The Oregon Faith Report - Faith News from Oregon


Supreme Court upholds 10 Commandments park case

February 28, 2009 --

Weekend National News Focus:

US Supreme Court Upholds the Public Display of the Ten Commandments in Public Parks.  In a landmark 9-0 decision, the Court ruled the City of Pleasant Grove, Utah does not have to remove a Ten Commandments display from a public park. This paves the way for states, cities and counties to display the Ten Commandments without fear of expensive and massive lawsuits.  This includes the City of Boise.

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Is it OK to pray for animals? Hmmmm.

February 27, 2009 --

A Christian Viewpoint on animals and God.
By Jeannie St. John Taylor,
Oregon author of Culture Proof Kids

I had to resist a strong urge to rush across the Atlantic and adopt the badly burned koala found in a charred Australian forest after I saw her photo on the news. How desperate she must have felt to seek out a fireman, hold onto him and drink from his water bottle! Such behavior from a wild koala is even more amazing since koalas don’t customarily drink much water.

So do you think it hurt God’s heart to see thousands of animals suffer and die because a few humans ignored his laws and deliberately set fires? I do.

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From Oregon to the war zone and back

February 26, 2009 --

By Judith Stroman,
Faith Reporter,

Jewish Federation co-chair makes humanitarian visit to southern Israel.

A detailed report of local Oregonian Michael Weiner’s whirlwind 26 hour trip to the war zone in southern Israel, north of Gaza, in January was the subject of a recent article in the Jewish Review. Mr. Weiner is the co-chairman of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland’s 2009 Annual Campaign. He had been asked by the United Jewish Communities to attend the Leadership Solidarity Mission Meeting on January 11 in Tel Aviv to report on the role the Federation was playing in the ongoing humanitarian needs after personally observing the war zone. He flew home the next day to speak to 700 attendees at the Community Solidarity Gathering at Congregation Beth Israel in Portland.

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Ash Wednesday: Oregonians offer aid to European churches

February 25, 2009 --

By Traci Scott,
Faith Reporter,

The Oregon Catholic Church is encouraging parishioners to donate generously for the 2009 Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe on Ash Wednesday, February 25.  The theme of this year’s collection is “Believe in the Power of the Spirit of Love,” and is part of a national collection effort.  As a result of devastating oppression triggered by years of wars, radical Communism and horrific crimes against humanity, the countries in Central and Eastern Europe have faced decades of hardship and suffering.

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Luis Palau returns to Guatemala for major outreach

February 24, 2009 --

By Doris Christian,
Faith Report Writer,

Beaverton-based evangelist Luis Palau is planning a big public festival to reach Guatemala in their time of need.

As a people, many wallowing in poverty, drug and alcohol abuse amid daily violence, the citizens of Latin America are seeking answers.  Overwhelmed and emotionally downtrodden they are desperate for a better life.    When Evangelical Ministers, such a Luis Palau, hold meetings offering hope and healing through faith in Jesus Christ, the response is remarkable.

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Bishop Tutu coming to Oregon

February 23, 2009 --

The 40th annual Collins Lecture, presented by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO), is scheduled for the evening of Monday, May 4, 2009, at the University of Portland, Chiles Center. The theme is “The Transformative Power of Reconciliation in Society.” Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus from Cape Town, South Africa, will be the featured keynote speaker.

Archbishop Tutu has led a formidable crusade in support of justice and racial conciliation in South Africa. His tireless work was recognized in 1984, when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Following a short stint as the Bishop of Johannesburg, Tutu was elected Archbishop of Cape Town in 1986—an office he held until his retirement in 1996.

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Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke talks about God

February 22, 2009 --

Weekend national news focus:

Mickey Rourke may have resurrected his career with his amazing performance in The Wrestler, but in an interview with RELEVANT magazine, Rourke opens up about an even more significant turnaround in his life–one that happened in a church. The interview can be found in the March/April 6th Anniversary Issue of the magazine, which arrives on newsstands March 1st. Rourke is currently nominated for Best Actor in the 2009 Academy Awards, which airs on Sunday, February 22nd.

The article covers Rourke’s brutal experiences growing up, his life as a boxer and the fateful night when–on his way to kill the man who raped his girlfriend–he decided to stop by church one last time.

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New book 'Play to Win' combines football and faith

February 21, 2009 --

Weekend national news focus:

There comes a single moment in many people’s lives that defines who they have been and who they are destined to become. For some people it comes at the most unexpected of times. For Jerry Glover it came at a moment that was one of the lowest in his life. Play to Win (published by iUniverse) by Jerry Glover uses a collection of stories based on his time as a force in Alabama football as a vehicle for sharing his views on spirituality and his relationship with God.

Play to Win utilizes the concept that wining in life is similar to winning in football. Glover recounts stories from his sixty-five years of life as a roadmap both to success in life and salvation with God.

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How the color red stirs up religious antagonism

February 20, 2009 --

By Jeannie St. John Taylor
Oregon Author of You Wouldn’t Love Me If You Knew

I’m an artist, so I’ve long recognized red as the color of passion. I recall one art teacher suggesting a touch of red in every painting “just to liven it up.” Red stimulates the appetite and conversation, symbolizes fervent love, energizes, and, when paired with its complement of green, seems to vibrate the very air.  But in recent years the depth of anti-Christian and anti-religious sentiment stirred by the color startles me. My goodness, I thought, red is just a color!

On Valentines Day the Saudi religious police raided gift shops to confiscate stuffed bears holding red hearts embroidered with the words “I love you”.
But they didn’t stop there, even red silk flowers and red picture frames had to go. Red symbolizes St. Valentine, they maintained, and he was a Christian. It is illegal for Christians to proselytize in some Muslim countries.

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Ashland Church Stops Signing Heterosexual Marriage Licenses

February 19, 2009 --

Allison Brandow, Faith Reporter,

Four clergy from an Ashland, Ore., church are refusing to sign marriage licenses for heterosexual couples, indicating they will resume signing licenses when same-sex couples can also legally marry.  The Rev. Pam Shepherd of First Congregational United Church of Christ, along with three retired clergy, declared this decision in January. They will continue to perform wedding ceremonies, but couples will need to obtain the signature of a judge or justice of the peace on their licenses.

The church, which the Ashland Tidings reports is more than 90 percent straight, agreed with the leadership’s decision.

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