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Religion

Footsteps to Follow: Nature is to forgive

Many people are saying that the world is rather frightening. There are too many areas of division in our world. From controversies around masks to the societal issues of discrimination, our divisions have ranged from conversations to riots. The two emotions seem to be fear and anger. ...

Faith Matters: All lives matter

You would have to have your head in the sand not to know the context in which this statement has been spoken these days. And you would have to be similarly out of the loop to be unaware that - as a rebuttal to a similar saying - it has been a point of contention. From a Christian point of ...

Pilgrims pray on peak day of hajj in shadow of coronavirus

UBAI, United Arab Emirates — Masked pilgrims arrived Thursday at Mount Arafat, a desert hill near Islam’s holiest site, to pray and repent on the most important day of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage in Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The global coronavirus pandemic has cast a shadow over every ...

Footsteps to Follow: Why not me?

Today my mission is to ask, is this me. Wow, what happened? It can be so many choices, good or bad. It is up to you. James 1:23-25 might help you come to a decision. “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in the mirror, for he ...

St. Boniface invites international students from Lycoming College to barbecue

International students at Lycoming College who are still unable to return home have not been forgotten by the community as they were invited to a barbecue at St. Boniface Catholic Church on Sunday. “It makes me feel like I matter,” said Aseel Tork, a student from Palestine. Although ...

Footsteps to Follow: Finding order in chaos

Times like these in human history, when fear pervades and even the coolest and calmest of heads around us seem to not be so cool or calm anymore, we sense our vulnerability. This is not just from this invisible virus but the fallout from it: financial, personal, religious, health; the list ...

Vatican: In rare cases, lay faithful can lead marriage rite

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican said on Monday that in very exceptional circumstances and with special permission, lay Catholics can be allowed to perform marriage rites. In a document issued by the Holy See office for clergy, the Vatican said that could only happen if there are no priests ...

Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia opens as a mosque for Muslim prayers

ISTANBUL (AP) — Fulfilling a dream of his Islamic-oriented youth, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined hundreds of worshipers Friday for the first Muslim prayers in 86 years inside Hagia Sophia, the Istanbul landmark that served as one of Christendom’s most significant cathedrals, ...

Churches offer mental health aid amid pandemic, protests

Not long into the coronavirus pandemic, the Rev. Sandra Maria Van Opstal, a pastor at Grace and Peace Church on the West Side of Chicago, began to hear from congregants who lost their jobs and were struggling financially as the city closed nonessential businesses to slow the spread of the ...

Footsteps to Follow: Finding hope

During this challenging year, I have found it encouraging and helpful to write out my prayers. For me, this is practicing the verse, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7 KJV). By writing out these concerns, I am transferring those troubling issues to the ...

Churches across the nation begin holding in-person services

The inability to attend church each week has been one of the most affecting consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to social distancing guidelines, it’s been nearly impossible for congregations around the country to gather in ways they were accustomed to prior to the COVID-19 ...

Footsteps to Follow: A call for unity

Throughout the Bible, we are reminded by God that, no matter what we face in this life, He will be with us. It seems in the past several months that I have leaned on this truth more than I ever have before. The list of adjectives that we could use to describe the past several months is ...

Faith Matters: Guided by faith in the time of a pandemic

In unsettling times like these, where does one turn? What can one do to help? My favorite scripture gives me guidance. Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34 NAB). Instead of the Golden Rule found ...

Rev. J. Morris Smith to retire in August

Lycoming County’s “Shepherd of the Streets,” the Rev. J. Morris Smith, Th.D., has submitted notification of his pending retirement as head of the program that has brought help and assistance to hundreds of needy in the county, effective Aug. 28. The Shepherd Program is the imaginative ...

Rev. J. Morris Smith to retire as Shepherd of the Streets in August

Lycoming County’s “Shepherd of the Streets,” the Rev. J. Morris Smith, Th.D., has submitted notification of his pending retirement as head of the program that has brought help and assistance to hundreds of needy in the county, effective Aug. 28. The Shepherd Program is the imaginative ...

Hunter’s Martial Arts-Warriors for Christ Dojo marks several milestones

Hunter’s Martial Arts–Warriors for Christ Dojo is proud to announce several milestones within their school. Located at 825 Arch Street in the Newberry section of Williamsport, Shihan Steve Hunter and his assistant instructors are excited about their important achievements. “Shihan” is ...

Footsteps to Follow: Are we there yet?

I have never been a good traveler. When I was a child, my question was always, “Are we there yet?” Long car trips meant I would get motion sick no matter how much Dramamine I took, where I sat, or what I did while in the car. Sometimes just going a mile or two was way too long! We have ...

Black Catholics: Words not enough as church decries racism

NEW YORK — Black Roman Catholics are hearing their church’s leaders calling for racial justice once again after the killing of George Floyd, but this time they’re demanding not just words but action. As protests against racism and police brutality continue nationwide, there are rising ...

Saudi Arabia to hold ‘very limited’ hajj due to coronavirus pandemic

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia said Tuesday that because of the coronavirus only “very limited numbers” of people will be allowed to perform the annual hajj pilgrimage that traditionally draws around 2 million people from around the world. The kingdom’s Ministry of Hajj ...

Penn College welding faculty, students build ‘Living Chapel’

A massive structure meant to encourage the “ecological awakening of humanity” in Europe can trace its foundation across the Atlantic Ocean to the welding expertise and facilities offered at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Nine instructors and 15 students spent 10 weeks fabricating the ...