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home : news : religion March 29, 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

The similarities between Passover and Easter
To the casual observer, Passover and Easter may not to seem to have much in common. While the two holidays are celebrated by people of different faiths, they share certain similarities. Both Passover and Easter celebrate fundamental tenets of their respective faiths. For Christians, Easter commemorates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a moment that has shaped the lives of faithful Christians ever since
Friday, February 28, 2020

Review: 'Broken Faith' looks inside Word of Faith Fellowship
Few religious leaders purport to hear directly from God but those that do seem to draw an unusually rabid following.
Friday, February 28, 2020

Among the many precious blessings God gives a good name is one of them
"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. “ Exodus 20:16

Luther writes:  “We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.”

Friday, February 28, 2020

Football star fights to honor his commitments
As a teenager, Trey Smith kept praying that he would reach 6-foot-5 -- the right height for a blue-chip lineman coming out of high school, and then a college star who would rise high in the National Football League draft.
Friday, February 28, 2020

After scandals, seminarians pledge to 'get it right'
WYNNEWOOD, Pa. (AP) — The seminarians walk along a hallway lined with photos of classes of priests who came before them. Some are pious alumni who have become their teachers and mentors; others climbed the Catholic hierarchy to be revered as bishops and cardinals.
Friday, February 21, 2020

Encouraged to be encouraging
TAYLORVILLE — “Dynamite comes in small packages” would be an appropriate way to describe a young girl I met recently. This amazing little lady, that I’ll refer to as ‘Ellie,’ made an indelible impression on my life, filling me with hope and encouragement.
Friday, February 21, 2020

Upcoming Church Events
Friday, February 21, 2020

The missing final chapter of Orson Bean's life
Orson Bean answered the same question many times during his crazy ride from Broadway to doing every conceivable kind of work during his decades in Hollywood.
Friday, February 21, 2020

More US companies are boosting faith-based support for their employees
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.
Friday, February 14, 2020

Evangelical Free Church Members Celebrate Valentine's Day With '50s Party
On Saturday, February 8, 2020 the Women's Ministries group S.A.L.T (Sisters Abiding in Light and Truth) sponsored an early Valentine's Day event for the Evangelical Free Church. It was held at the Landing Barn, with a Happy Days theme and featured a diner style meal of hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries and root beer floats.
Friday, February 14, 2020

Spirituals can teach how to build hope in the face of despair
From the moment of capture, through the treacherous middle passage, after the final sale and throughout life in North America, the experience of enslaved Africans who first arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, some 400 years ago, was characterized by loss, terror and abuse.

The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act of 1807 made it illegal to buy and sell people in British colonies, but in the independent United States slavery remained a prominent – and legal – practice until December 1865. From this tragic backdrop one of the most poignant American musical genres, the Negro spiritual, was birthed.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Truth - Let Us Live In It
TAYLORVILLE — In 2 Timothy 3, Paul writes; 1” But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,”
Friday, February 7, 2020

Chicago Catholic church no longer hosts 'World's Largest Block Party'
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s Old St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church will no longer host its World’s Largest Block Party, the church announced on its website Tuesday.
Friday, February 7, 2020

Trying to build a church famly in the #churchtoo era
The email was signed "Worried Wife," and contained a blunt version of a question Bronwyn Lea has heard many times while working with women in and around churches.
Friday, February 7, 2020

Faith Community holding 'Super Bowl of Caring'
As America prepares for their own celebrations to watch the Super Bowl Game in Miami, Faith Community Worship Center in Taylorville will celebrate a "Super Bowl of Caring" to benefit the Church of God Home for Children in Sevierville, Tennessee.
Friday, January 31, 2020

In it for the long haul
I have recently undergone a bit of a transformation. After years of growing longer hair, I cut it. After years of wearing facial hair, I’ve gone clean shaven. After years of bad eating habits, being overweight, and teetering on the edge of both diabetes and high cholesterol, I’ve begun eating healthier and exercising even more than I have previously. As a result I have also lost a considerable amount of weight. All in all, I look very different now than I did six months ago when I really got serious about these things.
Friday, January 31, 2020

'Classroom In The Community'
Mrs. Schaeffer's sixth grade class from St. Mary's School recently participated in Classroom in the Community as part of their celebration of Catholic Schools Week. Students were challenged to create a meal combination featuring the lowest number of calories and percentage of fat grams that cost under $10.00. The lesson incorporated skills that had been taught using the CATCH program sponsored by Taylorville Memorial Hospital.
Friday, January 31, 2020

Sanders builds deeper Jewish identity on 2020 trail
Bernie Sanders is approaching next week’s Iowa caucuses in a position to become the first major-party Jewish presidential nominee in the nation’s history. And at a time of resurgent anti-Semitism, he’s talking in more depth about how his faith shapes his broader worldview.
Friday, January 31, 2020

Candidates find that it's hard to compromise on abortion
President Donald Trump and Democrat Pete Buttigieg recently offered radically different stands on abortion, as both attempted to reach out to Catholic and evangelical swing voters trapped between their parties.
Friday, January 31, 2020

Rabbi Lord sacks on the surge of anti-semitism
Andrew Neil of the BBC kept asking Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn the same question -- over and over.
Friday, January 24, 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

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