• Shalom, y'all!

    NATCHEZ, Miss. — As the sun inched below the horizon in this Mississippi River town, people arrived alone or in small groups and walked up the steps of Temple B’nai Israel on Shabbat.

    Only about a dozen Jewish residents remain in Natchez, a city of about 16,400 best known for its elaborate plantation homes. As younger generations moved away, the congregation hasn’t had its own full-time rabbi since 1976.

  • Nancy Kennedy, Grace Notes, 4/10/10

    Editor’s note: Nancy Kennedy is on a beach in Mexico, enjoying spring break with her sister and her parents. This is a column that ran in June 2002.

    I once knew a woman who called herself a “Shameless Hussey.”

    Her last name is Hussey, but she preferred being called “Shameless.” She called herself a “Brazen Hussey” the time she stripped on “The Phil Donahue Show” in 1993. A self-confessed thrift store queen, she had been invited as part of a how-to-be-frugal show.

  • Judi Siegal, Judi's Journal, 4/3/10

    Note: Holocaust Memorial Day will be observed April 11.

    They were hidden away in dank, dark cellars, earthen tombs of despair. They lived in closets or cupboards with false swinging fronts like clothes out of season, hidden from view, mothballed from the world. They slept in barns, woods, attics, hoping it was not their final rest and that a crying child would not give away their secret.

  • 'Eggstra' special

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - You’ve never seen an Easter egg hunt like this before. Bay Area Fellowship, the largest church in Corpus Christi, is giving away flat-screen televisions, skateboards, Fender guitars, furniture and 15 cars -- yes, cars -- at its Easter services this week.

    And even those who don’t win big will walk away with something. The church has gathered donations for 15,000 gift bags, each with about $300 worth of free goods and services.

  • Nancy Kennedy, Grace Notes, 4/3/10

    One of my favorite jokes goes like this: A woman whose husband just left her for another woman walks the beach and finds a bottle in the sand. After pulling out the cork, a genie appears and grants her three wishes, with one stipulation: Whatever she wishes for her husband receives double.

    She wishes for a million dollars and — poof! — she gets it, and her husband gets $2 million. Next, she wishes for a diamond necklace. Poof! One is at her feet and two end up on the neck of her husband’s new girlfriend.

  • ON RELIGION 03/27/2010: JFK and religion, then and now

    In the beginning, there was candidate John F. Kennedy, who told an assembly of Protestant ministers not to worry about his Catholicism because, “I believe in a president whose religious views are his own private affair.”

    In that influential 1960 address, Kennedy boldly proclaimed: “I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me.”

  • STOP! In the name of Love

    As a cop in New York City, MikeDiSanza thought he had seen the worst of the worst of man’s inhumanity to man.

    But as an international evangelist traveling to war-torn and evil-infested areas of the world, he’s seen even worse.

    However, as he’s learned, where sin abounds, God’s grace abounds even more.

  • JUDI'S JOURNAL 03/20/2010: New traditions part of Passover

    The Passover tradition is an ancient one. The celebration of the Israelites’ liberation from Egyptian bondage goes back some 3,000 years. The story of the Exodus is symbolically portrayed and re-enacted each year in a ritual called the Seder. Through the eating of ritual foods, songs, prayers and symbolic acts, the whole liberation experience is re-created by Jews all over the world.

  • GRACE NOTES 03/27/2010: Giving God another chance

    Recently, I met a young guy who told me about his faith journey with Jesus.

    He had grown up in church but didn’t want to follow Jesus once he got older. He didn’t go into details, but he said he was a knucklehead and did a lot of stuff he knew was wrong and didn’t really want to do what’s right.

    One day he was out driving and hydroplaned his car, and it stopped just before going over a ledge.

    He said as he thought about what had just happened and how it could’ve ended, he heard God say to him, “Give me another chance.”

  • P.A.R.T.Y. time!

    The flyer from Teen Girls Party, made to look like a magazine cover, invites local teen girls to join the P.A.R.T.Y., and on a recent Friday night about a dozen or so girls did just that at the FresHope Place in Inverness.

    P.A.R.T.Y. stands for Pray, Align with God’s Word, Restored from the past, Train for your destiny, You pay it forward.

    Teen Girls Party is a ministry of The FresHope Place Women’s Center, under the direction of Pastor Donna Sallee, who co-pastors Christ Way Fellowship in Inverness with her husband, Paul.