- Religion Column
We must understand the value of every soul
Have you ever gone out for a walk and noticed a penny on the ground? I have, and my first thought was to just pass it by, because pennies are worthless and can't buy much. I can remember growing up going to the corner store to buy candy for a penny, which can't be done today. As I passed by the penny I thought how many people we just ignore because we think they are worthless.
Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly and you're good to go
As we start 2012 it is good to reflect on our relationship with the Lord. Many people think Christianity is only a crutch for weak people, for the needy or for the innocent. However, in life we need many things. Many of us need and prefer to have a spouse and children to love. We rely on people to bring goods to market so we can have food. We rely on the utility companies to provide us electric and heat so we can stay warm. We rely on doctors and nurses to help us get well. We do not call these people or companies crutches. And yet, when people seek God, and the community of believers, and cherish them in their lives, somehow others want to call that weakness. How foolish to accept the biased thinking that the God who made us should not be the best one to fix us, and the one we should worship and love.
How and why I vote religiously
The Rev. Craig Schwalenberg Now that it is 2012 and the election season has started in earnest (the Iowa Caucuses already behind us -- only 10 more months of campaign ads and political commentary to go), I feel compelled to admit a deep dark secret: I vote religiously.
Area residents rallied after flooding
Without a doubt the most important local event this past year is the recovery effort following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. In the days immediately following a natural disaster, the area is swarmed with emergency personnel, people trained to remove the damaged property, government agencies and the media.
Press has few revelations about Christmas
Newspaper staffs feel obliged to write something catchy during holiday seasons. To be "catchy" usually means to be either a novelty or at least a little bit outrageous.
Don't take death lightly with a 'celebration of life'
We are raising our two little boys in a graveyard. To be precise, it's next door to our house, the rectory of the church I serve in Cooperstown. But the graveyard does seem like a simple extension of our home sometimes. Our 2-year-old son sometimes races his trucks across the flat-topped tombs, and the columbarium wall is the backstop when we play ball. We were driving in Virginia a few months ago and passed a large cemetery. "Look Daddy," he cried out. "We're home!"
Dogma, theology can detract from Christ's true message
Here's a stat to make you gasp: By conservative count, the number of separate Christian denominations now exceeds 34,000.
God smiles on certain 'old-fashioned' views
"Old-fashioned" is defined as, "not in accord with or not following current fashion" and "unhip". I'm gladly "unhip" if "hip" means compromising God's standards. Many reject Christ and His moral values, and due to rejecting Christ, sadly face a real hell. That breaks God's heart, and mine too.
Occupy your faith
There sure seems to be a lot of "occupying" in the news of late. Some people have Occupied Wall Street. Others have Occupied San Diego and Oakland in California. Just today, I saw photos of crowds Occupying cities in Germany and in Egypt. Closer to home, there are people Occupying Albany and -- even closer -- there are even some folks (occasionally, anyway) Occupying Oneonta and Otsego County.
Remember souls and saints after putting Halloween costumes away
This week, many denominations celebrate two festivals; all Saints Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2). These days were preceded by a vigil beginning in 1895, and were first reported in North America in 1911 in a Canadian Newspaper.
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