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Faith

Donation misuse raises community concerns

The St. Francis Catholic Worker Community in Columbia has adopted new regulations for its financial dealings since accusations of embezzlement were made against one of the group's co-founders.

Colleges offer church management programs to protect church tills from embezzlers

About a half-dozen Roman Catholic dioceses that responded to a survey reported thefts of more than $500,000.Many U.S. churches have been victims of embezzlement over the years, reflecting not just moral weakness on the part of the wrongdoers, but lax financial controls. Often, church budgets are overseen by volunteers or employees with little guidance or professional training.

Now, some colleges are hoping to prevent such faith-shattering abuses by offering programs devoted specifically to managing church finances and personnel.

Baptists find unity at convention despite divisions

Baptists around the state hope to continue the unifying process set in motion by last month’s gathering of 15,000 in Atlanta.

Belief in brief: Christ, the anointed

“Christ” was not Jesus’ last name but a title meaning “anointed.”

Jimmy Carter tries to bring Baptists together

The former president discusses his relationship with the Baptist convention and his hope to bring peace to the denomination.

Belief in brief: The Hindu Upanishads

The Upanishads contain many of the teachings of Hindu religion today, particularly reincarnation and the concept of Brahman.

Heaven, hell and skateboarding

A youth ministry has been opened for skateboarders in Hermann. The place resembles the idea of “marketplace ministry,” which is an attempt to build communities around the idea of Christians telling their friends, coworkers, anybody, about God.

Marking the start of Lent

For many Christians around the world, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent.

Online ordination: legality of ministers questioned

Critics question legality of marriages by friends who get ordained online.

Panel of religious leaders to discuss identity of Jesus

Baptist, Islamic and Unitarian Universalist congregation leaders will gather Friday at Karis Community Church to debate and discuss their religions’ opinions of Jesus.

Best man for the job

Online ordination allows a good friend to officiate a wedding.

Religious groups say election without Blunt will not change agendas

Gov. Blunt’s decision not to seek re-election has left Missouri religious groups looking for a candidate to bear the social conservative standard. Most say the agenda won’t change, no matter who the candidate is.

Finding faith through family

Two Columbia families reflect on the role of adoption on identity in the Jewish community as their adopted pre-teen girls prepare for their bat mitzvahs.

Bible publishers get innovative to repackage an old favorite

Popular design trends and additional content are just two ways publishers have kept the Bible as one of the top-selling books each year, despite the fact that 91 percent of households already one a copy.

Impressionable? Parents, pastors worry that film is inappropriate for young children

In the month since 'The Golden Compass' was released, church leaders across the world have condemned it as a damaging influence on young audiences.

Virginia church attempts to include diverse flock

One Virginia church is attempting to make a wide range of members feel included — and it seems to be working

For the season of Advent, a renewal of the rite of confession

Between now and Christmas, Michael Flanagan, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Columbia, will once again see large numbers of parishioners lining up before the confessional. It’s the season of Advent, the time of repentance for Catholics as they prepare to celebrate the Nativity.

Penitents choosing online confessions over traditional church ritual

Like it has for just about everything else, the Internet has led to new trends in penance.

Web sites such as IveScrewedUp.com, run by a Protestant church in Florida, and DailyConfession.com., which arranges confessions based on the 10 Commandments, offer penitents a chance to forgive themselves through anonymous, online confessions.

Belief in Brief: Tracing the Christmas tree tradition

For those who celebrate Christmas, the Christmas tree is as much a part of the holiday as Santa Claus. But how the tradition of decorating evergreen trees began isn’t so clear.

Hindu priest serves as keeper of family histories

Ashish Sharma Pawan's handwritten records of 2,500 Hindu families date back 144 years.

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