Courtesy photo

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Distractions move us from honest reflection

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I’ve been noticing of late how intrusive I’ve let social media and media consumption in general become. So I’ve been banishing the tablet from my bed three nights a week, which has made me antsy and itchy.

AP file photo

Pope scheduled to visit Georgia, Azerbaijan with peace message

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is wrapping up a Caucasus pilgrimage that began in June in Armenia and ends this weekend with a visit to two other countries with tiny Catholic communities: the Orthodox Christian bastion of Georgia and the largely Shiite Muslim nation of Azerbaijan.

Briefly in religion

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: To find deeper truth, let Bible be what it is

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: To say the religious right wreaked havoc with my spiritual life would be an understatement. It has been several years since my wife and I made our exit from that world and we still have not recovered.

AP

Saint’s heart goes on display at U.S. churches

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — Hundreds of people came to a Massachusetts church on Wednesday for a glimpse of the glass-encased heart of a celebrated Roman Catholic saint, the first time the religious relic has left Italy.

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: Raising children is much different today

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I have family members who believe that using birth control is sinful because children are a blessing from God. They believe that people who use birth control are not only sinful but exceedingly selfish for not wanting children. They also believe that barrenness is a curse from God. I think they are wrong but am not sure. Can you help out here?

AP file photo

Polygamous town remembers fatal flash flood

HILDALE, Utah (AP) — Members of a polygamous community on the Utah-Arizona border gathered for a memorial service marking the anniversary of flash floods that killed at least a dozen people. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Short Creek on Wednesday night cursed the flood but praised relief efforts and first responders. About 150 people stood about a mile downstream from where the Hildale victims were swept away.

Briefly in religion

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.

AP file photo

Retired pope offers final reflections on papacy

VATICAN CITY — Retired Pope Benedict XVI has acknowledged that governing the church wasn’t his strong suit but says he doesn’t see his papacy as a failure and that he succeeded at least in breaking up the Vatican’s so-called “gay lobby.”

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Time to expand traditional family values

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: What are traditional family values and who decided? Why is it such a buzz word and why is it a red flag to some of us?

Briefly in religion

Religion calendar

To tell us about your upcoming 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.

AFP/Getty Images

Pope hails volunteers on eve of ceremony

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Saturday denounced what he called the modern-day sin of indifference to hunger, exploitation and other suffering, while commending the example of Mother Teresa on the eve of a sainthood ceremony for the nun who cared for India’s destitute.

Polygamous sect member allowed to write leader

SALT LAKE CITY — A polygamous sect member who believes writing to imprisoned sect leader Warren Jeffs is essential to his eternal salvation will be allowed to continue sending monthly letters while he awaits trial on food stamp fraud charges.

Briefly in religion

Christy Thomas: Christians must decide how to interpret Bible

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: My question: I have been an active member of the United Methodist Church for years. I know the discipline is supposedly biblically based, but the recent appointment in Arizona of an openly lesbian person to a bishop position is totally contrary to what I know that the Bible teaches! I am considering rethinking my position of belonging to the United Methodist Church.

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.

Briefly in religion

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Sabbath offers day of rest, love, peace for all

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: You know how the Jews in the Bible were forbidden to work on the Sabbath? If I want to practice the Sabbath today, what is considered “work?” Would folding laundry be work? What about using appliances?

DRC

Church is home again

After eight months of construction following a fire, the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship returned for its first Sunday service back at its home on Cordell Street.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Pastor offers insight into Book of Acts

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Can you explain the Book of Acts to me in simple words a heathen can understand?

AP

Pope outlines his vision to promote life, family issues

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis recently outlined his vision for how the Vatican will promote family and life issues, naming an American moderate to head the new Vatican office for families and laity and directing related institutes to give merciful care to spiritually wounded Catholics.

No jail time for clergy protest in Senate

Twenty-two religious leaders were spared from jail Thursday but still could face fines after being convicted of trespassing during protests in the Missouri Senate in support of expanded Medicaid coverage for low-income adults.

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.

