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.
For just $1, congregants at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church could purchase a square of the old orange carpet that used to cover the sanctuary floor.
“People either hated the carpet or loved the carpet,” said Urb Molitor. He’s the head of the building committee for the church’s recent renovation.
The congregation celebrated the completion of the renovation Sunday with an open house. They had food in the fellowship hall, a bounce house out back and music on the portico. Members mingled in the new narthex, admiring the extra space and new doors and windows.
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.
Religion was one of those things Cliff Cain's mother raised him not to talk about in public – that, along with politics and sex.
With religion alone, he's breaking that rule – in his words, "Religion is as polarizing as politics and as passionate as sex."
Cain is a religious studies professor at Westminster College in Fulton, and he was the chair of the committee for the school's annual symposium. This year, the topic was religion, and more than 40 experts came to give lectures and facilitate discussions.
For 19 years, Dan Barker preached from a Christian pulpit. Now, he’s co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and is an atheist activist. He said he outgrew his religious beliefs. These days, that’s not unusual.
“Agree with it or not, atheism is really growing," he said. "Millions and millions of good Americans don’t believe in a God.”
In this week's faith and values update, we learn about a religion that was founded in Vietnam less than 100 years ago. It’s called Cao Dai, and those who practice it see it as one religion to unify the rest.
Dignitaries of Cao Dai came Columbia earlier this week to do a presentation on the religion and spread the word about the religion – but not in the way you might think.
Proselytizing is forbidden in the religion, so they weren't trying to gain converts. Instead, they were looking for prospective researchers.