The Rev. Christy Thomas: Examine religious stories for potential to harm

“Tell me a story.” Or, “Let me tell you a story.” Possibly two of the most common phrases in our language.

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Arkansas committee rejects ‘conscience-protection’ bill

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A proposal to prevent state and local governments from infringing on a person’s religious beliefs failed before an Arkansas legislative panel this week after facing mounting criticism that it was an attempt to justify discriminating against gays and lesbians.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Familiar words remind of importance of love and sacrifice

“Remember you are but dust and to dust you shall return.” With these words, the Rev. Canon H.W. Herrmann, rector of St. David of Wales Episcopal Church in Denton, marked the foreheads of approximately 30 early-morning worshipers on Ash Wednesday.

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The Bridge Church finds new home

Duane White felt like 2015 was going to be the year for The Bridge Church.


Message of peace

The call to prayer flows like poetry, resonating a deep but urgent tone in an ancient language not often heard on this side of the Atlantic. Spoken from the minaret (the focal point) by a muezzin, the words sound haunting but familiar when translated: “God is the greatest.” “I bear witness that there is no god but God.” “God is the greatest.” “There is no god but God.”

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Local Village Church full of love for Jesus

The Village Church Denton Campus website warns people to arrive at least 30 minutes early for services that fill quickly — and the church will turn people away if necessary.

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Court nixes faith-based birth control challenge

PITTSBURGH — A federal appeals court has reversed lower-court victories by two western Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses and a private Christian college that challenged birth control coverage mandates as part of federal health care reforms.

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The Rev. Christy Thomas: St. Paul Lutheran presents concepts clearly

We don’t want to talk about sin. We don’t want to say that someone or something else has authority over what we think and believe.

Pope to address Congress this fall

WASHINGTON — In a landmark event that could have many holding their breath, Pope Francis has agreed to address a joint meeting of Congress this fall.

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Bishop starts new parish

Bishop Michael Olson of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth established a new parish for southeastern Denton County on Monday.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Churches should make schedule changes clear

OK churches, here’s the rule: If you are going to change normal worship times for any reason, make it clear on your website that you are doing so.

Vermont’s new blogging Catholic bishop installed

BURLINGTON, Vt. — The Rev. Christopher Coyne, the Catholic Church’s first blogging priest to be elevated to a bishop, was formally installed as Vermont’s new Roman Catholic bishop during a Mass on Thursday attended by nearly 1,000 people including representatives of the diocese’s 73 parishes.

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

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Church’s power of worship clear

COSTA RICA — Heat-induced indolence had taken residence in body and soul after a week in the remote beach town of Samara on the Pacific edge of Costa Rica.

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The Rev. Christy Thomas: Kidney illness highlights transplant issues

Mysterious practices, multiple entrances, confusing requirements, authority figures dressed differently with clothing often suggesting power and authority: Hospitals and churches have these in common.

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The Rev. Christy Thomas: Coping with post-Christmas downfall

I rewrote a section of this familiar holiday poem. See if it resonates with you.

Rev. Christy Thomas: United Methodist service joyful experience

Full disclosure: I am affiliated with the church described in this column and I know and am known by many. Several greeted me saying, “It’s our turn to be written about!”

Rev. Christy Thomas: Local worship service a bit overwhelming

A 70-minute service, including Christmas music and a high-speed 40-minute sermon, left me a bit overwhelmed when I emerged from early worship at First Baptist Church Denton and stepped out onto its well-manicured campus on Malone Street.


St. Mark dedicates new southern site

A statue of the Savior wearing a crown of thorns looks down upon the draped altar being blessed Sunday morning by Bishop Michael Olson, whose white robes seem otherworldly as he slowly performs the dedication ritual.

The Rev. Christy Thomas: Church offers welcome, worship, comfort

LEWISVILLE — “Advent is not Christmas. We want the celebration of the day without the hard work of preparation.” With these words, the Rev. Kathryn Thompson began her first Sunday in Advent message at the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation in Lewisville.

