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4 Reasons More U.S. Churches Should Sanction Same-Sex Relationships PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 24 August 2012 08:49
Exclusionary Policies Run Counter to Christ’s Example,
Author Says

An evergreen tender spot on the religious-political landscape is homosexuality and gay marriage. When a politician, pundit or gadfly wants to gin up his or her base, an easy tactic is to make a statement about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, says media analyst Paul Hartman.

“It’s one of those issues where everyone has an opinion, one way or another,” says Hartman, a retired PBS/NPR station executive and author of “The Kairos,” (www.CarpeKairos.com) a five-star-rated suspense novel that imagines Jesus Christ as gay.

“One of the many roles that Jesus modeled for us was that of social reformer. He championed the equality of outcasts – prostitutes, beggars, widows, orphans, lepers.  He ignored their ‘pre-existing conditions’ and just loved ‘em. You don’t have to be a well-educated liberal today to be on the right side of history, you just have to follow Christ’s example.”

Currently, there are three American Christian denominations that officially accept homosexuality in their clergy: Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians. In July, the Episcopalian Church became the largest U.S. denomination to officially sanction same-sex unions by authorizing a “blessings” ceremony.

Hartman cites four reasons why American churches should accept homosexuality and gay marriage:

• In support of family and monogamy: The current estimate of U.S. citizens who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) is 12 million. Due to lingering stigmas, that self-reported number is likely only a fraction of the actual. Even 12 million is a significant portion of the population who have been forced to live on the sidelines and denied the rights and responsibilities that other Americans enjoy, including marriage, and the adoption of needy children. Such denial of freedoms for sexual minorities runs counter to the Christian belief in family values.  Indeed, there are many theologians who argue homosexuality is one of God’s diverse gifts in His creation of families.

• Avoiding hypocrisy and elitism: Like so many topics in the Bible, its few brief references to same-sex relations beg for intelligent interpretation. The original Bible writings, Hartman argues, never used the word “homosexual.” Translators introduced that term.  In context, biblical “clobber passages” condemn “unnatural relations,” meaning God finds it an abomination when straight persons ignore their nature and have sex with partners of their own sex.  Logically, people whose natural orientation is toward their own gender would have “unnatural relations” if they’re intimate with opposite sex partners.  Another example is when people parrot what they’ve heard about the sin of Sodom being same-sex relations.  They don’t realize that the Bible itself repeatedly and clearly defines that city’s wicked sins as inhospitality and unloving acts toward others.  That’s a charge some make against churches which discriminate against members of the GLBT community.  “When will we learn?” Hartman asks.  “Christ’s message is inclusive, not exclusive.”

• Already accepted in three denominations: Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians – none of them wildly radical sects of Christians – now ordain openly gay as well as openly straight clergy. While it’s nothing new for denominations to disagree, it should be noteworthy that three mainstream Christian churches have accepted and embraced gay people.

• Most importantly, “Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves.” Modern-day Pharisees love to emulate God’s role as judge more than Christ’s model of loving caregiver to the littlest, the lowest, the last and the least.

About Paul Hartman

Paul Hartman is a retired PBS/NPR station executive with a passion for biblical history. He is a Presbyterian elder, a lay preacher and a Dead Sea Scrolls aficionado. A father and grandfather, Hartman says he wrote “The Kairos” after serious Bible study revealed two repeatedly-quoted words from God as the answer to his lifelong battle with fear.

 
UUCQC Adds 2nd Service PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Margaret Thomas   
Friday, 24 August 2012 08:36

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad Cities

3703 Eastern Ave

Davenport, IA 52807

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad Cities announces a change in its Sunday services schedule.  Beginning September 9, 2012, there will be two services every Sunday to better serve the needs of our Congregation. The first service will begin at 9:00 A.M., followed by coffee and socializing in the Social Hall at 10.00. At 10:15 each week there will be a Forum in the Community Room with a speaker on a topic of interest to the community. Look for the announcement of the topics on our website, qcuu.org. The second Service will begin at 11:15 A.M., with the Religious Education program running concurrent with that service.

With these changes, we will be able to offer greater flexibility in using our beautiful worship space surrounded by windows looking over our wooded campus. We have hired a second pianist to provide the music for the early service. Her name is Zoe Pinter, and she will begin on September 16. Sheila Doak, our Music Director, will provide the music for both services on September 9.

