• A day of prayer

    LECANTO — Unity of Citrus County, along with thousands of people around the world, will join Silent Unity — an international, transdenominational 24/7 prayer ministry — and Unity churches around the world on Sept. 12 for the 20th annual Unity World Day of Prayer. This year’s theme is “Living Well, Nurturing Mind, Body and Spirit” and the affirmation is “My positive thoughts, words, and actions create a healthy life — mind, body and spirit.”

  • GRACE NOTES: Throwing stones in modern America

    Forget about the feuds between the North and the South, the Hatfields and McCoys or even “West Side Story’s” Sharks and the Jets.

    Dubbed the “A-POP-calypse,” we — at least in the world of pop music — are in the middle of a battle royale between the Katy Cats and the Little Monsters, the fans (or “stans” as they’re called) of singers Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

  • GRACE NOTES 08/25/2013: Hope and change for the hugging-averse

    Confession: I really, really, really hate to admit this, but there’s a certain part of any church service that I dread — the “turn around and greet those around you” part.

    If you ask my sister what’s up with that, she’ll tell you it’s because I’m “people intolerant.” She’s lactose intolerant — I’m people intolerant.

    She’s kidding. Sort of.

  • The Name of God

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia’s government on Thursday won the right to appeal a court ruling that allowed the country’s non-     Muslim minority to use the word “Allah” to refer to God.

    Appeal hearings are scheduled to start Sept. 10 to resolve the politically sensitive dispute that triggered attacks on Malaysian churches and other places of worship more than three years ago.

  • Following God's call into retirement

    INVERNESS — Twenty years ago when the Rev. Craig Davies first came to Inverness, his children were in middle and high school — and his hair wasn’t gray.

    Twenty years ago, First Presbyterian Church in Inverness was building its new facilities on Washington Avenue, off State Road 44 and across from Big Lake Henderson.

  • Thanks for the dinner invitation!

    When I was a brand new, theologically ignorant Christian, I learned about a coming dinner party that I was invited to.

    I was in a Sunday school class and raised my hand to say my mouth was watering just thinking about chomping into a plateful of roasted leg of lamb with tiny red potatoes and onion marmalade.

    The Sunday school teacher looked at me, horrified.

  • Jewish wisdom and sayings

    (For Carol: A doggone good friend.)

  • GRACE NOTES 08/10/13: 'Thou shalt not catfish' isn't a fishing edict

    Have you heard of catfishing? Several years ago, a young guy named Nev Schulman fell in love with a woman he “met” on Facebook. She was beautiful, a musician.

    Megan sent Nev photos of herself and MP3s of her songs. They talked on the phone — and he was smitten. So, of course he wanted to meet her.

    However, when he traveled from New York to Michigan to finally meet her, he discovered that Megan was really Angela, Megan’s stepmother.

  • New pastor takes the pulpit at FUMC Inverness

    INVERNESS — When the Rev. Sarah Campbell first came to First United Methodist Church in Inverness to begin her job as the church’s new pastor, she was somewhat of a novelty and a surprise to the congregation.

    “Before I came there was a rumor going around that I was only 22,” she says.

    Plus, there was a buzz about her being the church’s first “lady pastor” in its 130-year history.

  • Finding a state of grace while on vacation

    Last week I took a trip to California, where I’m from.

    I met my sister, daughter and granddaughter in San Francisco, where we stayed with my 92-year-old aunt.

    One thing about San Francisco — the hills are steep. On my trip we climbed one of the steepest hills, up Hyde Street. At one point I didn’t think I could make it. My sister told me to walk backwards, that it was easier that way. So, I did. I turned around and trudged up the hill, looking at where I had been.