• JUDI'S JOURNAL: Time for fresh starts

    The Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashana, is a time of new beginnings. As it has been since biblical times, it is a time set aside to take stock of oneself and to think over the events of the previous year.

  • Little church, big faith

    They’re few in number, but big in faith.

    This month, Hernando Church of the Living God celebrates its 87th year as the “little church with the red doors” in Hernando, near the Withlacoochee State Trail.

    On Saturday, Sept. 19, the church will bring the five-time Grammy Award-winning group the Blind Boys of Alabama to Curtis Peterson Auditorium for a fundraising concert.

  • Spiritual identity: Facebook prompts cyber soul searching

    For the longest time, the question just sat there on his screen. Cursor blinking. Waiting quietly, like a patient priest in a confessor’s box.

    Religious Views: ______.

    Creating a Facebook profile for the first time, Eric Heim hadn’t expected something so serious. He had whipped through the social network Web site’s questionnaire about his interests, favorite movies and relationship status, typing witty replies wherever possible. But when he reached the little blank box asking for his core beliefs, it stopped him short.

  • ON RELIGION 9/12/09: Views on Obama's speech

    Since returning this fall, Craig Dunham has asked his Biblical Ethics students at Westminster Christian Academy to focus on ways that conservative believers can participate in hot public debates, while showing respect for others.

    This quote from the book “Uncommon Decency” led to timely discussions.

  • GRACE NOTES 9/12/09: Homage to the big guys

    By 10:10 a.m., the place was packed.

    I had come for the 10:30 a.m. worship service, the first one in Cornerstone Baptist Church’s new ministry campus in Inverness.

    They set out 800 chairs, but by 10:30, more than 1,000 people had shown up.

    The pastor opened the service by singing, “The hand of our God is on this place.”

  • GRACE NOTES 9/5/09: 'Fraud alert'

    A few weeks ago, my daughter confessed to the blogosphere that she’s a fraud, albeit an unintentional fraud.

    Her neighbor wanted to take my granddaughter to Toys “R” Us with her girls and then out to lunch. She called Alison and apologetically admitted that she was planning to take the girls to McDonald’s.

  • Reflecting Christ

    True reflection is a visual thing.

    It’s an imitative reproduction, a seeable, viewable image of an original source.

    For a church, to be reflective means to mirror the likeness of Christ.

    That’s the vision of Reflections Church in Citrus Springs.

    “We want to be that reflection of Christ to the community,” said the Rev. Jeff Hall, pastor of the new church.

    They began meeting May 31.

  • JUDI'S JOURNAL 9/5/09: Jews and the labor movement

    It’s that time of year again. The children are back in school, activities have resumed and here in Florida, people are “watching the tropics” and hoping the next named storm passes us by.

    It is also the time of friendly gatherings and backyard barbeques and the end of the summer holiday called Labor Day, observed in honor of the working man and woman.

  • ON RELIGION 8/29/09: End of life issues

    The “Your Life, Your Choices” booklet didn’t cause trouble at the Department of Veterans Affairs until late in President George W. Bush’s second term.

    That’s when critics spotted an odd detail in this guide for end-of-life medical decisions. It urged aging veterans to seek expert advice from one group — Compassion & Choices. It helps to know that this organization was created in 2005 through the merger of two groups, Compassion in Dying and End-of-Life Choices and that, until 2003, End-of-Life Choices was known as the Hemlock Society.

  • GRACE NOTES 8/29/09: Doughnut grace

    Sometimes you just have to eat the stale doughnuts.

    I’m always the first one in the newsroom in the morning and there’s often leftover food from the night crew left out on the counter.

    Normally, I toss it out because it’s usually uncovered, which means bugs and mice probably crawl over it and poop on it.

    Plus, there’s the whole feeling quite righteous for not eating stuff.

    Today a big white box sat on the counter, and because I’m a trained newsperson, I had to investigate. I mean, it’s my job and all.