Faith/Religion

Photo courtesy Amy Gearhardt

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. 

Photo courtesy Catholic Church (England and Wales) via Flickr (http://flic.kr/p/81Az1d).

Fr. Thomas Saucier was on his way to the gym when a friend asked if he had heard the news: Pope Benedict XVI had announced his resignation

He learned more of the details during his workout.

"I'm doing my machine, and on all the networks, that's what they're telecasting," he said. 

Like most other people, Saucier was shocked. 

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

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. 

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

For some, there's a clear separation of religion from reason, reason from religion.

But that's not the way author C.S. Lewis saw it.

To him, religion and reason went together. That idea was the foundation of a talk on Thursday at Westminster College in Fulton. 

Convoy of Hope

Another family who survived the deadly Joplin tornado in May 2011 has received a new home from a Springfield-based nonprofit.

Note:  KBIA's faith and values desk is trying something new. Each week, we'll bring you a quick look at the religion news happening all over the state. Here's our first Midweek Missouri faith fix. 

On the Columbia faith front, there's quite a conversation going about faith in the workplace -- and a lot of "out" atheists have jumped right in.

Photo courtesy of Jimi and Cristi Cook

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. 

Alexis Grimou [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Pentagon announced Thursday that women can serve in combat positions. But take a look through history -- and religious traditions -- and you'll see that female fighters are nothing new. 

 

Columbia mosque faces imam shortage and funding challenges

Jan 5, 2013
Ryan Schuessler, ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

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.”

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS.com / KBIA

Some monasteries make jelly, creamed honey, even world-class beer.

Kellie Kotraba\ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

Atheism is not usually considered a faith -- so why has our faith and values desk covered it? In this week's update, we bring you an answer.

Greg Lammers, the atheist writer for Columbia Faith & Values and the organizer for Columbia Atheists, sat down with Kellie Kotraba to talk about atheism, values and the relationship between the two. 

You can also listen to the full 10-minute interview below:

According to a recent poll, two-thirds of Americans believe that media coverage of religion is too sensationalized. So how could journalists best cover the subject in a fair and balanced way? To find out, Global Journalist spoke to two journalists that have devoted years to the religion beat.

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

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. 

Small-town Orthodoxy brings diverse group together

Dec 1, 2012
Ryan Schuessler\ColumbiaFAVS.com / KBIA

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.

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS

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.

Ed Yourdon / Flickr

The level of overnight shelter available to the homeless in Columbia is expected to increase this winter season.

Room at the Inn Volunteer Coordinator Janet Schisser says a group of about 20 people have been planning since July to find a new location to house the homeless through the winter months.

Last week the Wilkes Boulevard United Methodist Church confirmed they will accept Missouri’s homeless to stay overnight starting in January.

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS

The role of religious affiliation in the United States is changing.

According to a recent survey from the Pew Forum, one in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion

A small part of this growing group is made up of atheists.

Last weekend, hundreds of atheists gathered in the Bible Belt – Springfield, to be exact – for Skepticon, a national skeptics convention. Not all skeptics are atheists, but many of them are.

Photo by Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS

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.

Courtesy electiondaycommunion.org.

 

During the day on Tuesday, Memorial Baptist Church in Columbia will function as a polling place. But after the polls close, Pastor Kevin Glenn hopes to bring voters from all different perspectives together.

  “People of faith have become known more for their political affiliation than for their proclamation of the way of Jesus and his ethic of unconditional love,“ he said.

Laura Davison\ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

 

Columbia’s Hispanic population is growing, and so are opportunities for worship in Spanish.

The majority of Columbia Hispanics are still Catholic, but a Pentecostal congregation and the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are among those reaching out by ministering in Spanish.

Laura Davison\ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

Columbia’s Hispanic population is growing, and so are opportunities for worship in Spanish.

The majority of Columbia Hispanics are still Catholic, but a Pentecostal congregation and the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are among those reaching out by ministering in Spanish.

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS

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. 

Ryan Schuessler/ColumbiaFAVS

One Rocheport church is finding new life in old traditions. 

Missouri is one of nine states where lawmakers are forming caucuses they say will focus on preserving religious freedom.

Departing State Representative Mike McGhee (R, Odessa) is organizing Missouri’s caucus.  He says one of their functions will be to consult with lawmakers in other states on making sure that the language used in bills doesn’t result in the erosion of religious rights.

Mid-Mo. Pagans celebrate while they educate

Oct 9, 2012
Kearston Winrow / KBIA

Paganism is an umbrella term for different faith paths that are non Judeo-Christian. Pagans in Mid-Missouri are working hard to educate people about their faith.

Music was heard throughout Rock Bridge State Park as dozens of people came out to celebrate Pagan Pride. The festival held each year is an opportunity for Pagans in Mid-Missouri to fellowship, network, educate the public about what the religion is and to address misconceptions that the public might have.

Aerica Angell says the main goal for Pagan Pride is education.

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

 

In this week's Faith and Values update, we take a trip to the Museum of Art and Archaeology at MU, where the current exhibit explores the divine in Hindu art.

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

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.

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

Hundreds of volunteers packaged thousands of food packages to send to hunger-stricken countries during CRUSH Hunger on Sunday. 

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

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.   

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

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. 

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