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By The Rev. Dr. Sarah Halverson | December 14, 2012
As I prepare my Sunday morning meditation for our third Sunday of Advent, the day we light the candle of joy upon our wreath, I cannot help but feel inauthentic. Like you, I have been jolted from my Christmas preparations by the shocking news of the mass murder that took place in a Connecticut elementary school Friday morning. How do we sing "Joy to the World," awaiting the birth of baby Jesus, the son of God, while listening to the news commentary that reports a rising death toll of innocent children of God?
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NEWS
By Rabbi Marc Rubenstein | December 7, 2012
Hanukkah, meaning "dedication" in Hebrew, refers to the joyous eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Maccabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and "rededication" of the Temple in Jerusalem. The modern home celebration of Hanukkah centers around the lighting of the chanukiah , a special menorah for Hanukkah; unique foods, latkes and jelly doughnuts; and special songs and games. This year, we kindle the first candle of Hanukkah on Saturday night and the last candle Dec. 15. * How to bless the candles Q: How should the candles be placed in the chanukiah ?
NEWS
By the Rev. Sarah Halverson | November 30, 2012
As I write, my church choir is rehearsing for Christmas. I've literally got the sounds of the season ringing in my ears. Christmas is definitely coming! Of course, the stores started their celebrating before they even cleared out their Halloween merchandise. This year, Black Friday started on Thanksgiving Day, a phenomenon that, quite frankly, makes me sick. Our culture is busy hustling and bustling, selling the heck out of Christmas, and seems to have forgotten that Advent comes first.
NEWS
November 8, 2012
Patricia Ann Reynolds Yoder May 9, 1932 - November 2, 2012 Patricia (Pat) Ann Reynolds Yoder passed away peacefully at home. Preceded in death by her husband Donald Hoehn Yoder and daughter Debora Jane Yoder, Pat was a woman of faith, a beloved mother and grandmother, a steadfast and adventurous friend, and an active member in the St. Andrews Presbyterian Church community. She is survived by her daughters Pamela Ann Yoder and Judith Yoder Badgley, (Kevin), grandchildren Debora Melissa Lee, Megan Nicole Lee, Kaitlyn Nichole Badgley, Allison Lauren Badgley, and Donald Coleman Badgley, and sister Betty Lewis.
NEWS
By the Rev. Sarah Halverson | October 31, 2012
While we often divorce our faith from the political process, the truth of the matter is that our faith calls us to address the deepest concerns of our society that often necessitate political action. For this reason, following the weekend Interfaith Care of Creation conference at St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, I joined participants from the symposium across the street at a demonstration in support of Proposition 37 (the Right to Know) and Proposition 39 (Close the Loophole)
NEWS
By Rabbi Marc Gellman, Tribune Media Services and By Rabbi Marc Gellman, Tribune Media Services | September 28, 2012
Q: I'm sure you've been following the story about a papyrus claiming that Jesus had a wife. What's your opinion about this? - M., Long Island. N.Y. A: In the midst of my intense Jewish immersion in the High Holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (and again, let me wish a happy 5773 to all my Jewish readers!), it is spiritually balancing to me this week to address the question of whether or not Jesus had a wife. This high-profile story has surfaced in the normally theologically indifferent general secular press because professor Karen King of Harvard Divinity School recently revealed the existence of a papyrus fragment that supposedly quotes Jesus directly as referring to his wife, whom he identifies as "Mary.
NEWS
By Mona Shadia | September 27, 2012
It is fair to say that last week I was in utter agony, lamenting the hot mess in the Middle East. You must've thought: This girl is so quick to tell us how peaceful and loving her religion is, but yet the minute we're about to prove her wrong, she disappears. Part of me hoped I didn't have to write about the violence following a short film ridiculing my Prophet becuase I didn't want to give more attention to those who committed violence in the name of religion. But how can I waste this opportunity to talk about world events?
NEWS
By Benjamin J. Hubbard | September 22, 2012
Hope has been in short supply lately — the murder of a diplomat in Libya, the ongoing savagery in Syria, Iran's apparent march toward nuclear weaponry, Midwest drought, climate change, the pain of the unemployed — the list is long. In the midst of my melancholy over these and other troubles, I had decided — with very mixed feelings — to remove my yellow "Support a cure" bracelet. Lance Armstrong's decision not to contest doping allegations had been a downer for a cancer survivor like me, and I'm sure for others.
NEWS
By Mona Shadia | September 5, 2012
Do you know the feeling when you have a parent or relative that you keep at a distance for one reason or another, but then they become severely ill, and you can't help but forget all your differences and stand beside them? And through it all, you rediscover their true nature and you laugh at, even regret, what kept you apart? I do. That parent I kept at a far distance was my religion, Islam. And then 9/11 happened. I had only been in the United States for three years that month, and although I still identified as a Muslim, it's fair to say that it was my most distant - and troubled - time with my religion.
NEWS
By Steve Smith | September 4, 2012
Two weeks ago, I wrote about a couple of sorry fellows who were in bad marriages and wished they were single, as I have been since June 4. I spoke directly to those two guys in that column, but I also spoke on a higher level to everyone else. That column generated several online comments, but it also prompted many more people to write privately to me to tell me that I had struck a nerve, that they are now or have been in a relationship that just died for lack of attention. Savvy readers will have realized that while the message that day was to appreciate the relationship you have and to nurture it instead of longing for something or someone else, it was really a message about how to live a life.
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