Dear Thoughtful Pastor: How can “the church” as an institution address or correct social/economic injustices based on race, both within the church and in society? How can the church itself restructure to ensure “power sharing” among people of different ethnic background?
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Is it possible to force a person into rehab?
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is going ahead with plans to visit the conflict-wracked Central African Republic, but his top bodyguard is doing an unusual, last-minute on-site survey to determine if security concerns require any changes to the itinerary, the Vatican said Thursday.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Three New York men who tried to coerce a Jewish man into giving his wife a religious divorce were sentenced on Thursday.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: There are obviously bigger issues for Christians than whether or not Starbucks celebrates Christmas in any shape or form. Why are so many so upset; what is it that they are really asking for?
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Why don’t people like the Jews?
ORLANDO, Fla. — The largest movement of Judaism in the U.S. passed the most far-reaching resolution in support of transgender rights of any major religious organization, saying Thursday it’s a continuation of a tradition of inclusion in the Reform Jewish movement.
My family and I have broken free from the prosperity gospel church. I’m curious about (A) why so many people don’t see prosperity gospel for what it is, a money-making business? (B) how society or media is not making a bigger deal on prosperity gospel pastors misusing the Word of God to make money off of people that are in a vulnerable state of mind during service?
Two similar questions for the Thoughful Pastor today are from theologically deep thinkers.
We should have a “Treat the Pastor Like a Human Being Month.” What are your thoughts?
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A new independent film recounts the faith and unity of a Birmingham high school football team in the years after integration and the movie’s co-director said he hopes its message resonates with current students and helps them realize the power of perseverance.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: We have several examples of the power of prayer and the direct influence it can have on our lives and the lives of those around us.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I am interested in your thoughts, or your take on God’s thoughts, about abortion. Many years ago I made the miserable and unhappy choice to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, and while my reasons were very good, I have never been able to make peace with that decision.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Because one objects to certain aspects of Scripture, how does or can one believe the whole word of God?
NEW YORK — “WE SELL POPE DOLLS,” blared a sign held up by a 7-Eleven worker on 42nd Street in Manhattan, directing customers to a store down the block. There, on an outdoor stand, were six plushy, squeezable popes, nestled rather incongruously among individually wrapped croissants and chocolate chip muffins.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Do you believe in prayer? Does prayer work? If I pray for a friend with a disease and she dies anyway, did I just not pray hard enough?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Hundreds of people cheered the husband of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis during a rally of Christian conservatives Thursday outside the Tennessee Capitol.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I consider myself a Christian and I am totally confused with some who seem to feel God commanded them to take on the world if the world does not see Christian values the way they do. Did God order us to work actively to attack others with slightly different ideas and tolerance levels than our own?
PHILADELPHIA — Pope Francis’ personality is more joyful than grumpy cat, his vestments undeniably white and gold — not blue or black — and you’ll never hear him say OMG or ermahgerd.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: “What should my attitude be when there are babies and children screaming at the top of their lungs in church and the parents won’t take them out? How does a thoughtful pastor handle such a situation?”
NEW YORK — Those planning security for the New York City leg of the upcoming United States visit of Pope Francis have circled Sept. 25 on their calendars as the perfect storm.
NEW YORK — A new survey has found fewer than half of U.S. Roman Catholics said they knew of Pope Francis’ bombshell encyclical on curbing climate change — and only a fraction of those heard about it from the pulpit — in the month after he released the document with an unprecedented call for the church to take up his message.
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A state judicial panel is investigating a western Wyoming local magistrate who was quoted in a local newspaper saying she would not perform same-sex marriages.
In the last year, I’ve attended worship services in more than 50 places.
Emilio “Popo” Gonzalez, 79, is retiring from his position as deacon at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and will be honored during a bilingual Mass and public reception Sunday.
Our visit begins with the warm greeting of “Welcome, sister!” and progresses to many wishing us a “Happy Sabbath.” My experience at last Saturday’s worship service at the Denton First Seventh-day Adventist Church spills over with delightful surprises.
PONDER — Church expansions seldom raise concerns, but the one going up in Ponder isn’t your average sanctuary.
It’s like putting your arms around a square of air and saying, “Define it.” You know something is there, but it has no boundaries, no edges, no way to separate itself from the space around it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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 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.”
“The doors of the church are still open.”
Bishop Michael F. Olson appointed Douglas Jones as the new associate superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth.
On this past steamy Sunday morning, I worshipped at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in downtown Denton.
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.”