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Religion

  • Making ministers behind bars

    PARCHMAN, Miss. — The graduates patted each other’s backs, and nervously chatted with their families. Some sat quietly, meditating about their future, while others wept.

    It could have been a scene from any of the thousands of commencement ceremonies this year. But these graduates were convicted killers, rapists and drug dealers at Mississippi’s only maximum-security prison.

  • JUDI'S JOURNAL 06/21/2009: Reconstructionist Judaism

    While most people have heard of Orthodox, Conservative or Reform Judaism, Reconstructionist Judaism usually draws a complete blank. It is not exactly a household word, but its beliefs and practices have found their way into the other branches of Judaism, with most Jews not realizing where these ideas have come from.

  • GRACE NOTES 06/21/2009: An anti-'Avis' spirituality

    Here’s a backwards, upside-down thought: What if you went to church and the pastor pointed his finger and said, “Stop trying harder.”

    Alan Kraft, the pastor of a church in Greeley, Colo., wrote a book last year called “Good News for Those Trying Harder.” The good news being: Stop!

  • Nancy Kennedy, Grace Notes, 06/13/09

    As I plan for my upcoming week off from work next week, here are some random thoughts I’ve been thinking:

    * Someone said all of life illustrates Bible truth. I thought about that last Friday while driving to three of my favorite places — the Goodwill, Ulta (cosmetics and beauty store) and Panera.

    The traffic bearable, the weather beautiful the whole drive in, I listened to a sermon on CD and felt quite holy and sanctified, which always puts me in a good mood. I’ve forgotten what I heard, but it was good nonetheless.

  • Local church gets reboot

    As the New Church Without Walls celebrates their eighth year as a church in Citrus County, they are proclaiming, “This is your year of change.”

    In eight years, the church has seen its share of changes, as well. Recently, church pastor the Rev. Doug Alexander, talked about some of the changes beginning with …

  • Potter's people

    Two years ago, when Martha Johnson married her husband, Charles, she didn’t want to be a pastor’s wife.

    She had been married to a minister, a bishop, and had lived that life before he died eight years ago.

    But believing that God is the potter and his people are the clay and the works of his hands, she knew enough to let go of her doubts and fears and trust that the Lord knew best.

  • GRACE NOTES 5/30/09: Running on 'Idol'

    If the definition of an idol is something that you think about 29 hours a day, then “American Idol” is aptly named.

    This past season being my first ever to watch, I’m proud to say that I didn’t miss a single show, from the horrendous auditions to the incredible finale. For nearly half a year I’ve lived and breathed and found my meaning in “American Idol.”

  • Pitching some preaching

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Shrinking mainline Protestant denominations are turning to marketing to help stem decades of membership losses and stay afloat.

    The United Methodist Church recently unveiled a $20 million rebranding effort aimed at attracting younger members to the large but diminishing Protestant group. The new ads will appear over the next four years as part of the denomination’s “Rethink Church” campaign.

  • GRACE NOTES 06/06/09: Virtual church

    On a recent Wednesday morning while waiting for people to return my phone calls, I sat at my desk and attended a church in Granger, Ind.

    I found Granger Community Church (“GCC”) while researching T.D. Jakes’ church in Dallas, Texas, The Potter’s House. Today’s Religion feature is about a new church here in Citrus County that’s associated with that church.

    As to how I found GCC, a Web site listing the Top 60 church blogs had GCC as blog No. 59, and I clicked on the link.

  • ON RELIGION 5/30/09: Abortion clash continues

    It was hard to ignore the papal bull condemning the slave trade, which was read to American Catholic leaders gathered in Baltimore in 1839.