All are invited to come join our celebration, with our Minister Jay Wolin, starting his second full year with us, and our choir in our geothermal conditioned worship space and Social Hall.  For more information, call the congregation office at 563 359 0816.

 
Governor Quinn Attends Muslim Eid PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Monday, 20 August 2012 14:58

Governor Renounces Attacks on Houses of Worship, Signs New Law to Foster Religious Tolerance

BRIDGEVIEW, IL – Governor Pat Quinn today joined the Muslim community to observe the completion of the Holy Month of Ramadan at the Eid-ul-Fitr prayer service in Bridgeview. During the occasion, the governor renounced recent incidences of violence against Muslim places of worship and signed a new law to foster religious tolerance.

“To the more than 400,000 Muslims across our state, ‘Eid Mubarak!’” Governor Quinn said. “Ramadan is a time of fasting, sacrifice and self-reflection. We honor your commitment to your faith and will vigorously protect your right to practice it without fear of intimidation.”

Ramadan is observed during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is considered the holiest month of the year in the Islamic faith. During Ramadan, Muslims fast each day from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan ends with a three-day festival known as “Eid”, which means “the feast of the breaking/to break the fast”.

Following the recent massacre at the Sikh temple near Milwaukee, gunfire at a Morton Grove mosque, a bomb thrown at a Lombard Islamic school and the desecration of a Muslim gravesite at Evergreen Cemetery, Governor Quinn issued a call for respect, tolerance and harmony. In addition, he signed Senate Bill 2949, to protect college students who miss a class or exam due to their observance of a religious holiday.

“No student should be disciplined, penalized or fined for observing a sacred day,” Governor Quinn said. “This new law celebrates our nation’s basic principle of ‘freedom of religion, as well as the notion that diversity makes us stronger.”

The new law, sponsored by Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) and Rep. Sidney Mathias (R-Arlington Heights), passed both chambers unanimously with the support of the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities (FIICU). The law is effective Jan 1, 2013.

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FFA State Fair Horse Show Results PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Lori Chappell   
Monday, 20 August 2012 08:16

DES MOINES, IA (08/17/2012)(readMedia)-- Mikayla Pfab of Granger was named Champion High Point Exhibitor in the FFA Horse Show held Wednesday, August 8, and Thursday, August 9, as part of the 2012 Iowa State Fair.

Jane Hoffman of Deloit was Reserve Champion High Point Exhibitor.

Pfab competed with 129 exhibitors from 62 FFA chapters who showed a total of 175 animals.

Complete results below:

