's Facebook page,, to watch the liturgies LIVE or on replay. Holy Thursday takes place at 6:30 p.m.; Good Friday at 3:00 p.m.; Holy Saturday at 8:00 p.m.; and Easter Sunday at 10:00 a.m.

Monday, April 6, 2020

How one area pastor is spreading the Word in light of social distancing
STONINGTON — Many clergymen are finding themselves in strange times these days. How do you conduct church when there are no people in the building? Everyone is having to be extremely creative and Scott Parks, Pastor at Old Stonington Baptist Church is no exception.
Friday, April 3, 2020

Minister's Message
TAYLORVILLE — As we hear and read about the urban coronavirus hotspots, it might be tempting for those of us who live in rural area to think this level of outbreak won’t where we live. In Taylorville, a town of 10,500, we have 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Friday, April 3, 2020

Local churches are providing on-line connections
TAYLORVILLE — Local churches have been getting creative lately with how they communicate and interact with their congregation in light of COVID-19.
Friday, April 3, 2020

Blessings of peace
Blessings of Peace, Comfort and Strength to all in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. May you stand strong in Him during these trying times.

So much has changed in recent weeks that it hardly needs to be spoken. The virus is one thing, and the fear created as a result is another. Scripture says that “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace”. Recognize this confusion is not the work of our God. In John 10, Jesus said a thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but that He had come to give Life. Hebrews 13 tells us that a time of shaking of both the heavens and earth would come, saying that only things which cannot be shaken will remain. Prophets of old told us these days would come. Christ Himself warned that deception would be prevalent in the season before His return to earth. The predictions given are quite troubling to any who do not have at least some revelation and discernment of the times. However, IN Christ we are in a secure place.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Cancellations, changes to church services and events
Friday, March 20, 2020

Minister's Message: "The hard paths in life"
TAYLORVILLE — Okay, I will just say it – this past week or two has been crazy. While I think that I, like many of you, have tried to balance an approach of keeping things normal, these times we are currently living in are anything but normal, requiring many of us to do our part to keep ourselves, but especially those we love, as safe as possible. For Christians and all people of faith, we also have the added dimension of trying to be as faithful as possible when life becomes challenging and hard.
Friday, March 20, 2020

The new normal: Traditional prayers go online during pandemic
For centuries, Eastern Orthodox Christians have shared prayers "for the sick, the suffering, the captive and for their safety and salvation" as well as petitions that "we may be delivered from all affliction, wrath and need."
Friday, March 20, 2020

Bishops ask United Methodist court to review split
A proposed plan to split the United Methodist Church is on its way to the denomination’s top court to decide whether the legislation that would implement it is constitutional.
Friday, March 13, 2020

Mormons halt worship services as virus spreads
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Thursday it is suspending all worship services because of the spread of the coronavirus, a decision made hours after Utah's governor recommended group gatherings in the state be limited to no more than 100 people for at least the next two weeks.

The Utah-based faith sent a letter to members informing them of a decision that also calls on a temporary suspension of all church activities until further notice. The move comes one day after the faith announced it would hold a major conference in early April without attendees, the first time in 60 years that the religion has taken the extraordinary step of barring church members from attending in person.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Virus: Diocese evaluates practices of shared faith
Since the beginning of 2020, the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has been monitoring developments regarding the Coronavirus, including guidance and information from the Centers for Disease Control, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and other government agencies. They have, they state in a press release, will continue to evaluate the practices of  shared faith life across the diocese.
Friday, March 13, 2020

Inspiring stories in 'The Gift of Forgiveness'
Author Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt not only has researched the case for forgiveness and found some inspiring examples but has also created a compelling case for forgiveness, which, it turns out, can benefit the forgiver more than the forgiven

Friday, March 13, 2020

Holy communion and autism: The mass is not a normal meal
Ever since the Last Supper, Catholics have pondered what happens during the Mass when they believe the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus.
Friday, March 13, 2020

Homecoming Gospel Choir performing in Vandalia
VANDALIA — On Sunday, March 15, at 6:00 p.m., Southern Illinois' Homecoming Gospel Choir will be appearing in concert at the Unity Baptist Church in Vandalia, Ill.
Friday, March 6, 2020

Father Josh is the rarest of all: A married priest
DALLAS (AP) — The priest wakes up at 4 a.m. on the days he celebrates the early Mass, sipping coffee and enjoying the quiet while his young children sleep in rooms awash in stuffed animals and Sesame Street dolls and pictures of saints. Then he kisses his wife goodbye and drives through the empty suburban streets of north Dallas to the church he oversees.
Friday, March 6, 2020

House on the Rock Church movie night Mar. 20
EDINBURG — A free showing of the film “Overcomer” will be at the House on the Rock Church, 314 N Gratn Street in Edinburg, On March 20 at 6;30 p.m.
Friday, March 6, 2020

In our grief
TAYLORVILLE — Our church experienced a couple of losses in the past two weeks as we grieved the deaths of two people that we loved in a single week. Several people in the church were kind enough to check in on me as I led both of these services. The truth is, conducting funerals for people that I’ve known and with whom I’ve served is usually not draining at all. In fact, it can serve as an encouragement.
Friday, March 6, 2020

During time of plague, priests do what priests need to do
The second wave of influenza in the fall of 1918 was the worst yet. By the time Father Nicola Yanney reached Wichita, Kansas, a citywide quarantine was in effect.
Friday, March 6, 2020

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