• Judges weigh religious exemptions for health care law

    Frederic J. Frommer

    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court is considering whether for-profit businesses can be exempted from a contraceptive mandate in the health care law because of the owners’ religious views.

  • GRACE NOTES 9/21/2013: Hope for the knowledge-challenged

    I hope this confession will surprise you, although it probably won’t, but the truth is, I’m not very smart.

    When I was a kid, I was a lot smarter, and when I was a teenager, I knew everything. But now that I’m in my 50s I realize that I’m not all that smart.

  • Lecturer challenges church views on homosexual relationships

    Maria Sudekum

    Associated Press

    PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — A Kansas man whose online lecture about the Bible and same-sex relationships gained considerable attention has gathered about 50 Christians from around the country to delve into his belief that the Scriptures do not condemn homosexuality as a sexual orientation.

  • GRACE NOTES: Column reprise: The secret’s in the dirt

    (Editor’s note: Nancy Kennedy is at the beach for a few days. This is one of her favorite columns from 2005.)

    What I know about growing plants can fill a thimble.

    So, it’s no surprise to me that the cute little yellow flowering things I plopped in the dirt under my little something-or-other tree out front aren’t doing well.

  • GRACE NOTES: Random thoughts, yada yada, freedom and grace

    Some weeks I’m short on column-length thoughts but still have some mini ideas I want to work through on paper.

    Here’s what’s on my mind this week:

  • 'Those people'

    INVERNESS — About six years ago, Dan Gandee was asked if he would play music for a newly forming Celebrate Recovery group in Citrus County. 

    A longtime church musician, he agreed. To him, it was just another gig — an audience.

  • 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.