Faithfully filling the shelves

Columbia congregations have been keeping food pantries stocked, but it’s getting harder.

Belief in brief: Buddhism

Siddhartha Gautama, otherwise known as the Buddha, or “the awakened one,” was born into royalty but chose to go out into the world to live a life of aestheticism as a monk. He sat under a Bodhi tree at Buddha

Faithfully green

Tiffany Malloy tries to be a good environmentalist every day, but this is especially true on Sundays. Global warming and pollution are ultimately social justice issues, Malloy says, and completely in line with her Christian faith. Still, she hears genuine reservations about her activism from some of her Christian friends.

Belief in brief: Eastern Orthodoxy

Eastern Orthodoxy, one of the three major branches of Christianity, has more than 200 million members worldwide. It stresses the continuity of the church traditions originally established by the apostles.

Islamic Center to hold its annual open house

For the past year, the Muslim community in mid-Missouri has been under more scrutiny than any other religious group.

Church plans Eden Summit to help develop ‘creation awareness’

The Columbia faith community will get a jump start on Earth Day with the Eden Summit, a series of workshops aimed at explaining the church’s role in protecting the environment.

U.S. Muslim speaker urges understanding, acceptance

Hip-hop and a higher power

He goes by the name of Pastor Flo. As he stood in the pulpit of the Hip-Hop Sanctuary New Generation Church, all eyes were on him. “They say we can’t have hip-hop and church,” said Flo, a lay preacher whose real name is Roosevelt Sargent.

Stitching prayers

Some of the women, their hands moving frantically, could look around the room, seemingly unaware of the shawl forming around their needles. For others at the table, it was a conscious effort, requiring deliberation each time the yarn looped around the needle.

Blending beliefs

Every Saturday morning at the Parkade Center, people running errands and doing early morning shopping can hear songs of worship in Hebrew drifting from a storefront inside.

Action & acceptance

When Broadway Christian Church became aware that a member of its congregation was a convicted sex offender in 2000, it made a decision to implement a policy that would allow the church to welcome convicted sex offenders without endangering children and youth.

Belief in brief: L. Ron Hubbard

L. Ron Hubbard would have turned 97 earlier this week. Hubbard, born on March 13, 1911 and the founder of the Church of Scientology, died more than 20 years ago, but his religion, writings, and work live on.

What is a Bright?

They are but a small minority, making up less than 5 percent of the U.S. population. And until recently, they have kept a low profile. For good reason: People who do not believe in God are the most distrusted group in the country and are viewed by many as a threat to the American way of life.

Denied: Wiccans and the military

The night wind pushes Don Larsen’s green robe against his lanky frame.

First Presbyterian looks to renovate church

The First Presbyterian Church in downtown Columbia is hoping to raise $4.5 million for a renovation project that will expand its fellowship space and improve accessibility.

Belief in brief: Halloween

Halloween lore promises that an abundance of witches, princesses, ghosts and the like will be out haunting the streets Oct. 31. The annual opportunity to spend the night in costume dates back 2,000 years to the Celtic festival of Samhain.

Belief in brief: All Saints Day

The Roman Catholic Church will recognize more than 10,000 holy people who have contributed to the church in numerous ways on Nov. 1, All Saints Day.

Belief in brief: Islam and Christianity feeling tension

Pope Benedict XVI’s Sept. 12 speech to the University of Regensburg in Germany ignited a worldwide controversy. His quotation of a 14th century Christian Byzantine emperor has created cracks in the relationship between Islam and Christianity, two of the world’s largest religions.

Belief in brief: Diwali

Diwali, Hinduism’s most important celebration, begins Oct. 19. The five-day “Festival of Lights” draws its name from the climax of the week, the third day of Diwali, which is Oct. 21.

Belief in brief: Zoroastrianism

Predating Christianity and Islam, Zoroastrianism has existed for nearly 3,000 years and now faces a threatening decline in followers.