The Rev. Christy Thomas: Church humbly brings heaven to earth

The liturgy is confusing, unfamiliar, mostly chanted or sung without recognizable tunes and half in a foreign language. The overly incensed air produces an immediate headache.

AP

Colorado nuns appeal birth control ruling to top court

DENVER — A group of Colorado nuns said Thursday they will go to the U.S. Supreme Court to appeal a ruling that allows their employees to receive birth control from a third party under the Affordable Care Act, fueling a combustible argument about contraception and religion ahead of next year’s presidential election.

DRC

Gospel bearer

Linda Choi is a messenger. But she’s not the kind who wears flowing priestly robes or white collars lined in black. She resembles a military officer. She wears a black military-style skirt and jacket with red emblems symbolizing her rank as a Salvation Army officer on the collar.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Unity Spiritual Center offers music, prayer

On this past hot Sunday morning in July, I took in the delightful odor of a freshly mown grass parking lot at the Unity Spiritual Center of Denton in Krugerville. The peacefulness of the quiet neighborhood enfolds me as I walk to the building.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: First Christian Church service welcoming

“It was like going to my grandmother’s house in all the best ways.” Thus my companion described the gentle and welcoming 10:50 a.m. service this past Sunday at First Christian Church of Denton. We sensed hospitality, joy at our presence and a relaxed family atmosphere well-connected to the past.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: American democracy takes next correct step

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads this way: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

AP

Sex offenders sue, cite religious objections law

INDIANAPOLIS — A lawsuit filed on behalf of two registered sex offenders cites Indiana’s new religious objections law in arguing they’ve been wrongly prohibited from worshipping at churches that have schools on the same property.

Courtesy photo

Youngster is a sure shot

Riley Milam began participating in archery in the third grade at Argyle Hilltop Elementary. This year, as a fifth-grader at Argyle Intermediate School, she competed in two different archery associations.Riley...

The Rev. Christy Thomas: St. James AME Church keeps doors open

“The doors of the church are still open.”

Fort Worth diocese schools get new associate superintendent

Bishop Michael F. Olson appointed Douglas Jones as the new associate superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth.

Doors still open

The message members of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church of Denton couldn’t have been clearer. “Oh Lord, the doors of the church are still open.”

The Rev. Christy Thomas: St. Andrew service nourishes the soul

On this past steamy Sunday morning, I worshipped at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in downtown Denton.

AP file photo

Pope Francis challenges world to clean up its act

VATICAN CITY — With a poet’s lyricism, a former chemist’s precision and a pontiff’s moral thunder, Pope Francis recast humanity’s relationship with nature in stark ethical terms, hoping to spur a warming, filthy world to clean up its act “before it’s too late.”

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Elevate Life Church draws many congregants

How can I resist a place that calls itself “The Cathedral of Frisco?” The massive structure of the Elevate Life Church dominates an upper-class neighborhood in far eastern Denton County.

U.S. bishops mull how to follow pope’s lead

ST. LOUIS — The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops engaged Thursday in a rare public discussion about whether their priorities properly reflect those of Pope Francis, with one church leader urging an emphasis on helping immigrants that’s at least as energetic as the bishops’ focus on religious freedom.

Religion calendar

To tell us about your event or meeting, visit DentonRC.com and click on “Let Us Know” for our online forms; email to drc@dentonrc.com; fax to 940-566-6888; or mail to Religion Calendar, Denton Record-Chronicle, 314 E. Hickory St., Denton, TX 76201..

The Rev. Christy Thomas: The Village Church apologizes to members

The Village Church holds 18 worship services each weekend at multiple sites.

AP

Putin to visit Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Pope Francis on June 10 at the Vatican, with conflicts in Syria and Ukraine likely to top the Holy See’s agenda.

Religion calendar

To tell us about your event or meeting, visit DentonRC.com and click on “Let Us Know” for our online forms; email to drc@dentonrc.com; fax to 940-566-6888; or mail to Religion Calendar, Denton Record-Chronicle, 314 E. Hickory St., Denton, TX 76201.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Denton Grace Fellowship Church full of song

An impressive website suggested a young, passionate church presence.

AP file photo

Pope joining gallery of murals in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia boasts a large and colorful cast of characters painted on buildings across the city — and now Pope Francis will join the crowd.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Plano service details path to salvation

“Wow! Joel Osteen and The Summit in Houston have nothing on this place.”

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Prayer event offers hope and grace for all

In 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill that proclaimed an annual day of prayer, giving the president the privilege of setting the day each year.

AP

Christians to celebrate sainthood of Arab nuns

JERUSALEM — The Holy Land’s Christians are excitedly preparing for Sunday’s canonization of two Arab nuns, bringing some joy to a tiny community that has had little to celebrate in recent years.