Merry meal and music

Festival Hall will be filled with sounds of gospel Christmas music, and the smells of a hot breakfast from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts.

Rev. Christy Thomas: Islamic Society service fascinating despite issues

“It’s God’s will that a woman’s head and arms be covered.” Well, I had worn a headscarf, but it was sheer, and realized too late that my three-quarter-length sleeves were also inadequate.

Religion Calendar

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


Holiday style

Ricardo Collins asked Eduardo Soriano for a military-style haircut Thursday morning. Soriano made sure not a single hair was out of place by the time Collins left his barber chair, but the crop on Collins’ salt-and-pepper top had a bit of extra style to it, too.


Local barber to give back to the community for Thanksgiving Day

A downtown Denton barbershop will open its doors this morning to offer warm food and clothes along with free haircuts to the city’s homeless.

Les Cockrell: Holiday gift wrapping available at mall

Young people from First United Methodist Church of Denton will be offering their holiday gift-wrapping service at Golden Triangle Mall again this year.


Church on the range

SANGER — The red building looks more like a barn than a church. A black sign with a silhouette of a cowboy kneeling in front of a cross is the only indication that this is a place of worship.

Rev. Christy Thomas: Turning to the TV for healing wavelengths

I’m rarely ill, but last weekend reminded me that I’m nonetheless not invincible. Honoring my shut-in status, I turned on the TV for my church, choosing local broadcast TV offerings.

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Rev. Christy Thomas: Visit to Quaker meetinghouse refreshes

PHILADELPHIA — In 1693 William Penn gave a piece of property, now in the prime section of downtown Philadelphia, to the Religious Society of Friends, the Quakers. The meetinghouse was built later. Betsy...

Religion Calendar

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

Rev. Christy Thomas: Elements of Judaism hover over Glory of Zion ministry

“Hover, hover, hover, hover, hover.” Over and over, the 24-piece band led the singing of the word “hover” as the people danced, some collapsing in utter ecstasy, fainting in their seats. The flags and ribbons twirled while the African-influenced rhythmic music pounded. The congregation prayed and sang with passionate abandon for the Holy Spirit to hover over this world.

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Rev. Christy Thomas: Clear voices elevate prayer in song

DALLAS — They sold 650 tickets, and it looked like every ticket-holder showed up at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Dallas. Within minutes of the 3:45 p.m. door opening, the high-arched, stone-floored sanctuary of this Gothic revival church was nearly filled.

Religion Calendar

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

Rev. Christy Thomas: Friendship Baptist Church lives up to name

“The hour-and-40-minute service passed as though I had been there only a few moments.” My companions and I had the same reaction after discovering that the people of Friendship Baptist Church in The Colony actually lived up to their name, offering friendly greetings, hugs, handshakes and an experience of deep worship this past Sunday.

Rev. Christy Thomas: Denton church seeks to increase its flock

They needed $14 million two years ago; this past Sunday, they only needed $2.4 million to see their vision come fully to life.

Rev. Christy Thomas: Joyful music fills service at New York temple

NEW YORK CITY — I was delighted when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122, NKJV)


Refuge on the range

It was the same dream every night. She was standing at one end of an arena inside the center of a large barn, watching children as some of them rode horses and others groomed them. She watched for several minutes before making her way outside, where she saw three buildings in a U-shape around the barn.

Rev. Christy Thomas / Combined service a unique morning of worship

Trinity Presbyterian Church, 2200 N. Bell Ave. in Denton, shuttered its doors Sunday. Anyone seeking to worship there would have found an empty parking lot, no greeters, no worship about to begin.

Pastor has long served church’s elders

The Rev. Cliff Feeler has spent the last 25 years in Denton doing just about everything with the oldest members of First Baptist Church of Denton.

Rev. Christy Thomas: Denton Bible Church delivers slick service

A very lovely woman greeted me and my friend after the 9 a.m. worship service at Denton Bible Church, located on University Drive east of Texas Woman’s University. She eagerly asked, “What did you think about it?”