By Lauren Cooper…It’s not difficult to understand why many people say they feel connected to God in nature. If your belief system includes an idea of a creator God, what could bring you closer to him that being in the midst of his creations? Some church leaders are taking this idea to the next level with “adventure ministries,” in which they bring groups of young people outside to learn about their faith. This article from the Huffington Post goes in-depth about how these religious leaders feel nature provides the best examples of both God’s might and his handiwork.
Some see God in nature and some see God in space…? A new article from Deseret News in conjunction with a study done by the Pew Forum explores the way in which people’s beliefs are changing regarding the relationship between the concept of God and scientific advancements in outer space. Interestingly enough, more people feel that new space discoveries do not conflict with their religious ideas.
This article from the Herald Sun documents newly emerging information about a priest in Brisbane, Australia, who is said to have abused and molested several girls at a convent in the 1960s. At the time, the priest called himself Mr. Brown, as in Charlie Brown from the Peanuts comic strip. At present time, the lead accuser, Ms. Joan Isaacs has been issued an order of silence by the church in exchange for $30,000.
In Oklahoma, Satanists are lobbying for their very own monument outside the Oklahoma statehouse. The Satanic monument would go alongside the large display of the Ten Commandments. Republican representative Bobby Cleveland dismissed the whole thing, his logic being that Christianity is “heritage,” while Satanism couldn’t possibly be viewed as anything other than “nuts.” Well, okay then. Read more about this in this article from The Guardian.
‘Tis the season, and even inmates are getting into the giving spirit. Inmates at Auburn Correctional Facility in New York have a tradition: every year they get together and crochet hats, mittens, and prayer shawls to send to the outside as gifts. This article on the Syracuse.com website gives more details on their efforts.
Speaking of gift-giving, need a gift for some one religious? What about someone who can laugh at religion? Or even the non-religious? Well Star News Online has you covered in every category with this master list of gift ideas.
During the holiday season, people are often presented with various nativity scenes, most often in front of churches. The Huffington Post has collected images of some of the weirdest nativity scenes, and you can view the entire gallery here.
And finally, keeping with the holiday theme, when is the last time you played a game of “Is it Christian or Pagan?” Christmas trees? Pagan. Poinsettias? Christian. An article on Patheos explores several Christmas traditions and their origins, solving the mystery.