Religion Calendar

To tell us about your event or meeting, visit DentonRC.com and click on “Let Us Know” for our online forms; email to drc@dentonrc.com; fax to 940-566-6888; or mail to Religion Calendar, Denton Record-Chronicle, 314 E. Hickory St., Denton, TX 76201.

Unified effort

AP file photo

Chinese province to ban Christian crosses on roofs

BEIJING — A Chinese province where authorities have forcibly removed hundreds of rooftop crosses from Protestant and Catholic churches has proposed a ban on any further placement of the religious symbol atop sanctuaries.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Fascinating service culminates with call for truth

Iread The Cross and the Switchblade many years ago. It’s a book about David Wilkerson and his passion for ministering to drug addicts in Times Square. Eventually, his work turned into the Times Square Church.

DRC

Daily devotion

For Denton resident Grace Wickersham, praying started as something her family did together.

The Dallas Morning News

Church finds its redemption in Ebola crisis

DALLAS — Recently, between Palm Sunday services, pastor George Mason weaved confidently and quickly through the halls of Wilshire Baptist Church. He greeted everyone with his trademark smile, passing some with a handshake, others with a pat on the shoulder.

Courtesy photo

Mormon youth add to database

About 200 local youth from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participated in a service project at the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery in Denton.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Tarrytown church offers good worship service

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — “Shall we tell your mother where we attend church or just let her be surprised?” my daughter-in-law asked my son.They live in a lovely town north of New York City. Their three adorable...

AP

Catholics say farewell to Chicago’s Cardinal George

CHICAGO — Cardinal Francis George was remembered Thursday as a man of deep faith, intellect and compassion as Catholics said their final goodbyes to the man who led the nation’s third-largest archdiocese and was known as a vigorous defender of Roman Catholic orthodoxy.

AP

Vatican ends takeover of American nun group

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican on Thursday unexpectedly ended its controversial takeover of the main umbrella group of U.S. nuns, cementing a major shift in tone and treatment of U.S. sisters under the social justice-minded Pope Francis.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Jehovah’s Witnesses make visitors welcome

Just walking to the door identified us as visitors with outsider status. I wore tailored dress slacks, boots and blazer and my companion was similarly clothed with a dress shirt, jacket and slacks.

Rev. Christy Thomas: Good Friday worship in Holy Land unforgettable

JERUSALEM — We stood in a tight crowd, unable to move, barely able to breathe, waiting our turn. Security guards with high-powered automatic weapons had been charged with crowd control outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Good Friday. Only a few could go in at a time.

Tenn. bill would make Bible official state book

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Despite concerns that giving the holy Bible the same status as a salamander is a little tawdry and could be unconstitutional, Tennessee lawmakers are forging ahead with plans to make it the official state book — something at least two other states have failed to do.

Religion Calendar

To tell us about your event or meeting, visit DentonRC.com and click on “Let Us Know” for our online forms; email to drc@dentonrc.com; fax to 940-566-6888; or mail to Religion Calendar, Denton Record-Chronicle, 314 E. Hickory St., Denton, TX 76201.

Religion calendar

Pope washes feet of 12 inmates

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 inmates and a baby at Rome’s main prison Thursday in a pre-Easter ritual meant to show his willingness to serve.

Briefly in religion

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Group begins to bond during Holy Land tour

JERUSALEM — It was the acacia tree that got to me. I am with a group of pilgrims, still mostly strangers to one another, who had started at the top of the Mount of Olives and were slowly making our way down the unexpectedly steep slope toward the Kidron Valley.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Cathedral of Hope a welcoming place for all

I found the location unimpressive. The buildings sit far back from the street in a beat-up area of Dallas not far from Parkland Memorial Hospital.

AP file photo

Board expresses concern over bishop’s appointment

VATICAN CITY — Several members of Pope Francis’ sex abuse advisory board are expressing concern and incredulity over his decision to appoint a Chilean bishop to a diocese despite allegations from victims that he covered up for Chile’s most notorious pedophile.

Religion Calendar

To tell us about your event or meeting, visit DentonRC.com/calendar; email to drc@dentonrc.com; fax to 940-566-6888; or mail to Religion Calendar, Denton Record-Chronicle, 314 E. Hickory St., Denton, TX 76201.

Rev. Christy Thomas: Singing Oaks Church of Christ offers warmth

After the service, I asked the young men who accompanied me to worship last week: “What did the music leader use so that people would know the beat of the music?” In unison all three replied, “He snapped his fingers!”

Religion Calendar

DRC

Relocating leadership

A longtime resident of West Dallas, the Rev. Cedric Chambers is fairly new as pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Denton, but he has jumped into community service with both feet.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Local Mormon church committed to faith

It may have been the first Sunday of daylight saving time, but that didn’t keep people from filling the worship space at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Teasley Drive in Denton.