The band of LifeBridge Lutheran Church practices in the community room of an apartment complex each Sunday morning before service begins. Furniture is piled in the corner to their left, and gym equipment in the corner to the right. Though they don’t have their own building to worship in, it’s progress for LifeBridge – a year ago, the church didn’t even exist.
Hans Neumann explains the map of his journey from his hometown in East Prussia to a group of eager cadets. “We travelled over 500 miles until we finally reached a stopping point near Kiel.” Neumann spoke about the devastated country he encountered along his path.
This story was produced in partnership with Columbia Faith & Values (ColumbiaFAVS.com).
Hans Neumann was raised in a small, forested village in East Prussia, just five miles from the Lithuanian border. He was forced to leave his home at the age of 15, near the end of World War II. Germany was losing, and Russian troops were moving west.
This segment was produced in partnership with Columbia Faith & Values. Find more news like this at ColumbiaFAVS.com.
Two people with remarkable stories to share came to MU this week, and we hear from both of them in this faith and values update. Romain-Roland Levi shared his experiences in Belgium during World War II, and Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mohatma Gandhi, talked about his grandfather, along with the India-Pakistan conflict.
Cicyfarth and four other members of the White Hawthorne Protogrove talk over food at a restaurant in downtown Columbia, planning their ritual to recognize the spring equinox.
These five have been meeting periodically for sandwiches and fellowship for nearly half a year. They are neo-druids, people who draw on a multitude of pantheons to find positive ethics, natural harmony, and spiritual connection. Since the fall of 2012, Cicyfarth and the others have been fighting to become a church.
On Wednesday, the Cardinals of the Catholic church elected Jorge Mario Borgeglio of Argentina to be the new pope. He’s the first pope from South America, and the first from the Jesuit order of priests. He’s also the first to choose the name Francis.
We spent part of Wednesday and Thursay at Fr. Tolton Catholic High School in Columbia to find out what some of Columbia's young Catholics think of the new pope.
Like many other people, Corrine Hubbard admires his humility.
Community and campus converge in the cast of MU's production of "The Amen Corner," a play by James Baldwin that finishes its run this weekend.
The play tells the story of an African-American woman who starts a small storefront church in Harlem in 1965. She's recently migrated there from the south with her 18-year-old son, who plays the church piano.
But unbeknownst to the congregation, she has a secret past. She was once married to a jazz musician who was an alcoholic, but after their child died, she left him. His arrival one Sunday sends a scandal through the church.
In some Christian denominations, it’s getting more common to see women preaching from the pulpit on Sunday mornings. Still, it’s a slow cultural shift – some denominations don’t allow female pastors, and many churches that do are just getting female pastors for the first time. All that’s to say that being a clergy woman has its own set of challenges – and those challenges come into play on the dating scene.
Awareness of death can lead people to strengthen and defend their own religious beliefs, according to a recent psychological study led by MU researcher Kenneth Vail.
And that doesn't just apply to those who believe in a higher power already.
The foundation of Vail's researcg comes from the idea that part of the motivation for religious belief is the awareness of death – an idea that has deep philosophical roots, Vail said. Recent experimental research also points to the notion that people use belief to help manage awareness of mortality.
It's one thing to say you'll go on a big volunteer trip. But doing it? That seems much harder. Just ask Jimi and Cristi Cook.
The Cooks are the co-founders and directors of Be the Change Volunteers, an organization that coordinates trips to impoverished countries around the world to build schools. It's the kind of volunteer effort the Cooks refer to as "the big one" – the kind that takes people out of their comfort zones.
By Ryan Schuessler & with Megan Rentschler and Evan Townsend
Since 2008, the Islamic Center of Central Missouri has been without an imam – a central community leader in Islam. Although Columbia’s Muslim community has found ways to stay active, it is without a formally trained spiritual leader.
Imams lead prayers, serve as religious scholars and assist with weddings and lectures, among other things.
Without an imam, “You won’t have someone who you can ask questions to frequently,” mosque Secretary Rafa Nizam said. “The access to knowledge might not be as easy.”
In this week's faith and values update, we hear from Kelsey Gillespy, the Catholic writer for Columbia Faith and values. She just finished a made-at-home documentary called "This Little Light," which aims to dispel misconceptions about Christianity – some of which she used to have herself, even though she grew up Christian.
Columbia’s Orthodox Christian community is growing – at least, that’s what churchgoers say it feels like.
*Clarification: The audio version of this story contains misleading information about the church's connection to the Great Schism of 1054. The church was among five patriarchates dating from the third century, and the schism was a time of separation -- the Roman Church split from the other four -- not a time of origin.
Happy Thanksgiving – that’s one holiday greeting you hear at this time of year that’s not part of a specific faith tradition.
The idea of giving thanks transcends religious, social and cultural boundaries. Thanks can be expressed in any language or tradition.
And that’s just what happened Sunday at an Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. Christians, Muslims and Jews, Baha'is, Buddhists and Hindus, and people from several other faith traditions came together to share. Beliefs and languages converged as sounds of thanksgiving and peace rose through the air.
The presidential election is just a few days away, but that’s not what this week's faith and values update is about.
Instead, we’re going to talk about something that was making news about 500 years ago in Germany: The Protestant Reformation. This past Wednesday was Reformation Day – the anniversary of the day in 1517 when the movement began.
Craig Roberts teaches plant science at the University of Missouri. But he also has another passion: music. He’s spent the past few years helping with a new project – a book of Christian hymns entitled “Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs.” If you appreciate poetry, there’s a good chance you’ll like this.
Looking at the big picture, hymns have always been an important part of church life -- at least, according to Mark Noll. He teaches history at Notre Dame University. He’s also co-edited books on the history of hymns in American Protestantism.
Remember those old sayings about not talking religion and politics? Well, this week's faith and values update has both. We’re looking at the faith angle of Republican Congressman Todd Akin’s campaign.
Akin has been criticized since he made a comment about what he called “legitimate rape,” which he later apologized for. He recently made the news again for saying his opponent in the Senate race, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, was more “ladylike” in a previous campaign.
But he still has support from several conservative Christian leaders and organizations.