DRAFT BREEDS

Aged Horses

1) Kim Blackford, New Virginia

DRAFT SHOWMANSHIP

Draft Showmanship

1) Kim Blackford, New Virginia

2) Ethan Bair, Keswick

HIGH POINT AWARDS

Champion High Point Horse – Mikayla Pfab, Granger

Champion Hight Point Exhibitor – Mikayla Pfab, Granger

Reserve Champion Hight Point Exhibitor – Jane Hoffmann, Deloit

MULE

Aged Mules

1) Arion Schnabel, Sheffield

Champion Mule – Arion Schnabel, Sheffield

OTHER LIGHT HORSE BREEDS

1, 2 and 3-Year-Olds

1) Dustin Bigler, Decorah

Aged Horses

1) Leslie Marvin, Bellevue

2) Rachel Ostrem, Radcliffe

3) Morgan Franzen, Decorah

4) Dalton Frana, Decorah

Broodmares

1) Dustin Bigler, Decorah

Champion Other Light Breed – Leslie Marvin, Bellevue

Reserve Champion Other Light Breed – Dustin Bigler, Decorah

PERFORMANCE

2 to 5-Year-Old Walk/Trot

1) Shania Roush, Newton

2) Caitlin Kuehn, Durant

3) Leah Paulson, Grinnell

4) Russell Seekins, Hudson

5) Tayler Foster, Riverside

Trail

1) Rebecca Ness, Muscatine

2) Kourtney Smith, Cresco

3) Russell Seekins, Hudson

4) Abbey Smith, Adel

5) Micki Dunkin, Bussey

Draft Horse Single Pleasure Driving

1) Kim Blackford, New Virginia

Light Horse/Pony Pleasure Driving

1) Micki Dunkin, Bussey

2) Rachel Ostrem, Radcliffe

Pony Western Pleasure

1) Makayla Johnston, Baxter

2) Larissa Volz, Norway

3) Alexandra Cleverley, Newton

4) Roger Kyte, Eldora

5) Sierra Kubik, Traer

English Pleasure

1) Crystal McGarry, Muscatine

2) Mikayla Pfab, Granger

3) Kim Wilson, Muscatine

4) Amy Turner, Knoxville

5) Meredith Puls, Jewell

English Equitation

1) Jane Hoffmann, Deloit

2) Mikayla Pfab, Granger

3) Britnni Wyma, Malcom

4) Meredith Puls, Jewell

5) Kayla Wyma, Malcom

Hunter Hack

1) Katelyn De Haan, Otley

2) Amy Turner, Knoxville

3) Rachel Ostrem, Radcliffe

4) Katey Havens, Greenfield

5) Jessica Hanrahan, Prole

Heavy Hitch Draft Team

1) Ethan Bair, Keswick

2/3-Year-Old Junior Horse Western Pleasure

1) Mikayla Pfab, Granger

2) Jane Hoffmann, Deloit

3) Caitlin Kuehn, Durant

4) Kaedon Volz, Norway

5) Jessica Hanrahan, Prole

4/5-Year-Old Junior Horse Western Pleasure

1) Derek Heitland, Sheffield

2) Ceara Hudnut, Deep River

3) Bailey Collins, Ames

4) Britnni Wyma, Malcom

5) Deven Heitland, Sheffield

Senior Western Pleasure

1) Kourtney Smith, Cresco

2) Rebecca Ness, Muscatine

3) Kim Wilson, Muscatine

4) Crystal McGarry, Muscatine

5) Meredith Puls, Jewell

Ranch Horse Pleasure

1) Brady Angstman, Dumont

2) Kirk Hatfield, Leon

3) Morgan Quick, Redding

4) Kaedon Volz, Norway

5) Arion Schnabel, Sheffield

Western Equitation

1) Amy Turner, Knoxville

2) Mikayla Pfab, Granger

3) Kourtney Smith, Cresco

4) Jane Hoffmann, Deloit

5) Rebecca Ness, Muscatine

Reining

1) Derek Heitland, Sheffild

2) Amy Turner, Knoxville

3) Katey Havens, Greenfield

4) Shelby Kinman, Clarinda

5) Katelyn De Haan, Otley

Bareback Pleasure

1) Mikayla Pfab, Granger

2) Kim Wilson, Muscatine

3) Ceara Hudnut, Deep River

4) Rebecca Ness, Muscatine

5) Krista McKusker, Marengo

PONY BREEDS

1, 2 and 3-Year-Olds

1) Jane Hoffmann, Deloit

2) Dalton Frana, Decorah

3) Jane Hoffmann, Deloit

4) Jannell Huebbe, Maquoketa

Small Aged Ponies

1) Micki Dunkin, Bussey

2) Jannell Huebbe, Maquoketa

Large Aged Ponies

1) Taylor Jacobs, Runnells

2) Makayla Johnston, Baxter

3) Jane Hoffmann, Deloit

4) Larissa Volz, Norway

5) Amy Turner, Knoxville

Champion Pony Breed – Jane Hoffmann, Deloit

Reserve Champion Pony Breed – Makayla Johnston, Baxter

SHOWING

Showmanship

1) Taylor Jacobs, Runnells

2) Kim Wilson, Muscatine

3) Amy Turner, Knoxville

4) Brittany Nicholson, Ellsworth

5) Rebecca Ness, Muscatine

SPEED EVENTS

Barrel Racing

1) Morgan Quick, Redding

2) Madison Waldo, Whittemore

3) Adam Drain, Danville

4) Jannell Huebbe, Maquoketa

5) Hunter McCullough, Knoxville

Flag Race

1) Adam Drain, Danville

2) Hunter McCullough, Knoxville

3) Victoria Eckley, Hedrick

4) Jessica Hanrahan, Prole

5) Russell Seekins, Hudson

Pole Bending

1) Adam Drain, Danville

2) Jannell Huebbe, Maquoketa

3) Kelsey Knoblock, Larchwood

4) Jessica Hanrahan, Prole

5) Emma Pullen, Clarinda

WESTERN-TYPE HORSES

1-Year-Olds

1) Madison Wood, Rudd

2) Kim Wilson, Muscatine

3) Katey Havens, Greenfield

2-Year-Olds

1) Larissa Volz, Norway

2) Caitlin Kuehn, Durant

3) Liz Beatty, Creston

4) Ashtyn Dove, Dike

5) Shelby Keyes, Van Wert

3-Year-Olds

1) Danielle Nemmers, Earlham

2) Kaedon Volz, Norway

3) Mikayla Pfab, Granger

4) Jessica Hanrahan, Prole

5) Shania Roush, Newton

Aged Mares

1) Madison Wood, Rudd

2) Katelyn De Haan, Otley

