To Smudge or Not To Smudge Tests Campus Policies and Inclusivity

Smudging is the ceremonial practice of burning sacred herbs; it’s common in Native American traditions and rituals. Similar practices, at least in appearance if not name, take place in Catholic masses, too. And the practice recently made news in North Dakota when a powwow on the campus of the University of Mary welcomed visitors with

Read & Share   sourced from: InForum

On faith and the role of faith communities in the twenty-first century

For our second hour of #GoodTalk Minot last week, we were joined by Minot-native and Minneapolis Pastor Kjell Ferris. Our topics included the cultural challenges that come with fast-paced change and the emerging role and identity of communities of faith in the early going of the twenty-first century. Watch and listen below, join the conversation

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Survey says American churches are in trouble

If you were running a business and your customer base went from 70% of the population to 50% of the population, what would you do? That’s the environment churches find themselves in over the past 20 years. Lloyd Omdahl writing an opinion piece for Forum Communications has more on the topic.

Read & Share   sourced from: InForum

A Thought for Halloween

Death is not waiting for us at the end of a long road. Death is always with us, in the marrow of every passing moment. She is the secret teacher hiding in plain sight. She helps us to discover what matters most.

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The U.S. Is Retreating from Religion

The number of changes taking place in our culture and society are expansive and extraordinary. They’re not all good; they’re not all bad, either. But denying they’re happening would be a mistake. One change that’s certain to reshape our communities and our culture — the shift away from a citizenship who identify their religion as a

Read & Share   sourced from: Scientific American

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Winging it on a prayer: churches are trying new ways to attract young followers

There’s a lot in flux right now in our country — our economy, our political spectrum, the technology that shapes our daily lives — all of it is changing. And so are our churches; those that are growing are finding new ways to connect with parishioners.

Read & Share   sourced from: Dickinson Press

Twin Cities Jewish community shaken by rising anti-Semitism

It’s too early in the data gathering to call it a dramatic increase in behavior, but anecdotal evidence from those on the receiving end of it suggests the rise in anti-semitic behavior is something we should be paying attention to. Here’s the quote from a Minnetonka-based that that brings home the concern. Our experience as a

Read & Share   sourced from: Star Tribune

ELCA and Western North Dakota Synod Weigh in on #NoDAPL Protest

At its core, most simple level, the #NoDAPL protest is about a pipeline. But one of the reasons it has garnered so much support — especially nationally — is because the situation is viewed as an opportunity to right past wrongs, or at least an opportunity to learn from those past wrongs and do better

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How Technology Helped Martin Luther Change Christianity

Five hundred years ago — more or less — Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of a church in Germany and born from that act was the Protestant church. It’s doubtful Luther had a grand revolutionary scheme in mind when he committed his act of heresy, but a collision of timing and

Read & Share   sourced from: NPR

White Cloud, North Dakota’s legendary albino bison, dies

White Cloud was a lesson for the odds makers and an indication of the sacred for the many indigenous peoples of North America. She was 19-years old and was visited by approximately 3 million people during her lifetime.

Read & Share   sourced from: InForum

Lists of accused ND priests still under wraps

We’ve watched over the past 10 plus years as abuses and cover ups have come to light. It’s a disturbing part of the Catholic churches recent past, and the story is not yet full told. This story from the Fargo Forum takes on the delicate subject.

Read & Share   sourced from: InForum

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Descendants of ND’s early Muslim settlers put immigration, refugee debates into perspective

Little known fact: the first mosque in America was built in Ross, ND — 80 miles west of Minot. A few decedents of those early Muslim settlers are still in the area, and the Fargo Forum’s Archie Ingersoll tracked them for an interview.

Read & Share   sourced from: InForum

Sam Harris: On Islam, Religion, Geopolitics & Media

Sam Harris is an author, neuroscientist, and philosopher. His worldview is well-informed and he communicates it clearly. As the rhetoric in presidential debate escalates, grab a cup of coffee or tea and read this interview he gave to Salon.com for a more considered point of view.  

Read & Share   sourced from: Sam Harris Blog

Finding God In Western North Dakota

For one longtime North Dakotan, the landscape of Medora and the badlands is a place of inspiration and introspection. And an annual return to the source is an opportunity to share fellowship with others who have found something worthwhile in our landscape and history.

Read & Share   sourced from: Say Anything Blog.com

California Man Finds Judaism on the Back Roads of North Dakota

Minot’s Jewish community is not thriving the same way it once was, but it is still here. And a chance encounter between a California man and Minot’s Dr. Dennis Lutz — our local steward of Minot’s Jewish history — turned into a nice article from Jweekly.com. Image: Dr. Dennis Lutz shows where remnants of the synagogue

Read & Share   sourced from: Jweekly.com