• JUDI'S JOURNAL 8/2/2009: Things shared by our faiths

    I met a woman recently who showed me something special she carried in her Bible. She had never met me before, and therefore it was very ironic that when she opened her Bible to show me what she had inserted, I could not help but smile and tell her it was “beshert,” fated, that this was to happen. Inside her Bible was a clipping of one of my columns I had written a while back, and it was on tolerance and anti-Semitism. This got me thinking: If we could only focus on the things that unite us instead of the things that divide us, how much better religious relations would be.

  • In the world, but not of the world

    “Do not let your adornment be merely outward — arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel — rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

    In a day when modesty is considered an oddity among teenage girls, there remains a remnant who prefer to be part of a minority rather than the majority.

  • GRACE NOTES 08/08/2009: Just asking...

    (Editor’s Note: Nancy Kennedy is on vacation this week. This column is from her book, “Lipstick Grace.”)

    When I was a new Christian, I knew two sisters. One attended the same church that I did. That church emphasized obedience and holiness. Do what God says and you will be rewarded for your effort.

  • GRACE NOTES 8/2/2009: An open letter to Eve

    This is an open letter to Eve (last name unknown), the first woman created by God, wife of Adam:

    Dear Eve,

    What was it like?

    What was it like to live in a perfect world, a garden paradise? Did you have a house, or did you and your husband sleep outdoors under the stars?

    That was before rain, so you never had to worry about getting wet, and I suppose it didn’t snow either, or get too hot or too cold. So, maybe you didn’t need a house. You certainly didn’t need closets since you didn’t wear clothes.

  • 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.