• GRACE NOTES 06/05/2010: Veggies and grace

    A few weeks ago, a guest preacher at our church talked about vegetarianism.

    That wasn’t the main part of his sermon, but it’s what I remember. He said 4.5 million people in America call themselves vegetarians and that vegetarianism is on the upswing.

    We’re likin’ our veggies.

  • Seven Rivers welcomes new headmaster

    On June 1, Seven Rivers Christian School welcomed Dana James as its new headmaster. James and his family, formerly of Watkinsville, Ga., will be arriving in the area this month and James took the reins of school leadership on June 1. James brings to the school 30 years’ experience in education.  He has been on staff at Westminster Christian Academy, Watkinsville, Ga., for 15 years, serving as its headmaster for the past 10 years. In addition to leading a school staff and faculty, Dana loves teaching calculus and developing relationships with students.

  • ON RELIGION 05/29/2010: Is Catholic doctrine the key to "Lost?"

    When describing the mysterious concept called purgatory, the catechism of the Catholic Church starts with the basics.

    “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven,” the text states. “The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification. ... The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire.”

  • A title for the Tribe

    Dave Skretta

    Associated Press

    NEW YORK — Yuri Foreman leans over a table in the corner of Gleason’s Gym, a newsboy cap pulled down over his dark, piercing eyes. The thud of heavy bags and the rat-a-tat of speed bags form a mesmerizing rhythm around him, and for a moment he’s at a loss for words.

    He just smiles instead, and it’s hard to blame him.

  • JUDI'S JOURNAL 05/15/2010: Dedicating a new Torah

    When a Jewish group of people gets together to form a congregation, one of the first things they plan for is the acquisition of a new Torah (The Five Books of Moses in scroll form, considered sacred to Jews). This often takes many months or even years of planning, because handwritten scrolls can cost thousands of dollars. Sometimes, if the congregation is lucky, a congregant will come forward and donate the Torah either in memory or honor of a loved one or an auspicious event they might want to commemorate.

  • GRACE NOTES 05/29/2010: The last get first dibs.

    Editor’s note: Nancy Kennedy is on vacation. This column first appeared in May 2008.

    Recently, I cleaned out the kitchen junk drawer and came across the coveted Granola Eating Spoon.

    Technically, it’s a sugar spoon: short and round, the perfect size for eating cereal, especially granola, because the raisins don’t fall off the sides.

  • GRACE NOTES 05/22/2010: 'Get thou over it'

    A writer friend in Denver once got a letter from a now-former reader of hers who said not only would she never buy another of my friend’s books, but she would tell all her friends to boycott them too.

    The reason? The reader accused my friend of quoting from a “lesbian” Bible.

    According to the reader, supposedly the Bible translation my friend used may or may not have had a lesbian on the team of translators.

    If I told you the Bible translation, you’d be shocked, since it’s probably the most used modern English translation worldwide.

  • Washed clean

    On a recent warm Wednesday evening, Minnie “Min” Sockman’s sins were washed away.

    In the presence of people from the Floral City United Methodist Church where she’s a member, friends from the Moonrise Resort mobile home park where she lives and co-workers from the Walmart Supercenter in Inverness where she works, the 67-year-old was baptized in a Floral City lake.

    The weather was beautiful, the water calm, the resident alligators nowhere around.

    And Min Sockman couldn’t stop smiling.

  • ON RELIGION 05/22/2010: Trying to focus on the future

    As strange as it may sound, the head of Focus on the Family is trying to find just the right place in his Colorado Springs, Colo., office to put a framed copy of an editorial from The New York Times.

  • ON RELIGION 05/08/2010: Obama meets Billy Graham

    Both men faced rows of loved ones still wrapped in grief after shocking tragedies.

    Both men quoted the Psalms. Both concluded with visions of eternal life and heavenly reunions. Both referred to familiar songs that offered comfort.

    Facing those gathered in Beckley, W.Va., to mourn the loss of 29 miners, President Barack Obama asked them to remember a rhythm-and-blues classic — “Lean on Me” — that had its roots in coal-country life.