Courtesy photo

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Grudem’s article on candidates hypocritical

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I have been astonished at the Wayne Grudem support of Trump. I am like some who believe part of the hatred of Hillary Clinton and support of Donald Trump derives from the belief of inferiority of women and the “headship” of men, which the right wing is so strong about.

AP file photo

State-dictated policy on Friday sermons hits a nerve in Egypt

CAIRO — Inside a large mosque in the Nile Delta, an Egyptian cleric looked over his congregation as he climbed the pulpit clutching a piece of paper and began to speak — delivering a 13-minute discourse on the virtues of personal hygiene.

Lake Dallas church to honor longtime musician

Lake Cities United Methodist Church in Lake Dallas will honor longtime church musician Bernice Wright in a retirement reception at noon Sunday.

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: No answers to life’s big questions 100 percent

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I have friends who are Christians and tell me that science is wrong and destroys faith. And I have friends who are squarely on the side of science. Who is right?

AP

Vatican panel to study female deacons issue

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has set up a panel to study whether women could serve as deacons, a role now reserved for men.The Vatican said Francis “after intense prayer and mature reflection” decided to set up the commission, with 12 members — six men and six women — including priests, nuns and laywomen.

Briefly in religion

After-school religious clubs appear to be the next venture of a national group that sought to install a statue of Satan outside two state capitols to protest Christian monuments on public grounds.

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.

Evaluate Islam with eyes open, mind alert

I enjoyed Caitlyn Jones’ “Six things I learned during Ramadan” column in the July 6 issue of the Denton Record-Chronicle, though I disagree with, well, almost all of it (I have no opinion formed on Saudi coffee yet).

Pope visits Polish shrine

CZESTOCHOWA, Poland — Pope Francis blessed hundreds of thousands of faithful Thursday at a shrine in Poland, paying tribute to a beloved native son, St. John Paul II, honoring the countless “ordinary yet remarkable” Poles who defiantly clung to their faith during Soviet-bloc communism and establishing this pontiff’s drawing power in a country where being Catholic is often equated with being Polish.

City OKs permit for Islamic Center

LEXINGTON, Neb. (AP) — The Lexington City Council has voted to allow Muslims to continue to use a former Laundromat as a mosque.

Briefly in religion

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.

DRC

Cradle of care

CORINTH — The pews are long gone, the stained-glass windows have been replaced and a bulletin board covers up the baptistery. The bell-less steeple remains, but the inside of the red building is a bit chaotic with cardboard boxes strewn about and memories tucked away.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: No biblical problems with cremating dead

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I have been reading both sides of the argument and praying about it, and I’m just a little stumped. Is cremation frowned upon?

AP file photo

Memo details allegations against ex-archbishop

MINNEAPOLIS — Lawyers investigating a Minnesota archbishop in 2014 found compelling and credible allegations from nearly a dozen people that he engaged in sexual misconduct and harassment, then retaliated when his advances were rejected, according to an internal church document made public this week.

No cancellations for pope’s Poland visit

A Vatican spokesman says no groups of faithful have cancelled attending events for Pope Francis’ pilgrimage in Poland next week because of security concerns.

Religion calendar

The Rev. Christy Thomas: We can change world one meal at a time

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I love my parents very much. But I wish my dad would quit being so racist in front of my nieces. How do I tell them that what he is saying is junk without making them lose respect for him?

AP

St. Joseph church features big stained glass window

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The Rev. Scott Killgore remembers looking out at the congregation during communion and seeing a particular member in prayer, focused on the expansive stained glass window in the sanctuary.

Court: Fla. must provide prisoners kosher food

A federal appeals court has ruled that the state of Florida cannot use potential budget problems to deny thousands of prison inmates kosher meals they request for religious reasons.

Religion calendar

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Forced-marriage experiment a cruel idea

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: A lot of Christians insist that the best way for a homosexual to be reformed and “made whole” is in heterosexual marriage. Do you think any of these Christians would volunteer their child (or grandchild) to live in a marriage to a gay person?