3) Amy Turner, Knoxville

4) Lauren Stewart, Marengo

5) Danielle Fulsaas, Decorah

Aged Geldings

1) None Awarded

2 tie) Taylor Springer, Iowa Falls

2 tie) Kim Wilson, Muscatine

3) Katey Havens, Greenfield

4) Julie Long, Belle Plaine

5) Rebecca Ness, Muscatine

Champion Western – Madison Wood, Rudd

Reserve Champion Western – Taylor Springer, Iowa Falls

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines, and are open 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. each day of the Fair. Exhibit hours may vary. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit iowastatefair.org.

* * *

 
Science on TV Boosting U.S. Fascination with Space, Spirituality PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 20 August 2012 08:10
Expert Points to Science-Validated Answers in Ancient Texts

Thanks to popular documentaries and programs like “Fearless Planet” and “Through the Wormhole” on TV’s Discovery and Science Channel, studying the universe is no longer reserved for academicians in lecture halls.

“Because filmmakers and producers have made it entertaining and present science in language everyone can understand, there’s an increased interest in the genesis of the universe, and its future,” says Sanjay C. Patel, (www.SanjayCPatel.com), author of God Is Real, a book that explores similarities between modern science and ancient cosmology.

What many people don’t realize, says Patel, is that ancient Indian yogis, Israelites and early Christians all agreed on the origins of life and the universe. Moreover, new studies indicate many of their ancient beliefs correspond with the findings of modern science
For instance, the scientific age of the universe is 13.7 billion years old, says Patel. When comparing this age to the Bible, if it is divided into six equal days spanning 2.28 billion years each, biblical Genesis’s timeline across all seven “days” suddenly corresponds with past and future episodes in our galaxy and Earth. In total, 21 major correspondences emerge.

One among them is the following timeline:

• Science says: the Sun and moon formed about 4.6 to 4.5 billion years ago.

• Bible says: On Day 4 – “God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.” This would be 4.56 billion years ago. (2 days or eons ago since we are currently at the beginning of day 7.)

Other interesting correspondences:

• Science says: Volcanic fire scorched India about 118 million years ago. Nearby oceanic volcanoes submerged about 100 million years ago. These submarine volcanoes suck in seawater through cracks and pores and remove salt from the water. They then expel the desalinated water back into the ocean through hydrothermal vents.

• Ancient Yogis said: Volcanic fire scorched India about 120 million years ago. Related volcanoes in the ocean south of India submerged about 117 million years ago. “The submarine Fire exists in the ocean. It drinks the seawater and removes its saltiness. It then expels the desalinated water from another opening.”

For those who believe 2012 marks an end – be it because of the Mayan Long Calendar’s end or some other prophecy – Patel offers this far-future convergence:

• Science says: In about 2 billion years time, Earth will be so hot there will be no life on it. Volcanism will be common and the planet’s surface will be scorched by the fire of lava and sulfur.

• Ancient Yogis said: In about 2.35 billion years time, there will be no life on Earth due to volcanic fire.

• Bible says: in about 2.28 billion years – by the end of day 7 – life on Earth will end in volcanic fire and brimstone (sulfur).

Patel has found 121 points of agreement across 30 years of analysis and research based on expert translations of yoga literature dating back to 1500 B.C., biblical texts which date back to about 1000 B.C., and translations of the Talmud – an equally ancient biblical tradition.

“So many correspondences cannot be coincidence,” says Patel, whose research has appeared in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including Marine Scientist in the United Kingdom.

About Sanjay C. Patel

Sanjay C. Patel studied theology, Sanskrit, ancient cosmology, advanced yoga and meditation techniques, among many other subjects, earning a degree in Divinity at the BAPS Swaminarayan Ashram in India. He continued studies of modern science and ancient spiritual texts for 30 years. His discoveries regarding the convergence of science and ancient texts were published in mainstream science journals and presented at the 22nd International Congress of History of Science in Beijing.

 
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