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Religion

United Churches’ 75th anniversary celebration kicks off Sunday

For 75 years, the United Churches of Lycoming County has been bringing together area churches to serve the community. Sunday marks the beginning of a yearlong celebration of that achievement as they look ahead to the next challenges. The UCLC will kick off the celebration, which is titled ...

Something to celebrate: 75 years of service

For 75 years, the United Churches of Lycoming County has been bringing together area churches to serve the community. Sunday marks the beginning of a yearlong celebration of that achievement as they look ahead to the next challenges. The UCLC will kick off the celebration, which is titled ...

Footsteps to Follow: 2021 agenda: Be available!

“God does not begin by asking our ability, only our availability, and if we prove our dependability, He will increase our capability” (Neal Maxwell). “God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called. And the litmus test isn’t experience or expertise. It’s availability and ...

Walk confidently in 2021, and always

What a year 2020 turned out to be! From March until now, we have had many fears, struggles, heartaches, uncertainties, seemingly endless chaos in our government, and divisions among our citizens and among the world’s nations. The stress and anxiety of this past year have been ...

Area churches plan outdoor, virtual festivities for Christmas

Christmas is a time when many families gather to attend church together, lighting candles to symbolize the light of Christ coming into a dark world and singing traditional songs of celebration. This year with Christmas Day just a week away, many churches have embraced the challenge of sharing ...

From matzo to gumbo: Museum explores Southern Jewish life

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A new museum under construction in New Orleans will explore the journey of immigrant Jews and subsequent generations to the American South who brought with them a religious way of life they struggled to maintain while seeking acceptance in the home of the Bible Belt. With ...

Footsteps to Follow: Reflections on Isaiah 64 for this advent season

As St. Paul often wrote at the outset and/or conclusion of his writings and sermons: “Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” One of the most cherished freedoms we have in our country is that of mobility: the opportunity to travel, move about, visit with ...

Serving all the Lord’s people

City Alliance Church has nearly completed its ADA-compliant ramp to the main entrance on the corner for Fourth and Elmira streets. The ramp is the first in a multi-step project to make the entire church ADA-compliant. Once the ramp is finished, City Alliance plans to remodel its first-floor ...

US Jews plan smaller Hanukkah celebrations amid virus

Jewish Americans from a variety of branches of the faith are celebrating Hanukkah with smaller-than-usual gatherings this year, in hopes of keeping the year-end holiday safe but still joyful as coronavirus cases spike across the country. Many Jewish Americans are already accustomed to more ...

Footsteps to Follow: Overcoming the year of uncertainty

As a pastor, I believe 2020 has been one of the most difficult years I have lived through. It has opened our eyes to how vulnerable we are. Until this year, I thought that corona was an astronomy term regarding the sun. But as Christians, our focus needs to be on not what the seasons hold, ...

Faith Matters: Christmas is coming?

Do you ever wonder what makes the Christmas season feel like - well, Christmas? This past year, especially since we began Advent, this question seems more profound. When we think about all that is occurring, we can be overwhelmed with the negative. The pandemic, violence, isolation, discord, ...

Saving Vermont’s oldest Jewish cemetery

EAST POULTNEY, Vt. (AP) — The autumn leaves crunched underfoot as Netanel Crispe walked uphill, toward the northwest corner of the small cemetery. He stopped and examined a toppled headstone. “The last time I was here this was standing up,” he said, regarding the weathered, gray stone. ...

Pine Street UMC ‘Thank Out’ dinner serves hundreds

Volunteers at Pine Street United Methodist Church were busy the weekend before Thanksgiving preparing food for their “Thank Out” meal to send out into the community to be shared with people they are thankful for. According to Pastor James Wooster, the group prepared 275 quarts of soup, ...

St. Boniface Church dedicates flagpole

A new flag pole was dedicated in St. Boniface Church Cemetery as a final marker for the site for burial of war veterans. In an outdoor ceremony with a little more than 50 people, the flagpole was blessed by the Rev. Bill Corcoran of St. Boniface and St. Lawrence parishes. The ceremony had ...

Footsteps to Follow: Rejoicing while we wait

One of my favorite Christmas carols is “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” I love the haunting melody and the descriptions in the carol of who Jesus is and what He has come to do. Years ago, I researched the various images for Jesus that are used in the carol. From Emmanuel, which reminds us that ...

Black clergy, United Way to launch anti-coronavirus effort

NEW YORK — Black clergy leaders are joining forces with the United Way of New York City for a new initiative designed to combat the coronavirus’ outsized toll on African Americans through ramped-up testing, contact tracing and treatment management. Details of the new effort, shared with ...

Footsteps to Follow: Prayer…but

In Acts 12, King Herod decided to have James, the brother of John, killed because he belonged to the church. He saw that this act pleased the crowd. Then Herod went after the bigger disciple, the one who brought 3,000 souls to the Lord at the start of his ministry. Peter was the big ...

Pope book backs George Floyd protests, blasts virus skeptics

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis is supporting demands for racial justice in the wake of the U.S. police killing of George Floyd and is blasting COVID-19 skeptics and media organizations that spread their conspiracies in a new book penned during the Vatican’s coronavirus lockdown. In “Let Us ...

Kolb ‘stunned’ with Ecumenical Service Award

The Ecumenical Service Award was presented to Louis J. Kolb at the United Churches of Lycoming County 74th Annual Assembly Thursday. The assembly was held virtually via Zoom. Kolb, a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, was recognized for the ways in which he has extended the mission of ...

Catholics divided as bishops examine Biden’s abortion stance

Catholics split almost evenly in supporting Donald Trump or Joe Biden in the presidential election. Now they’re sharply divided over a declaration by the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that the president-elect’s support for abortion rights presents the church with a ...