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home : news : religion February 23, 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


Upcoming Church Events
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

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

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

CHRISTMAS SERVICES AND EVENTS AT AREA CHURCHES
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

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

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

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










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