• New pastor brings fresh perspective

    In the United Methodist Church, there’s a place for someone like the Rev. Kelly Greenawald.

    As a 37-year-old never-married mother of two adopted children, she’s different from any pastor Hernando United Methodist Church has ever had in its more than 100-year history.

    And that’s OK.

    The church recently welcomed Greenawald and her children, 5-year-old Annalyn and 4-year-old Brandon, with open hearts. Prior to coming to Hernando, Greenawald served as senior pastor at Sylvan Abbey United Methodist Church in Clearwater for the past seven years.

  • GRACE NOTES 07/25/2009: The big reveal

    Lately I’ve been hooked on watching “What Not to Wear” on TLC, hosted by style gurus Stacy London and Clinton Kelly.

    How the show works: Friends and relatives nominate a chronically fashion-challenged friend who’s ambushed by Stacy and Clinton who hand her a Visa card worth $5,000 with her name on it to spend on a new wardrobe in New York City.

  • Night of Worship planned for local teens

    An old camp song begins, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going.”

    Likewise, it only takes one or two young people fueled by the love of Christ to catch the world ablaze.

    With the hope of fanning the flames of faith, Cami Plaisted, summer youth director at Journey Church in Inverness, is inviting Citrus County teens to a Night of Worship from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at First United Methodist Church in Inverness, 3896 S. Pleasant Grove Road, Inverness.

  • JUDI'S JOURNAL 07/18/2009: Blessing of the moon

    Funny how certain events just stay in your mind — your wedding day, the birth of your children, where you where when the lights went out on the East Coast in 1965, and the day man first walked on the moon.

  • Interns gain insight

    It’s a summer they say they’ll never forget.

    Emily Pullen discovered God is at work in many ways, in many places. Chris Laprade built his faith from the ground up.

    Pullen, 19, of Inverness, and Laprade, 21, of Eden, N.C., are two of 20 college interns from various backgrounds participating in Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church’s summer project.

    “God brought us all here,” Pullen said during an interview Thursday.

  • On Religion 07/25/2009: Why so much attention for Episcopalians?

    On a typical Sunday, 4,281 Episcopalians attend services in the world-famous Diocese of New Hampshire, according to official church reports.

    This isn’t a large number of worshippers in the pews of 47 parishes — roughly the same number that would attend weekend Masses in two or three healthy Catholic parishes in a typical American city.

  • GRACE NOTES 7/18/2009: Don't throw stones!

    I don’t often comment on current events in the news in this column, mainly because by the time it’s printed, the news is old. Plus, much smarter and more insightful people have already written everything there is to be said.

    However, I’m going to add my two cents to the conversation about Steve McNair, the ex-NFL quarterback who was found shot to death in an apparent murder-suicide.

    The married Steve McNair who was shot by his 20-year-old girlfriend.

  • Orthodox Jews urged to consider moving to Jacksonville

    JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville is known for its beaches, military installations and the slogan hailing it as “the bold new city of the South.”

    But it isn’t known as a major center for Judaism, with the local Jewish community estimated at 13,000, compared to about 2 million in New York and about 550,000 in South Florida.

    So Rabbi Yoseph Kahanov said he was puzzled to learn the Orthodox Union listed Jacksonville among 22 “emerging communities” Orthodox Jews should consider if seeking to leave Jewish mega-centers such as New York City.

  • GRACE NOTES 07/11/09: A time for joy

    Only my friend Tara could pull off a boisterous, joyful memorial service.

    Her mother, Kaye Reynolds, died May 30 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Her memorial service was July 3.

    Tara had requested that people dress joyously colorful, so there were a lot of reds and greens and blues. Her mother had a flamboyant spirit, much like Tara.

  • Freedom by faith

    As a boy growing up in the Nuba mountain region of Sudan, Nagi Konagi remembered his father’s warning: “If anyone kidnaps you, don’t be naughty. Be decent, otherwise they will cut the tendons in your legs and you will not be able to run away.”

    On a recent trip to the United States, including a visit with Crystal River friend Norman Hopkins, Konagi told the story of being kidnapped as a child and escaping, as well as how God used an American missionary to change the course of his life.